Gibson USA Faded Special.....

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by SurfGuitar141, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. SurfGuitar141

    SurfGuitar141 Member

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    This is kind of a re-post since I'm looking at either getting an Epiphone Elitist Vintage SG, or a Gibson USA Faded Special. I've posted asking questions in the Epi forum, and thought I'd hit more Faded Special owner / players here, and that's the reason for the re-post....

    The thing is, the Epiphone elitist Vintage SG is a beautiful guitar, the fit & finish is flawless, and it has all the visual accessories one would expect in a guitar costing far more than the $849.95 price tag, but it's still an Epiphone, and not a 100% American Made Gibson.

    The attraction (for me) to the Gibson Faded Special SG is the fact that it costs $150.00 less than the Epiphone, however it's no where near as visually appealing as the Epiphone, and it comes with a gig bag and not the hardshell case the Epi comes with...(not a deal breaker since I don't travel with my guitar)....also knowing that a guitar with "Gibson" on the headstock will more than likely hold it's resale value far better than one with "Epiphone" no matter how nice they made them look....

    Tough choice here....

    I'm hoping to hear from the Faded Special owners on the forum, what's good about these guitars, are they a better choice over the Epi Elitist, if so then why......

    I appreciate any input you guys can give me......
     
  2. nvosmeier

    nvosmeier New Member

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    My .02 cents worth. . .

    The most important features are how the guitar plays and feels when you play it. Nothing else can take the place of that. Get what you think feels the best and satisfies your ear.

    You buy the guitar to play. An $800 guitar is not an investment. Resale value shouldn't enter into it. A faded Gibson is never going to be worth more than it is today.

    I don't care for the pickups in Epi, the Gibson to me sounds better, albeit a little muddy.

    You should buy what you like. . .
     
  3. Six String

    Six String Moderator Staff Member

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    I think I'd vote for the Faded as well...............
     
  4. uyasgali

    uyasgali Member

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    Guitars are like wives...you get the one you want and if you find out you don't like her anymore you trade her in!

    I don't usually look at my guitars too often. I play them daily and put them in their cases after a wipedown. I have a seven year old son that can be rough on stuff so I like to protect them. He even puts his in it's case.
     
  5. suicidehummer

    suicidehummer Active Member

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    You sound like you're only doubting the Epiphone because it's an Epiphone. I know a LOT of Elitist owners and they all rave about them.

    The Elitist offers more and IMO better quality. Better quality control as well. And honestly, the Gibson will probably hold its value just the same as, if not worse than, the Epi. Why? Because 1. The Epi is rarer; there are countless Faded SGs available on Ebay for around $500-$600 so if you want yours sold you'll have to go lower. The Elitists however are highly sought after by those "in the loop" about them. And the Faded SG is quite rare considering the Elitist SGs were only made for a year, the Fadeds even shorter. Most people don't even know the Faded Elitist SG exists. Most Elitist Epis are going for around $700 and up on Ebay.

    More info on the Elitist SG:
    http://epi.p3net.net/wiki/index.php/Elitist_SG
     
  6. barbas23

    barbas23 Active Member

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    i'd go for the faded too
     
  7. Aeran

    Aeran Member

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    it seems like if you're at ALL in doubt, you might want to just get the Gibson and be happy that you bought from the parent company. the elitist is well appointed, there is no doubt, but if you're just going to stare at the headstock all day, let someone who will be happy with an epiphone get it, otherwise yours is just going to end up on Craigslist and you're going to be explaining to laughing people on the other end of the phone why they should pay for all the upgrades you did...

    that said, if you want the 61 re-issue, are you ever going to be happy with the faded? it might be better to compromise, save up a little more, and get the Standard, you'll need less upgrades.
     
  8. mikeystool

    mikeystool Well-Known Member

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    im "an idiot plain and simple"(as someone was saying a while back), i too would take the faded.....
     
  9. uyasgali

    uyasgali Member

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    [quote author=suicidehummer link=topic=19738.msg239286#msg239286 date=1252813215]
    You sound like you're only doubting the Epiphone because it's an Epiphone. I know a LOT of Elitist owners and they all rave about them.

    The Elitist offers more and IMO better quality. Better quality control as well. And honestly, the Gibson will probably hold its value just the same as, if not worse than, the Epi. Why? Because 1. The Epi is rarer; there are countless Faded SGs available on Ebay for around $500-$600 so if you want yours sold you'll have to go lower. The Elitists however are highly sought after by those "in the loop" about them. And the Faded SG is quite rare considering the Elitist SGs were only made for a year, the Fadeds even shorter. Most people don't even know the Faded Elitist SG exists. Most Elitist Epis are going for around $700 and up on Ebay.

