From purely a "players" perspective, is a standard "worth" it?

GrumpyOldDBA

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I think the players ability or lack thereof means a lot more than anything else. To mere mortals if a more expensive model will make you practice more on it thats also a consideration.

The standards are nice. Lots of them out there. Personally i think that gibson may never make a better SG than the 2018 SG HP model. A better standard once robo tuners are ditched.

Best solution buy one of every model that strikes your fancy?
 

NiteGoat

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There's regret right there!

If you had bought the Standard in 1991 instead of the Special you wouldn't have written what you wrote above.
Wanting to own a Standard at some point in no way means I regret purchasing my Special. As I already said, I fell in love with my Special, after shopping for a guitar for a year. In that year, I played a few Standards, but preferred my Special.

You claiming my saying that someday I’d like to own a Standard, equates to me regretting purchasing my Special, is simply not true.
 

Rick330man

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Interesting question.

My SG Standard is a 1979, Norlin-era model. It has a thinner neck and plays wonderfully. The tone is very well balanced. It does have the SG midrange, but in a far more mellow way than does a current SG Special.

I had three current production SG Specials, but am down to two. I gave one to a life-long buddy lawyer friend who did some legal work for me and didn't charge. He's played for decades and can afford to buy whatever guitar he wants. His inventory includes a custom shop Gibson Les Paul custom, a few PRSs, some custom shop Stratocasters, etc. He took the SG Special to a tech to get it set up exactly the way he wanted it and then left it 100% stock. He loves the tone and the feel of the SG Special as is.

Of the two SG Specials I kept, one is in the wine-red finish and is completely stock. The other is in the plum purple finish and got a pickup swap to a set of Gibson P94R/Ts. Two observations: (1) the necks on the Specials are thicker and (2) the tone, which is to say that the Specials deliver a sharper upper midrange when comparing them to my Standard. I suspect the different pickups and the SG Specials' 3 piece body may be at the heart of the tone matter.

Last to the party are a couple of late 90's SG Deluxes. These have 3 mini-humbuckers and a tremelo. They have a darker tone than either the SG Special or the SG Standard. I attribute that to the one-piece body. The mid-range-heavy minis through the various pickup selection options (chicken head switch) do a nice job of complimenting the dark tone.

I could live happily ever after playing an SG Special. My 1979 SG Standard is excellent and I find the neck a little more comfortable to play. Whether to spend the extra few hundred dollars on a Standard depends on which tone and/or neck feel you prefer.
 

Col Mustard

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...and there you have it:
beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

ETSG answer: cain't decide if you want a Standard or a Special? GET BOTH...

ETSG unwritten proverb: Go where they sell them, and play as many as they'll let you.
Buy the one that comes alive in your hands. If none will do this, keep looking.

IMHO the individual guitar factor is something that doesn't get enough ink.
IMHO it doesn't matter if the guitar you bought is a Standard or a Special, as long as
it carves itself a place in your soul. Not every guitar can do this, and the price of it
AND the list of decorations it possesses have NOTHING to do with the subjective factor.

The truth of the matter is: When you go on a personal quest to find a guitar you can bond with,
you might end up with something a lot different than you set out to find.
If your mind is open, your heart will steer you right.

And once again: IMHO the most important factor is whether you can bond with it.
Some say the neck shape is the most important... some say the pickups or the wah
or whether it's made before such and such a year, because everything after that was junk.

I say it's a very subjective combination of all these factors... the look, the tone, the weight,
the neck, the finish, the balance, the price, the WOW factor (if any), whether it's new or not,
whether some famous player owned one, and whether it sounds good through an amp you
own, or can afford.

...and for me, the SG special has the magic combination of what's important to me.
AND because I'm a guitar slut, so does the Fender Telecaster '72 Deluxe, the Epiphone ES-339 P-90 pro, the Gibson SG faded special, the Warmoth fretless J-Bass, the Gibson J-45 AG, and the Martin XC1T acoustic
... each one has it's own special combination
of the above qualities. And each has carved its own bedroom in my heart.
GrpOf7@100.jpg
 
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NiteGoat

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There's regret right there!

If you had bought the Standard in 1991 instead of the Special you wouldn't have written what you wrote above.
So, how would you explain my purchasing a Gibson Les Paul Special, after purchasing a Gibson Les Paul Traditional? I always wanted a Les Paul Special, but fell in love with my first Les Paul, which is a Traditional. Then I bought my Special, then I bought a Trad Pro II. So where do you see the regret there? I mean, according to your logic, I must have regretted buying my Trad instead of my Special.
 

Col Mustard

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Don't worry too much about it...
there's the individual guitar factor I was talking about.
It DOESN'T HAVE TO MAKE SENSE...

*grins
And that's how so many varying musicians can have a forum together
without (too much) mayhem. We all allow for each others' quirks and
style preferences. All of us make this forum interesting, as best we can.
 

Bob Womack

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I dunno. When I got mine, I wanted an SG that sounded and felt like the originals and the only way I could see to get that was to get a '61 Reissue Standard.

Your mileage may vary, especially in California.

Bob
 

Kerry Brown

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From a strictly players standpoint I'd say it comes down to the individual guitar and how it feels to you. Every guitar has its own personality that needs to mesh with the personality of the player. If it feels right it is.
 

NMA

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So, how would you explain my purchasing a Gibson Les Paul Special, after purchasing a Gibson Les Paul Traditional?
How would I explain that? I would say that you are an extremely unique and rare individual.

