Any Gibson SG's I should avoid?

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by PunkBillCarson, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. PunkBillCarson

    PunkBillCarson SS.org Regular

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    So basically, I've decided to eventually get a Gibson SG but I noticed Gibson hasn't done great on guitar QA recently. I've seen Gibson SG's go for 800 bucks. I will be swapping out the pickups for either Black Winters or Super Distortions when I get one.
     
  2. BoneClaws

    BoneClaws Young Old Man

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    I think the internet is kind of like an echo chamber where the 3% of Gibson customers who had QC issues are amplified, repeated and quoted so often and given so much attention, it creates the illusion that 75% of all Gibsons are garbage. In fact, the vast majority of customers who are happy with their guitars aren't even online commenting. I don't think QC is worth worrying about as long as you can either play it before hand or are buying from a reputable retailer with a fair returns policy.

    My recommendation: Get a 2016 model. For two reasons: First, this was the year that Gibson normalized their prices after a few years of deliberately inflated street prices that were designed to make them look more high end. That was BS and nobody was willing to pay $3000 for a standard spec production line guitar anyway. The second is that I think whatever isolated QC issues they've had in the past seem to be going away, they seem to be making improvements and I'm basing that opinion on how well the first batch of new 2016 LP's went over with even the most cynical gear snobs online. I didn't buy a 2016 SG yet but I want to get either one of those or a new Explorer by the time the year is out.

    Under the 2016 pricing, you can get a Special with mini hums for under $800 or a Standard (P90 or humbucker config) for about 12. For BRAND NEW guitars, that's a bargain. I would recommend shopping used for someone who needed a Les Paul on a budget but for an SG, you could easily go new. That's such a good price, it's about as much as most Korean imports lately (Schecter, etc)

    I know there's a guy on this forum who got a brand new P90 SG Standard in Cherry earlier this year and it's so gorgeous, you'll want one as soon as you see it. IIRC, he was very happy with his purchase.
     
  3. MatthewK

    MatthewK SS.org Regular

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    Never had a problem with a Gibson. I honestly prefer the faded to the standard SG.
     
  4. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    In my experience it matters where you're buying Gibsons. I had to go all the way to Japan before I started seeing perfect Gibsons, it seems they dumped the crappy ones to Finland. In the US the ones I've seen have been hit and miss.

    Things to look out for:

    • Too much neck angle. If the tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece are high off the body even though the guitar has low action, it most likely has too much neck angle. This robs some sustain and bass.
    • Poor fretwork. Seen Gibsons with frets that are just flat on the top even brand new. This should no longer be an issue with their Plek machined frets hopefully.
    • Finish flaws. Worst I saw had orange peel effect on the finish and should've never left the factory.
    • Poorly cut nut. This is an issue with many brands and easily fixed but if the nut is binding (causing those "ping" sounds when tuning or bending) then have the store fix it.

    Basically as long as you can play the guitar before buying or buy from a store with a good return policy then you can definitely get a great Gibson.
     
  5. CaptainD00M

    CaptainD00M Lungsman

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    ^^

    Laxu has some good points here, I'm guessing by your profile you are in the US So you probably don't have the issue that we in the EU have. YMMV as to what you like in a guitar - me personally when I'm picking SG's as they are fairly similar body construction from model to model the big difference is neck.

    61 reissues are lovely rounded thin necks and IMO are a dream to play, some of the other neck profiles can be a little gnarly though and while 59 necks aren't quite baseball bats, they can take some getting used too especially if you come from other more 'modern' or at least post 80's designs.

    I avoid 2015 models - not because they are bad, but because the neck width and brass nut bother me so these are things to consider. Some also come with robot tuners which are easily changed out but again another thing to consider.

    Also it depends if you are going new or second hand, but you can get some great 61 reissues for not a huge deal of cash according to guys on MLP, my random ebay USA searches and comments here.
     
  6. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Try before you buy and you'll be okay. If you just order one off the 'net, you might end up with a lemon. That goes for anything, really, but Gibsons are particularly expensive for a manufacturer that doesn't properly QC stuff before it ships. :2c:
     
  7. CaptainD00M

    CaptainD00M Lungsman

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    fixed ;)

    But again it depends if you go new or 2nd hand.
     
  8. RUSH_Of_Excitement

    RUSH_Of_Excitement SS.org Regular

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  9. FifthCircleSquared

    FifthCircleSquared Threadender

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    I have a 2014 SGJ that I love.

    HOWEVER-

    I've done some things to it..

    -Removed quick connect system and installed CTS pots, switchcraft jack, and new pickups. This was because I simply wanted to change pickups the way I am used to doing it. The 61 zebra pickups aren't bad, but eh.

