Gibson SG Standard 61 vs Custom Shop

Flores_68

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Hello everyone,
Due to the difference in price ($ 1,999 vs $4,300), I've decided to go for the Gibson Standard 61. However, I'd like to know from someone who has played both, where the huge difference in price is. Are the feel, the tone, the playability that much better?
 

MR D

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Hello everyone,
Due to the difference in price ($ 1,999 vs $4,300), I've decided to go for the Gibson Standard 61. However, I'd like to know from someone who has played both, where the huge difference in price is. Are the feel, the tone, the playability that much better?

You did yourself a favour, I think ?
Especially if you were thinking of getting the SG CUSTOM that has the 490/498 Pickup's.
SG CUTSOM's, as GIBSON get the 'TUXEDO TREATMENT' ! There is your price differential.....As in Headstock Binding, Mother-of-Pearl In-lays in the Fret-Board and Headstock. The Head-Stock Bindings and In-Lays cost ......and players surely pay for it. They do look incredible. But as far as TONE goes? They add nothing. The Ebony Fret-Board in the CUSTOM is expensive as well.
The playability/feel may be in the neck and the SG CUSTOM I looked at has a Slim-Taper '60's neck profile...for my CUSTOM Shop Big Bucks, I want a Rounded 'C' profile... but that's just me.
Congrats on the new STANDARD, I'm sure you know..... they are BAD-A$$ !
 
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SatansGwitar

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You did yourself a favour, I think ?
Especially if you were thinking of getting the SG CUSTOM that has the 490/498 Pickup's.
SG CUTSOM's, as GIBSON get the 'TUXEDO TREATMENT' ! There is your price differential.....As in Headstock Binding, Mother-of-Pearl In-lays in the Fret-Board and Headstock. The Head-Stock Bindings and In-Lays cost ......and players surely pay for it. They do look incredible. But as far as TONE goes? They add nothing. The Ebony Fret-Board in the CUSTOM is expensive as well.
The playability/feel may be in the neck and the SG CUSTOM I looked at has a Slim-Taper '60's neck profile...for my CUSTOM Shop Big Bucks, I want a Rounded 'C' profile... but that's just me.
Congrats on the new STANDARD, I'm sure you know..... they are BAD-A$$ !

I believe the OP was refering to the Custom Shop ‘61 Reissue not the SG Custom.
 

SatansGwitar

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Hello everyone,
Due to the difference in price ($ 1,999 vs $4,300), I've decided to go for the Gibson Standard 61. However, I'd like to know from someone who has played both, where the huge difference in price is. Are the feel, the tone, the playability that much better?

I own a 2019 SG Standard ‘61, and absolutely love it, no complaints at all, and have to say its the better sounding SG I own. Fortunately I’ve had the pleasure to play the Gibson Custom Shop ‘61 Les Paul SG Stopbar Reissue back at Gibson Garage and Chicago Music Exchange with the exact curiosity as you. Im sure you’ve already read the stats differences from Gibson’s website so I wont go into all those detail nuances. Out of the gate from grabbing the instrument it felt slightly heavier, just slightly. Secondly ironically I loved the VOS finish giving it a less glossy look, its darker almost like two tints lighter than the Ox Blood finish on some. The bevels are the biggest give away aesthetically, they are deeper in the horns and tighter, the top body bevel is carved deeper and has a thinner siding. The bottom bevel actually connects with the pickguard unlike the modern ‘61 so it looks very tight and beveled everywhere. It comes with most things identical to its original vintage stock including the correct thistle crown position, double ringed Kluson tuners with Gibson branded backings, no fret nibs, a slim taper neck not like the ‘64 reissue. Comes standard with pointer guages, all nickel parts are vintaged out, proper original design pick guard Nylon nut and most things in original stock metal fasteners absent on the modern ‘61. Soundwise, it sounded hotter than my ‘61, I wasnt much sold on its sound because I believe it depends on the amps youre dealt with at given retailer and I couldnt judge off of that. One thing I noticed that I couldnt see from any pics online were the dots on the binding seemed to be mother of pearl as well versus the plain blacks we get on most guitars. Aside from that thats it, they come with old skool tags in the case, a CoA and the obvious higher price but the guitars felt very well made and didnt feel fragile to me at all. I was impressed many of times but rather win the guitar in a contest giveaway than spend my hard earned cash on it at those prices. Below on the right is my 2019 standard ‘61, I installed pointer guages and replaced the original pickguard with a CreamTone one to match the thicker vintage one. Hope that helped a little. 48EB18A4-0A1E-4C7D-8AC0-0453CD894985.jpeg
 
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MR D

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I believe the OP was refering to the Custom Shop ‘61 Reissue not the SG Custom.

LOL, Looks like ur right, my bad. I'd probably pass on both GIBSON CUSTOMS. SG Standards are 'IT' for me, unless it was a Jay-Dee 'The OLD BOY'. A more reasonable price. Better Guitar (Iommi's definitely is/are) ? 2 year wait though?......I might blackout and forget I ordered it.......not ! LOL ! !!!!
 
