Gibson Sg Diablo Review

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by skeeterbuck, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Active Member

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    I recently purchased a Gibson SG Diablo Premium Plus. Here's a Standard Gibson publicity pic an not one of my actual guitar.

    [​IMG]

    I normally don't like black guitars and prefer something a little more colorful, but in this case I was able to get the black one at the best price and I figured that when your playing the guitar you can see it anyway. Another dealer had one in the deep blue (Manhattan Blue) finish but wouldn't price match and none of the dealers I contacted had the Iced Tea available. Since the guitar is a standard Gibson USA model, it comes with the same blalck faux alligator hard case with the white fuzzy lining that Gibson has been using for the normal SG Standard. It also includes the normal warranty papers, care booklet and truss rod wrench.

    Upon inspection I notice that the finish looks fine with the exception that were the neck joins the body there was a small area on the bass side of the neck that looks like it may not have been sanded as smoothly as the rest of the neck and the subsequence the finish in that area is not as smooth and glossy looking as the rest of the guitar which looks good. Also, worth noting is that the neck joint on this guitar is like the 61 reissue's and not like the neck joint on the normal SG Standard model. This model also has a 24 fret neck. It appears to me that Gibson realize that because of the neck joint that the SG has requiring that the neck pickup be slightly back from the end of the fretboard, why not fill up that space with 2 more frets and give the guitar a full 2 octave range per string. I'm usually not a fan of 24 fret guitars because I like the pickups to be farther apart which gives it a slightly greater tonal separation, but in this case it makes sense as the pickups are the same distance apart as on a normal SG. I measured it on my SG standard just to be sure.

    The top on mine is similar in the amount of flame as shown in the pic and was match nicely adding to the overall good looks of the guitar. The maple top add some additional weight and girth to the tone with is maybe lacking in a regular SG and to my way of thinking this is a good thing as I wanted the guitar to be a kind or on between a all mahogany SG and a LP. The carve in the maple top is also similar to a LP and makes the guitar even more comfortable to play than a normal SG if that's possible.

    Both control knobs were a little loose and after a quick snugging of the set screw on each were good to go. These knobs are metal and in the style of a Telecaster knob with a fine knurling. They look and feel nice. I inspected the control cavity and was kinda suprised that the size of the cavity is rather large for only 2 pots and a switch. It appears slightly bigger that the normal SG cavity yet for some reason Gibson uses mini pots instead the the normal sized ones which seemed rather strange to me as there is plenty of room for them. The selector switch is the normal Switchcraft 3 position type with a cream cap. the wiring was done in plastic covered wire and soldered in the normal Gibson manner, not pretty but securely and functional and all worked fine. The pots for being the mini type worked smoothly and I was pleased with their taper and overall operation.

    This guitar is factory equipped with Burstbucker Pro pickups and both Tonepro locking bridge bridge and tailpiece. The setup was OK but not to my liking so I tweaked it to what I prefer by lowering the bridge and the tailpiece both just a little more from the factory setup. The later takes some of the slinky feeling out of the strings. On both the bridge and tailpiece neither had their locking set screws tightened from the factory as I discovered before attempting to make my adjustments. For those who may not know, these are small hex head (allen) screws that lock the bridge and tail bar to their post keeping them from falling off if all the strings are removed and maintains their position. It also adds to the tone and sustain as everything is coupled together to the guitar body making it one solid unit. This is what is claimed by the manufacturer and only you can decide if you agree or not. I personally like it if for nothing else when changing strings you can take them all off without concern that you bridge and/or tailpiece will fall off possibly losing you adjustment or dinging up the top.

    This guitar is also equipped with Grover locking tuners with I really like and they make string changes a breeze.

    [​IMG]

    There is a knob located on the back of the tuner housing that when rotated counterclockwise loosens a small pin inside the peg hole that unlocks the string. Reversing the procedure locks the pin onto the string preventing it form slipping. When tightening the string, it turns on the post less than one complete rotating before it is up to pitch. They worked smoothly and once the guitar was in tune, I played it for over two hours and never had to re-tune.

    This is the first chance to try the Burstbucker Pro pickups. I've used the normal Burstbucker pickups and I'm not a big fan of them. The Pro version is reportedly the same with the exception that it uses an alnico 5 magnet instead of the alnico 2 magnet which is in the Burstbucker and is also wax potted.

    The Pro's sounder fine and I can live with them for now as my final judgement on them is still out. My overall assessment of the tone of these pickups is that they are very bright on the verge of being harsh sounding. I plan on keeping them in for now and see if they grow on me. :hmm:

    Overall I'm very pleased with the feel, playability and overall quality of the guitar. I would recommend this guitar for someone that like me was looking for a guitar that has the access and comfort of the SG mated with the slightly more girth and beef towards the tone of a LP without the all weight.

    I hope I haven't been too long winded in my overall assessment, but I know how we all like the details. :)
     
  2. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review.
    Can you tell me what the neck profile is like.

    I'm considering getting a Floyd model but only if the neck is a 60s thin.
     
  3. GTSG

    GTSG Active Member

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    Nice SG. That's the first I heard of mini pots in a Gibson. So the route is regular SG then?

    Thanks for the review info. The BB-Pro in the neck I like.
     
  4. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review. No, you weren't too long-winded. You made your points well with a good description of your impression. It was a good review!

    What are the frets like?
     
  5. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Active Member

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    I am familiar with the "60's Thin" profile and that's NOT what's on this guitar.

    I have a 2012 SG Standard with the "SG Rounded" neck profile. The neck profile on the Diablo is rounded but feels a little smaller/thinner overall than my SG Standard.

    This is from the Gibson website: The SG Diablo Premium Plus's glued-in mahogany neck is carved to a slim but comfortably rounded profile that measures .800" at the 1st fret and .900" at the 12th.

    Hope this helps! :)
     
  6. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Active Member

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    No, the route appears to be slightly bigger than the normal SG Standard Route, but it is shaped differently too. Here's a pic of the back of the guitar:

    [​IMG]

    The route is the same shape as the cover, but obviously slightly smaller. The 2 mini pots and pickup selector switch are all located along the outer half of the cavity. (lower half in the pic) The remaining area of the cavity is empty. I would guess that the cavity is twice as large as it needs to be. My only thought is that maybe it's an attempt to lighten the guitar some, but even that idea is a stretch. :hmm:
     
  7. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Active Member

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  8. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Active Member

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    Better late than never, I finally got around to posting a pic of my new favorite.

    [​IMG]

    Chuck
     
    bwotw and Biddlin like this.

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