Wow... SG Special with minis...

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Dale, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    So I have been in the home studio. The last 2 or three pieces have found my 18 Special with Minis finding just the right spot in the mix. Clean or dirty the thing just does great. My 2 standards have been getting a serious break!

    There is something wrong with me.
     
  2. Steve D

    Steve D Active Member

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    I have one too and I like it a lot. It's a good guitar with it's own sound, I like that it isn't just another version of something they did before, the 2018 special is pretty unique. They made one in 2016 with minis too (but not 24 frets). I don't know of any SGs with mini humbuckers off hand prior to that until you get back into the 70s. So it's not a common sound.

    May I ask which pickup position you tend to like the best? I've been struggling with the bridge being a little shrill but curious to hear your thougts.
     
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  3. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    I almost always am in the bridge. I roll tone down to 3-6 and the volume stays in the 4-7 range. I set my amps using this as the base guitar setting. I start there with all my guitars.

    This said, I did pull the treble on my Mark V but i didn't mess with the settings on the Orange I am using on the current piece.

    I run the amps at about 50% to 75% master volume into a load box (Mass) and into Torpedo CAB.
     
  4. Steve D

    Steve D Active Member

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    Thanks. The tone pots are very responsive in these guitars and seeting down to that range does mellow it out a lot. I tend to like to switch around and in the middle position I do like the brightness of the bridge but dialed down a little. When I switch to it alone, I need to further dial it down. Just will need to take a little more planning and effort on my part I suppose. Otherwise I love everything about the guitar (well, the frets are a tiny bit sharp on the ends but not to the level of being a problem). Glad you are loving yours!
     
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  5. Rain

    Rain Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking for a backup/second guitar for the project I'm involved in. At first, I was thinking to add a bit of diversity to my rig, but after looking at all the options, I'm leaning heavily towards the special with the minis. Great to hear some positive feedback.
     
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  6. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    I don't have anything driven realy, but this was cut with the SG Special with Mini's.

     
  7. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    My 2012 SG special with Minis is the first one I saw.
    I know they made some with the Epiphone minis in the '70s
    but I have never seen one played by anybody. The Les Paul
    "Deluxe" was more common, and I've seen a few of those.
    I was around in the '70s, but Gibsons were too expensive for
    me, so I never looked at them.

    I've seen pictures of old SGs with minis
    on this site, and in books, but that's about it.
    So when I saw Gibson advertise the 2012 SG special "70s tribute"
    I was immediately attracted. The rectangular inlays, the mini hum buckers
    ...it was a unique guitar. The 2012 models included one in Silverburst
    and that did it. I had to have one.
    April 17 top@100.jpg
    Response on this site was negative at first. Response to the baked maple
    neck on this model was scathing, people assumed Gibson was doing it for
    more profit. A lot of WTF GIBSON! kind of posts. Me, I was intrigued.
    A fretboard made out of North American hardwood, I'll support that.

    Guitarists in general had no idea what the guitar could do, and had no idea
    what it would sound like, so they were prejudiced against the innovation
    right away. Me, I observed the original price, thinking it was a little high,
    but then began to get excited when I realized that guitarists were not buying them, and Gibson would have to mark them down.

    A few bad reviews from guys who bought one and then complained that it
    didn't sound like the ones from 35 years ago... and from guys who played one
    and didn't think it sounded like any artist they recognized... and the prices
    began to come down.

    *laughs ...I didn't care if the new ones didn't sound like the old ones.
    I'd never even seen one of the old ones. And I didn't care if the guitar didn't
    sound like this artist or that one. I wanted one because I wanted to add this
    unique tone to my music. And I couldn't resist the silver burst.
    April 2017@100.jpg
    Mine sounds great... I've been playing it since I bought it for about $600 in 2013...
    I might have got one of the last ones. Gibson had marked them way down to blow
    out prices by April of '13, and I couldn't pass that up. I had to pounce.
    This model was discontinued after one year, but Gibson brought them back
    for 2016 after their fiasco in 2015. The new ones have traditional rosewood
    fretboards, and they are better accepted now.

    I've been playing mine hard, and its given great service. I've left it mostly stock, it's got Gibson 500k pots, no PCB, a Nashville bridge that works fine, a corian nut that
    needed a little adjustment, but works fine now. I knew when I bought it that it
    would fit P-90 pickups if I couldn't use the Mini hums. But I really like them.

    I play mostly on the middle position, combining the two. I usually have the bridge
    pup dimed, with the treble rolled back to about 4, and I usually keep the neck p'up
    volume at about 8 and tone about the same. I love the tone of both of them, and
    can use them alone or together.
    fretboard 1@100.jpg
    The baked maple fretboard is hard and smooth, it was a lovely reddish brown when
    new, but I oiled mine with fret doctor and it darkened up nicely. It's an excellent
    fretboard material, but Gibson got so much flak (especially from Les Paul guys)
    that they discontinued using it. I've had no problems.
    fretboard 9 darker@100.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
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  8. Steve D

    Steve D Active Member

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    I like this, nice piece, and nice tones.
     
