First SG: Standard vs Standard 61'?

MR D

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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.

You cant go wrong with either guitar.

I have the 2020 SG 'Modern' Standard and it ROCKS. I did not buy the SG '61 'Original' Standard because of the 22nd Fret Neck Joint., it was considered a defect when the SG was 1st produced and the SG's Neck Joint was changed to the 19TH Fret in 1966. I do prefer the '61 R&T Pickup's in the '61 over the 490 R&T by a wide margin though. Getting rid of the 490 Pickups was the 1st thing I did. GIBSON has nerve putting its cheapest Humbucker P-Up's in a $1600 Standard. The 'Rounded' Neck Profile is better than a Slim-Taper for my $$$ as its just a bit fuller feeling in my hand. Not getting a Hard-Shell Case with the 'Modern' Standard erased the discount on the 'Modern' Standard I bought... but it was $220 well spent $$$$ for the HScase as that ridiculous-ass Hag-bag isnt protecting anything.

FWIH the 'SG' Standard '61s is a MONSTER w/'61 R&Ts. if it comes down to the Pickup's, and you dont want to swap the 490's out, the 'SG Standard '61 may be the one. BUT the 'Modern's no slouch either and it is my new #1 daily beater, after the P-up swap its BAD-A$$.

Either guitar will do you right, its a cant miss situation.
 
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moder

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You cant go wrong with either guitar.

I have the 2020 SG 'Modern' Standard and it ROCKS. I did not buy the SG '61 'Original' Standard because of the 22nd Fret Neck Joint.,

Does this mean that the new ´61 reissue has the same neck "wobbliness" as the old ´61 reissue? I owned the old one a long time ago but sold it because it felt like the neck could break just from grabbing it too hard.
 

MR D

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Does this mean that the new ´61 reissue has the same neck "wobbliness" as the old ´61 reissue? I owned the old one a long time ago but sold it because it felt like the neck could break just from grabbing it too hard.

That is why I stay away from 22nd fret neck joint SG's. The new ones, and I am not entirely sure of this, may have Long Tennon Neck Joint's and that would be a big help for the neck not 'WOBBLE' and then eventually just snap off (the originals may have had LT NJ as well, see original specs to confirm). Back in the day GIBSON was known to be notoriously cheap with the glue and that may have been the biggest piece of the problem. The 22nd Fret Neck Joint came to be seen by GIBSON , and most players, to be a defective design. Whether they have bolstered the new ones so as to not be defective and 'WOBBLE', IDK, as I have yet to play a new one. And whether GIBSON has gotten more generous with the glue, IDK ? It surely could not hurt.
As a rule I stay away from SG's with 22nd Fret Neck Joints, and especially SG's w/1-9/16" NUTS too, they're pretty much guaranteed to snap. The 1966 SG Standard was the 1st to have a 19TH Fret NJ and it also had the original design(Angel-Wing PG) with the 1-11/16" NUT......and that is the 'Holy Grail' SG I am hunting for for quite some time now.
I would also appreciate the $#!T out of a USA Line Angel-Wing SG without a Slim-Taper neck.
 

PermissionToLand

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Does this mean that the new ´61 reissue has the same neck "wobbliness" as the old ´61 reissue? I owned the old one a long time ago but sold it because it felt like the neck could break just from grabbing it too hard.

You shouldn't be putting pressure on the neck while playing.

That said, if Angus Young managed to play tens of thousands of shows with his favorite SGs and none of them have broken necks to this day, or even sounded out of tune while doing so, I think you might be making a mountain out of a molehill.

giphy.gif
 

Igonuts

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Humble Q
Is the std joined at 22nd as well? and the 61 doesnt employ a circuit board (?), all hand wired?
-----
And opinion for the op.
I did like the more rounded necks (std) . But after months of playing the 61 slim taper, its way faster than i am. I never liked the delux keys (61) as over time they can rattle. Happened on my 20th anv lp. Spect it will happen on my 61 eventually. Younger days gigging w other lps, and stds, the weight of grovers didnt come into play. Obvious reasons there. Was younger.
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@ PermissionToLand,
"You shouldn't be putting pressure on the neck while playing."
Yikes! Lol.
I always have on gibs. To a point of coarse. Pushing to lower a note. But the 61 slim taper being joined at the 22nd fret, gonna be re-evaluating that practice. Especialy slammed w .008s. Very close to start with.
 
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PermissionToLand

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Humble Q
I never liked the delux keys (61) as over time they can rattle. Happened on my 20th anv lp. Spect it will happen on my 61 eventually.

You probably just need to tighten the washer nuts on the front. A few will often vibrate loose over time.

