NGD: What have I bought?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Rich Cuellar, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. Rich Cuellar

    Rich Cuellar Member

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    I just impulsively bought a what is described as a 2012 Gibson SG Standard on the Guitar Center website, but It looks more like a '61 Reissue to me. Can anyone help me ID this thing? Did I make a mistake? It wasn't super cheap...(but under a $1000)
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  2. PixMix

    PixMix Well-Known Member

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    It's a small pickguard Standard. The '61 Ri would have a large headstock and its crown inlay would be positioned a bit higher on the headstock (pic). The pickguard is obviously not original.

    Great guitars though, I have two from 2014. If it has stock pickups, they should be '57 Classics. Happy new guitar day!


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    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  3. Rich Cuellar

    Rich Cuellar Member

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  4. Rich Cuellar

    Rich Cuellar Member

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    thanks! It’s weird, all the 2012 Standard models I researched didn’t say “Model” after the date on the back of the headstock...
     
  5. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    For me it' s a 2012 SG '61 Ri.
     
  6. Chubbles

    Chubbles Well-Known Member

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    Remember, they have a damn nice return policy. Give it a try. You can't loose.
     
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  7. PixMix

    PixMix Well-Known Member

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    On my 2014 it does say "model". On some years, there's only a serial number and "Made in USA", on some there's also a year stamped under "Made in USA", and on others it also says "model". I never understood the logic behind these variations, but they are all out there.
     
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  8. Rich Cuellar

    Rich Cuellar Member

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    They look pretty alike to my eyes. Other than the headstock size and inlay placement, what's the other differences between the Standard and the '61?
     
  9. PixMix

    PixMix Well-Known Member

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    All else is the same as far as I know: neck joint, body carve, pickups. I'm not sure if '61 RI over the years have had some changes to hardware (ABR vs Nashville bridge), if so, one might find a difference there.

    If you ask me, I prefer the smaller headstock both aesthetically and from the functional stand of point (lighter headstock = less likely to neck dive). SGs with these specs later became named as Standard '61.

    Btw, I think that guitar will look so much better in person. The pics are taken in poor lighting, and that color (honey burst) is just about as nice as it gets imo. You should share some pics once it arrives.
     
  10. Rich Cuellar

    Rich Cuellar Member

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    Thanks! Will do.
     
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  11. Rich Cuellar

    Rich Cuellar Member

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    After some research, I found quite a bit of controversy over the '12s having Baked Maple fret boards? Is that really a thing? Are people considering these less desirable because of it? It seems a little ridiculous to me...
     
  12. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Here's the story about Gibson's baked maple fretboards:

    In late 2011 or early '12, Gibson's factory in Nashville was raided by Federal Agents, who confiscated Gibson's stocks of black market ebony and rosewood. Apparently there were some illegal moves made in the tropical
    tone wood market, involving third world nations with dodgy political environments, and tone wood pirates cutting forests down without proper paperwork.

    So Gibson was forced to go to plan B, in order to keep their workers working and keep their production of
    fine guitars going. I believe they had already researched "baked maple" as a fretboard material, because lots
    of other guitar companies have been experimenting with substitutes for "tradtitional" tone woods which may
    soon become even harder to get.

    One of the problems with the 2012 guitars is that Gibson just issued these instruments to the buying public without any warning... of course they had been given none by the Feds (perhaps). Anyway the reaction on this forum
    and others was scathing, internet posts were flying around going WTF Gibson! ...and all of the usual sturm und
    drang from the "Gibson sucks" crowd. It was all bullshit, of course. As it always is.