    More info on the Elitist SG:
    http://epi.p3net.net/wiki/index.php/Elitist_SG
    [/quote]



    Are you selling epiphones? ;D
     
  10. nynvolt

    nynvolt Member

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    I'd get the Epi, your buying the top dawg epi, where as your buying the bottom Gibby with the faded. I love my faded and don't regret it a bit but if I had it to do over again and only had $800 to spend I would probably have considered an Epiphone. BTW you will probably change pup's in both guitars. The 490's are ok, not great though imo.
     
  11. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    I'd get a used gibby faded for $500 and that actually is what I did :)

    I found a faded that has the ebony fretboard and it is a really nice sounding guitar. My son who plays with a young rock band actually likes it alot too. Here is a rock version of superstition that they did just last night at band practice. Josh used the faded with the ebony neck on it.

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oO4Lygl3Fg[/youtube]
     
  12. HWY2H377

    HWY2H377 Member

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    get the Gibson. no doubts, no regrets.
     
  13. SurfGuitar141

    SurfGuitar141 Member

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    Oldrockfan,
    The boys sound good, especially your son on that Faded Special...

    I was under the impression all Faded's came with a rosewood fretboard, didn't know some had ebony.....

    This may actually come down to more of a financial decision, money is real tight in my house right now, and I could swing the $699.99 a lot easier than the $849.99.

    I think if I could get the shop with the Epi Elitist to come down a hundred bucks I'd push it and go for that guitar, but I doubt this dude is going to budge that much.

    As for the pickups, I had one of the original Gibson Faded Specials several years ago, and had no issues with the tonal qualities of those open 490's, I assume they are the same 490's in today's Faded models.....

    I do appreciate all the feedback and opinions offered, just might sneak out to Guitar Center tomorrow while the wife is at work, and see what kind of deal they'd be willing to make on a Faded Special....I just hope they have a brown one. In a gloss coat the cherry red looks the best, but in faded I like the brown...... ;)
     
  14. suicidehummer

    suicidehummer Active Member

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    Well this is exactly why the Elitists were discontinued. People are to worried about the name on the headstock. I've played Elitists and Fadeds and I have no doubt that an Elitist is the better guitar. I would compare it more to an SG Standard to be honest. The only "upgrade" you get with the Faded is a rough nitro finish with no grain filler. I'd prefer the "cheaper" Polyurethane finish anyway. But if you're that worried about the name then go for the Faded.
     
  15. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    respectfully submitted it isn't just the name on the headstock... alot of the guys I know would pick a made in USA guitar over a foreign made one just on that point. Also can't forget about resale value... even though alot of folks think they are buying a guitar for life, stuff happens and it is very common to end up selling the guitar later for whatever reason.

    From a financial standpoint, you just won't do any better than picking up a clean used Gibson SG faded which can usually be found in the $500 range. At that price, you can pretty much sell it anytime you want and recover most if not all of your money. I like the elitist Epiphones but since I usually end up flipping guitars over time, I'd rather have the Gibson. Also alot of folks dislike the rough faded finish on the low end GIbsons but don't realize that the faded finish naturally smooths out over time. That brown faded in the video is several years old and the neck on it is smooth as silk. The thin finish also frequently adds to the natural sustain of a guitar. My son has a Gibson SG standard and actually prefers my faded when playing higher gain stuff. It just seems to ring out better. You can listen to the song and hear it naturally roll into feedback in a very controlled musical way when he rolls the volume up to max. His SG standard doesn't do that.
     
  16. Kevy Nova

    Kevy Nova Well-Known Member

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    [quote author=oldrockfan link=topic=19738.msg239308#msg239308 date=1252867623]
    respectfully submitted it isn't just the name on the headstock... alot of the guys I know would pick a made in USA guitar over a foreign made one just on that point.
    [/quote]

    Count me as one of them. An American for less $ than an import? sounds like an easy choice to me.

    Also, if you are at all concerned about resale value, then you'd buy a used instrument. Once it's used, it's used. A used instrument will always sell for what you bought it for but the minute you buy a new instrument, you have just decreased the value by about 30%.

    I have two fadeds that I bought used; a red one with ebony board/moon inlays for $500 and a brown on ebay for $418 + $45 shipping. I have done heavy modifications to both and ended up with two awesome guitars without spending a lot of money.