@ PermissionToLand,
"You shouldn't be putting pressure on the neck while playing."
Yikes! Lol.
I always have on gibs. To a point of coarse. Pushing to lower a note. But the 61 slim taper being joined at the 22nd fret, gonna be re-evaluating that practice. Especialy slammed w .008s. Very close to start with.

If you mean deliberately bending the neck, that's different. Just be careful. Slash likes to do that and broke the neck off his Les Paul once doing it. I'm not sure if he just went too hard that time, or if the wood can weaken with repeated stress. I'll sometimes hold my SG's body out by the horn and wiggle it for a little vibrato effect. That's a safer way than directly putting pressure on the neck.

When most people complain about the SG having a "wobbly" neck, they most likely just have too strong a grip when fretting, or unconsciously push or pull on the neck while playing.
 

Col Mustard

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That whole thing about the neck being weak is no joke.
That's why Les Paul himself didn't like the first SGs that Gibson sent him.
He said, "There's not enough wood there."
Les Paul took a dim view of the wobbly nature of it.

He was right too. It took Gibson a few years to correct the flaw, but they
did. And the new ones are very strong indeed.

But not strong enough to withstand intentional stressing by their owners.
I would NEVER do that to my beloved Gibsons. At shows sometimes, guys would
come up during a break and slur, "Yeah, I used to own one like that. I could get a
cool wah effect by wobbling the neck. Want me to show you?"

STEP BACK, JACK... stand away from my SG. I never let anyone play my SG
while drunk, and I never let anyone stress the neck. If Slash can wrench the neck
off his Les Paul, which has a LOT more wood in that joint than does an SG,
then a lesser player can do real harm to the glued part of their undervalued guitar.
but not MY guitar, get back...

IMHO, if you want a wah effect, get a wah pedal.
And if you like to play way up on the dusty end, get an SG that joins at the 22nd.
But don't horse that neck around. SG's are lighter (one of their main virtues) and
that means they are built lighter. So they need TLC instead of rough love.
They'll reward you with awesome tone and playability.

just my humble opinion, as usual.
 

PermissionToLand

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That whole thing about the neck being weak is no joke.
That's why Les Paul himself didn't like the first SGs that Gibson sent him.
He said, "There's not enough wood there."
Les Paul took a dim view of the wobbly nature of it.

He was right too. It took Gibson a few years to correct the flaw, but they
did. And the new ones are very strong indeed.

Les was no great guitar designer, much less mechanical engineer. That he thought he could critique the work of the great Ted McCarty and the other engineers at Gibson is pretty silly. The new '61 Standard and Historic Reissue use the same neck/heel design as the original 1961 SG/LP and I don't see those breaking left and right. You see a fair amount of broken '60s SGs because for one thing, they're now 60 years old, and another, back in those days guitars were seen as tools, not trophies.

Here's Malcolm Young literally throwing his guitar across the floor to his tech mid-song (2:23):

 

budg

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Yeah , the whole “fragile neck” narrative is pretty overblown. If it happened a lot there would be a lot of chatter about it. I love my 61. It’s been rock solid since day 1.
 

pancake81

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The 61 heel design was not the strongest of designs and it did leave room for improvement, which came later of course. But it is functional and you don't have to wear felt gloves and sit in a posturepedic chair to play a song or two. Angus is a maniac with his guitars and they have held up fine. Keep in mind he had broken headstocks, broken necks, and even chipped a tooth on the headstock when jumping off of his stack (so the story goes). But it is fair to say most of us (studio players or live performers) are not putting our guitar through such demands.
 

Go Nigel Go

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He probably put his guitars through more in the studio than I do playing dive bars... Just sayin'.:naughty:
 

An Abiding Dude

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I was thinking about sharing this with you guys on an independent thread, but this one seems suited to these photos. I'm in the middle of a pickup swap on my 2021 '61 Standard and so I can share these shots of the neck tenon and how the neck attaches to the body. I can say that the neck feels solid and I don't spend any time fretting (ugh, the pun) about the neck joint stability. But of course I'm not treating it like Townshend in 1969 either. If Gibson hadn't figured out how to stabilize and reinforce the neck properly from its inception in 1961, I doubt there would be much call to reissue the body type, so you have to figure somebody somewhere along the line figured out how to make this work. Other than that, my experience with the '61 Standard has been super positive (just not a fan of the burstbuckers, thus, the swap), the thing plays like butter. You can go up to the 22nd fret and never feel the heel joint, it just feels like all neck.
IMG_0684.jpeg IMG_0685.jpeg IMG_0683.jpeg IMG_0686.jpeg
 

PermissionToLand

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The original '61 tenon was the full width of the neck, which is how modern Historics are built:

62 tenon.JPG

So if anything, the modern '61 Reissues are weaker in design, and yet you don't see them with broken necks left and right.
 


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