So....Let us discuss what years are good, and what years are bad for our Sg's

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by 58pit, May 1, 2019.

  1. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    You know, I've heard stuff like "it was a pre-2006 custom shop SG so it was a good one". I have seen this in a couple of places and this stands out to me especially because I happen to have a 2006 custom shop SG historic reissue. So I guess that means somehow it's crap compared to one made a few months earlier. I don't know, it seems very well made to me. I guess the ones from 2005 are just amazing somehow?

    I don't really know where this comes from for reissues at least. They are essentially the same guitar with minor tweaks from year to year so drawing some line in the sand like they lost the secret recipe in 2010 but got it back in 2011 makes no sense to me. I could see someone saying "they stopped drilling the ABR-1 bridge into the guitar body and put the posts into studs starting in 2012 and I like the sound better before then" but that's at least a specific thing that you can point to where you don't like it, not "they were all awful that year". (by they way, I don't know when they made that change on the reissues, I just made up 2012)

    On the other hand, the models that were unique releases for a year or a handful of years could certainly be met with "that's a great model" or "oh lord what were they thinking?" But that wouldn't be because Gibson lost their mojo that year, just that people didn't "click" with that design choice. Or so it seems to me.
     
  2. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    I believe that guys tend to bosh Gibson because of something they heard
    somewhere, or something they saw on the inter web, posted by gawd knows who.

    Guys tend to bosh Gibson because this makes them feel knowledgeable, and cool
    (if that's possible...)

    Not too many facts seem to be in evidence. So I mostly disregard the hostility.

    We get our share of crybaby posts on this forum, where someone who ordered a guitar
    online, unseen, and without ever playing it... comes aboard here to vent and rant and
    find fault with his new Gibson. OMG! There's a SCRATCH somewhere... hand me that
    microscope, and I'll show it to you!
    cry-baby-267x300.png
    Players who love their Gibsons don't tend to make so much commotion,
    and so the negativity prevails. Our whole society reflects this, and I don't
    know if there's any cure... other than a power failure that lasted about ten
    years. We'd all have to make contact with our humanity, if that happened.

    But it's not likely, and we don't expect it.

    What I expect is more of the same... where the simple answer is preferred
    even if it's false. *shrugs... That's the times we are given to live through.
     
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  3. musicman2242

    musicman2242 Active Member

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    I tend to agree with this. Not that I would call the 2015's bad, I'm just not a fan of the wider neck. Could I get used to it? Yeah most likely, but when I purchase a guitar I want to feel comfortable playing it right away
     
  4. Mick

    Mick Member

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    As a left handed player, 2013 was a significant year for SG Standards, and was a noticeable change from the SG Standard of 1990/91-2012, which were fairly consistent and didn't change much in those 22 or so years -the big batwing pickguard, quite a chunky neck (though they do vary from year to year) and 498T & 490R pickups.I love the 90's era of the SG Standard, I've owned a 1990, two '94's and a '98, all consistent and great quality, nice rosewood on the fretboards from this era too. Of those, I've kept one of the 1994 models (which happens to be Gibson's Centennial year)
    The 2013 Standard was basically the same as a '61 reissue, but alot cheaper, with really the only visual difference being the slimmer headstock on the 2013 model - '57 Classic pickups, pointer washers on the volume & tone controls, small pickguard and tenon cover, very comfortable slim neck with easy access to the higher frets because of the neck joint at the 22nd fret. 2014 models were the same I think but they added push-pull coil splits on the volume pots and the Min ETune system.
    So I think in 2013 Gibson got the SG Standard just right- Classic '61 reissue design at a more affordable price.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
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  5. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    Hum,

    The 14 (standard), 17 (standard) and 18 (special) I have all appear good. There are things about each I like.

    The 14 is the best looking to me, has the 61 based specs I like and the fretwire over the binding. It is coming around with play but it has not been quite as good with the pinch harmonics and the 17.
    Here is tune with it (14):
    http://sclk.co/r/s884w2

    The 17 has some neck binding chatter, but has a neck angle that allows the stop tale to be anchored without ti hitting the bridge. The guitar has nice pinch harmonics and is currently the best feeling when I play it.
    Here is a tune with it (17):
    http://sclk.co/r/s88u98

    The Special has been nice as well. No issues with it at all.
    Here is a tune with it (Special)...
    http://sclk.co/r/s8930x
     
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  6. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Of all the commentary so far, this one means the most IMHO:

    From Dale:
    "The 14 is the best looking to me, has the 61 based specs I like and the fretwire over the binding."

