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

Biddlin

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When I want to play a blazing fast clean lick the SGJ is the one I grab. Solid as a rock.
 

Wild Bill212

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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.


You can believe whatever you want to believe, and I am not going to argue w/anyone over anything.......BUT, if you think GIBSON used the same quality wood that went into a 2016 SG Studio Faded, that sold for $650 new & a 2017 SG Standard you are kidding yourself, never mind the wood used in a CUSTOM SHOP GIBSON SG. The quality of the wood makes prices go up and the Guitar Rings/Resonates better especially UN-PLUGGED. SG STANDARDS are going for $2,000+TAX New w/Maestro's and they sound so much better than Specials/Faded's/ etc etc....

I will say this as well:I really get a kick out of these Guys that say their Les Paul Studio sounds just as Good as a Les Paul CUSTOM.....:THEY SAY THINGS LIKE: "I'll put my LP Studio up against any CUSTOM...", I just laugh.......
 

gball

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You can believe whatever you want to believe, and I am not going to argue w/anyone over anything.......BUT, if you think GIBSON used the same quality wood that went into a 2016 SG Studio Faded, that sold for $650 new & a 2017 SG Standard you are kidding yourself, never mind the wood used in a CUSTOM SHOP GIBSON SG. The quality of the wood makes prices go up and the Guitar Rings/Resonates better especially UN-PLUGGED. SG STANDARDS are going for $2,000+TAX New w/Maestro's and they sound so much better than Specials/Faded's/ etc etc....

I will say this as well:I really get a kick out of these Guys that say their Les Paul Studio sounds just as Good as a Les Paul CUSTOM.....:THEY SAY THINGS LIKE: "I'll put my LP Studio up against any CUSTOM...", I just laugh.......

Well, at the end of the day what matters most are playability and tone. I had an SGJ, the 2014 model, and I regret selling it because when it came to playability and tone it was easily a match for my Les Paul Custom. And my SG Standard. Also my Les Paul Traditional, Firebird V, Firebird I, SG Deluxe, and Les Paul Special.

Who knows, maybe I had the only good one and the rest of these cats are lying, but in my experience the “worst” wood Gibson uses is pretty damn great.
 

cerebral gasket

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Von Trapp

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Even if there was a difference in the quality of the wood it would only be for cosmetic purposes as it has no impact on the sound of the guitar. I know some people like to thinks so, and that's all well and good, to each his own, but when those theories become teaching I see a problem. I've handled guitars in all price ranges and whenever I found that one sounded b!tchin I'd be ashamed if I'd drawn the conclusion that it had anything to do with the wood. That's simply not how an electric guitar works.

Plenty of the guitars I've handled started out sounding like crap but after some tweaking and setups they came out sounding great. In none of these cases the tweaks consisted of replacing the wood simply because that was not, and couldn't have been, the problem. So laugh away when I say that I could put ANY Studio up against ANY custom and they would sound the same, given that they had the same electronics, pickups and setup. I'm glad that some get a kick out of hearing me say that but even glader when people actually HEAR this. Everybody happy then I suppose.

(and I'm not saying the guitars that ended great after I fixed them did so because I did it, anyone can if they know how)
 
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cerebral gasket

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I have both a Custom Shop LP Junior DC and a couple of SG Classics. All three guitars have gloss finishes. All three are constructed of mahogany bodies and necks with rosewood finger boards.

All three feel and play differently. Neither one is better or worse than the other, just different. I like all three guitars for different reasons.

The Custom Shop LP Junior DC cost as much as the two SG Classics combined.

My point is just because a guitar is more expensive doesn’t always mean that it’s better.
 
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Von Trapp

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If you'd strip off the hardware and pickups I'd even go so far as to say seldom means it's better. Which brings us back to the OP (who true to tradition here fled long ago) 's question. He wants to know how it plays/feels. Good question. But that has to do with the neck shape, whether it dives, if you can set the action right etc etc so it is of course very dependent on the specific guitar and not so much the line in general, I'd say.

It would of course be easier to to compare an SG to an LP but ultimately it comes down to playing style and personal preferences. I've tried out many SGs and whether I like them or not comes down to the above, and the above alone, not what line it belongs to or how much it costs.
 

Satellitedog

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EDIT:sorry for going off topic in the post below! (that Tokai should be golden though)

Grumble... I did not check the item location... but $800 would still be a decent deal. The white one I own is on par with a '61 RI regarding quality and it's easily nicer than the standards I've tried so far. It's a top notch instrument quality wise. Reverb listings of Gibson Standard SGs (probably somewhat overpriced) selling from- and only to continental US start around $1000 going up to $1500, so 800 for a guitar with good resale value and equivalent or superior quality would be a decent deal in my book. Of course if the buyer prefers US made product or the name on the headstock is important, that's fine with me.

As for pros not using more Tokais? Perhaps it's because US based professionals can afford most Gibsons they fancy, also Tokai are way rarer in the US than Gibsons, understandably so (being clones or counterfeit product depending on perspective, and having no official distributors), and there's brand recognition and brand loyalty and mystique. Gibsons will be more desirable through historic association too, and the most iconic ones (Young, Iommi, Townshend) aren't even the same models Tokai have been reproducing.

I have limited funds for guitars and prefer the highest quality I can afford, and that happens to be the Tokai I bought.
Would I buy Gibson? Without a doubt I would splash out on a Custom Shop SG Standard VOS in white, TV Yellow or Aged Pelham Blue, or even a very-very faded cherry, if it were a lightweight specimen. Any other Gibson SG would have to be jaw droppingly lovely in hand, and speak to me personally. It could happen, no doubt, but I'm currently not on the hunt for another SG.
 
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Voxman

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It's all in the setup. A year after high school I worked in a music store, there was a recession around 72' or so, but the store was never overly busy. So when I could I would take the worst POS guitar off the wall and turn it into one of the best, it started as a joke. But it always sold within a week when I was finished with one! I didn't know a hell of a lot about doing what I was doing, back then, but I had a strong desire to do em up anyways. I just kept at em until I figured it out and got it right. Stew Mac has all the stuff ya need but it's too pricey there, always was. But the stuff that they are offering now is outstanding. When you see how to make a new nut, with what they sell, you'd have to be a real knucklehead to screw it up. You put the 12th fret, high E @ 2/64, low E 3/64 with no fret buzz or sizzle that's the one that'll play the best. The cut off on price point , I could never figure out the wood grading but when we got a crappy one we'd always say they used ButtWood. Working for one of these big companies is just another factory job! That said, It's all in the setup...
 


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