Wow... SG Special with minis...

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

  1. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    I own a number of guitars and basses, nine right now.
    of those: both basses, two of my electrics and one acoustic have
    maple necks... that's more than half.

    Three electrics have mahogany, and one (Martin) acoustic has a laminated
    neck that's also an innovation, also a departure from traditional tropical
    tone wood, and also works great, stays in tune really well, and contributes
    to awesome tone and sustain.

    Leo Fender figured this out in like 1948, about the time I was born.
    Maple solved several problems in neck making. It's been in constant
    production ever since. Something Ol' Leo got right the first time.

    Other guitar makers were steeped in tradition, but Fender was a
    practical man. I think it's great that Gibson is regularly issuing
    guitars with maple necks. I have two recent Gibsons with maple, and
    they both sound and feel great.

    Maple necks rock! And the new ones with 24 frets are extra cool.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
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  2. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    Maple necked SG with mini humbuckers and 24 frets?

    What models are these? Is it just the 2015?

    I’m waiting for the 2018 Specials to get cheaper, but if there is a better deal out there, I’m all ears!
     
  3. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Gibson's website management has prolly been fired, or have gone to other
    places where they get paid regularly. We used to be able to check small details
    like this easily and quickly.

    Here's hoping that Gibson will restore their archives and all their guitar pages,
    so we can see when the maple neck SG with 24 frets first became available,
    so we can try and find one used... on advantageous terms.

    My 2012 Gibbie SG Special was the first I'd heard of with a maple neck,
    so that was part of the attraction. I'd heard and read so much about the
    mahogany, and all its faults and virtues. So I bought one when they marked
    it down to a no-brainer price. And I've never regretted my purchase.

    I'd love it if my 2012 SG had 24 frets, but I seldom play that high on the
    'dusty end" so for me it is a non issue. My fingers are too large and square
    on the ends to deal well with tiny fret intervals. I amaze myself sometimes by
    hitting clear notes five frets above the XII.... for now, that's about it for me.

    But that doesn't mean I wouldn't value a 24 fretter... Tony Iommi was one
    of the first that asked Gibson to make one. They refused. (bitches...)
    Prolly Pete Townshend wanted one too... But Iommi hired his own guitar
    maker, and the rest is history. *grins

    Now Gibson struggles to Ketchup... and I wish them well. I own three
    Gibson's now, and probably have enough. But I love the ones I have, including
    the 2012 SG special '70s trib, with mini hums. Rock on...
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
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  4. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn’t break the bank to find a maple neck, but it would be cool to have, I’ll probably grab the first thing with mini’s I find at a decent price anyway, Sg, v, explorer... just no les Paul’s....

    24 frets is too many for me too, but it’s like 2 more....
     
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  5. LeoFGibson

    LeoFGibson New Member

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    There’s a 2016 SG HP at Guitar Center for $650. I had inquired about it before finding one local to me. Mini hums and a maple neck (this guitar doesn’t come with the nice HP gig bag according to the person who answered when I called), a bit of neck dive (my Goto Stealth tuners just arrived; hoping those will help compared to the GForce that’s on there now).

    At that price it might not fit the bill for ‘decent price’ (I paid an amazing $499 for a dead mint example), but man, it really just FEELS great! I hear you on the ‘not an LP’ as I just couldn’t make it work with my LessPlus. The SG just seems to distill it down to the necessities of a guitar (at least the Gibson version of it). As the Colonel points out, Leo Fender figured a lot of things out way back when! Hence my high regard for my USA Strat!
     
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  6. LeoFGibson

    LeoFGibson New Member

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    Colonel, I’ve got a couple of Strats (1 each USA and MIM - sold my Japan-made one as the neck was skinny as a toothpick!), a vintage O’Hagan with a 3-piece thru-neck of some extremely HEAVY wood species, an early 70’s Yamaha red label FG-140 acoustic (I think that one has a mahogany neck) and a Sterling Ray 34 Asian-made bass with the most comfortable maple neck/rosewood fretboard combination of ANY 4-stringer I’ve ever played. Variety is the spice of life, but we all by nature have our favorites!
     
  7. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    A recipe for neck dive. :rofl:
     
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  8. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    I forget.... Is neck dive good or bad?
     
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  9. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I looked that one up, it does seem a tad on the pricey side for used....

