NDG: 2018 SG Junior (with superfluous SG pictures)

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Kabrijj, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj Active Member

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    Not that I'm trying to inundate this board with yet another 2018 Junior NGD... but sometimes ya just gotta let the chips fall where they may.

    The SG Junior GAS was building for a while... seeing some of the other posts on here, my coworker recently bought a(n older model) Junior... something had to give, and in the end it was my willpower.

    At any rate, about 2 weeks ago I decided to make the plunge, and pick up the latest addition to my (admittedly, junkie level status) SG arsenal.

    180056120_lg1.jpg

    Browsing my local guitar shop's website, I had a pretty good idea which one I was going to get. They provide the serial number's pertinent details (weight, neck dimensions, etc) and just enough pictures to start drooling over.

    180056120_lg2.jpg

    Granted, their pictures are pretty phenomenal... but something about the grain pattern on this one was calling to me louder than the others. The real decision would be made once I had them in my hands.

    180056120_lg4.jpg
    So, off I go, cash in hand, and play the top 3 choices of mine in this model.

    As a quick aside, I've got to say being able to play multiple guitars is a really nice treat. It's not always an option, but if it's ever presented I can't recommend it enough.

    Two of the SGs I'd picked up were fantastic. One was... well, I won't call it a dud, but compared to the other two it wasn't nearly as responsive (or resonant, or whatever: it just didn't have "it" like these other two). I didn't even plug them in, figuring a pickup is a pickup: it's gonna sound like the others. The real difference is the wood.

    In the end, I narrowed it down to this one.

    IMG_20180415_130305s.jpg

    Weighing in at a whopping 5.55 lbs, this little number practically screamed at me I needed to take it home with me. Something about it is just so incredibly resonant and alive...

    IMG_20180415_130101s.jpg

    Needless to say, as most of us here have done, I almost immediately put reflector top knobs and those little indicator washers on. Something about it just looks more right that way...

    IMG_20180415_130155s.jpg

    But holy smokes! This guitar is as incredible as everyone else who has one will tell you. The neck is fantastic: it feels nice and wide, not too thin, but to (over)use the Goldilocks cliche it's just right. To be honest, I think a bound neck wouldn't be as nice on this guitar. Maybe it's just me, never having owned a glossy unbound neck, but some part of my brain perceives this as "more." More fingerboard, more neck, more room to play; I'm not sure how I can best describe it.

    IMG_20180415_130135s.jpg

    Ultimately, I can only say I haven't been this stoked on a new guitar in a long time.

    And that was before I even plugged it in! I won't go into detail about what a P90 sounds like; there's plenty of youtube and other resources available to go down that route. But for me, the simplicity of a single pickup, volume and tone was exactly what I was looking for.

    Whether or not the hum will bother me at gigging volume... remains to be seen. I'm the sort who typically can't leave a guitar alone: pickup swapping, tuner changing, whatever... but this one I'm in no rush to change anything (aside from the aforementioned knobs, of course ;))

    So the guitar, for me, is perfect. Exactly what I'm looking for.

    The case, on the other hand... man, TKL (or whoever is making the current Gibson cases) dropped the ball. Whether it's across the board, or I just got a wonky case, I'm not sure.

    The first and most obvious thing I noticed was the latch near the upper horn doesn't want to align itself. And by extension, the lid just seems a little off. Not by itself a deal breaker or anything, just a minor annoyance.

    IMG_20180415_130314s.jpg

    Besides, guitar cases are kinda like shoes, right? They'll conform their shape to what's inside over time... maybe.

    The real issue I had was the neck brace nearest the headstock. I'd close the case, pick it up, and the next time I'd open it the guitar neck would have shifted downward (towards the treble side) as much as 1/2" off center. The fact it was sitting only half in the neck brace worried me, as did the drifting aspect (I've seen a lot of used cases where the neck brace gets "blown out" over time, and the whole guitar wiggles around inside).

    But I will give the case manufacturer a little credit. The neck brace in question is only held in place by 3 screws on the outside of the case. Super easy to remove, place a small piece of foam underneath (the kind used in workshops to ease being on one's feet all day), and re-attach. It solved that problem, which had been gnawing at my brain (you buy a new, USA made Gibson, you'd expect the case to fit better, right? At least I did), and all is right in the world.

