Gibson USA Faded Special.....

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

  1. suicidehummer

    suicidehummer Active Member

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    [quote author=Tenafly Viper link=topic=19738.msg239316#msg239316 date=1252874279]
    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.
    [/quote]

    No, the Elitist Epiphones have Gibson PUPs and higher quality just-about-everything than a Chinese Epi. And they have more Gibson-like HSs.

    [quote author=SurfGuitar141 link=topic=19738.msg239321#msg239321 date=1252877599]
    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.[/quote]

    First of all the Epi's electronics are probably the same as the Gibson's. Here's a quote from Epiphone: "This instrument is made with premium woods, fitted with American pickups and circuitry -- even American-made toggle switches and Grover tuners."

    I have heard that the Fadeds use cheaper pots than the SG Standard but I could be wrong on that.

    As far as resale, I'll say it again... there are Fadeds EVERYWHERE. Especially in this market, selling one would mean asking less than every other Faded out there. Elitist SGs however show up very rarely.

    Come to think of it, the Elitist you're buying is used already and still costs more than the new Faded.

    As for the finish, it's hand-rubbed Polyurethane, not Polyester like Chinese Epis. There is a big difference.
     
  2. SurfGuitar141

    SurfGuitar141 Member

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    [quote author=suicidehummer link=topic=19738.msg239326#msg239326 date=1252880345]

    Come to think of it, the Elitist you're buying is used already and still costs more than the new Faded.

    [/quote]

    Actually no....it's a new old stock instrument that this shop has not been able to sell due to the fact that it's an Epiphone, and the price tag is $849.99, and just two miles down the road at Guitar Center the wall is full of Epi's selling for $349.99.
    Most people in the market for an Epiphone are the parents of kids wanting their first electric guitar, they see one Epiphone selling for $849.99, and one that looks just like it selling for $349.99, and guess which one they buy junior for his birthday.
    People like us who are more educated in the construction of an electric guitar are not the entire guitar buying market, we are only a fraction of that market, (I've spent enough time in a small Mom & Pop music shop to make this statement with confidence).

    This Epiphone Elitist has been hanging for a long time, I'm a little dissapointed the shop owner couldn't see his way clear in making me a better offer the moment I showed interest in it, I can only assume he's looking to get as much as he can since it's been taking up rack space for a while......

    Either way, I believe I'll see where I get with a Faded Special, assuming Guitar Center gives me what I think my Strat is worth, this store has treated me fairly in the past, we'll see how they do tomorrow.....
     
  3. mikeystool

    mikeystool Well-Known Member

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    i am one who totally respect Japanese made axes..and the EPI Elitest is a good axe...I have a Jap. strat that i bought 15 years ago, and ill put right up there with USA made ones, many people think even when it had the stock pups, sounded better or as good as USA ones they owned..i think though, if i did it again, I would have payed the extra bucks for the USA one...Like Old Rock Fan says, "ya never know' if you are gonna sell someday...
     
  4. Tenafly Viper

    Tenafly Viper Member

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    [quote author=suicidehummer link=topic=19738.msg239326#msg239326 date=1252880345]

    As for the finish, it's hand-rubbed Polyurethane, not Polyester like Chinese Epis. There is a big difference.
    [/quote]

    First off that is good to hear about the Epi's, I was wondering if they just used the standard Japanese mini pots.

    Secondly, I am not aware of any such thing as a Polyester guitar finish. What is this?

    And all guitars have a hand buffed finish, don't they?
     
  5. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    With all that has been said about the relative quality and that the Elitist may be a better finished instrument, I'd buy the Gibson.
     
  6. ricardo_vicente

    ricardo_vicente Active Member

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    If possible, it would be a good idea to play them along side each other. If I remember rightly, the Epiphone Elitist SG I played had a very slim neck profile, much like the 61RI, whereas the Special Fadeds tend to have a rounder medium to fat profile.
    It may turn out that one of the two is clearly more comfortable for you, Surf.
    I think both guitars are good value for money.
     
  7. SurfGuitar141

    SurfGuitar141 Member

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    The Gibson Faded Special wins..... O0

    Gave the shop with the Epi a last chance to work a better deal.....Nada....

    Up the road to Guitar Center I go....

    First, Guitar Center offer $80.00 more on the trade-in value on my Strat.....

    Secondly, I liked the feel of the neck on the Faded more than the Epi, and my hands don't stick to the finish like they did on the Epi....

    Then I got the opportunity to play the Faded through a Blues Jr. amp and since that's what I'll be using here at home I was able to hear what this guitar would actually sound like....

    At this point in time I see no need to change or improve anything on this SG, I may however change my mind about that after I've spent some quality time with it, but for now I'm happy with the way it is.......

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. HWY2H377

    HWY2H377 Member

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    congrats!

    is this your first gibson? if so, then welcome to a better world 8)
     
  9. barbas23

    barbas23 Active Member

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    nice one! enjoy her!
     
