From purely a "players" perspective, is a standard "worth" it?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Silverman, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. Silverman

    Silverman New Member

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    I have a 2018 autumn shade standard that defies the naysayers opinion regarding Gibson QC. Perhaps I got lucky, but there is not a single caveat to be found on the entire guitar.


    Still, I wonder, aside from the sheer beauty, what are you actually getting when upgrading to the standard SG from it's "lesser" cousins? aesthetics aside, and focusing only on playability and tone, what would one be sacrificing by sticking with the cheaper tribute?
     
  2. NMA

    NMA Well-Known Member

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    You'll be sacrificing your peace of mind.

    Every time you pick up the cheaper model there will be a nagging voice in your mind telling you, "I should have saved a bit more money and got myself the Standard."
     
  3. Dagger

    Dagger Member

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    Having both a standard and a special for me it really only comes down to aesthetics. Some choose the special for the simple fact that the fret board has more wood due to the dot inlays rather than the trapezoids and prefer the more natural feel of wood, also no fret binding means no nibs (some like em some don't I can take em or leave em). I bought my 2018 standard used with only a few tiny blemishes for 1100.00$ Canadian. A brand new special goes for around the same price and I already have a special, I've wanted a standard since I was a kid purely based on it being an upgrade and because some of my heroes play standards. NMA pretty much nailed it, but there is still no reason you can't own both!
     
  4. RhinestoneStrat

    RhinestoneStrat Active Member

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    A '90's Gibson SG Special w/ ebony fretboard over an SG Standard w/ boring rosewood fretboard anytime!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Worblehat

    Worblehat Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the Standard is necessarily an upgrade to the Tribute when looking at how it plays. As Dagger already mentioned, its a lot about what you like to feel under your hands...so personal preference (gloss/satin finish, neck binding, nibs over frets).

    I recently went out to buy my first Gibson and was determined to get a Tribute because they are less expensive and I like the feeling of a slick faded finish on my fretting hand. In the end I came home with a Standard instead. As soon es I A/B tested them I noticed that the Standard actually plays a bit better for me. Actually liked the feeling of gloss finish as it was not as sticky as I thought it would (compared to my Epiphone). The binding felt also really good, but I am not sure if my mind is tricking me here and I just like it better aestethically. Also this Standard was really well balanced which is very important for me...but I think that varies from guitar to guitar, so you can't generalize this to all Standards.
     
  6. Didds

    Didds Well-Known Member

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    From a purely players perspective a standard offers nothing that you can't get on a special or other lesser models these days. They'll play exactly the same (at least in theory) and sound exactly the same which is all that REALLY matters. But I think that the cosmetic upgrades on a standard are absolutely worth that little bit more money
     
  7. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    From a player's perspective...
    Not a fan of fancy neck inlays (aesthetics).
    Not a fan of Faded finishes (feel).

    SG Classic or SG Special with gloss finishes are my favorite SG.

    Bound or unbound neck does not matter to me as I have one of each.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
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  8. Silverman

    Silverman New Member

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    Yeah, I suppose there is something to be said for having the "standard". The modern version of the original guitar as nature intended it. Anyways, I got my 2018 for a steal used, so I'm a little grateful for Gibson's poor QC reputation at the moment. it is just wonderful to hold.
     
  9. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    The way it's been explained in the past is this:

    The Gibson deep gloss requires a lot more factory time, more coats, more
    buffing, more ways to go wrong. (more re-dos, more expense)

    The Gibson trap inlays, the pineapple inlay, the binding, the durn nibs...
    all these details require more skilled work by Gibson employees, more QC
    inspection, more ways to go wrong. (more re-dos, or total losses).

    So the difference in price between an SG standard and the SG faded special that
    I bought was about $500. I was happy not to pay that. To me the difference is
    only bling. What I wanted was the tone and feel of a real Gibson SG, and I
    wanted an affordable one. I don't miss any of the decorations. I like dots, and
    I don't care for the pineapple. The audience doesn't care.

    From a player's POV, in a dark tavern with questionable lighting, or on a big
    stage where the audience is at least five to ten meters away, bling means nothing.
    I polish my faded special with Howard's Feed n Wax, and it feels great
    in my hands.
    If you play well, a plain guitar won't hurt you any.
    If you don't play well, a shiny and over decorated guitar won't help you much.


    When you play your SG at home, and set it on its stand or hanger with intense
    satisfaction, Bling can be important. (if you care about it). So maybe it's worth
    paying the extra, so you can have the satisfaction of admiring it at home.
    That's a subjective decision.

    For me, I paid less up front, and then spent more to mod my "inexpensive" Gibbie
    and I ended up with a cool custom guitar that's everything I need, and has nothing
    I don't need. For me, that's priceless. I spent money on setup, and '57 classic p'ups,
    Tone Pros bridge and tail, and custom wiring... and I bought one decoration:
    an inlaid TRC which is a lovely detail
    on a plain guitar.
    IMG_1097@100.jpg
    Luna headstock@100.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
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  10. Norton

    Norton Well-Known Member

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    Plenty of jr’s and specials have made heavy musical contributions.