    Badass guitar I can't stop playing (and bonus, my hands pick up that "New Gibson" smell)

    No more GAS.

    No more need for a new guitar...



    ...for now :rofl:




    And for those of you who actually read all that, first a) thank you, b) I apologize for ranting, and c) would like to reward you with more SG pictures. Ha!

    The current line-up:
    IMG_20180415_125512s.jpg
    2018 Junior
    2002 61 Reissue
    1971 Special
    2005 Faded
    2017 Standard
    2009 Faded

    IMG_20180415_125704s.jpg

    Hmmm... they say, in photography, to take pictures of objects in odd numbers. I guess it's more aesthetically pleasing or something... :hmm:

    Might feel a slight uptick in the ole SGAS (SG Acquisition Syndrome)... :ohno: :lol: :cheers:
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  2. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on the Junior!
    That's a nice SG collection.
     
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  3. Roca

    Roca Active Member

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    Why does it have such an odd logo?
     
  4. lawrev

    lawrev Member

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    It is a vintage Gibson script.
     
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  5. lawrev

    lawrev Member

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    The latches on my new Jr's case are lined up properly. I was impressed by the case otherwise - much better than a gig bag. You have some very impressive grain on the guitar - great choice!
     
  6. Voxman

    Voxman Moderator Staff Member

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    Now I want one too!
     
  7. Epiphan

    Epiphan Active Member

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    I want one too, to keep the Jr60s company, but down here in the guitar/amp availability A-hole of the earth I can't even order one through a local dealer. To buy one on line and bring it in myself will likely cost $NZ2.6 - 2.8 k. Thats too much to risk ending up with a lemon as far as I am concerned.
     
  8. arcticsg

    arcticsg Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations and Happy NGD! :)

    ...and that SG family pic is just Awesome! :cheers:
     
  9. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    Congrats Kabrijj... :cheers:. Your new SG Jr looks very-very nice. Your SG collection is very-very-very nice. It's so nice that, I would have given you a "Like" for every pic you posted of it... but, you blew your whole wad in one post!
     
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  10. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj Active Member

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    Thanks for the good words, all. The group pic came about as I'd just gotten the white Standard back from my luthier... figured I may as well go a little nuts and take some pics of the rest, too.

    Heh, I like how supportive people are here. Normal people would look at that pic and say, "damn, you are a junkie!" SG people are like, "damn, that's sweet." :cheers:

    Truthfully, I tried to keep the grain pattern or weight off my mind when picking one out. Luckily, the one that sounded the best was the one that looked the coolest! In my opinion, at least.

    As lawrev mentioned, it's a vintage script... WHY Gibson decided to do that on THIS model, who knows? But I'll tell ya, seeing pics of it beforehand I was a bit hesitant... but in person, I'm digging it.
     
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  11. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    Beauty of a guitar Congratulations! And being she sounds & plays as good as she looks.. well you must just be in SG Heaven experiencing the 7th level of Gibson bliss!

    Smooth move on ditching those knobs too.
    upload_2018-4-16_7-22-32.png

    Personally I feel they are about as cheap, ugly & useless a knob (ever try turning one with a one finger roll?) that could be used on any guitar.

    Yah yah, I know the Jr was once considered the bargain / poor-mans Gibson without going to a Melody Maker (boy that sounds like a good thread topic for discussion in there somewhere) But, considering how 'polished' this Jr looks, as in being downright elegantly made & iconicly beautiful to gaze at, those knobs almost come off as an insult.

    Anyway, I like the knob move!
    upload_2018-4-16_7-22-32.png

    You have a stunning example of a beautifully made SG!

    [​IMG]

    WOW! Beauty eh??

    Congrats & enjoy.
     

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  12. Logan

    Logan Well-Known Member

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    That collection is absolutely beautiful! I wish that I had a Jr, and these 2018s are out of the park! Why didn't you leave the white one stock... I'm sure my girlfriend would have taken it off your hands for you, because she's obsessed with Samantha Fish and she plays that guitar, just stock.

    All these threads of Juniors are giving me crippling G.A.S... But I still got a 2015 SGS3 to pay off and a Gibson L-00, so I would get it if I had the money... She's a keeper, for sure!
     
