About to pull the trigger - SG Special with minis....

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Rain, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Rain

    Rain Well-Known Member

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    The only thing left to do is click check out. And then I start wondering...

    Just how similar to the SGJ is the finish on the Special. My sweat certainly did a quick number on my SGJ. But that's okay, it worked with the chocolate finish. For the SG Special I really want a red one.

    [​IMG]

    However, if the finish is the same, I'll ruin it in a matter of months and I'm not so sure that kind of damage will look as glorious on a red guitar.

    Anybody has experience with both and care to chime in?

    Thanks a bunch!
     
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  2. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

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    Ummm you can wipe off sweat and keep it polished/waxed?

    Unless you have like industrial strength acid sweat?

    Extra coats of nitro?
     
  3. Rain

    Rain Well-Known Member

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    That.

    That's a Epiphone bridge after a year of me playing it...

    [​IMG]

    Her's the finish on my white Gibson Les Paul Studio. At least Gibson hardware doesn't go as bad. It just loses some of its shiny finish.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    Well, I only came across an SGJ once and it struck me as having basically no finish, just a stain. It was totally matte. Granted, it was pretty heavily used so maybe it started with a little sheen. But as I saw it, none.

    A SG Special with minis from 2018 is a satin finish. It's not gloss and you can feel all the grain but it certainly has some sheen to it. It's not finished like a faded, it has a bit thicker coating than that I think. But, you know, it's still a budget finish compared to the Standards. The good thing about a low end finish is that there's less to worry about. A coat of wax might be enough to repel the sweat and what do you have to lose in slapping one on? If you're sweat is dissolving the finish on a Les Paul studio though I think that short of switching to a poly finished guitar you are going to have to live with some issues.

    I personally love my SG Special with mini humbuckers. I wish it were red but other than that I love the feel of it, I love the sounds of it, I just love it.
     
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  5. arcticsg

    arcticsg Well-Known Member

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    Nice half stack! ;)
     
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  6. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    The SGJ took the place of the Gibson SG special faded, in like 2013.

    The object of the game with these inexpensive Gibsons was to place
    a real Gibson in the hands of someone who could NOT afford to pay $3000
    for a Les Paul or an ES-335.

    So they made nearly the same guitar as the Standard, but didn't
    work so hard and long on the finish. They saved themselves weeks of factory
    time and labor, and they sold the SGJ for about $500 less than a Standard,
    to reflect that. The same with the SG faded specials before that, which
    Gibson sold by the truckload. The finish on these less expensive guitars
    is thinner and more fragile, and needs to be protected by the owner.

    If your corrosive sweat did that to an SGJ, you might want to play
    Epiphone guitars or MIM Fenders, which are finished in Polyurethane.
    These are much less vulnerable to damage like that.
    Some Epiphones are better than others
    but I've had experience with three of them, and each was an excellent
    guitar. I'm very fond of the two that I own, and the Polyurethane finish
    is very practical: hard and clear, and difficult to damage.

    Guitarists seem to worship Lacquer finish, and it's lovely when done right,
    but really, it's obsolete. All the finest of fine guitar makers use it, but it's
    poisonous and pollutes the environment, and guitars sound fine without it IMHO.

    At least mine do. So that's what I would do... if my sweat could damage my
    instrument. I'd buy one that had thicker and harder finish, especially if the price
    was something I could afford. Then I'd concentrate on my chops and my songs,
    and play them as best I could, working on my style and my execution instead of
    fussing over the varnish.
     
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  7. Rain

    Rain Well-Known Member

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    I'd been dreaming of that guitar for quite some time but I really think I'll just destroy that finish. I've tried to wipe guitars after I played them but, it's just not realistic. I can spend hours playing every day anyway - by the time I'm done the damage is also done.

    Right upfront, I guess it was also a compromise - I just really want that classic heritage red SG but I guess I'll have to wait. Anyway, the black one is doing a perfect job. She's my girl...

    [​IMG]



    But I still needed a second guitar for my metal band - and the only brands I trust are Gibson and Fenders - I always come back to those. So I guess I'll grab a MIM strat and modify it - I can't imagine modifying my good old American strat.
     
  8. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    Was it your sweat or Deodorant? It looks more Deodorant like.
     
  9. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    The finish on Specials is different and thicker than your SGJ's hand rubbed stain. Wipe your guitar off a little more thoroughly.
     
  10. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    To muddy the waters even more...

    Faded finishes are Satin finishes but do not have the grain filled. In 2016, the SG Special was available in Satin Ebony with the grain filled. The other two colors available that year did not have the grain filled and were marketed as Satin finish, but were technically a Faded finish.

    Faded - grain is unfilled
    Satin - grain can be filled or unfilled

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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  11. Rain

    Rain Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't think so - I can't imagine how it would make its way to my hand and abdomen. I burn through stuff - I can't wear white I just ruin it. It's not excessive sweat either, or anything I can figure out.

    The one odd thing though is that in 2011, I purchased a little Epiphone LP Junior as a travel guitar. I've played it quite a bit because it's the only instrument I had with me all the months we spent in Russia and Spain in 2011-12. And yet the finish is still impeccable. Oh, I did ruin the finish on the bridge, as usual, but the guitar itself still absolutely white.

    I'm curious to see how the white strat will react.
     