  10. SurfGuitar141

    SurfGuitar141 Member

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    [quote author=HWY2H377 link=topic=19738.msg239363#msg239363 date=1252950193]
    congrats!

    is this your first Gibson? if so, then welcome to a better world 8)
    [/quote]

    Not my first by a long shot, I've owned an ES-135, ES-335, a Les Paul Studio, Les Paul Standard Plus, Les Paul GoldTop, and also had one of the original Cheery Red Faded SG's when they first came out.
    I've also owned a PRS McCarty, and several Fender Strats & Tele's.

    My all time favorite guitar out of all those I owned was the Les Paul Standard Plus, it was a real beauty with a flame maple cap finished in tobacco burst, I loved the neck profile, and the warm tone of the pickups. The thing I didn't like was the weight, after playing for a half hour my back, neck and shoulders were killing me. I settled on a Strat mainly because of the reduced weight, but I missed the tonal qualities of the Gibson Humbucker pickups, plus the scale length and feel of the Gibson neck.
    Why I didn't get an SG to begin with I'll never know, but I got one now..... ;)
     
  11. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on your new SG! I think you made the right choice going with the Gibson. Put some new strings on it and get it setup on it if needed and enjoy :) Your story sounds very similar to mine. Started with a LP and have a nice one still but it is too heavy for extended play for me. I also have an older american strat that I love so both the strat and the SG get alot of play time. Now you just need to add an SG classic so you have the lightweight of an SG with the cool old school tone of the P90 pups ;)
     
  12. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    [quote author=SurfGuitar141 link=topic=19738.msg239366#msg239366 date=1252951318]
    My all time favorite guitar out of all those I owned was the Les Paul Standard Plus, it was a real beauty with a flame maple cap finished in tobacco burst, I loved the neck profile, and the warm tone of the pickups. The thing I didn't like was the weight, after playing for a half hour my back, neck and shoulders were killing me. I settled on a Strat mainly because of the reduced weight, but I missed the tonal qualities of the Gibson Humbucker pickups, plus the scale length and feel of the Gibson neck.
    Why I didn't get an SG to begin with I'll never know, but I got one now..... ;)
    [/quote]

    That about sums up why I play SG's and never Les Pauls. Mostly the weight and feel.

    Enjoy!
     
  13. uyasgali

    uyasgali Member

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    Good job man! Nice guitar. :)
     
  14. Six String

    Six String Moderator Staff Member

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    Congrats on your SG! 8) 8) 8)

    Keep us posted on how it grows on you..........
     
  15. mikeystool

    mikeystool Well-Known Member

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    [quote author=oldrockfan link=topic=19738.msg239373#msg239373 date=1252971202]
    Now you just need to add an SG classic so you have the lightweight of an SG with the cool old school tone of the P90 pups ;)
    [/quote] classic is the perfect inbetween strat, and a humbucking SG guitar imo...
     
  16. barbas23

    barbas23 Active Member

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    or you can splash an humbucker sized p90 or two on your faded.

    many in this forum did just that, me included. ;)

    my next sg (or LP, who knows?) is going to have a splittable humbucker @ bridge
    and an humbucker sized p90 @ neck : a really versatile combo imo
     
  17. SurfGuitar141

    SurfGuitar141 Member

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    Thanks all for the compliments, and again for all the help and advice....moocho grassyass.... :notworthy:

    After a two year hiatus from playing, this is exactly what I needed to get the juices flowing again, can't remember the last time I had a guitar in my hands for more than an hour at a time....
    Now I'm digging out all my old notes and tab sheets so I can relearn a lot of the stuff I forgot how to play..... :dance:
     
  18. Tenafly Viper

    Tenafly Viper Member

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    [quote author=barbas23 link=topic=19738.msg239393#msg239393 date=1253007813]
    or you can splash an humbucker sized p90 or two on your faded.

    many in this forum did just that, me included. ;)

    my next sg (or LP, who knows?) is going to have a splittable humbucker @ bridge
    and an humbucker sized p90 @ neck : a really versatile combo imo
    [/quote]

    Me too but I have a humbucker in the bridge, I actually prefer the low tone buttery humbucker in the neck thing, and the P90 bite and sharp attack in the bridge.
     
  19. nynvolt

    nynvolt Member

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    Grats on the SG, she's a beauty.
     
  20. SurfGuitar141

    SurfGuitar141 Member

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    Update.....

    First off, I gotta tell you guys I'm really enjoying this new SG, and I'm real happy with the tone I'm getting out of my little Fender Blues Jr. amp with it.

    Today I pulled the factory strings off, oiled the fretboard, cleaned up the pickguard, made an adjustment to the stop tail piece...(they had it set kinda high, I lowered it)....then restrung it with Classic Ernie Ball Regular Slinky's, now it sounds and feels even better.....

    One question..... pickup covers.... I kinda prefer the looks of covered humbuckers, does Gibson sell pickup covers for the 490's....?
    I would imaging I'd need a set to include the spacing on the "R" and "T" pickups.....

    And now for the self promotional photo....(taken by my son)....
    [​IMG]
     

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