    P90’s are great pickups.

    Custom shop and specific reissues GENERALLY get you higher grades woods, one piece bodies and specific neck profiles and pickups along with the binding etc.

    Standards can be a step down in fancy but not necessarily function.

    Binding and inlay don’t make a guitar sound or play better. But They do “make the look” of a 3 pickup Sg/les paul Custom.
     
  11. 67King

    67King Member

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    I personally prefer larger inlays to dots, just to locate myself a bit more easily. Otherwise, just aesthetics. I want an SG with mini's, there have been specials with block inlays, rather than trapezoids. That's fine. P90's, kind of same thing. I'd pay a little more for those than I would for the dots, but otherwise, don't care. I actually picked up a reverend Sensei 290 for that purpose a while back. Really sweet cheap guitar (bought used for $350).
     
  12. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Funny you mention the block inlays...
    Gibson issued an SG special in 2012 with these...
    they called it the '70s tribute.
    ...they didn't sell well in 2012.

    I wanted one instantly... loved the look of the block inlays.
    I read the specs... Gibson makes these inlays out of Acrylic.
    *shrugs
    The 2012 specs said the fretboard was made of baked maple.
    I was intrigued by that, most members here were repelled
    initially. Tradition has deep roots, eh?

    Maybe the standard still uses MOP for inlays, I dunno. They used to.
    That's one of the things you pay for when you get a Standard
    or a Custom shop guitar. Genuine MOP inlays.

    I didn't care. I wanted an SG with mini hums and block inlays.
    I wanted that tone, and I wanted that guitar, in silver burst.
    I don't think I ever saw one during the '70s, so I didn't care
    if the "tribute" resembled the old ones. My tribute has modern
    bevels, and many of the '70s Gibsons didn't. I liked the bevels.
    April 09@100.jpg
    I bought my 2012 SG special in 2013, when Gibson had marked
    them down to about $600. I could not resist any more, and I'm
    glad I didn't. It's an excellent guitar. Mine came with a 'satin finish"
    which meant a lot less gloss. I played it for a month or two after it
    arrived, loving it. Then I stripped off all the hardware and bought a
    bottle of Meguiar's Ultimate Compound from the auto parts store.
    Oblique whole guitar@100.jpg
    I hand buffed my satin finished SG until my arms were really tired.
    Then I put it on stand and recuperarted. I came back the next day
    and did it again, and when my arms were really tired, I declared that
    she was shiny enough.

    I've been playing this one ever since. The mini hums rip, the acrylic block
    inlays have given no trouble, nor has the baked maple fretboard. If I could
    get a harmonica bridge for it that wouldn't need a lot of drilling and filling,
    I'd consider that... but the Nashville bridge works fine and intonates perfectly.

    This one's mostly stock, I've done a few superficial mods, but from a player's
    POV, this one came with about everything I needed, right out of the box.
    Sometimes unbound necks will have fret ends that protrude, these change with
    the weather. A few careful strokes with a file can fix that.
     
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  13. brashboy

    brashboy New Member

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    Another vote for the special. This is JMO, but the plastic trap inlays on Gibson standards are hideous and cheap looking, ditto the often grayish rosewood boards. And let's not even get into the poor inlays with lots of filler around them, which some have. But a person who will be unhappy without all this gorgeousness is well advised to get a Standard.
     
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  14. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Specs.jpg
    Specials Rock!
     
  15. trypeus

    trypeus New Member

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    I went to buy a special - the shop only had a standard in stock but let me have it for the same price...
     
  16. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Where's this shop??????:smile:
     
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  17. arcticsg

    arcticsg Well-Known Member

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    If it’s the 2019 or new Modern SG Standard, they are exactly the same price as the same year SG Special @ $1499.

    So they definitely have no problem giving you the Standard in the Specials place. ;)
     
  18. NiteGoat

    NiteGoat New Member

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    I disagree. I purchased my 1991 Gibson SG, brand new, in 1991. I had been guitar shopping for my first "real" electric guitar for about a year, when I stumbled across my SG. I chose it because I loved how it sounded and played, and the price was secondary. I have ZERO regrets about my purchase, and never once wished I had waited longer to purchase a Standard.

    Would I like to own a Standard at some point? Sure I would. But I would never trade my Special for a Standard, just for the sake of owning a Standard
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
  19. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

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    Probably just depends on who you are asking - just look at the varied responses.

    For me, yes, it's totally worth it. I've owned several of the satin-finished Gibsons and found them to be a bit disappointing, so I kind of decided all of my guitars will be gloss nitro finished, which usually translates to more expensive but I feel it's a good tradeoff because I get more enjoyment from the guitars - they just look and feel "right" to me. To someone else, maybe not, but that's why so many different models are offered.
     
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  20. NMA

    NMA Well-Known Member

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    There's regret right there!

    If you had bought the Standard in 1991 instead of the Special you wouldn't have written what you wrote above.
     
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