    -Put locking tuners on. Because locking. Stock Kluson's are okay once you get the neck on your SG warmed up, but I just prefer locking tuners for their stability and ease of string changes.

    -Lubed the hell out of the stock nut. The nut is probably the only real weak point, and you can fix that for 30 bucks at any reasonable luthier/shop. Or for five bucks, you can fix it yourself.

    Here is my advice for anyone looking at SG's:

    #1 - Warm that neck up. SG's are more neck than body (for the most part). Until the neck is warm, your strings will fluctuate tuning a few cents either way.

    #2 - Don't be afraid to try the 50's profile necks. They might feel baseball bat-ish at first, but some people actually prefer them.

    Good luck!
     
  10. r3tr0sp3ct1v3

    r3tr0sp3ct1v3 Grey

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    I suggest the 2016 traditional line. I have a 50s tribute les Paul and have no issues at all with it. Sounds and feels good. Go with a tru before you buy set of mind. :) plus can't beat the lower price
     
  11. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    Still seems an overgeneralisation based off a few cases. I won't argue with my guitars since it would also be generalising in the other way, but you see less complaints about Gibson than about some other brands who move considerably less guitars.

    Most issues seem to come from poory treated guitars that stay in shops for years hanging on walls being played by everybody. Those received from a retailer that weren't used as floor demo models should be fine. I'll likely buy another new Gibson pretty soon so we will see. ^^
     
  12. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    :rolleyes:

    Except that it's not overgeneralizing anything. I never said here that Gibson guitars were bad, just that they don't QC check all of their guitars. That's a fact: if they don't QC check one guitar, that statement is still technically true. , and I know, first hand, of three Les Pauls that were not QC checked before they left Gibson's custody, because I received them at the shop directly from Gibson.

    If there is a 0.01% chance or a 50% that you'll get a lemon, the statement "you might get a lemon" holds true either way.

    Are you disagreeing with the assessment that one should try before one buys? If so, why?

    I guess it just goes to show that you can make a fairly well-guarded and conservatively worded statement about something generally known to be true, yet controversial, which you have had a great deal of specific first-hand experience, and fanboys will still make the statement that you are wrong.
     
  13. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    Calling people "fanboys" really isn't a "fairly well-guarded and conservatively worded statement". Keep that for the League of Legends forums.
    So I'll leave you at it.
     
  14. Ulvhedin

    Ulvhedin Phrygianist

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    All of them.

    *gains 200 likes and 2000 enemies*

    Well no, dont worry about year of manufacture. But whatever you consider to buy, make sure you can inspect it in person.
    In the shop I worked in for a while there was very few lemons. Worst I dealt with was some fret sprout and the occasional nut that had to be perfected. But that was from 2006-2011, so I can't speak for the other years.

    But try before you buy. That's muy importante.
     
  15. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    For some reason I've always had better luck with the lower tier SGs. Nearly every SG 'Special' I've owned or just picked up seemed to have a little more mojo than the Standard or Customs. To Me, the SG always seemed best as a 'stripped down' rock machine, they just don't look right all prettied up.
     
  16. rampant

    rampant SS.org Regular

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    This isn't a problem with the frets. Gibson uses a different fretwire that is ALWAYS flat on the top. This is not the same as even epiphone. I don't know why they do it, but I actually prefer the feel. But a Gibson without flat-top/kinda square frets has likely been re-fretted.
     
  17. PBGas

    PBGas SS.org Regular

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    I think they make beautiful guitars! Just make sure they don't fall off of guitar stands. Was playing over the weekend and one of the guys playing before us tripped up on his cable and down went his Les Paul that was on the stand. I felt really bad for him, but he will get it fixed good as new. The big issue was that he had the cheaper Tele on the nicer stand. Cripes!
     
  18. BoneClaws

    BoneClaws Young Old Man

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  19. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I have an Eddy SG, and get ready to be in the best guitar shape club. Suddenly, all other guitar shapes feel stupid and awkward. I still play my other guitar shapes just because my brain wants me too because they look cool, but the hands know what they want, and that's an SG
     
  20. feraledge

    feraledge Heard the Good News about Maple Fretboards?

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    My only guitar was an early 90s SG Special for nearly 10 years. There were things I loved about it and things I hated. The whole time I wished it was a Standard. Neck was thicker than I liked, paint started to chip on the back of the neck which I found really annoying, but what got me more than anything was that the neck joint felt really weak. I had techs check it out, everything, no one seemed to think it was an issue, but the neck had a lot of give, to the point where I could actually use too much strength making a chord and risk putting the whole guitar flat.
    I would go used and something you are able to try in person. If it's got some years on it, you shouldn't really be in for any surprises.
    Or maybe try to track down a Navigator?
    [​IMG]
     

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