How does an SGJ "play/feel" compared to top line SG?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by ECW, May 8, 2020.

  1. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Okay, okay, I'm sorry I said that neck shape preferences are nonsense.
    I'll repeat that... I'm sorry I said it. I never get anywhere saying that anyway.
    All the musicians I know play multiple instruments... guitar, bass, fiddle, banjo,
    mandolin, keys, and non of the discussions we have ever mention neck shapes.
    So for me and most of the musicians I hang with, it's a non issue.
    BUT...
    Guys who think the neck shape is important are not going to change their minds.

    So I should have deleted that part of my post.
    Because I really did want to welcome the OP, and I really wanted to
    answer his question if I could.

    I said above that the SGJ is an excellent and inexpensive Gibson.
    I said above that it has lots of potential. For me, that's important.
    For a left handed player who has less choices, it seems important to me.

    IMHO the difference between the SGJ and Gibson's more expensive models
    comes down to cosmetics... You pay a lot more for Inlays and
    the legendary Gibson Deep Gloss...
    Does the gloss make the neck feel different? Yes.
    Is that important? not to me. I usually scrub the back of my guitar necks with a green
    kitchen scrubbie, especially the Polyurethane ones. I like the gloss on the back of the
    neck of my '18 J-45. So I haven't scrubbed that.

    I can't tell you if a more expensive glossy neck will be easier for you to play
    or feel more slinky, or if the non-glossy finish of the SGJ neck will be easier for you.
    I think that goes down to setup and string gauge. I think ALL SG necks are fast
    and comfortable. But if you've never owned one... Maybe you don't.

    One more difference between the SGJ and an SG standard is in the bridge pickup.
    SGJ has the 490R/490T pickups... the Standard has a hotter bridge pickup.
    The first SG I bought had the 490s, and I played it for about a year and learned
    how to get the best out of the 490s, and then I saw Gibson '57 classic and Classic plus
    go onside, and I replaced them. I'm much happier with the tones I get from the
    '57 Classic plus than I was with the 490T.

    The reason I said you have to play it is because you've never owned an SG.
    I know nothing about your music or your preferences, so I can't make an opinion about
    which would feel better. I love SGs and they all feel great to me. But if you
    have a collection of Strats and shredders, the SG will feel different.

    I'd pounce on that SGJ, and get it set up by the best luthier you can find or
    afford.
     
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  2. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how many threads there are here where a first time poster asks for helps, gets unrelated opinions instead followed by members arguing as well as the usual pics of their guitars thrown in for good measure, then gets sick of this forum and leaves for good. My personal, albeit unwanted, opinion is that guitars are tools. They should therefor be tailored to the need of the player, not the other way around. One should not have to adjust ones playing style or get used to something.

    I've never had an SGJ so I have no idea. Am I going to voice my stupid opinion on the matter then? Hell no. Do I respect and understand OP and his question? Hell yeah.
     
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  3. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Don't cater to the hypersensitive. Shoot from the hip, Col.
     
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  4. shreddy bender

    shreddy bender Well-Known Member

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    Hi! I have a 2014 SGJ and find the neck to be comfortable for chords and is very slinky for soloing (even with my preference for 11 gauge strings with wrapped G).
    It is narrower by a wee bit than my Special Faded at the nut, however it has a nice rounded profile.
    The maple construction feels very stable and the satin finish in the neck feels great. It's the only one of my guitars that I haven't felt the need to scotch brite the neck on.
    Hope that was of some help to the O.P.
     
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  5. Sootio

    Sootio Well-Known Member

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    Gibson necks are all basically shaped the same with some variance on depth, but each and every one is also slightly different because they are shaped by hand. They're all a pleasure to play as far as I can tell.
     
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  6. ECW

    ECW New Member

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    Hey guys, Thanks for all your feedback! I'm gonna go for it! I should have said off the bat that I'm not concerned with the "cosmetic" parts or neck gloss as Col Mustard said... as I sand mine all down too except for a few.

    BTW anyone ever get one of these "Digital String Height tool" from (LMI) Luthier's Mercantile? They are great at knowing what you've got.... & what you like... and keeping your repair techs honest. :) I made a database for all my guitars and now know why some play better (for this one aspect) and what to ask for with setups better!
     

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  7. Chuteboxehero

    Chuteboxehero Well-Known Member

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    That's a great idea. It never hurts to be able to quantify what your preferences are.
     
  8. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    1 1/2 oz Gilbey's gin 6 oz Schweppes tonic water, a plate of Ritz crackers jalapeño jack cheese and Kaori Muraji for cocktails while we smooth jazz jam.
    Interesting and practical, but I'd rather spend the $50 on strings and picks. As far as "knowing what to ask for" what if your hands age, your technique matures and your "preferences" are not the same as they were when you first measured? ( I speak from a half century of playing and can tell you that I have changed my "set up" tolerances at least 7 times to accommodate physical and stylistic changes.) Learn to do your own setup by sound and feel. Good techs are great, but expensive and as good (and expensive) as I am, I can't get inside your body and mind. Just a thought.
     