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PermissionToLand

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With all luxury goods, you have diminishing returns. A Gibson is already an upscale guitar from Epiphone, and the Custom Shop is another level above. It's mostly about historically accurate details. Sound and playability tend to plateau at a certain point. Even a well set-up Epiphone can be a great player and with some new pickups can get you 80% of the way to a Gibson. The biggest playability upgrade IMO is the neck profile. USA '61s have a Slim Taper that's too slim IMO. My Historic has the most comfortable neck I've ever played. A goldilocks medium C (even though they call it slim taper).

Burstbuckers/Custombuckers are great pickups, but so are Gibson USA pickups. That's almost just a matter of preference.
 

SGBreadfan

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With all luxury goods, you have diminishing returns. A Gibson is already an upscale guitar from Epiphone, and the Custom Shop is another level above. It's mostly about historically accurate details. Sound and playability tend to plateau at a certain point. Even a well set-up Epiphone can be a great player and with some new pickups can get you 80% of the way to a Gibson. The biggest playability upgrade IMO is the neck profile. USA '61s have a Slim Taper that's too slim IMO. My Historic has the most comfortable neck I've ever played. A goldilocks medium C (even though they call it slim taper).

Burstbuckers/Custombuckers are great pickups, but so are Gibson USA pickups. That's almost just a matter of preference.
In all fairness, not all ‘61 neck sizes are the same. Mine actually gets decently chunky by the time you reach the 12th fret.
 

MR D

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$4300 for an SG?
Nonsense.

U kno,when I shelled out $1999 (ALL-IN) for a 2019 SG Standard w/Maestro...
I thought it was a bit much ! Beautiful looking and , mo' importantly, sounding Guitar it surely is...but 2 Grand, FFS ?
So, for twice that price, plus a few hundred $$$ @ $4,300.00 (PLUS TAX & SHIPPING ?).......frikkin thing should play, and, restring itself.
 

An Abiding Dude

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This harkens back to the thread I did several months ago. Part of me is dying of curiosity to own a '64 custom shop just to see how it feels and sounds (the other insane part wants the light aged Pelham blue for an extra grand just for the flavor of owning something besides cherry or black), but then I stop and think, would I want to take it out of the house? And if not, then what's the point of owning it if I'm too scared to gig with it because of what "might" happen (stolen, damaged, etc.)? If you pay between $1000 - 1500, you're getting a very nice guitar, $1500 - 2000 a damn fine guitar, but beyond that it feels like pure vanity. You're entering Nigel Tufnel land where you invite people to marvel at it but "don't look at it!"
 

Huntroll

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I would think that most 20 year or longer Gibson SG owners now own at least 4 $1K+ SGs, right ?

The question is - would you trade all 4 for that really nice one ?

I would .

You can only play one at a time .

And don't get me started on the NIBs issue. I doubt they'll ever get another nickel of my money .
 

pancake81

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I would think that most 20 year or longer Gibson SG owners now own at least 4 $1K+ SGs, right ?

The question is - would you trade all 4 for that really nice one ?

I would .

You can only play one at a time .

And don't get me started on the NIBs issue. I doubt they'll ever get another nickel of my money .

It's is hard to say how many guitar one will acquire over time. Some folks buy one, love it, keep it. Others buy and sell to find they one (or two), other folks keep acquiring. Funny you mention $1,000+ guitar. Even 20 years ago, gibson's weren't cheap. I got into the Gibson world in 2001/2002. My first was a 2001 Gibson 61 RI that was a gift, but going prices were about 1500-1600(ish). That's not much inflation over 20 years; that's only $20/ year price increase.
 

papagayo

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Yes, this Custom Shop '64 RI with stopbar is a beauty

A dj party.gif
 

SatansGwitar

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0F93E27A-CDB3-465E-A7FA-D579EBAFEA96.jpeg
Yes, this Custom Shop '64 RI with stopbar is a beauty

View attachment 46049
The Pearloid Dots on the neck edges impressed me much. Great feel, didnt feel fragile at all, I didnt mind the baseball bat C shape neck either, definitely had a much more reinforced headstock/neck feel. Action was superb most certainly so. I didn’t like the nylon saddles much but it played very well.

Its funny, Ive had so many opportunities to play SG customs even the Hendrix reissue but never bother touching them because they seem so overkill to me, plus I hate most things gold either way.
 

cerebral gasket

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I've never encountered an SG with small guard (1961-1965) having a baseball bat neck.

1970 SG Junior...
They cut the baseball bat in half lengthwise and glued a fretboard on top.

full
 
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SatansGwitar

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I've never encountered an SG with small guard (1961-1965) having a baseball bat neck.

1970 SG Junior...
They cut the baseball bat in half lengthwise and glued a fretboard on top.

full

Oh wow! Thats thick, well Im not super obssessed over neck shapes, Im mostly only familiar with slim tapers and Strat necks. Its just the neck felt thicker than a slim taper and felt nothing like my SGs at home, I have small hands so it was noticeably different in feel for me.
 


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