Gibson SG Classic: 2007 vs. 2016

Nortally

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Shopping for my first SG. Wow, there's a lot of models out there and I'm pretty much of a neophyte in SG lore, but I've identified some features that feel important to me:

- Stock configuration, no mods. (OK, I'd take one with a Bigsby if the original tailpiece was included.)
- Standard-style neck with binding and inlaid Gibson logo.
- A pair of P90s.
- Brown, red, or black finish. No burst.

Based on this, it looks like the Classic is the right model. The options seem to be new for $1500 or used for $1000. I've identified two promising candidates, both SG Classics in Heritage Cherry. One is 2007, the other is 2016. Everything else being equal, is there anything about the build year that makes one more desirable? I prefer a slimmer neck than super chunky. I know that playing the guitar is the only real test, but I'm going to have to go mail order. (Or keep having GC ship me used guitars from all over the county until I get one I like ;-)

TIA for your wisdom.
 

cerebral gasket

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Welcome!

The SG Classic is my favorite.
I have a 2004 and 2006.
Both necks are chunky.
No two necks are identical.
Not better, not worse, just different.

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fuzbuzz78

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SG Classics weren’t made in 2016. I think the last year was 2012. You might be thinking of either the tribute or the Standard T P90?

I love SG’s in general. I have two SG Classics, a 2006 and 2001 ebony. I have owned maybe a half dozen over the years, and Have really enjoyed them all with exception to a 2012 which just lacked the same tonal characteristics as the earlier years (specifically 2009 and earlier). It was also the only one I have seen with a PCB instead of a wiring harness. Not sure if that was it, but overall it was my least favorite.

If you want a slimmer neck but also have P90’s you will want to keep an eye out for the SG Standard T P90. The necks are slimmer than SG Classics. Funny story.... I had a friend that I was trying to convince since 2006 to play an SG Classic. He knew the necks were chunky so he never bothered trying mine out. Fast forward 12 years and he bought my 2009 classic I was parting with and it’s now his favorite guitar!! The most notable thing he says he likes about it is the chunky neck. Haha. Go figure...

Good luck on your search. I fear the good ol days of buying used classics for $500 are long gone. But they were always undervalued. Glad to see people finally catching on to how incredible they are.

zW7zEfi.jpg
 
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cerebral gasket

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You mentioned Standard-style neck. If you want the Standard-style neck, there exists a 2012 and 2016 SG Standard P-90 model.

SG Standard will have bound neck with trapezoids and crown inlay on headstock unless from 1970's which have small blocks.

An SG Classic is a late 1960's SG Special reissue, but with updated bridge and tuners. 1960's era SG Specials have bound neck with dots and no crown inlay on headstock. The headstock logo is set as inlay.

left: 1963 SG Special
right: 2004 SG Classic

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The SG Classics use the Gibson Deluxe tuners, but with small buttons which are the same style buttons used on the original SG Specials.

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cerebral gasket

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I don' t know the difference about neck profile between 2007 and 2016, 2007 SG Classic has dot inlays vs trapeze ones.

As stated earlier, the SG Classic was discontinued in 2012. There was a 2012 and 2016 SG Standard P-90 which has the same body configuration as the SG Classic but fitted with an SG Standard neck (trapezoids, crown inlay on headstock).

The 2016 SG Standard P-90 was listed as having the Rounded neck profile which is chunky.

The SG Classic has small button tuners and the SG Standard P-90 has keystone tuners. I swapped the tuners on my SG Classic for keystones because I favor the look and feel of those buttons over the smaller ones.

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Nortally

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Thanks everyone for the great info! I've pulled the trigger on a 2016 Standard from GC. I'll post pics when it gets here.
 

Nortally

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New Guitar Day! GC came through with a 2016 Standard P90 in great condition. Some light scratches, but no chips or gouges, nothing to complain about. Here's 3 pictures, one of the guitar in case, one of the controls (yes, a PCB rig), and one showing the pickups in profile. Of course, I have a new question: The pickups appear to be canted so that the edge toward the neck is higher than the edge toward the bridge. I'd have expected them to be parallel with the body. Any comments? TIA! 2016_Standard P90s.jpg pcbs.jpg canted_pickupss.jpg
 

AngelDeVille

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Ain’t a damn thing wrong with that one!

I’m seriously considering getting rid of every guitar that doesn’t have P90s in it.

