First SG: Standard vs Standard 61'?

ElectricZombie

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I'd like to buy my first SG and have narrowed it down to the standard and the standard 61'. I've been playing for about a year and this will be my first Gibson and my first guitar with humbuckers. My other guitars are primarily Fenders, so this will be a big change. I'm really into ACDC and classic rock; hence why I would like to have an SG.

I don't have a store nearby where I can test both side by side, so I'm not really sure which one to buy. The primary difference between the two seems to be the pickups. The 61' has the Burstbuckers pickups while the standard has the 490 series. What's the difference between the two and what do people generally prefer?

I do like the Heritage Cherry finish and full size pick guard of the standard. It's also offered in black which isn't an option on the 61'. Other than that and the pickups, there doesn't seem to be much difference. I know that the standard doesn't come with a case, which doesn't really matter because the guitar will never leave my home. The difference in price doesn't really matter that much to me either.

Suggestion on which one to get.
 

Derald

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If you’re talking about the 2019-2021 models then the Standard has the full pick guard, 490 pickups, Grover nickel tuners and the rounded neck. The 61 has the small pick guard, 61 Burstbuckers, vintage tuners and the SlimTaper neck.

The only ‘tone’ related differences are the pickups. The only ‘feel’ related differences are the neck profiles. Everything else is cosmetic.
 

ElectricZombie

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If you’re talking about the 2019-2021 models then the Standard has the full pick guard, 490 pickups, Grover nickel tuners and the rounded neck. The 61 has the small pick guard, 61 Burstbuckers, vintage tuners and the SlimTaper neck.

The only ‘tone’ related differences are the pickups. The only ‘feel’ related differences are the neck profiles. Everything else is cosmetic.

I didn't notice the difference in neck profiles. I really wish there was somewhere I could try both of these out.
 

Derald

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You will need to try them both if the neck is a concern. A rounded neck can at times be slim, and the slim taper can have a little extra shoulder on it, making it feel thicker. If neck profile doesn’t matter then it’s down to pickups and looks.

The 490s are great pickups. The 61 Burstbuckers are more retro and appropriate for a 61 style SG.

Swap in some alnico V magnets into the 490s and you’d have a great 70s style tone.
 

PermissionToLand

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shane burbank

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I'd like to buy my first SG and have narrowed it down to the standard and the standard 61'. I've been playing for about a year and this will be my first Gibson and my first guitar with humbuckers. My other guitars are primarily Fenders, so this will be a big change. I'm really into ACDC and classic rock; hence why I would like to have an SG.

I don't have a store nearby where I can test both side by side, so I'm not really sure which one to buy. The primary difference between the two seems to be the pickups. The 61' has the Burstbuckers pickups while the standard has the 490 series. What's the difference between the two and what do people generally prefer?

I do like the Heritage Cherry finish and full size pick guard of the standard. It's also offered in black which isn't an option on the 61'. Other than that and the pickups, there doesn't seem to be much difference. I know that the standard doesn't come with a case, which doesn't really matter because the guitar will never leave my home. The difference in price doesn't really matter that much to me either.

Suggestion on which one to get.
That is a interesting question when comparing new guitars. My own personal advice, I would look into a mid 1990's to early 2000's reissue. Those years are considered the "good wood years". They have the 57 classic PAF reissue humbuckers. You may find a newer one and be satisfied but I have played some excellent "good wood years" Gibson's. Even the Les Paul standards and ES hollowbody series back then were different. The prices are probably not far apart.
 

SatansGwitar

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separatesmall.jpg IMG_2793.jpg IMG_2794.jpg
I'd like to buy my first SG and have narrowed it down to the standard and the standard 61'. I've been playing for about a year and this will be my first Gibson and my first guitar with humbuckers. My other guitars are primarily Fenders, so this will be a big change. I'm really into ACDC and classic rock; hence why I would like to have an SG.

I don't have a store nearby where I can test both side by side, so I'm not really sure which one to buy. The primary difference between the two seems to be the pickups. The 61' has the Burstbuckers pickups while the standard has the 490 series. What's the difference between the two and what do people generally prefer?

I do like the Heritage Cherry finish and full size pick guard of the standard. It's also offered in black which isn't an option on the 61'. Other than that and the pickups, there doesn't seem to be much difference. I know that the standard doesn't come with a case, which doesn't really matter because the guitar will never leave my home. The difference in price doesn't really matter that much to me either.