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  12. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    The difference is lacquer vs polyurethane, IMHO.

    Lacquer is a totally different kind of finish, and it reacts differently to
    the environment than does Polyurethane, which hardly reacts at all.

    That's why I suggested you stay with guitars that are finished in poly.
    My two Epiphones and my one MIM Fender instrument seem totally
    impervious to just about anything. The finish is hard and durable, and I've
    had that Fender for about ten years, and I don't think I've scratched it or dented
    it in all that time.

    I'm hard on my stuff... Here's an example of a "tone notch" in my faded SG
    controls@100.jpg
    That came from colliding with something. The SG seems to take it in
    stride, but... This is an example of what I mean when I say that the
    faded finish is softer and thinner than the normal Gibson Deep Gloss.

    That's why you can wear through it. There are a number of our members
    who have worn a lot of the finish off a Faded SG. Mine included... not as
    extreme as the one you posted, but you can see it in the picture below.
    wear 1@100.jpg
    I wouldn't call my skin or sweat as more corrosive than anybody else's.
    Any sweat contains salt and other active agents. My guitar looks the way
    it does because I like it so well. Yours looks the way it does because you like
    it (and use it) that much more. *grins

    Biddlin is right about the difference between an SG special and an SG
    Faded Special... SG specials have a harder finish with a deeper gloss,
    and they are more expensive to reflect this. But one of those might
    serve you better.

    I actually hate to dissuade someone from getting an SG with mini hums,
    because I like mine so well. Mine has a painted "satin" finish, which is also
    thicker, and has had the grain filled underneath. Mine wouldn't wear off so
    easy, I'm sure. I know you want a red one, but if you could make your mind
    up to get one that's painted instead of Lacquer over stain... such as an Ebony
    SG... you might find that it would stand up better.
     
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  13. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered a cherry SG Classic? Those have the full gloss nitro finish with a bound neck. I installed a zero-hum P-90 at the bridge position for hi gain and kept the stock P-90 at the neck position for cleans and really enjoy it for playing metal. The bridge pickup sounds better to my ears than any of my current Humbucker-equipped SG with 490's or 57's or the 2016 SG Special with Mini Humbuckers that I had in the past.

    [​IMG]

    I ended up with the SG Classic and that pickup configuration above being my all-time favorite SG after experimenting with several other SG in the past. I had one SG Special with Mini Humbuckers and another with P-90's. I tried a hybrid with a Mini Humbucker at the bridge and stock P-90 at the neck before I ended up with the zero-hum P-90 / stock P-90 combo of the SG Classic.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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  14. Huntroll

    Huntroll Active Member

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  15. Rain

    Rain Well-Known Member

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    So I went ahead and just grabbed a little MIM strat, same type of budget, a bit less expensive. As for the SG, I'll just have to wait until I find what I really want - and for which the SG Special would have been sort of a placeholder, despite it being an awesome guitar in its own right - a Heritage Cherry Standard, similar to the classic '61. That's the SG I want next to my black one. I could have bought the Special, I'd still be drooling ver the classic and counting the days til I get one.

    The weird thing is that I agonized over my decision for the last 2 days, thinking that maybe I should have gone ahead with the Special, and maybe regreting it. But the minute the strat was in my hands, I stopped questioning myself.

    [​IMG]

    I'll just wait for THE SG.
     
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  16. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on the new strat. I was a strat player for years between SG stints and they are fantastic guitars. Honestly, if I hadn't injured my shoulder I'd still be playing my strat but I couldnt stand up with it on a strap. SGs are no problem for me in that regard so I'm never looking back.

    I never played a mexican strat but from all I've heard they feel and play as well as the American ones, just some lower end electronics which is all upgradeable over time. You can even get a loaded pickguard and everything from pots to pickups are instantly upgraded all at once with two solder connections. An HSS is a nice config for getting those twangy strat clears with some great crunchy lead sounds. Enjoy it!
     
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  17. Rain

    Rain Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about your shoulder. Actually, I hear you - I injured my right shoulder in a car accident and had to say goodbye to playing ES style guitars because the big body pushes my elbow a few degrees to far out and my shoulder can't handle it. Actually, that's one of the reasons why I'm so thankful for SGs because when that shoulder goes bad for a spell, I can always play my SGs.

    It's my first MIM, I had no idea what to expect. But it's insane! Usually I get a new guitar, I'm all excited but after I unpack it and test it, I know that the strings need to be changed asap and that more than likely, it'll be a couple of weeks before I fine tune everything to my liking. It's a trial and error process.

    That one, right out of the box was absolutely killer. I played it for 2 hours and half - with the factory strings! Can't imagine what it'll be with strings that I am used to and prefer. And as you mention, worst case, the electronics can be replaced eventually. But for now I'm 100% happy with it.
     
  18. Rain

    Rain Well-Known Member

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    Duplicate
     
  19. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on the Strat. I had both a MIM and American Pro Series (formerly American Standard) in the past and to tell you the truth, I could not really feel a difference between the two guitars when switching between them. I ended up selling the Strats because the SG feels more natural to play to me.
     
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  20. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    My MIM Strat is one of my grab and go players. It probably had 2500 hours on it here. Note it has a 24.75 scal neck. DZ36ths and a Call. steel block on the trem. Great rough rider type instruments!

    [​IMG]
     
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