2014 Gibson SG Standard 120 very thin sounding

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Jim Pinard, Oct 20, 2020.

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  1. Jim Pinard

    Jim Pinard New Member

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    I have a 2014 SG Standard 120, the bridge p/u sounds very bright and thin, I replaced the plug and play circuit board with traditional hand wired pots and caps, still very thin sounding, replaced the stock 490 p/u with a SD JB, not much better, tried a Dimarzio SD made a little better, then just tried a SD 59 and sounds almost like a single coil, all the wiring is correct. My telecaster with a single coil has more punch than this SG, when I use the neck p/u it is much louder and fatter sounding, I know the neck p/u are definitely smoother than the bridge.I have had several Gibson guitars, LPs, SGs and Explorers and never had a bridge humbucker sound so thin.
    Thanks
     
  2. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Might sound simple, but did you try adjusting its height ?

    Do you have pull-push knobs for coil spliting ?
    If it's a 4 wire pikup, there might be a misconnexion and your only using one coil.
     
  3. Justin

    Justin Member

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    What do you have in the neck position? I find the SD trembucker in the bridge with the bluesbucker in the neck gets me my best SG tone. Also, you may have to play with the equalizer on your amp a bit if you only want to play out of the bridge pickup alone and you’re not getting a good sound out of it
     
  4. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes they are duds.
    Had a 2009 SG '61 Reissue in the past.
    Same problem, sounded thin and brittle.
    No amount of pup height adjustment helped.
    Tried a Duncan JB.
    Still sounded thin.

    The 2004 SG Special that I had at the same time with stock 490R / 490T sounded much better to my ears. Did not take long to put the SG '61 Reissue out to pasture. If a guitar is not working out for me, I don't hesitate to get rid of it. There's plenty of others out there to choose from.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
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  5. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Can distance from bridge to pickup vary from one model (or year) to the next ?
     
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  6. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I would think the closer the pickup is to the bridge, the brighter it will sound.

    2019 Gibson SG Special

    [​IMG]

    1963 Gibson SG Special

    [​IMG]

    Epiphone SG Special

    [​IMG]

    Those 2019 Gibson SG Specials have the bridge pup way too close to the bridge. The Epiphone SG Special got it right when comparing to a vintage 1963 Gibson SG Special.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
  7. Justin

    Justin Member

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    This is a great point. Pickup placement is highly overlooked.
     
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  8. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I know about those. As you were mentionning humbuckers, that is what I was asking about, on Standards and the likes.
     
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  9. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Maybe SG with baseball bat necks sound fatter compared to the ones with popsicle stick necks.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    It almost soounds like the bridge PU is wired in parallel but you've tried different PUs and changed out the pots so probably not.

    Are the strings hitting the back of the bridge before going over the saddles? If so, try raising your stop tailpeice to see if that makes a difference.

    You may also want to try a different bridge. When the gold started to wear off on my Les Paul's bridge I bought a replacement and it made the guitar very thin sounding. I then bought a TonePros bridge and it made the guitar sound much better.
     
  11. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Maybe not, if everything was rewired the same ?
     
  12. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    Are the PUs four conductor? I have a duncan JB in my SG. I can check the wiring to see wiring color codes.
     
  13. Chuteboxehero

    Chuteboxehero Well-Known Member

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    I've been having the opposite problem with a SD Alnico II Pro in the neck position of a Les Paul I just picked up. It has a Pearly Gates in the bridge that sounds incredible but the neck position is so swampy and boomy it's almost unusable. Tried dropping it as low as possible in the pickup ring but I end up losing output and it's not really clearing up. I was wondering if it's possibly wired wrong. It's a 4 conductor but I don't know if it's possible to get these results from having it wired wrong. Don't mean to hijack the thread but figured while the thinking caps are on.....
     
  14. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    The LP is the problem ... :rofl:
     
  15. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

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    My '81 SG Deluxe has a HUGE neck and ebony fretboard. It's by far my darkest, thickest-sounding guitar, even moreso than my '79 Les Paul Custom.
     
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  16. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to ETSG!
    To me it sounds like the wiring is NOT correct... the thin sound you describe sounds like it's out of phase or the magnet is backwards... Sometimes described as the "Peter Green" tone. Or like you've got your coils split by wiring it that way.
    There is no reason for a Gibson guitar to sound thin unless you EQ it that way with your tone controls wide open. And all those different pickups ought to have full rich tone as well. An SD 59 should never sound like a single coil, unless it's wired that way or EQ'd that way.

    So I'd look very carefully at the wiring. My guess is that there's nothing wrong with your guitar, and you have no reason to keep swapping pickups. There is a flaw in the wiring that causes this IMHO. My guess is that there's nothing wrong with any of the pickups you've installed, and there's nothing wrong with the original Gibson 498 (which is what I believe was the stock pickup in the SG Standard that year).

    If you did the wiring job yourself, that's the first place I'd suspect. I'd rip it all out and buy a professionally wired harness and install that. Then you can play music instead of fighting phantoms. If you insist on doing
    your own wiring, I'd start over, and with all new parts. Home wiring jobs often can have damage internally that doesn't show.
    Luna Wiring 2012@100.jpg
     
  17. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Without being there in person to hear it, impossible to tell what it sounds like.

    All the speculation about incorrect wiring, out of phase, etc is doubtful.

    Sometimes they are just duds.
    It happens.

    Every guitar has its own nuances.

    I’ve had several in the past that either didn’t play or sound right for me no matter how well it was set up or wired.

    Plenty of others out there to choose from if it’s not working out for you.

    I don’t let myself get attached to these things. They’re just tools and can easily be replaced for another if necessary.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
  18. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Isn't speculation not doubtful by definition ? :hmm:

    We're only trying to find things he can check before tossing eveything away.
     
  19. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I can’t decide if I’m undecided.
     
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  20. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    You can always decide to be undecided.
     
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