Easy question for you SG experts...

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Rain, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Rain

    Rain Well-Known Member

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    One of the first things I noticed when I received my SG Standard was that it felt a lot chunkier than my SGJ - and since my SGJ was the first SG I'd played, I assumed they were all more or less like it, at least body and contour-wise.

    And that wasn't just an impression obviously. If you look at the picture below, you'll see that the horns on the SGJ are a lot thinner than the rest of the body, whereas the SGJ is pretty much the same thickness all around.

    This got me curious. Is this something that is exclusive to the SGJ or do other SG's (different models or years) share that same feature?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. musicman2242

    musicman2242 Member

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    There are a lot of SG's with different amount/style of body contouring. The 61 reissue, for example, has different contouring than the SG Standards. In the pic the closest sg is the 2019 61 standard and next to it is a 2019 standard you can see the difference in the horns. The 61 has narrow horns and the standard had wider
    Screenshot_20190228-231004.jpg
     
  3. Rain

    Rain Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a bunch! I guess this means my next guitar should be a red 61 reissue. :p
     
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  4. musicman2242

    musicman2242 Member

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    Can't go wrong there, I'd love to have one of those!
     
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  5. Daniel.S

    Daniel.S Well-Known Member

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    Yep spot on! My ‘61 reissue is carved to almost a point :)
    Makes it feel very slick and finished.
     
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  6. Rain

    Rain Well-Known Member

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    In truth, it will probably be a few years - although, technically, I could grab another 2018 and the terms for both guitars would roughly amount to what I used to spend on transportation each month when I worked outside of home. Hmmmmmmm...

    I'm also trying to downsize and thin the herd a bit - I have a few guitars that I just don't play. With my Strat back in working order, I have 4 main guitars to keep me busy - including that brand new SG which gets a lot of attention of course.

    I've put my Epiphone Riviera P-93 on sale because I can't play it with my bad shoulder, it's just too thick and big. Crazy how just moving that elbow forward a tiny bit can start a chain reaction that ends up with my whole right arm being useless.
    I could probably let go of my Epi LPs, too, although I'd like to upgrade the ebony one. It's a surprisingly good guitar.
     
  7. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    The body of your SGJ is the same design than '61 Ri and the neck/body is standard (short tenon.


    Image temp 5485.jpg
     
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  8. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    The SGJ was really unique because it was the only budget SG (AFAIK) that had deep beveling and tapered horns. That is the difference you are pointing out; tapered horns. This is how vintage SGs were beveled at least until 1966 or so, when beveling started receding. It only returned around 1999 on the '61 Reissue and in 2000 on the new Historic Reissue. Since then, it has largely been exclusive to those models (and any off-shoots of them), but occasionally it will show up on others, like the SGJ.

    Here's a comparison showing the difference between tapered and untapered horns.

    horn tapering.jpg

    However, it didn't have the '61 style heel, it was indeed the Standard style.
     
  9. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    Those 'chunky' horn tips sometimes get called 'cold chisels' - and I guess they're the more common style of horn on SGs over the years. But there's a lot of variation - sometimes there can be quite deep bevels around the horns, but the tips are 'cold chisels' (like the 2013/14 Tribute models), other times the tips are more pointed, but the bevels aren't that deep (like the '16/17 HP).

    A few years ago I tried to capture the variations on the three SG bodies I had at the time. It's had to see the carve on the white one, but you can see the variation of the tip on the lower horn. The '15 bass has a really thick tip, the white '14 has something in between, and the black '16 HP has quite a pointy tip:

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Joncaster

    Joncaster Member

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    Wow, this picture puts the heel difference into perspective nicely.
    Yeah, my '19 Standard is definitely a wider chisel than the 61, but not as wide as the black one in the pic, funnily. More in-between the two.
     
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  11. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    I still believe the easy answer is that Gibson SGs still incorporate
    a lot of hand work. So you can compare this one to that one and
    see differences, but you can't make any general statement that
    holds water. That's a belief on my part. Not sure if it's still true.

    Hand work done by individuals. That's one of the coolest things about
    the SG, and Gibson guitars of all types.

    Am I wrong here? Are all these curves and bevels done by robots
    on a computer program, or are they done by guys with rasps and files,
    wearing safety glasses and canvas aprons?

    If all the cutting was done by machines, they ought to be predicable
    and repeatable, and identical. And the world would be a much less
    interesting place. Might as well paint them all red.
     
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  12. musicman2242

    musicman2242 Member

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    Wouldn't the bevels be done on a cnc machine like the Les Pauls carved top?
     
  13. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    If they were, why would we see so much variance?
    That's what the world wonders.
     
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  14. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    There are several factory tour videos that can be viewed online.

    Even with CNC machines, there is still a great deal of finishing work that has to be completed by hand. From what I have seen in the videos, there are several different types of sanding stations for specific purposes. I would think that one of the sanders used on the edges of the body is probably used on the horns and bevels of the SG as well. All these points of contact on the guitar with these various sanders operated by humans can account for the variances that some of us notice either visually or by sense of touch.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  15. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    There may well be some variations in bevels due to hand finishing. But the big variations being seen in this thread are actually model specific - so we're seeing them because Gibson intended the SG to have bevels of that particular shape. For example, the 2016 models: All the 'HP' versions I've seen, Standard, Special or Faded had quite deep bevels, whereas all the 'T' models had noticeably smaller bevels - in other words, the variations between individual guitars never seemed to be as great as the intentional variation between models.

    Another example, the 2013/14 '50s tribute' range all featured very deep bevels (pretty much '61 style), but with quite broad horn tips as opposed to 'pointy' ones. It's obvious in this photo where one has been retro fitted with a pick guard:
    [​IMG]

    At about the same time, they made the 2014 Standard, with angel wing pick guard and quite deep bevels (perhaps not quite as much):
    [​IMG]

    And also the 2014 SG Standard 120, with a batwing, and shallower bevels, (as is typical of batwing fitted SGs), particularly obvious on the lower horn:
    [​IMG]

    I doubt you'll find a 50s Tribute with a carve like that, (or an SG Standard 120 with a carve like the 50s tribute).

    So, while I'm sure there's still individual variation from hand finishing, the big differences we see seem to be completely intentional, rather than random consequences of hand finishing.
     
  16. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I agree, variances only between guitars of the same model. Anything with a completely different carve is more than likely done intentionally by changing the tool path on the CNC machine to rough cut it out differently.
     
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  17. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    I've also noticed a lot of variation between the two cutaways. I don't remember if it was on the same models or different ones, but I remember noticing how some would have a shallower bass side and deeper treble while others would have a shallower treble and deeper bass.
     
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