    I did see that GC has the new 2018 mini special for $100 less than AMS and Zz..... At $699... That's getting tempting.... Has the soft case instead of the gig bag...
     
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  10. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    I think earlier in the thread here I stated that my 2018 Special with the mini humbuckers sounded shrill to me in the bridge. I just did a back to back test of my 2018 SG Special (minihumbuckers) against my 2006 custom shop VOS SG '61 Reissue (burstbuckers) without tweaking amp settings between guitar changes. The results surprised the heck out of me.

    Since I got it, I've been playing the much more expensive 2006 one. But today I did the test and AT THOSE SPECIFIC AMP SETTINGS it was the burstbuckers that sounded thinner and more shrill in the bridge while the mini humbuckers were warmer. It wasn't that subtle. I toyed with the tone knobs in the 2006 one but I think they used audio taper pots in the tone circuit, they do nothing between 10 and 2, and then change dramatically between 2 and 0 so that's hard to dial in. I can tweak the amp to sound better for the 2006 but the minis seem more consistently good someohow.

    It is possible that I actually prefer my cheapo SG Special to my expensive SG custom shop? :wow:
     
  11. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
    I enjoy playing my SG Classics and SG Specials more than any other guitars including my Custom Shop SG Standard.

    Expensive doesn’t always equal better.
     
  12. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    well, I will say that the workmanship of the custom shop one is objectively better. The custom shop has no physical flaws really. On the other hand the SG Special has sharp fret edges that I need to smooth down, and the pickups are a bit high but can't be lowered, for example. From an opinion based perspective, that circuit board isn't a real favorite either because it makes it harder to mod. But it sounds great, feels great, looks ... well it's an SG so it always looks awesome but the custom shop one looks amazing so not a fair fight.
     
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  13. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    I got another $50 off...

    Next Wednesday I'll have my 2018 with minis!

    Now I just need to retrofit it with a harmonica bridge, and maybe a redesigned pickguard and control panel....

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
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  14. Derald

    Derald Member

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    To the person asking, Zzounds had a few closeout about this time last year. I bought one. About a week ago someone returned one (open box) I saw it on their website and bought it.
    I’m left handed BTW so when these things arrive I tend to buy first and consider keeping it later. I figure I can buy one and return or sell it if I don’t like it. For us lefties anything other than a black or red SG is ‘special’.
     
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  15. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    sometimes you just have to pounce...
     
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  16. Clifdawg

    Clifdawg Well-Known Member

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    All I can say is that every time I pick up a guitar that isn't my '16 SG Special with mini-hums, I think "I don't like this as much as my SG." It's my only guitar now. The maple neck is dead on no matter what kind of temperature or humidity abuse it endures, the fretboard edges are smoothly rolled, the finish is soft, smooth, and gorgeous, and the Alnico 2 mini-hums will drive a tube amp until it screams.

    Honestly, if I were to get another guitar, it would be another SG special with a set of 490s in it, just because the minis are too hot to do really dynamic, sparkly cleans. I see the new Tribute Standard models come in a lovely shade of walnut...

    Edit: Not that I'm in a financial place to buy, but this sure is an inviting slab of mahogany over at Sweetwater:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know what kind of Mini Humbuckers are in the 2018, it just says mini Humbuckers and nothing more. They may be the same as 490s or they may not. Irritating that they would not tell us this detail.
     
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  18. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    490's (490R & 490T) are full-sized humbuckers.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, sorry. I meant 495R and 495T, which are what were in the Special T from 2012. Those had a number, but in 2018 they just said "mini humbuckers" so I don't know if they are the same.
     
  20. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    No worries.
    I had seen them listed on the spec sheets with various names over the years in the past. Some folks have noted that the output was very hot on theirs while I experienced the opposite with the ones that were equipped on the 2016 SG Special T that I had in the recent past.

    [​IMG]

    Pair of 2016 SG Special T that I had in the past...
    Ebony: Stock Mini Humbuckers
    Cherry: Lollar P-90's

    [​IMG]

    Installed a Lollar P-90 at the neck position.

    [​IMG]

    After all the going back and forth between Mini Humbuckers and P-90's, I decided to sell both SG Specials and found a couple of SG Classics with P-90's that are my all-time favorite SG to play.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019

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