First Electric Guitar, I Want SG!

Which one?

  • SG Special

    Votes: 4 33.3%
  • G-310

    Votes: 1 8.3%
  • G-400

    Votes: 7 58.3%

  • Total voters
    12
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So I'm looking to buy my first electric guitar. I play bass mostly and have an acoustic guitar. But I want an electric guitar now and I love SG in general. But, as I'm not going to play it much, I have budget limitation. Oh, I'm not from US so used market is a not so good. So, here's my ONLY option: SG Special, G-310, and G-400 (not pro). What's your opinion about those 3? Which one is the best for value?
 

Go Nigel Go

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Do you have the option to try out these choices in person? Buying a guitar based purely on what other people think of the model numbers in question is at best a gamble. All Gibson and Epiphone models I have ever met have the potential to be good sounding and good playing guitars with a little bit of set up work. For best results I would audition them and see which one(s) feel the best in your hands. Pickup swaps and other such things always remain an option no matter what you choose, but neck profiles etc. are the most difficult and subjective features to evaluate, and are the most difficult to change after the fact. If you are lucky, the cheapest one will turn out to be your favorite! :D There is no shame in any of those fine guitars.
 

DrBGood

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Go Nigel Go has good advice there. I'd clarify something though. All three have basically the same neck profile, so they'll pretty much feel the same.

The major difference between them is that the Special and the G310 have a bolt-on neck, which makes them a shorter, more compact guitar overall of about 3 to 4cm (1½"). The akwardness sometimes mentionned about the SG having its neck "out there" does not apply to those two models. But since you're a bass player, the longer G400 shouldn't bother you.

G400 on top, Special below

G400 VS G310 lenght.jpg

Other details to be considered are the controls. Single volume and tone knobs for the Special, 2 vol + 2 tone on the G310 and G400, thus more control over your tone. Not a factor to me as I like single vol/tone configuration.

Pickups will have ceramic magnets on the bolt-ons, Alnico on the G400, different tone palette.
 
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Go Nigel Go has good advice there. I'd clarify something though. All three have basically the same neck profile, so they'll pretty much feel the same.

The major difference between them is that the Special and the G310 have a bolt-on neck, which makes them a shorter, more compact guitar overall of about 3 to 4mm (1½"). The akwardness sometimes mentionned about the SG having its neck "out there" does not apply to those two models. But since you're a bass player, the longer G400 shouldn't bother you.

G400 on top, Special below


Other details to be considered are the controls. Single volume and tone knobs for the Special, 2 vol + 2 tone on the G310 and G400, thus more control over your tone. Not a factor to me as I like single vol/tone configuration.

Pickups will have ceramic magnets on the bolt-ons, Alnico on the G400, different tone palette.


Just a note... that's 3 - 4 cm, not mm.
 

hwh13

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So I'm looking to buy my first electric guitar. I play bass mostly and have an acoustic guitar. But I want an electric guitar now and I love SG in general. But, as I'm not going to play it much, I have budget limitation. Oh, I'm not from US so used market is a not so good. So, here's my ONLY option: SG Special, G-310, and G-400 (not pro). What's your opinion about those 3? Which one is the best for value?
Definitely get one with a set neck, not bolt-on. So that’s the g-400 or similar models. All the Gibson SGs have set necks, that will be the most Gibson-like feel. But I also agree that you should try to play the guitar before u but it, because all necks will feel slightly different. The g-400 will probably be about $100 more, but worth it IMO. Also, the solution for the neck feeling “out there” to the left is to play the gtr more on your right hip. Good luck; great choice for a first electric!!
 

TChalms

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A couple years ago I was looking for a guitar that I could learn to work on. I needed a backup for my only electric guitar which was beginning to need a refret. Not that I was looking for an SG, but a G-310 with a TKL hard case (with one broken latch) popped up on CL about 20 miles from me for $150. Perfect. I wasn't going to be afraid of being out a lot of money if I messed something up badly.

Pros: this guitar is definitely something I have learned to work on.
Also, this guitar is extremely resonant; it's loud even when strumming it unplugged; the whole thing vibrates; I wonder if it's the bolt-on neck that contributes to that, or the wood that was used in China in 2008. I don't know, but it's amazing.
2 Volume, 2 Tone pots. I like the variety of tones that I get after making some changes.

Cons: Some clouding in the finish on the headstock.
The neck is chunkier than I initially preferred. (But I have learned to like it.)
The pickups were very muddy even with adjusting pickup height up and down and up and down.
Tuning troubles - even after replacing the nut with a Tusq nut, setting the intonation, tweaking the truss rod a bit to give it a bit of relief, re-string using the method of locking the strings at the tuning post, Slinky 10's seem to hold tune a bit better than D'Addario 10's. Work in progress.
The cavities had no shielding so the original pickups were noisy when close to a flourescent light.

As for learning to work on it: I swapped the pickups for a Seymour Duncan Jazz Neck and 59/Custom bridge. I swapped the pots for the Mad Hatter Terminator, which also has coil splitting. When split, the pots change from 500 ohms to 250. I've really been liking the single coil sounds, but, yes, I love the humbucker sounds. The tones are quite to my liking. Some people will be disappointed that it's not a metal machine, but I like jazz tones.
And yes, I added some shielding in the cavities and under the pickguard.