No one, NOBODY on Earth buys a Ferrari and then desires and buys a KIA. Nobody buys a 1958 vintage Fender Stratocaster, then wants and buys a Squire Bullet Strat.

The way it is done is people work their way up the ladder, not down. You start with a Special then get the Standard (and with that comes the regret of spending money on the lesser model).

Here are my two Gretsches: the entry level 5120 and the top of the line White Falcon. No way did I buy the Falcon first and say to myself, "You know, I now want the entry level 5120 with the lesser pickups and cheaper tuners and lower quality wood..." No, I bought the lesser model first and worked my way up. (And, yes, I have the regret of buying lesser. I should have just used that money spent on the 5120 for the Falcon.)

PICT1183fix.jpg



We go up the ladder. Buying the best model we can afford. If you went down the ladder with your Les Paul purchases, well, as I said, you are unique.
I praise you for that.
 

TDA1966

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I've owned several standards and specials. The one difference I've noted is the standards generally had a little more attention to detail on fret work from the factory.
 

NMA

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Not at all.
Over five billion people on this Earth, if everybody did things the same way, we'd all be bored.

Sure the majority of people go up the ladder -- start small and work your way up to the Ferrari. But there has to be some unique folks in this world who get the Ferrari first and then buy themselves a Saturn. I really doubt anybody has done that specifically, but my point is, yes, there are people who might buy an SG Custom and then buy a Special. I'm simply saying that would be unique.

Seriously, why go down to the lesser model? Why would someone want lower quality pickups, electronics, vibrato units, tuners....? If one is looking for a gigging guitar that will take a beating, then, yeah, go down the ladder and get a Les Paul Special. But outside of that reason, it makes no sense to buy low once you already have high.
 

gball

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Over five billion people on this Earth, if everybody did things the same way, we'd all be bored.

Sure the majority of people go up the ladder -- start small and work your way up to the Ferrari. But there has to be some unique folks in this world who get the Ferrari first and then buy themselves a Saturn. I really doubt anybody has done that specifically, but my point is, yes, there are people who might buy an SG Custom and then buy a Special. I'm simply saying that would be unique.

Seriously, why go down to the lesser model? Why would someone want lower quality pickups, electronics, vibrato units, tuners....? If one is looking for a gigging guitar that will take a beating, then, yeah, go down the ladder and get a Les Paul Special. But outside of that reason, it makes no sense to buy low once you already have high.

Gross generalizations don't really get us anywhere either. I bought all of my vintage and more expensive guitars first, and now am circling back to the "lesser" models that I like to fill in those gaps. In my personal experience it's not that unique; I've known many people over the years who have done the same.

I remember reading an interesting article a few years back in Car and Driver. They were interviewing one of the engineers at Ferrari about the cars. He had a beautiful Ferrari in his garage, but guess what his daily driver was? A Mini Cooper. He said he loved it because he could drive it at the limit on his route to work and have a blast, whereas with the Ferrari he was barely ticking it over on the same roads.
 

Col Mustard

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It doesn't have to make sense...

When I was blind sided by the SG craving, I was at
Guitar Center, where they had a whole rack of them.
I played them all, and then bought the one that had called
me over originally. The rack had a number of guitars, and
I didn't know enough about SGs to know which was a Standard and which was a '61 RI. But I knew what I liked.

I simply played them all in turn. ... and then played them all
again. The humble SG faded special turned out to be the one that sounded and felt best. The decorations meant nothing to me, nor did the number of pieces glued together to make the body. I didn't consider binding or inlays or
'wood quality" or any of these imaginary issues.

I only played them and listened. And I bought the least expensive. The price was a consideration, but I could have bought any of them. I was buying myself a birthday present, a reward for making the hoary age of 60. The most expensive one on that rack was like $1899... but it didn't sound or feel as good to me as the one that had attracted me first.

That's a player's point of view.
PLUS the 'individual guitar factor" which I believe is crucial...
I believe the individual guitar factor is MUCH more important than any other concern, which is why I never
encourage anyone to order a guitar blind, unplayed, and on the advice of strangers who know nothing about your music.

Year class means nothing IMHO... decorations mean nothing IMHO... from the player's point of view, it's all
about tone, and it's all about feel. You buy a guitar because you want what THAT GUITAR can do.
 
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NMA

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It doesn't have to make sense...
I agree. When it comes to guitar buying and playing, very little makes sense.

I have these two Casinos. One one of them I play Beatles "Revolver" and "Sgt. Peppers" songs; and on the other I play Beatles "Let It Be," "White Album," and "Abbey Road" songs. It really makes no rational sense at all, but it's what I do.

casinos-www-casinoslennons-014.jpg
 

NMA

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...He had a beautiful Ferrari in his garage, but guess what his daily driver was? A Mini Cooper. ...

Well, that's the understandable example for going low that I gave above. If you have a '56 Les Paul you wouldn't gig with it in local bars so you would buy a Les Paul Special.

I don't know. It just seems to me there is regret when buying low first. I have been burned. I bought an Epi SG first...should have gone straight for the Gibson Standard. I bought the Gretsch 5120 first, I should have gone straight for the pro model Falcon. Those lesser instruments are good, but they took away money I could have put to the higher up models. I suppose my regret is purely economic. I spent $450 and $800 on the Epi SG and Gretsch 5120. That's $1,250 I could have put towards the better models.
 


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