You won't believe my $52 SG

Discussion in 'Welcome Wagon' started by Plan Zero, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Plan Zero

    Plan Zero Member

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    Hey guys, I'm a bass player by nature but usually had a cheap guitar laying around to strum on and upgrade as projects. After getting a great deal on a Jaguar bass a couple years ago I thought I'd keep an eye out on some great internet guitar deal for about $100. Well during black Friday week while looking at paint on wally world.com (yes thats right, walmart.com) I stumbled upon a Maestro by Gibson beginner guitar package (SG) for only $65! Better yet buying with a cord brought the price down to $52!!! The list price was normally $160 for the package which consists of a SG Jr. Style guitar, tiny practice amp (actually sounds good) a strap, pics, strings, lesson DVD. Made in China, not sure where Epis are made nowadays. Maestro by Gibson warranty card and Gibson owners manual.

    I have always obsessed about owning an SG since childhood. I suck at playing guitar but want to learn properly now at 41. I know my guitars and I've worked at George's Music and Guitar Center. I have a sweet behringer ultra metal petal to use in my ampeg bass amp . I owned a short scale SG bass years ago but honestly it was top heavy for me.

    Back to the Maestro. This thing is full of possibilities due to the loaded pickguard setup. You could add whatever you wanted in here. Im sticking with the one passive humbucker for now. In anticipation I ordered Wilkinson locking tuners (black), Wilkinson adjustable wraparound bridge (black), Guitar Madness (good reviewed) hex bucker, CTS pots, orange drop cap, black screws, strap buttons, Ernie ball power slinkys. I'll post pics as I build her up into a metal machine. You'd never believe this, but after tuning her up she plays perfect right out of the box! Tuning keys feel weak but hold for a bit. No buzzing, nice low action. No noise. Holy crap. But what do I know. This tiny little 5 watt no name amp has a kick stand and a gain channel that sounds like a fuzz box. I'm in love.
    Guys this looks like it is the equivalent of the base model epiphone SG special -1 or SG Jr with one piece wrap around bridge that goes for about $120. Im curious as to whats under the pickguard because the special has the extra humbucker and switch but appears to be layed out the same. Bridge placement appears further back than on a typical SG JR. The body looks beautiful and straight. Paint is nice. Looks like they just screwed on a Maestro unpainted neck and put it in a package. Satin finish smooth neck. Wide 1 11/16 LP style plastic nut. Not sure what the body is made of but she's very light. I think the special is mahogany so it's prob the same. Hopefully you guys accept me it's still a Gibson made SG!! If there's one place I thought I could find people to appreciate this bargain it's here. Needless to say if you come across this deal pick it up!
    20171206_120836.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
    Biddlin, Logan, SG standard and 3 others like this.
  2. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Plan Zero. You should have fun with this SG.
     
  3. Lynurd Fireburd

    Lynurd Fireburd Active Member

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    Nice!

    So many possibilities!

    If it has a swimming pool route under there I'd add a neck pickup. Chigsby B5 too.
     
  4. Clifdawg

    Clifdawg Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful! There's something inherently cool about hot-rodded cheap guitar. I realize it's to save money on routing and wiring, but I dig that pickguard!
     
  5. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it does look good - and much better than the shape they used on the SG Fusion models last year. Now I've seen this I can't understand why they didn't use this pick guard on those models...

    ...and welcome to the forum, that's a nice looking SG. :)
     
  6. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree about that pick guard. It is probably the best shape I've ever seen. If it plays as well as it looks, that will be a great guitar.

    Changes? First would be those two bridge screws. I'd replace them with buried grub screws. After that, errrrmmmm.... Nope, that's it.
     
    Biddlin likes this.
  7. Plan Zero

    Plan Zero Member

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    Hey thanks for the welcome guys! I'm still waiting on a few parts before I tear into her. Like I said I was anticipating a real POS so I ordered new hardware, electronics and graphite nut. The tuners are truly horrendous and will be replaced with Wilkinson EZ Lok tuners and bridge (and screws and bushings) will be Wilkinson GTB -Lite. I'm not going to spend a lot to hot rod a $52 (normally $120) guitar but I love taking old or cheap stuff and making it better and guitars are no different and I've been wanting to try an aluminum bridge for years.
    Also I always loved the blacked out hardware on the Iommi signature and goth series SGs so I figured why not. As for pickup, I got a cheapo high output ceramic to replace the cheapo high output ceramic pickup it came with haha. I figured I'd see how much I played this before I upgraded to a Duncan black winter. I want this little SG to be a respectable terror. I had considered upgrading the neck but honestly this neck plays nice. The width and satin finish remind me of an ibanez. I don't know if I'd even like a traditional painted neck on this. As someone mentioned the SG fusion or SG Zero would be much better with this pickguard. I found one on reverb as well that someone had upgraded and it did look nice with a traditional chrome paf(correct me if I'm wrong, it's been years since I worked on a guitar).
    I belong to DSMtuners as well and we have build pages/threads to document progress. Do you guys have something similar or should I just post pics anywhere? Speaking of that where do I even fit in? It's not a true Gibson, not an epi, not a copy, you'd better start a new category lol
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  8. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    The aluminium bridge is a good idea. I have a Melody Maker that I put a Pigtail tunematic on - got it from Stewmac. That works very well. And we have the forums to suit your needs already. Just look at the list.
     
  9. Logan

    Logan Well-Known Member

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    Welcome! I've heard of the Maestros, but have never actually played one. Are they made only for Walmart or do other places carry them that aren't big box stores?
     
  10. Plan Zero

    Plan Zero Member

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    I found the package deal on amazon as well, but it was with an LP Jr. and cost more (the MSRP on these is about $160 USD). Most of the epiphone packages Ive seen were LPs. Other than that, and a handful of acoustics the Maestro monicker is nowhere else that I've found, besides the effects pedals and vibrato that bore the original name. Reading the literature the Maestros are heavily marketed towards music education (as I'm sure the original SG Jrs were as well). Fender sold a similar package years ago at walmart under Fender "music man" I think that was just a rebranded squier.
    So it's kinda cool since it's probably exactly the same as the epi SG special-I (without the the painted neck and extra pup) but mine says "by Gibson" on the truss rod cover. AFAIK Gibson nor Epiphone produced a SG Jr. in 2017 so technically this guitar is Gibson's "student" offering. Id much rather own this Jr. over the Epi due to the fact its an oddity. Personally I prefer a bare bones, stripped down style in general so this is perfect for me.
    A word about the pick guard. It is an odd shape that I don't see anywhere else, but I did see pictures of an old 60s SG Jr. that seemed to have that same pick guard outline. I can't upload the pic at this time. I also saw an older pic of my guitar with a 1ply all black guard, and of course I contacted customer service immediately about obtaining one for my blackout project. We shall see. Oddly, even though all of my paperwork says Gibson when I registered my guitar online at Gibson.com there was no Maestro listed in the drop down. I had to choose "other". This guitar is hopefully going to be an anomaly someday.
    I think it's hilariously ironic that I found a $52 made by Gibson guitar at a time when I could afford a real Gibby, not years ago when I drooled over MF catalogs. I am still baffled over this deal and I can't stop looking at this beautiful instrument. Definitely one of those once in a lifetime chance opportunities. Thank you chinanet.
    Now I'm still debating on splurging on a guitar grip hand wall hanger. The skeleton hand is very bad ass.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017

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