88-DF94-DD-1376-40-D6-A056-9-FD98801-D8-A4.jpg
 

Ray

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New Guitar Day! GC came through with a 2016 Standard P90 in great condition. Some light scratches, but no chips or gouges, nothing to complain about. Here's 3 pictures, one of the guitar in case, one of the controls (yes, a PCB rig), and one showing the pickups in profile. Of course, I have a new question: The pickups appear to be canted so that the edge toward the neck is higher than the edge toward the bridge. I'd have expected them to be parallel with the body. Any comments? TIA! View attachment 34685 View attachment 34686 View attachment 34687
Cool! Congrats! Nice one! P90s rules!:)

About your questions....
I believe the fact that your pu's topsides is not 100 % aligned to the body has got little or nothing to say, unless its not touching the strings or something. That the pu tilts a bit towards the bridge also happens on humbuckers after what I have experienced. No big deal at all.
Edit: I misunderstood a bit here ...Anyhoo, a slim fast neck (no binding, though) combined with P90s is what I got on my 2011 60's Tribute, too. P90s + SGs are stellar combo! rsz_20190124_181151 bn.jpg
 
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cerebral gasket

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The pickups appear to be canted so that the edge toward the neck is higher than the edge toward the bridge. I'd have expected them to be parallel with the body. Any comments? TIA!

Might be a pickup lead stuck underneath the edge of the pickup in the cavity causing it to tilt on one side. With batwings, the pickups are usually parallel with the batwing and body.

With Humbuckers on batwings, I add a slanted pickup ring to bridge position only to level the top of pickup so that it is parallel with the strings. The neck position gets foam placed underneath for leveling. With P-90's it does not bother me as much to leave them slanted in relation to the strings as long as the height is adjusted properly so that they sound good to my ears.

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Ray

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Might be a pickup lead stuck underneath the edge of the pickup in the cavity causing it to tilt on one side. With batwings, the pickups are usually parallel with the batwing and body.

With Humbuckers on batwings, I add a slanted pickup ring to bridge position only to level the top of pickup so that it is parallel with the strings. The neck position gets foam placed underneath for leveling. With P-90's it does not bother me as much to leave them slanted in relation to the strings as long as the height is adjusted properly so that they sound good to my ears.

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Useful tips, there. I think I will give the bridge T-Top on my batwing-Standard a pickup ring. Cool trick ...
 

cerebral gasket

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Useful tips, there. I think I will give the bridge T-Top on my batwing-Standard a pickup ring. Cool trick ...

First time I saw pickup rings on a batwing-equipped SG was on Glenn Tipton's ebony SG Special with mirror guard. I use ring at the bridge position only because at the neck position, the corner of the ring extends past the edge of the guard a little on a stock batwing.

I saw a rig rundown for Angus and noticed that he adds the ring to bridge position only on one of his batwing-equipped SG.
 
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Ray

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First time I saw pickup rings on a batwing-equipped SG was on Glenn Tipton's ebony SG Special with mirror guard. I use ring at the bridge position only because at the neck position, the corner of the ring extends past the edge of the guard a little on a stock batwing.

I saw a rig rundown for Angus and noticed that he adds the ring to bridge position only on one of his batwing-equipped SG.

That's some very cool info, mister. So it was good old Glenn Tipton ... Cool ... Yeah, and Angus, too, you say? Double cool.:D
 

Col Mustard

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Welcome to ETSG! And congratulations on making an excellent
choice of guitar.

Leveling the pickups with the strings is important when equipped
with hum buckers, because the two coils sound best if level with
the strings, not the body. (this is true for SOME hum buckers, not
all... ) Many of us put a piece of stiff foam under the rear coil of
our hum buckers, about 20mm for the neck, maybe 25mm for the bridge.
To me, that makes a difference. Pickup rings do the same thing.
pickuard@100.jpg

With single coils... pickups being level with the strings is unimportant
because there's only one set of pole pieces. A slight angle doesn't
matter, except to the OCD... *grins

Anyway, congratulations again and just... enjoy your new SG!
The SG with P-90s is one of the classic tones IMHO...
I actually ignored them and disregarded them for a long time,
until I came aboard this forum and began reading posts by my
colleagues in praise of the antique things.

Then I began to realize how much great music has been made on
guitars with them, and decided I had to have one. So I ended up with
an Epiphone ES-339 P-90 pro, and am loving this instrument.
Caledonia 2016@100.jpg
My Epi is fairly heavily modded by now, but I've got her just the way
I want her. She's set up perfectly, weighs about 8 pounds and is
wired so the two single coils act like a big hum bucker in the middle
position. Love the P-90 sound. And looking back over music through
the ages, it seems I always did.
 


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