    The presence or absence of nibs is a year class thing.

    I have no guitars with nibs, and actually never heard of them till I came aboard here
    in like 2008. Most of my instruments have unbound necks, so what do I know.
    I like them that way. I'm sure I've earned hundreds of dollars playing my guitars
    with unbound necks... or my Fender J Bass with a smooth fret to binding treatment
    and no nibs. This was made by Fender in 1966.
    Sluggo neck close@100.jpg
    But after becoming aware of the Nibs issue, I made up my mind that I would never
    buy a guitar that had them. Fret over binding is what I like, because my Epiphones
    are like that. Fret over binding works great. So I prefer my Epiphone ES-339 P-90 pro
    over a Gibson model that cost eight times more and might have nibs. This is how
    Epiphone does it...
    ES-339 neck@100.jpg
    Research can be done that tells when Gibson guitars were burdened with Nibs
    and when they were not. Gibson is fully capable of producing guitars without
    Nibs... Here's my 2018 Bozeman MT made J-45 AG with well executed Fret-over
    Binding.
    Neck binding@100.jpg
    My other two Gibsons have unbound necks. Which work fine. My SG specials have no binding no nibs, no problem. Mine have never protruded, although I've heard of this happening to others.
    April Neck 2015@100.jpg
    So if you are picky about nibs, either for or against, you might want to look at when Gibson put nibs on guitars and when they didn't.
     
    58pit likes this.
  7. Supertwin1

    Supertwin1 New Member

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    I like the wider neck on my 2016 SG. It is almost identical with the neck on my 2015 Les Paul Jr. They both allow a lot more room for string bending and hammer ons/pull offs. What I didn't like about either guitar is the G-force tuners so they were replaced with lockers. I do like the titanium nut on the 2016
     
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  8. brazilnut

    brazilnut Active Member

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    Lucky you. They're around, pal. Just don't let the drummer near your rig.
     
  9. PixMix

    PixMix Active Member

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    To me, the worst years are always the ones I don't play enough guitar. All other years are awesome. But yes, there are some dogs and some gems out there regardless of year of production.
     
  10. Gahr

    Gahr Well-Known Member

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    I have a 1965 Junior, a 1975 SG-II, a 2014 Derek Trucks signature model and a 2018 Standard. No complaints about any of them, really, but the SG-II is one ugly duckling, that's for sure. Tons of mojo, though!
     
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  11. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    There it is...
    Mojo, my friends, is the only important factor.

    It doesn't matter if your Gibson is red or black, it doesn't matter if it has binding or none, it doesn't matter if the neck is slim or chunky (really)... It doesn't matter what year it was made or whether Gibson used one piece of mahogany or three. It doesn't matter if the fretboard is made of rosewood or richlite... It doesn't matter if the
    bridge is a Nashville or an ABR-1 (or a harmonica)...
    It doesn't matter if it is a hollow body or a solid guitar.
    It doesn't matter if your brand new Gibson has a flaw, or a scratch
    that deflates the illusion of perfection you might like to indulge.

    It doesn't matter if you bought a used SG Faded special for $500
    or bought a new Les Paul Historic for $5000... (they sound very similar IMHO)

    It only matters if the guitar has mojo. If it does, your
    music has a chance to succeed. If it doesn't, your music
    has no chance. There it is.


    If the guitar has mojo... this can add to what ever talent
    you possess. THAT, for a musician, is everything.
    If the guitar has no mojo, this can detract from whatever talent you possess. And that, for a musician, is death.

    I maintain that Gibson guitars mostly have mojo.
    Gibson employs talented personnel to ensure this.

    Of course, we could get a group of us around a table and set down a couple pitchers of beer, and talk all night about how we define mojo. But that's what this forum is
    all about (really).
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
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  12. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I'm waiting for a wide neck 2015 to show up for $350.
     