    The truth is: The baked maple is a fine fretboard material. It's possible that the guitars made in 2012 have
    a bit less resale value than the '13s or earlier years, (because all that negativity is still out there)
    but musically there is nothing wrong with them.
    How do I know this? I bought one. As soon as I heard that Gibson was making guitars
    with a maple neck and a baked maple fretboard, I wanted one. Gibson's making guitars using
    North American hardwoods instead of cutting down tropical forests? I'll support that in the best
    way I know how. Here it is, the day I opened the box...
    April 1@100.jpg
    This is a 2012 SG special, with the baked maple fretboard on a maple neck.
    Small block inlays, mini humbuckers, Tone Pros tuners, Corian nut, Stock
    wiring with no PCB
    I love this guitar. I have been playing it since 2013 with no problems.
    When new, the baked maple was a lovely reddish brown, hard and smooth.
    It doesn't look like rosewood or ebony either one. It's totally unique.
    fretboard 1b inlays@100.jpg
    And maybe that was the problem... the guys who objected violently to this
    were guys who didn't want unique... they wanted to buy a Gibson that was
    just like somebody else's Gibson.
    Fretboard 3b@100.jpg
    Not me. I love the uniqueness of this instrument, it was like nothing I'd
    ever played. It doesn't sound like the old
    '70s guitars with mini hums, it doesn't sound like a Firebird, it's unique.
    When I play it, I sound like me. *grins I have played this one a lot in the
    last seven years, and the baked maple fretboard has given excellent service with
    no problems. The maple neck is actually an excellent innovation, and for me
    it is very stable tuning-wise.

    I oiled mine with Fret Doctor, and it darkened up nicely.
    April 06 polished@100.jpg
     
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  13. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Conclusions:

    If you bought your new Gibson to flip for profit, you
    might be disappointed because many dealers have never
    forgiven Gibson for issuing these guitars with baked maple
    with no warning or publicity. So there's still negative hype
    and spin about it. It's all nonsense, but it affects resale value
    a little bit. Or a lot, I dunno.

    But if you bought your new Gibson to play, and make music,
    you ought to be able to enjoy it and rock peoples' socks off
    with it. That's been my experience. Mine's not for sale.

    In the past, the difference between the SG Standard and the
    '61 ReIssue was that the Standards were equipped with
    Gibson's 490R and 498T pickups (just like Les Paul Standards)
    and the Standards were made with the large Batwing pick guard.

    The '61 ReIssues were priced a little higher than the standards,
    many of them were made with one piece bodies (no advantage there)
    many of them were made with ABR-1 bridges (screwed into the wood of
    the guitar body, with no bushings and less intonation capability)
    and the '61 ReIssue SGs were equipped with '57 Classic humbuckers.

    In 2012 and 2013, the differences between these two models became
    quite confusing, but they are both really excellent guitars. The Standard
    with the 490/498 pickup set has a hotter and more modern tone, and
    the '61 RI with the '57s has a more vintage tone. That's Gibson's intent
    anyway.
     
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  14. Rich Cuellar

    Rich Cuellar Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I didn't buy this to flip it later, I bought it hoping it would be my one and only guitar. I owned a Special T recently that I really liked but I always wanted a '61 styled Standard, so I found this one and took a chance. It had everything I was looking for, plus its honey blonde which I think is beautiful and a little less common. The baked maple controversy is absolutely ridiculous IMO and makes zero difference to me. Maple is a great fretboard wood, so bring it! Ill post pix and a review when I actually pick it up next week.
     
  15. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    Bakers maple been berry berry good to me...
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  16. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you have the right attitude... I hope your new Gibson turns out to be everything
    you want. Of course, here at ETSG we don't think you need to limit yourself to just one.
    But if you do, a Honey Blonde sounds like a great life partner.
     
  17. Rich Cuellar

    Rich Cuellar Member

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    Sorry, I guess I meant to say, my MAIN guitar(: I have a Road Worn 50s Telecaster and a Classic 60s Stratocaster to fill out the stable.
     
  18. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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  19. sadmoodyfrazier

    sadmoodyfrazier New Member

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    That bridge... that bridge seems not Gibson to me. The guitar is good, if you change back that pickguard for original black. But that bridge seems weird.
     
  20. jtees4

    jtees4 Well-Known Member

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    I had a 2012 LP with baked maple, I loved it....mine happened to be very dark and looked great. It felt great, similar to ebony. I have a 2011 SG with a granadillo fretboard....I love that one too....but it is very red.
     

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