My first SG (Gibson SGJ or Epiphone G400 Pro)? Help!

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Tholennon, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I can't really help you with your decision, but I will say when it comes to neck shapes what Epiphone calls "60's slim taper D" can vary quite a bit. My 2013 '66 G400 Pro has a fairly chunky neck (although not "baseball bat" thick) and my 2020 Epi SG Special has a really thin neck. Both were advertised as having the 60's slim taper D.

    Good luck, the truth is they're both great guitars, and as long as they're both in good condition I don't think you can go wrong either way.
     
  2. Les’s Nemesis

    Les’s Nemesis Member

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    Depends on what guy was carving the neck and the characteristics of the piece of wood he was carving. There's a lot of variation in the originals. So now they can model a thin one, or a thick one. Must be interesting meetings around the conference room table.
     
  3. Tholennon

    Tholennon New Member

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    well guys... I played strats my whole life, and I have two, of which they have very different necks, one being very comfortable (a squier bullet with a thinner profile and 42mm nut) and the other a little chunky with almost 23mm nut and not so comfortable (which is for sale), but I had the opportunity to play a SX Les Paul from a friend of mine for a few days over the last few months, I think it had this baseball-type neck feel, and to be honest I thought the playability was very good, with the string action pretty low and smooth, but I don't remember the nut size or the real neck profile by its specs...
     
  4. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    hands down the SGJ...i had a 2013...
    i have had G-400s back during the MIK days...
    the SGJ definitely miles ahead...

    just that u would need to get used to the bare look of the SGJ...
    but of cos u can always dress it up...this was mine with gibson replacement knobs...gibson historic spec pointers and toggle tip...all-parts pickguard...

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Typical comment from someone that doesn't know much about nowadays Epiphone. OP is talking about looking at a recent G400 Pro.

    Like, skiing is dangerous because wooden skis break all the time.
     
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  6. Tholennon

    Tholennon New Member

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    very nice man!! yeah, I managed to give a try on the SGJ that Im aiming to buy on the next week and Im being convinced that It will be a good choice...

    and sure if I go for the SGT, I will keep some mods that I have ind mind: install maestro vibrola, knobs change for the classic ones like yours, install a single pickguard, and even maybe refinish for a cherry color with a little nitro finish...

    about the the pickups that is loaded on my target SGJ, the 498t / 490r, you guys have some experience with those pickups? I wish I could get some vintage 64/65' kind of pickups....
     
  7. [RGMW]largie

    [RGMW]largie New Member

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    If I was in your position, i'd get the Gibson. I'm not rich and only managed to get mine due to a fabulous sale in a local shop but the pleasure I get *every* time I pick up a made in the USA Gibson outweighs anything that the Epiphone might do better.
    Sure you'll be delighted with whichever you choose :-) !
    Dave
     
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  8. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Ah, what a great question to post if you're looking for a forum fistfight... But dude, take it from me (and I play the Gibson in my avatar, amongs other things) it really doesn't matter. If it feels good, plays good, sounds good and makes you look good - take it. Take it whatever it's brand. It really. doesn't. matter.

    Only problem I ever had with an epi G400 custom is that the wood where the output jack was situated was too thin and cracked and one of the frets loosened to the point where the string got caught. But that's one guitar and could probably happen to most. But if I go for an Epi, I check that part of the cavity.
     
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  9. Tom Dickinson

    Tom Dickinson New Member

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    Personally I too would have a hard time with this decision if I were starting out. I won't argue the intrinsic value aspect of a 'genuine Gibson', BUT......in today's world, the guitars coming out of Asia seem to be every bit as good as anything made here in the USA. If we were talking 'new' guitars, I'd probably give my vote to the Epiphone. But, as we're talking about an 8 year old Gibson vs the Epi, I think the only valid way to chose is to follow the advice of some of the others here and play both guitars. In the long run, there are really only two kinds of guitars; those you play, and those you 'collect'. Since you're starting out and most likely this will be a 'player' type guitar, then you need to make sure it meets your expectations and standards in terms of sound, feel, looks, condition, etc. If you were buying just another 'closet queen' I think the choices involved vary a bit. But, even something as mundane as 'resale value' is not necessarily as important as being to have a guitar that makes you happy for the money you spend. I remember when I first started playing golf (50 years ago, and I gave it up quickly!!). Every time I played, I scarred up the tops of my 'wood' clubs. I came home, sanded 'em down and refinished them....each time! When I told a golf pro about this, he said: "Makes sense!! After all, if you don't like what you see when you look down at your club, you're never going to play it well!!". I kinda think the guitar is the same way, though I will also acquiess to the 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' line. For some, 'ugly' is gorgeous!! "She may be ugly, but she sure can cook!!'. Anyway, follow your heart! Seems like this is a big decision for you, and as such, the end result should make you as happy as possible. DO NOT buy the Gibson just because everyone says it's a better guitar. It may NOT be a better guitar for you. Remember, BIC got famous for making pens and lighters that were cheap, worked well, and you didn't loose a night's sleep if you lost it. I don't know what your guitar will be subjected to after you buy it, but maybe starting with something you can ride hard and put away wet is a better call than having to 'keep it pretty'. Good luck!! Tom D.
     
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  10. Arthwys

    Arthwys New Member

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    I'm in the 'play them both to decide camp.
    I tried a Gibson and the Epiphone G400 pro. In the end, to my surprise, I loved (and still love) my G400 (2018). She's nicely balanced for an SG, has a wonderful neck (nice and thin) which is also bound, and cost half of what the Gibsons did at the time.