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  13. HackeIommi

    HackeIommi Active Member

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    Quality does not depend on the years. AFAIK, Gibson hasn't got a "years" concept on quality standard. For example, a 2008 SG Standart with 2 piece body was one of the worst I've ever seen. Impossible to play, sound like a corpse. 2008 SG Faded with 4 piece body was one of the best I've ever seen. Comfortable to play, sound like a giant rock.
     
  14. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Active Member

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    It's really simple.
    The best year is the year you don't have.
    The worst year is the year you do.

    Have you ever watched piglets eat slop?
    You throw in a bucket of slop and they all run to the trough and eat greedily and enjoy it thoroughly.
    Then while attacking his slop, one begins to peek over out of the corner of his eye at the piglet enjoying his slop next to him and says, "You know, I think he's enjoying his slop more than I am. Perhaps I should muscle in over there and get some of that."
    In very short order all the piglets are shoving and swarming and trying to get whatever their neighbor has.
    And the funny thing is that the slop was well-mixed and everyone was having the same.

    Bob
     
  15. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    That's true but there are some years that you can point to where things change dramatically, behind the scenes at least. 1984 I think they closed Kalamazoo and moved everything to Nashville. So guitars from 1985 did not include Kalamazoo magic and are therefore lesser. In 2006 they custom shop transitioned all their stuff to Memphis, so some people say custom shop stuff from before 2006 is better because ... it must be.

    Value is a combination of factors including what it would cost to replace something (the price of an equivalent item, basically) plus other more emotional factors like rarity, desirability of the maker or artist, etc. Someone once said "an economist can tell you the price of everything but the value of nothing.". If someone thinks an SG from 1992 is fantastic but one from 1993 stinks, that's personal opinion. If the majority think that then the value of a 1992 is higher than that of a 1993 and will be reflected in the price. There doesn't need to be an objective reason, just that people prefer one over the other for reasons that logically make no sense.

    Example: there was a painting by Rembrandt that was considered his greatest work. An art historian was studying it and came to the conclusion that it was most likely by Rembrandt's protege, not Rembrandt himself. Even though everyone had just days before said it was the best Rembrandt ever, now that it wasn't a Rembrandt it was worth a tenth of what it had been. The quality was unchanged, the value was dramatically changed.
     
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  16. shatti

    shatti New Member

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    i don't know what is a bad gibson guitar
    just do a setup, right ?
     
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  17. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    At this point I have three SGs. A 2018 SG Special, a 2006 custom shop '61 VOS reissue, and a '74 SG Standard. That is the order of their weight from lightest to heaviest too. The lightest is the featherweight 2018 Special. The heaviest is the 8.5 lb 1974 Standard. The VOS one is somewhere in between. The bodies of the 2006 and 1974 SGs are both from a single slab of mahogany, the 2018 might be but the grain is so tight that a seam would be hard to find, I can't find on but that doesn't mean it's not hidden somewhere. Note that the grain pattern of the 2006 and the 1974 are very similar, the 2018 is a totally different cut of lumber though.

    The 2018 and 2006 I often play just unamplified if I want to practice or just noodle over an idea for a few minutes or while I watch some TV. They have a lot of resonance and ring out unamplified, but the 2018 more so. The 1974 weighs about the same as my old strat (8.5 pounds) and it has similar unamplified response to the strat: not much. They are all mahogany bodies, two of them have ABR-1 bridges but the '74 has a harmonica. I doubt the bridge makes that sort of difference though. It seems the wood is the culprit. The dense '74 wood sounds awesome through an amp and has great sustain. But it seems to me that the wood density certainly effects the natural resonance of the guitar.

    Does that make '74 a worse year than 2018? Or better? Or doesn't matter because we play guitars through amps? I dunno, just more data.
     
  18. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    I don't know which years are the best.

    but...

    I own 3 SGs,
    a mid 60's one,
    an early 70's one,
    and a 2003 one.

    They all 3 are very good indeed, the 3 best SGs I have ever played and I have played many SGs.
    The year does not matter because...

    A good guitar is a good guitar.
     
  19. arcticsg

    arcticsg Well-Known Member

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    Well said... I like this! :smile:
     
  20. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    That is the best answer IMO.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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