Suggestion on which one to get.
Being an owner of both Standards here's a lil more info and some personal pics:

I have the late 2018/early 2019 SG Standard which has the slim taper neck instead of rounded with white binding instead of cream, but everything else is identical to the later modern series Standard of that year. My '61 Standard I bought back in 2019 as well, and boy are the two very different which is why I own both.

The '61 Standard is lighter than the large pickguard Standard even with tuners swapped, as I personally dislike Grovers because of the extra weight I replaced mine with Gibson Keystone tuners and its comfy to play sitting down versus standing so much. I will say this, out of the box the '61 Standard is the greatest and comfiest and best sounding SG I have ever touched or played, and I hate to say that because I love the '66 style SG Standard. Also soundwise they are drastically different, the SG Standard is sorta thin in sound on clean with little low's, but well balanced with gain added. The '61 growls, perfect low's, the mid's are attentive and the highs match the SG Standard except a bit sharper which I feel is because of the ABR1 bridge. Here's my list breakdown of differences:

SG Standard:
-Grover tuners
-Nashville bridge
-490 pups
-4 sided bevels at cutaways
-darker red finish
-clean pearloid inlays and Gibson logo/thistle crown + SG on truss rod cover
-PCB wiring
-large pickguard
-leather pattern circuit box cover
-larger strap hooks

SG '61 Standard:
-Gibson keyston tuners
-ABR1 bridge
-'61 Burstbucker pups
-3 sided bevels at cutaways
-lighter red finish
-vintage style pearloid inlays and Gibson logo/thistle crown + blank truss rod cover
-Hand wiring + orange drop capacitors
-Small pickguard
-smooth circuit box cover
-smaller strap hooks
 

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ElectricZombie

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View attachment 43817 View attachment 43818 View attachment 43819
Being an owner of both Standards here's a lil more info and some personal pics:

I have the late 2018/early 2019 SG Standard which has the slim taper neck instead of rounded with white binding instead of cream, but everything else is identical to the later modern series Standard of that year. My '61 Standard I bought back in 2019 as well, and boy are the two very different which is why I own both.

The '61 Standard is lighter than the large pickguard Standard even with tuners swapped, as I personally dislike Grovers because of the extra weight I replaced mine with Gibson Keystone tuners and its comfy to play sitting down versus standing so much. I will say this, out of the box the '61 Standard is the greatest and comfiest and best sounding SG I have ever touched or played, and I hate to say that because I love the '66 style SG Standard. Also soundwise they are drastically different, the SG Standard is sorta thin in sound on clean with little low's, but well balanced with gain added. The '61 growls, perfect low's, the mid's are attentive and the highs match the SG Standard except a bit sharper which I feel is because of the ABR1 bridge. Here's my list breakdown of differences:

SG Standard:
-Grover tuners
-Nashville bridge
-490 pups
-4 sided bevels at cutaways
-darker red finish
-clean pearloid inlays and Gibson logo/thistle crown + SG on truss rod cover
-PCB wiring
-large pickguard
-leather pattern circuit box cover
-larger strap hooks

SG '61 Standard:
-Gibson keyston tuners
-ABR1 bridge
-'61 Burstbucker pups
-3 sided bevels at cutaways
-lighter red finish
-vintage style pearloid inlays and Gibson logo/thistle crown + blank truss rod cover
-Hand wiring + orange drop capacitors
-Small pickguard
-smooth circuit box cover
-smaller strap hooks

Thanks for the rundown and pics!

You make a compelling case for the 61'. It looks like it would have better access to the higher frets too.

How do you like the ABR1 bridge compared to the Nashville?
 

Neezduts89

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I have a standard and I prefer it mainly because from what I’ve heard, they have a darker sound compared to the 61. I love mine and it has been a perfect guitar for me. It sounds great, plays great, and looks great too. This guitar is by far my favorite out of all the different ones I’ve owned over the years. It is very versatile and can do anything I need it to do, and it always sounds great doing it. I couldn’t be happier with mine. The only cosmetic difference I would make, is I’d swap out the pick guard on the 61 for the one on here. I prefer the smaller one and think it looks better, other than that, standard all the way for me D75C068A-B0C4-4A00-A2DB-8970B683C625.jpeg
 
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Col Mustard

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From reading what you wrote and what you added on this thread,
I don't think you can go wrong with the Standard. That's the quick answer.

