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Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by dickieguitar, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. dickieguitar

    dickieguitar Member

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    Hello everyone.

    After a brief and traumatic spell of SG-lessness, I have cash in the bank and am ready to spend it. My plan is to pick up a Special Faded, cover the pups (using the silicone trick - thanks for that, gotdabluz!) and maybe add some kind of vibrato... I expect I'll be asking for advice about that soon enough. In the meantime, I need some guidance.

    I'm told the quality control on build/finish of the Fadeds is a bit unreliable at the moment. Anybody have any opinions on this?

    The trouble is the silly mark-up slapped on by Gibson's UK distributors - if I buy a new guitar I'm looking at $579 from music123.com, which would work out at around £380 ($735) once I've paid for shipping and taxes; in a British shop, for the privilege of trying the guitar out 'in person', I'd pay almost twice as much. The used market is a slightly more level playing field but the issue's still there.

    Any input welcomed.

    Cheers,

    dickieguitar
     
  2. dickieguitar

    dickieguitar Member

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    I should mention that I had a Special Faded before, bought from the US via ebay (used), and loved it. Still do, even after accidentally selling it to my best friend...
     
  3. zrAC/DC

    zrAC/DC Active Member

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    Man. The Guitar that got away right?
     
  4. Marc.J

    Marc.J Member

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    Silicone trick?....tell me more.... :)
     
  5. Six String

    Six String Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to ETSG dickieguitar! And especially to the SG fold.......! :) :) :)
     
  6. SG dan

    SG dan Active Member

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    well if its not too much more to get it in person id try it first.
     
  7. dickieguitar

    dickieguitar Member

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    Yes, the guitar that got away. But we play in the same band so I still get to see it every Thursday night...

    Marc.J, have a look at the thread in the pickups section called 'Pick-up covers'.

    SG dan, it is a LOT more. A second-hand Special Faded has just failed to meet its reserve on ebay.co.uk, and the highest bid was £410 ($789). Even after shipping and taxes I'd be better off with a new one from the US.
     
  8. SG dan

    SG dan Active Member

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    hmmm yeah 800 US is a lo to pay for a faded.
     
  9. Codemeister

    Codemeister Member

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    Meh, I dunno. They look sexy, but there is really a lot better stuff out there for
    $800. Lower end Gibsons aren't good bang for the buck.
     
  10. cherry sg

    cherry sg Member

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    Tough call, it's always a gamble buying a guitar without playing it first, but if if you had to, I'd rather take a chance on an older faded versus a new one. I own an '02 model that's pretty sweet. The new ones don't seem as nice IMHO.
     
  11. dickieguitar

    dickieguitar Member

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    Could you elaborate on the "not nice" thing? If it's just the set-up I can fix that in two minutes, but if they're using inferior wood or whatever...
     
  12. cherry sg

    cherry sg Member

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    I'm probably going to aggravate a few people, but let me say that is certainly NOT my intention. I'll qualify my remarks by saying that my experience is anecdotal, and that on MANY occasions I have been accused of suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder :D Since you asked, I can give you a couple examples, based on my own experience. First, the body on my guitar appears to be one piece. I know this is not common, but I can't see any parting lines, even looking at the heel of the guitar, straight into the "end grain." Maybe I'm super lucky or just blind! I understand that a Faded is not a Standard, '61RI, or VOS. A two or three piece body wouldn't bother me. A five or six piece body, with the grain going every which way, on a guitar with a thin transparent finish does. The second thing that sticks out to me is the angle of the neck relative to the body. On the newer guitars Ive seen, ('06 models) it is larger than I'm used to seeing on a Gibson. In order to have "normal" action it seems necessary to have the bridge awfully high on the studs, with the tailpiece up there with it. Otherwise the strings would touch the back edge of the bridge. of course you could "top-wrap" the strings over the stopbar to help this. The route for the control cover is different, very angular. Everything else seems pretty standard, and they honestly play decently. To sum it up, my guitar is exactly what you'd expect, basically a Standard without the nice finish or neck binding. It really strikes me as a screaming good deal. The new ones I've seen, while still a good value (maybe not at the price you'd have to pay?) don't quite rise to the same level of value IMHO. Based on what you said about your previous SG, I don't know if the new one would engender the same feeling. Again, I don't mean to disparage or denigrate anything or anybody, it's just one man's opinion.
     
  13. dickieguitar

    dickieguitar Member

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    Thanks cherry sg. I thought those comments might provoke an interesting response... but I guess everyone must think you're right, eh?!
     
  14. seamas

    seamas Member

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    I just decided to pick up a brown faded before they are all gone. It is a 2 piece body split right down the middle and even bookmatched. The nut is cut better than a lot of other gibson I've seen lately and the fretboard is free of the marring I've seen on others. The fret ends could stand to be a little smoother but they are nowhere sharp enough to actually cut your hand as others have claimed. I noticed the g and b strings seem to go out of tune rather quickly. I think the neck pickup sounds great but the bridge pickup is a bit weak but has a nice bloom. The only other issue is that I ran out of room to intonate the low e string but it is very close and I'm a real stickler for intonation. The next string change I'll flip the saddle to give me the few more mm I need to make it perfect.

    I think it's a very good value overall and plays and sounds much better than a shiny epiphone for only $100 or so more than an epiphone.

    Once they are sold out I have a feeling I will be able to get at least what I paid for it (if not a bit more) if I should decide to sell it.
     
  15. angus

    angus Active Member

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    [quote author=Codemeister link=topic=12751.msg166732#msg166732 date=1174008580]
    Lower end Gibsons aren't good bang for the buck.
    [/quote]

    I would have to disagree with you there. You could hardly consider a faded lower end. IT's the exact same thing as a Special, well it is a special, but with a satin finish. Why it is so cheap? Don't ask me. :dontknow:


    Now the Melody Makers, those are low end Gibsons.
     
  16. NeoConMan

    NeoConMan New Member

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    [quote author=angus link=topic=12751.msg167652#msg167652 date=1174511445]
    Why it is so cheap? Don't ask me. :dontknow:
    [/quote]

    1. Gloss nitro finishes take a lot of time to prep, shoot, dry, buff, clean up, etc.
    2. Time is money.
    3. X number of dollars at the manufacturing level means 2X dollars at retail.
    4. People will pay that, plus a little more, to get a nice gloss finish on their new Gibson.
     
  17. dickieguitar

    dickieguitar Member

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    So for those of us who prefer the feel of a satin finish, every day is Christmas...
     
  18. NeoConMan

    NeoConMan New Member

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    Yeah.
    I personally don't like the satin finish guitars from Gibson.
    They are selling enough of them to make production worthwhile and making enough profit on each one to justify it.
    I figured they might be a loss leader to attract new Gibson customers on the low end when they first came out. Seems they found a niche market for them that expanded. Hey, same woods, hardware and tone as the glossy ones so you can't go wrong there.

    Christmas indeed!

    Neo
     
  19. Hank

    Hank New Member

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    Hey Dik,y'know what?I got my special next to four years ago and there were QC issues then too.I bought on line blind,they had the 'cresents' back in those acient times.I've seen threads about muti piece bods,ebony fret board stability et al.Kick ass and buy one and don't do stuff by accident any more.
     
  20. dickieguitar

    dickieguitar Member

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    You know, it occurs to me that if I buy one from music123 and don't like it, I can put it on ebay over here as a second-hand guitar and still break even. Silly, eh?
     

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