The Gibson SG Special is the SG model placed right above the faded SG. It is pretty much the faded SG with a gloss finish. The Special keeps up the tradition of guitar makers giving lower end models names like Special of Deluxe when there is nothing really special or Deluxe about them. This guitar is your basic modern SG. It has the large pickguard that covers more of the body. Gibson switched to this in the late 60s because it allowed them to more cheaply route the wiring for the guitars. Earlier SG's or higher end SG's have the smaller pickguard. The guitar is made from solid mahogany with a mahogany set neck. The neck is 22 frets with a rosewood fretboard. The neck is not bound. It has two volume knobs and one tone knob and a 3 way pickup selector. It has 496R and 500T ceramic magnet pickups in the neck and bridge respectively. These pickups are Gibsons own design. It has a traditional Les Paul style tune-o-matic bridge and stop tailpiece. Pretty much the main difference between this guitar and the faded is just the finish.
The quality on low end Gibsons is very hit or miss. You really need to try out the guitar first if you are looking for a lower end Gibson like this. The quality on some of these guitars can be worse than medium to high end Epiphone. I have noticed many of these guitars have poor fretwork and really need a good setup and fret level right from the factory. The SG was designed in such a way to give better fret access than the earlier Les Paul. The neck is not mounted as deep into the body as is with the Les Paul. This design gives it a few problems. The neck joint on SG models is very weak compared to Les Pauls or even bolt on guitars. This weak neck joint makes some SG's prone to going out of tune. Because of the gloss finish on this higher end model than the faded some people may prefer the feel of the faded because it has a smooth satin feel all over. The laquer finish on this guitar may get sticky at times.
With the uncovered ceramic pickups in this model you get a really powerful tone out of this guitar. The SG tone is closer to that of an Flying V than a Les Paul. Because the body is thinner than that of a Les Paul you get a sharper tone from the guitar. The pickups in this guitar are the lower end Gibson pickups. Some people like them but most do not. I am not a big fan of these pickups. If you are looking for classic Gibson tone you can get a set of Classic 57s and have the classic Gibson tone. If you are looking for a more aggressive tone you can throw in a set of Seymour Duncans and really rock the house. If this still is not heavy enough you can get a set of EMG's and set the joint on fire.
This guitar is a kind of inbetween model for me. If you are looking for an SG and only have this much to spend you are better off saving your money and getting the Faded version. With the Faded you get a smoother feel and a more vintage look. The Gloss finish on this is nice but it can get sticky. The gloss finish is all you are paying for if you buy this over the faded version. I would strongly recommend saving up and getting the 61 reissue or a Standard over this guitar. If you are just looking for a solid SG workhorse you cant really go wrong with this or the faded. They are cheap enough that you dont mind tossing the stock pickups and throwing in pickups of your choice to get the sound you really want.
The Gibson SG Special is a slightly stripped down SG Standard, and its stripped down features is reflected in its price. It features a uniquely shaped mahogany body, mahogany set neck, an unbound rosewood fretboard with 22 frets, dot inlays, hard tail bridge, two uncovered humbuckers, a pickguard, two volume knobs, two tone knobs and a three way switch.
While the changes aren't too great from the Standard, Gibson did a pretty decent job at slimming this down cosmetically without actually taking anything away from the guitar. It still features everything you know, love and hate about an SG. The shape of the body is great, the neck feels nice, and the fretboard radius allows for some nice, low action. It also still has the same old neck diving issue that the regular Standard series has.
SGs sound very punchy, and this is no exception. In fact, it's actually enhanced a bit since the pickups are uncovered. This gives it an even brighter and more aggressive sound than normal. They have the thickness that you'd expect from something like the Explorer, but they also have that aggression and punchy sound that the Flying V delivers. This is mainly due to its smaller, light body. I'm not a huge fan of the stock humbuckers in this, so I tend to replace them with something else. Once replaced, however, this thing totally comes to life, and it's extremely versatile thanks to the control layout.
The SG Special is a great guitar if you're looking for a slightly cheaper SG Standard. It's really an SG Standard but with a few cosmetic changes. When buying one, be sure to pay particular attention to the fretwork and nut on the guitar as those are the two biggest issues Gibson guitars seem to have.
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yann music's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
Sg special usa ki has a 15aine of years, two humbuckers 490, nice finish ....
Happiness !!!! slight guitar, access to acute is n E can easier handle ultra agréabe it changes from my les paul studio .... g seems to play ten times better with this guitar so the handle is nice !!!!! ke say ...
The sound is also by appointment .... c es rythmikes clear sound ten times better now for me ki plays rock .... in short c the guitar ideal for rock guitarist rythmike ... but beware cett eguitare does not ring like a les paul she sounds much less fat with less breadth c ca ki also makes this guitar for fantastike rythmikes ... on the other hand for this ki's solos and his greasy c not ideal c ke .... I take my Les Paul ... kon want to see this by purchasing this guitar ... but I still repeated once this guitar has no ekivalent in this price area in ki concerns rythmikes if not the telecasters ki possess a thinner
A super skyscrapers and even if we were laid have greatly increased in recent times this guitar really vo instantly and is CHEAP ke bcp standard sg and I it suits me perfectly ...
one can just regret kelle not be more versatile and kelle is not the ideal guitar for solos and for the big, bold sound
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Hallyd's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
Well, I'm not too objective on the handle, it is not too bad but it is far behind compared an Ibanez RG series or S but hey it's matter of taste I prf re Ibanez comfort whether rhythmic or solo.Mais I think also that it must also be a matter of habit, perhaps if I play mostly with my opinion will change, but for now I remains on my mind !!!
This guitar is very versatile it can slip a little on all zic styles when staying in the same rock band, hard, but I know I'll get on my fingers, I have an Ibanez SC 620 AMP rises DiMarzio Fred and Paf pro and there is no picture my little Ibanez argus 490 + 140 micro leaves behind SG that my score even when 815 occas.d'ailleur , I intend remdier to the problem in the future by changing the microphone and I'm sure my very expensive Ibanez remain on his feet !!!!
Well after having trifouill the rglages of my amp and effects but I have to bin it sounds very well recognize the moin for rhythm but in terms of solo I'm not convinced and remains on I would put my Ibanez.Donc 8/10
I do not do it again the same choice, but would stay even when Gibson Les Paul but rather !!!