I'm thinking about changing the tuners, but not yet.

I hope something pops up locally for you that you can go get your hands on.
 
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Hi guys, sorry I just could write back. So I only can try G310 or G400. For now I'm leaning to buy G400 tho. I'm just curious, what's the difference between G400 and current Epiphone SG? Is it inferior to newer SG? It's not that I'm going to buy newer SG (I repeat, as bass player, I don't want to spend much for my first electric guitar and the used market kinda limited here).
 

laza616

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I dont think the question you just asked is right and cannot be answered properly. It depends on what do you want to compare the new Epiphones with because the variety is quite huge
To simplify this, my best advice for you as a bass player with the limited market options and budget, try the guitar in your hands. Really. I know its maybe impossible if the seller doesnt live in your area, but trust me, you need to feel the guitar first as you are a bass player
Also if you have a chance, check for the Vintage VS6 guitars, its actually very good SG copy at least the old production was fantastic. I literally spend a lot of money on modding my Vintage VS6 recently (i put EMG active pickups, swapped hardware and electronic to the active pickups) because the guitar was worth it. And to be honest the stock Wilkinson hardware and pickups were good enough.
But if you wanna go to G310 or G400 Epiphones, i would go to g400 as i owned the Epiphone G310 and i had it in repairs 3 times in the 6 months after buying it as it was all wrong so i played it like 3 months the most as every repair was almost 30 days long (warranty repair), after the third repair i returned it. It was 2009 G310 and it was good only as a firewood or as a support for the tomato plant to the garden.....
Never had major issues with g400 models.
But i want to add this : sometimes the opinion on the new production being crappy when compared to the old production could be pretty wrong as older guitars usually were in the service already and were set already while the new guitars are basically just put together by the shift workers who barely pay some extra attention or they are all profi luthiers..... On the other hand i dont think that the Chinese factories went from 10 to 5....i think the production quality improved and also the quality could be pretty great if you are lucky and pick the guitar that is flawless. Remember they produce thousands of guitars monthly so there are always some pieces that are not perfect. It doesnt mean that the whole batch is faulty and worth horse sh**
Just dont get forced to buy any SG just because "you only had bugdet for this one or only because this one was available", if the guitar doesnt feel right for you, rather wait and save more quid until you can afford the guitar that will be the ONE. Belive me, the g310 i mentioned was the same situation to me, i wanted SG badly and had money just for this g310 that was available in my local shop..... so i bought it. Mistake., if i waited i could have bought much better guitar with more saved money just later.... Not to mention i could have avoided the problems i had with it and i was 3 months from 6 months without a guitar because of its faults....
 
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I dont think the question you just asked is right and cannot be answered properly. It depends on what do you want to compare the new Epiphones with because the variety is quite huge
To simplify this, my best advice for you as a bass player with the limited market options and budget, try the guitar in your hands. Really. I know its maybe impossible if the seller doesnt live in your area, but trust me, you need to feel the guitar first as you are a bass player
Also if you have a chance, check for the Vintage VS6 guitars, its actually very good SG copy at least the old production was fantastic. I literally spend a lot of money on modding my Vintage VS6 recently (i put EMG active pickups, swapped hardware and electronic to the active pickups) because the guitar was worth it. And to be honest the stock Wilkinson hardware and pickups were good enough.
But if you wanna go to G310 or G400 Epiphones, i would go to g400 as i owned the Epiphone G310 and i had it in repairs 3 times in the 6 months after buying it as it was all wrong so i played it like 3 months the most as every repair was almost 30 days long (warranty repair), after the third repair i returned it. It was 2009 G310 and it was good only as a firewood or as a support for the tomato plant to the garden.....
Never had major issues with g400 models.
But i want to add this : sometimes the opinion on the new production being crappy when compared to the old production could be pretty wrong as older guitars usually were in the service already and were set already while the new guitars are basically just put together by the shift workers who barely pay some extra attention or they are all profi luthiers..... On the other hand i dont think that the Chinese factories went from 10 to 5....i think the production quality improved and also the quality could be pretty great if you are lucky and pick the guitar that is flawless. Remember they produce thousands of guitars monthly so there are always some pieces that are not perfect. It doesnt mean that the whole batch is faulty and worth horse sh**
Just dont get forced to buy any SG just because "you only had bugdet for this one or only because this one was available", if the guitar doesnt feel right for you, rather wait and save more quid until you can afford the guitar that will be the ONE. Belive me, the g310 i mentioned was the same situation to me, i wanted SG badly and had money just for this g310 that was available in my local shop..... so i bought it. Mistake., if i waited i could have bought much better guitar with more saved money just later.... Not to mention i could have avoided the problems i had with it and i was 3 months from 6 months without a guitar because of its faults....
Thank you for the advice. I'll try to contact the seller if I could try it first.
But since you're a bass player, the longer G400 shouldn't bother you.
Forgot to add, I use Epiphone Thunderbird that already have a long neck, even for bass standard :naughty:
 


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