    But that was my experience, and others' milage may vary.

    Get the one that you love to play most.

    Welcome to the forums btw.
     
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  11. Les’s Nemesis

    Les’s Nemesis Member

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    One other thought: it's worth noting that the Gibson will appreciate in value much more over the years... if you care. Me, I'm looking for the guitar that feels and plays right. So maker doesn't matter. It's not an investment. But, short of damage you do, you'll never lose money buying a Gibson for a reasonable sum.

    I don't buy with plans to sell, so it's not much of an issue for me. But, worth considering.
     
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  12. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Always ALWAYS play a SG with a 90° jack on your cable. Most problems I've seen on that area is because of a straight jack that got pulled or pushed sideways. It can happen on a Gibson too.
     
  13. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree that you should audition any guitar you think you might want to purchase. The most expensive is not always the one that best suits your needs. Some of the Epiphones are just stunningly good. Well worth a try. The last guitar I bought was a 1991 Korean made Epiphone Les Paul Junior. I wasn't even looking for an instrument, but I was browsing at a local pawn shop and it kind of called out to me to pick it up. It played very well, intonation was spot on, and the single humbucker sounded nice for blues and rock, and at mere $65 for a nice looking and super playable guitar (and with budget grade soft case no less) I just knew I would regret it forever if I didn't snag it. I don't need any more regrets in my life, so I took it home and life is good.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
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  14. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine Active Member

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    I'd go with the used Gibson. They're quality guitars, but overpriced, and Gibson (which owns Epiphone, obviously) doesn't need more money, but the person selling their old Gibson might. You could be doing them a huge favor AND be getting a great guitar out of the deal.

    NOTE: the only reason I settled on this 2007 SG '61 in my profile pic was because the headstock neck break had already occurred and been repaired by the guy I bought it from, which makes the headstock much sturdier. If it didn't already have the headstock crack (which seems to almost always happen eventually) I would have been worried that it might some day, and then have to worry about getting it repaired. Pain in the effing A. I think it's important to at least bear in mind the headstock breakage possibility when considering a Gibson.
     
  15. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine Active Member

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    idk, maybe my tastes are different, but someone telling me I'd need to "get used to the bare look" of the guitar you posted kinda seems like someone saying I'll have to get used to the bare look of Kat Dennings. Like "Done and done, boyo!" That's some nice grain, man.
     
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  16. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    This is the slickest neck of all my SGs, sweat like a pig and it never gets sticky!
     
  17. Pronto

    Pronto New Member

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    I've had both levels of Epi (310 and 400). The 400 is so much better sounding and somewhat better to play. I was looking at getting an SG standard but just couldn't justify the cash at the time. A used SGJ came up. It took me probably 30 seconds on a crappy amp that the seller had, that it played and sounded better! Finish was much better on the Epi, chrome covers too, just like a standard, but the sound didn't make it. I did not like the black plastic covers, but the pickups to my ear were much better, attack, range, clarity. Both bodies were supposedly the same material.... NOPE. they can call the asian stuff mahogany but it is nothing like the real stuff and I think the sound partially comes from that as well as the pickups. the SGJ was extremely acoustic in comparison. So I bought the Gibson, removed the plastic covers ( 2 minute job) and eventually shot 5 coats of nitro on the finish, color sanded and polished it (thank you youtube :) ). Don't know if it affected it acoustically, but wow! what a difference in feel and look. The neck felt 100% better and the mahogany looked completely 3D. I recently sold it for just under the price of a standard to someone who owned a standard and got tired of his girlfriend always borrowing it and went wow, this is beautiful, played a couple licks and handed over the cash. So you probably know that SGJ is what I'd recommend!
     
  18. Philbo56

    Philbo56 New Member

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    I own a 60’s era SGJ with Maestro and a late model G400 with a Bigsby. I play both but think the SG would be the better choice. The Jr tho has its limitations with only a bridge pickup but I play everything with it. I dont find the Maestro very useful and i did change the bridge with a badass to get better intonation
     
  19. Philbo56

    Philbo56 New Member

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    A lot of musicians prefer the slightly larger SGJ neck. I find either one good and the setup on each is set low as I like them. But the setup will only be as good as your luthier
     
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  20. Tholennon

    Tholennon New Member

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    Hello guys! I'm back here and I haven't time to write and read over the last days... but... I just bought the Gibson SGJ!

    Yeah, on the last monday the guy who was selling it came here and I could play it, feel it, test it...

    I could not manage to test an Epiphone either, but right after play some and seeing that the SGJ was in a good condition, I felt the right decision was to buy it.... also considering the price point here in Brazil comparing the value of both guitars...

    Well... I feel the neck a little bit chunkier that I thought It would be, but I'm a stratocaster guy (and I have two) and even with this "thicker" and different neck shape, It plays more comfortable than one of my two strats (which Im trying to sell btw) with easy bending and lower string action!

    I liked very much the bridge pickup, but I felt the middle position and neck with not much "character" (the guitar came with replaced 490t 498r pickups)... and I started my goal for an humbucker guitar just after being playing strats from all my life..... but I think this is a matter of getting used to the guitar and its tones... (maybe)

    On the same day I bought it, I send it right the way to my luthier to set and check up everything, and more important... to put on new strings... sadly he gave me 15 days to finish due to the high demand, so, Im still waiting to put my hands back on the guitar...

    finally, the guitar looks great in a good overall condition! I'm thinking about doing some upgrades in case I stayed with it for a long time (which I hope so....), even maybe doing a vintage 64' cherry finish.... :smile:
     

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