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  13. ydrive

    ydrive Member

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    Guitar envy! :D Congrats on the the Jr mate!
     
  14. Kabrijj

    Kabrijj Active Member

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    I'll tell ya why... because I didn't buy it stock.

    %24_57__21525.1508427271.1024.768.jpg

    I bought it as a "husk" from Stratosphere.

    And, lemme tell ya... as pain free and enjoyable as the Jr was/is, this white Standard was the opposite.

    It arrived and looked good (and smelled delightful, FWIW). Stratosphere has a VERY generous return window, but all the same I slapped on some chrome hardware to test it out, see how it played, etc.

    The first thing I noticed was the bridge is INSANELY low. Evidently, somebody was sleeping at Gibson when they cut the neck joint, because the neck angle is way too shallow.

    Luckily, I was able to get the action where I like it. And I have a few millimeters (like 1 or 2) of room to lower the bridge, should I ever need to.

    IMG_20171105_200616.jpg

    But DAMN! That's cutting it close. But in my "White Whale SG Search" Lust, I decided to keep it. It does play great, at any rate.

    Then, I figured I liked the look of the gold hardware, and set out to buy some (I'd already had the tuners and knobs in my parts collection at this point, anyway).

    I will admit, Samantha Fish did play a part in that decision :cool:

    Samantha-Fish_gn2pun.jpg

    What was I talking about? Oh yeah... MY guitar. Sorry, got distracted there.

    Anyway, the gold TonePros bridge I bought brought me back to the low angle issue. Rather than try to shave down the underside of the bridge, I bought one of the Golden Age roller bridges. Not only does it have the right radius, but it's super low profile, and I'm back in business.

    Approaching completion (or a relative approximation of such a thing), I bought a sweet looking washer from Hell Guitars.

    IMG_20180301_113028.jpg

    But hey, guess what? It didn't fit. So I reached out to the company, and it seems their machining process used a bad mold on that batch. But they agreed to send me a new one. Unfortunately, they sent the wrong design. Apologetic, they agreed to send the right design with the right machining to me, all free of charge.

    The hitch is they're based out of Japan, so more waiting was in store for me. I will say a quick shout-out about Hell Guitars: they are AWESOME people. And if the rest of their products are as high quality as this "simple" toggle washer, I will probably buy from them again. But their customer service is terrific, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anybody.

    But here's another snag. One in which I've heard people complain about, but never before experienced. And it basically boils down to one thing:

    (Brace yourself, Everything SG forum members: I'm about to open a can of controversial topic worms here...)

    NIBS.

    The more I played it, the more I'd notice my fingers would grab the E strings and slide 'em right over the nibs, resulting in a very non-musical PLUNK. Even grabbing something as common as an open D chord was hit or miss, especially if I wasn't trying to be delicate about it (and who plays with that level of self-restraint, anyway? Especially live? Certainly not me!).

    Comparing it to another guitar, I noticed the E strings were a lot closer to the edge, even with the nibs factored into the equation. So I figured I'm in too deep to turn back now, took it to my luthier, and had him make a new nut, taking the string spacing in by about 3/64" overall.

    I'm happy (and relieved) to say it worked very well. Every now and again my fingers will slip off the top, but it's a rarity now... I'd say just slightly more frequently than any other guitar, with or without binding/nibs. So she's up and rocking now, but damn... it wasn't easy.

    IMG_20180414_180043-01.jpg

    I do think I'm gonna put some gold covers on the pickups... just to balance it out a bit aesthetically. Those are Seymour Duncan Black Winter pickups, which are some HOT pickups! Fantastic for heavy music, but surprisingly versatile too. Plus, the gold covers with black poles poking through might look killer.

    Anyway, that's the VERY long answer to a simple question. Ha! :thumb:

    And as a quick aside, the whole thing speaks volumes about being able to play a guitar before you buy it. I don't begrudge Stratosphere for the issues I ran into (after all, I could have sent it back within their return window -- retrospectively maybe should have), but simply because I can't play it first, I will probably not buy another husk from them...

    Probably. :rofl:
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  15. Roca

    Roca Active Member

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    Googling Samantha fish.....
     
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  16. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    Google Samantha Fish performing Warpig... :dude:
     
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  17. ydrive

    ydrive Member

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    A true labor of love (not Samantha)
     

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