    Plus, I just love the feel of a Faded after it has been worn in! Smoothest necks I've ever felt. I say let someone else do the wearing in! ;)
     
  17. suicidehummer

    suicidehummer Active Member

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    [quote author=oldrockfan link=topic=19738.msg239308#msg239308 date=1252867623]
    respectfully submitted it isn't just the name on the headstock... alot of the guys I know would pick a made in USA guitar over a foreign made one just on that point. Also can't forget about resale value... even though alot of folks think they are buying a guitar for life, stuff happens and it is very common to end up selling the guitar later for whatever reason.

    From a financial standpoint, you just won't do any better than picking up a clean used Gibson SG faded which can usually be found in the $500 range. At that price, you can pretty much sell it anytime you want and recover most if not all of your money. I like the elitist Epiphones but since I usually end up flipping guitars over time, I'd rather have the Gibson. Also alot of folks dislike the rough faded finish on the low end GIbsons but don't realize that the faded finish naturally smooths out over time. That brown faded in the video is several years old and the neck on it is smooth as silk. The thin finish also frequently adds to the natural sustain of a guitar. My son has a Gibson SG standard and actually prefers my faded when playing higher gain stuff. It just seems to ring out better. You can listen to the song and hear it naturally roll into feedback in a very controlled musical way when he rolls the volume up to max. His SG standard doesn't do that.
    [/quote]

    Respectfully submitted the finish doesn't matter one bit when using high gain...

    And I would agree if we were talking about Korean vs American guitars but the Japanese build high quality guitars, Gibson knew this very well in the '80s. My point being, if you had the choice between a Japanese built guitar that was top-of-the-line and an American built guitar that had thin cheap wiring, Epiphone PUPs, and was made of basswood... you would hopefully choose the Japanese guitar. I'm not saying that's exactly the case here, but you shouldn't underestimate the Japanese, that was Gibson's mistake, lol.

    As for resale value, I stand by what I said earlier; There is an overabundance of Fadeds out there, whereas the Elitists somewhat are sought after.
     
  18. Tenafly Viper

    Tenafly Viper Member

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    I don't know jack about the EPI's, but for around 500 you can get a used faded, with an ebony board, real large size CTS pots and a switchcraft switch, gibson american made pickups that are good pickups, especially for louder stuff, they also come on more expensive models, as opposed to what it likely dime sized pots, thin wire, and epi pickups.

    Some people might play a EPI, love the neck profile and such and it is totally worth it to them, others might prefer the playability and feel of the faded. You also have the looks factor. The Epi has an ugly headstock but a nice finish and it is a 61 style guard.

    You probably end up with a great guitar no matter what you decide.
     
  19. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    SH, if we were comparing a jap made instrument to an american made with cheap wiring, epi pups and basswood body... I can see your point. Course the OP said a Gibson SG faded so not sure your line of logic there.

    Back on point though, the elitists I've handled seem to be well made guitars so no argument there from me. If the original poster prefers the features and look on the Epi and doesn't mind taking a bigger hit on it at resale time, I'd say go for it.

    To the op, whatever route you decide to go, be sure to report back and don't forget some pics ;).
     
  20. SurfGuitar141

    SurfGuitar141 Member

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    More good points brought up here......

    I do tend to favor spending my money on things made here in the U.S.A. over products manufactured in other countries.
    Fender has a fantastic line of guitars made in their Mexican factory, but when I purchased my Strat it had to be an American Standard. This brings us to the second good point made. I do tend to turn over guitars. Now when I bought the Strat I have, I figured it just might be the last guitar I would buy, but here we are 7 years later, and I'm looking to trade it in on something different. Had I settled on a Mexican made Strat it would only be worth $100.00 to a maximum of $150.00 on trade-in, I've already gotten an appraisal from one shop for $400.00, and may fair a little better with Guitar Center since I purchased the Strat from them.

    I don't doubt the quality of the Epiphone Elitist, it is a finely made instrument that is absolutely beautiful, but it was still made in Japan, and some of the electronic components are of questionable source and quality.
    The Gibson Faded Special may be on the bottom of the food chain as far as SG's go, but it's 100% American Made, and the points about the thin Nitro faded finish are true, it does allow the guitar to resonate better than one with a polyester coating...(like my Strat).... the finish also allows the wood to breath, and it will wear smooth out in time with play.

    I called the local Guitar Center today, they do have several Faded Specials in stock, I informed them that I will be venturing out there tomorrow with a trade-in, looking to work out a deal on a Brown Faded SG. We'll see what happens.

    And for those who like pictures, here's what I'm playing now....who knows, maybe tomorrow I'll be posting a photo of an SG.....
    [​IMG]
     

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