Let's face it: They are both excellent. The ETSG approved response is:
GET BOTH! You will want them both anyway.

Do what ever you have to do, sell some other stuff, work some extra hours, take a temporary
side job, whatever. Get the money together and get both. They seem to both be excellent to me.

Ignore all Gibson bashers, and also ignore all those who say the only good Gibsons are the old ones.
They are just blowing smoke. New Gibsons are great... with some exceptions.

Because of those few exceptions... we usually agree on another ETSG bit of folk wisdom:
Play it before you buy it. Especially if you are picky about neck shapes.

And that means go where they sell them, and play as many as they'll let you.
Ideally play them through your own signal chain, or one like it.
Buy the one that comes alive in your hands. Make it a quest. Take some intimate companion(s)
with you and buy them something too. Have some fun on your quest. Avoid Orcs.

Since the two guitars you are considering are both excellent, and since none of us knows
anything about your music or your style, we might say just close your eyes and pick one.
But I don't think anything can beat the feeling of finding your dream guitar in person.
It's very........... personal. Plus, you get what sounds right and feels right.

If you can't do that, get the Standard. It's like, The Standard...
 

PermissionToLand

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That is a interesting question when comparing new guitars. My own personal advice, I would look into a mid 1990's to early 2000's reissue. Those years are considered the "good wood years". They have the 57 classic PAF reissue humbuckers. You may find a newer one and be satisfied but I have played some excellent "good wood years" Gibson's. Even the Les Paul standards and ES hollowbody series back then were different. The prices are probably not far apart.

There are no "good wood years". Only myths and confirmation bias.
 

jerry donahue

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I have a standard and I prefer it mainly because from what I’ve heard, they have a darker sound compared to the 61. I love mine and it has been a perfect guitar for me. It sounds great, plays great, and looks great too. This guitar is by far my favorite out of all the different ones I’ve owned over the years. It is very versatile and can do anything I need it to do, and it always sounds great doing it. I couldn’t be happier with mine. The only cosmetic difference I would make, is I’d swap out the pick guard on the 61 for the one on here. I prefer the smaller one and think it looks better, other than that, standard all the way for me View attachment 43842
What year standard do you have ? And what’s the control cavity look like hard wire or pcb board ? Thanks Jerry.
 

sgguitarzz

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I bought the Standard 61 earlier this year and I cannot say enough good things about this guitar. Its light, great slim taper neck, pickups sound amazing just a fun guitar to play. I had gone around for months trying out different guitars including many SG's. As soon as I played this one I knew it was the right one. The only thing I changed out were the tuners to Kluson Revolutions which I think was a nice upgrade. Those Gibson Deluxes are not the best. Unfortunately I think prices have gone up like $100-200 since I bought mine. Mine was $1800 and the guy at GC gave me 10% off that.
 

Rusty Chops

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I like my 2021 ‘61 Standard.
LOVE my 2021 SG Standard!

I’m a 490’s guy. They’re smooth and full. Plus combined they have a certain “thing.”

Next month, it may be my ‘61 I LOVE!
 

Decadent Dan

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I have a late ‘19, 6lb Rounded neck Standard that joins at the 19th fret.
I also have a ‘21, 5-1/2lb Slim Taper neck Junior that joins at the 22nd fret.
They are both well balanced.
The neck joint difference is slightly noticeable but I wouldn’t trade one for the other. If you’re used to a 25-1/2” scale Strat, I don’t know which one would feel better as far as thickness goes. You’ll definitely notice the 24 3/4” scale difference. The Rounded might feel like a modern C Fender thickness at the 1st fret but thicker at 12. The Slim Taper might feel thinner than a modern C Fender at the 1st fret but similar at 12th fret.
 

PermissionToLand

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I have one from Oct, 2019. It’s like this one from 2020 with the input Jack separate from the pcb…
View attachment 46102

Hmm, maybe they never stopped using the PCB after all? Maybe I saw a later 2019 that had been swapped to regular wiring and assumed it was factory stock.

Edit: yeah, I found a 2021 with a PCB so I think it's safe to say they never stopped using it. Editing my previous comment to avoid confusion.
 
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