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  9. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.
     
  10. Rain

    Rain Well-Known Member

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    Thank you guys - you're making the decision even easier.

    After injuring my right shoulder in a car accident a few years back, I found another reason to be thankful fo the SGJ I'd bought a few months earlier - with its slim design, it's the only guitar I could still play. Time passed but the shoulder never really healed 100%.

    I recently sold my Epiphone Riviera for that reason. Even the Les Paul sometimes (although rarely) seems to be a tad too thick - but SG's are always comfortable.

    I thought this project was an opportunity to test different things - modern designs with whammies like ESPs or then RDs or Flying Vs. I spent 5 minutes with a guitar with a Floyd Rose. Nope. Not for me. Never again. :p

    I've also considered upgrading my old Strat and putting a humbucker in there. But, in the end, I'm a SG guy now.

    I've been drooling over the Special for a long time, If I'd not found my 2018 Standard last month, I'd probably have picked the Special. But I really wanted a Standard, at last - not a Epiphone, not as SGJ, not a Studio or whatever lite version: just a plain old Standard.

    Hopefully, the minis will work alright for the genre (metal, but not uber high gain metal). Otherwise, I guess I'll have to wait a bit longer and find another Standard - most likely a used one.

    In a sense, I'm really glad to be sticking with SG's for the whole project and to commit to the model. Especially around here, where everybody seems to use all kinds of classic gear and switch all the time - old Strats, Teles, LPs, Flying Vs - and it often seems like the only people playing SG are the people who don't really have any other options.

    Seems there's this mentality that the SG is a great first professional guitar but only until you can graduate to a Les Paul. To me it's the other way around. They're the finest guitars around.
     
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  11. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    Nice music Col!
     
  12. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the good word...

    Rain said: "and it often seems like the only people playing SG are the people who don't really have any other options.

    Seems there's this mentality that the SG is a great first professional guitar but only until you can graduate to a Les Paul. To me it's the other way around. They're the finest guitars around
    ."

    I just don't get that. To me, it's not about the guitar. It's about the music.
    I love unusual guitars, which is why I played a Mossman acoustic for literally
    decades, and why I play a Gibson J-45 Avante Guarde now. But it's the songs
    that make or break a career, or a performance. The guitar just makes it happen.
    Any decent guitar. But yes, the SG is the finest (to me). I often play several
    guitars in a practice session, but every time I put my SG down after playing it
    and putting it (and myself) through our paces, it's with the spoken or unspoken
    comment: "What a great guitar..." THAT, my friends, is priceless.

    I believe that there are lots of bullshit stereotypes floating around in the minds
    of non-SG players. And the mentality that Rain describes will be found among
    non-SG players. But not among the wise. Lots of us have other guitars we play.
    But we congregate here simply to rub elbows with kindred spirits... and behold:
    Kindred spirits we find.

    I confess... I also believe that there is something about the SG that grabs some
    of us, and never lets go. Les Paul guitars might also do this, I dunno. I'm not a
    Les Paul guy. Strats might do this, there is magic there for sure. But I don't own
    a Strat either. I have a couple of SGs, a Telecaster and a pair of unusual Epiphones.
    So that makes me a member of some kind of minority I suppose. I feel no need
    or yearning for a Lester or a Strat. They seem so... mainstream or something.

    If I needed to try and sound like somebody else, I'd own a Lester and a Strat.
    But I don't need this. I prefer to sound like me. That's how I get invited back.
    I play Gibson & Martin acoustics, Fender bass, and Gibson SG, Fender Tele and
    Epi ES-339 with P-90s. That's where I get my tone. From all of these, as
    needed. And all of these instruments deliver.

    So I'll suggest that many of us play other guitars when we need what they
    can do. And we pick up our SGs when we want to bring it all back home.
    How about that for a good thought.
     
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  13. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    I had the LP's ... I moved to SG's. SG's are just great players for me.
     
  14. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Active Member

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    My old Les Paul had minis, and it could cut, and drive, too. Very versatile.
     
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  15. Steve D

    Steve D Active Member

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    Of possible interest. Note that the small Epiphone pickups he's talking about are the minihumbuckers (or their direct ancestors at least) you have in your SG special now. Gibson had bought Epiphone and got the pickup design in the deal.

    Pete Townshend interview, May 1972 issue of Guitar Player Magazine:
    "My favorite guitar now for the stage is the Les Paul Deluxe with the small epiphone pickups that you can buy on the shelf for $50.00. They’re like Humbucking, but they’re small, like what you have on Epiphones, and they’re really loud. I like those. I think that’s what I’ll probably end up using, either that or I quite like those Dan Armstrong pickups."
     
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  16. LeoFGibson

    LeoFGibson New Member

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    Well, if it's good enough for my #1 songwriting and guitar-attacking hero, it's sure as hell good enough for me! Love my 2016 Special HP (rounded maple neck, rosewood board, mini hums). Love even more that I scored this mint example of the breed for $499 plus MA tax!!! 2016 Gibson SG Special HP.jpg
     
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