  9. ECW

    ECW New Member

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    "what if"... you just go with where you are at.....at that time. Simple. Roll with the changes. The tool doesn't care.
     
  10. VSG

    VSG Member

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    COL MUSTARD IS CORRECT...ABSOLUTELY...that is the "clue"
     
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  11. Prontocruiser

    Prontocruiser New Member

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    Just throwing in my 2 cents.I've had the Epi 310 and 400 and the 2013 SGJ. Only because I had the Epi's first, did the Gibson rubbed nitro neck feel strange, for about 2 minutes. It felt wider and thicker too, but that passed quickly. My first biggest takeways were that the SGJ had incredible acoustic sustain, which made me want to play it and see what it could do amplified and plugged in, the difference in pickups was dramatically better (for me at least). I tried a 498T in the bridge early last year and went back to the 490. No big difference and not quite so harsh. I tried pickup covers, un potted and liked that too, but I could easily keep them stock. There is a noticable difference in the sound with covers, which surprised me, but both sound good. A year ago, I also refinished it and with 12 coats of clear nitro and buffed, it feels just as good as any SG standard or for that matter, my LP standard.

    I think you will really be surprised just how good this guitar is!
     
  12. Wild Bill212

    Wild Bill212 Active Member

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    Play the SG 'J' and an SG Standard next to each other, UN-PLUGGED.....You will run away from the SG 'J', Guaranteed ! I want to call the 'J' what it really is, but I am not here to offend ! Same thing goes for the Studio/Faded SG's, just not quite good enough, from the wood used to the electronics(490's=Cheapest P-Up Gibson USA makes) to the T.M's and on........ BUT BUT BUT, it is a good guitar for a beginner.......or as a BEATER you do not GAS about!

    GIBSON calls them STANDARDS for a reason, a good one.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  13. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    i played my SGJ beside my '61 RI...and unplugged they were both just as loud...that is my only criteria for buying a guitar without plugging in...that it can be heard decently.
     
  14. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Too bad, you're doing such a good job of it.
     
  15. LesSGTeleNYC

    LesSGTeleNYC New Member

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    So you aren’t married to a junior over a standard you are just budget conscious.

    This one is way better than Epiphone, but i don’t know how it competes pricewise in lefty models if you are American because they are so rare. If you are in the UK (I’m assuming those because we are speaking English) it is a whole different story. You can get a beautiful one from the Traditional Series for Epi type prices.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/264699952623
    I have a Chinese Tokai SG Custom that I got for cheaper than its Epi counterpart (515 vs 579), but that’s because you can find plenty of righties as long as you’re willing to buy from overseas. The mij Tokais must be absolutely great to be better than this. My advice is stop paying for Gibson’s marketing.
     
  16. Wild Bill212

    Wild Bill212 Active Member

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    OH, I could do much better....BUT people are so easily insulted these days.I feel sorry for them.Someone should have told these pussies that STICKS and STONES will break their bones but WORDS WILL NEVER HURT THEM.
     
  17. Voxman

    Voxman Moderator Staff Member

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    Play nice dudes!:io:
     
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  18. Hack

    Hack Member

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    I think you will be happy with the sgj. I have a 2014 it was my 1st Gibson frets ends were smooth when I bought it used and still are. It plays like a dream the neck is smooth and easy to play. I have small hands the 50's neck Gibson says it has is not to thick not to thin its very comfortable to me. The satin nitro neck is fast, smooth and never sticky. Pickups are really nice i really like the 61 zebras like the other guy said I would by another set just to have for a future build/ project. All I have ever done to it was a bone nut because the factory one had a chunk missing on the high e string, and a pro setup which I have since been able to maintain during string changes and cleanings. And play it of course. Enjoy your new guitar when it arrives post pics we all like pics. Welcome to the family !
     
  19. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    False.

    Same quality wood is used on all SG. The only difference between the wood of an SGJ, SG Faded and an SG Standard is how it’s finished.

    Gloss finish with the grain filled vs Satin finish with unfilled grain.

    I’ve had several SG Faded in the past and currently have one that was refinished with the grain filled to a gloss finish. Feels and plays just as smooth as any other SG with Gloss finish.

    It also has the stock 490T / 490R combo and sounds fine to my ears. You have to know how to adjust pickup height and how to dial in an amp’s controls regardless of what pickups are in the guitar.

    An SG Standard is no better or worse than any other SG model. All SG are the same quality at the core. The only differences are hardware configuration, type of inlays and finishes.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
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  20. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. That "test" is the thing most likely to convince you of how close they are to one another, not how different. I foolishly sold my SGJ but it was every bit the guitar my SG Standard and Deluxe are. It arguably played better than either and sounded just as good as any guitar I have ever owned. I really do miss it, and for the OP, I don't think you can go wrong with one.
     
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