My name is Clint, and I'm an SG-aholic.

Discussion in 'Welcome Wagon' started by clint, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. clint

    clint New Member

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    My name is Clint, and I'm an SG-aholic. Well, not really, I only have two. Maybe I'll put up pictures one of these days.

    Neoconman says I should introduce myself. I tend to ramble on, so he may regret it!

    I started playing guitar in the early '80. In 1988, I bought a 1983 Gibson SG special to replace my Lotus silverburst Les Paul copy. I felt so comfortable playing the SG that I knew it was the guitar for me. All those pointy super-strats (Jackson, Kramer, Charvel, etc.) everyone else was playing at the time just felt very awkward to me. I have pretty much been an SG man ever since.

    I learned from the other thread I posted that my Gibson SG special was originally an Epiphone USA SG Special that they later started selling as Gibsons. I've never seen any others like it. It is unusual in the sense that it:
    - has two volume knobs and a tone knob
    - no pickgaurd
    - seems to be made of something other than mahogany
    - it's silver
    - I bought it new for $360 (it was on sale)

    Later on, after playing in too many smokey bars, the silver finish has yellowed. So now it kind of looks like a silver guitar with a boogery tint.

    One day, after leaving it my truck all day at work when it was -10 degrees F, I opened my guitar case up at band practice and I instantly heard a crackling sound. The extreme temperature change caused the finish to crackle. So now it has a bunch of hairline cracks all over it.

    I also accidentally tore a hole in it by the jack. I always had this problem where I would be wearing my guitar, then I would crouch down to pick something up, and not realizing I had stepped on my guitar cord, I would stand up and the plug on my cord would pry up on the jack. The last time it happpened was at a gig and it finally tore the jack out of the wood. I taped it back into place and finished the gig.

    Since my guitar was so beat up, I started doing experiments on it. Though I started out playing stuff like Cream and Zeppelin, I later got into stuff like REM, The Police, U2, and a lot of other bands that had a single-coil sound. I was frustrated that I couldn't emulate those tones. I discovered that that was the single-coil tone. So I bought a 50's reissue Strat. I loved the tone (think 'Sultans of Swing'), but I hated the feel.

    So I started experimenting with coil-tapping to see if I could get similar tones on
    my SG. After trying lots of pickups, I ended up installing Rio Grande Vintage Tallboy and Muy Grande Humbuckers. These are two of their strat single-coil pickups connected together into one humbucking pickup. Now I get pretty good single-coil tone when I want it. I also routed the guitar and added a single-coil pickup in the middle so I could get that Strat position 2 and 4 "quack" tone.

    With a little chorus effect added, it can simulate stuff like the Police. But when you compare it to a real strat, it's definitely different. It probably sounds more like a tele.

    Right now I have it wired so it has three volume knobs, one for each pickup. No tone knob. The bridge and neck pickup each have a three-way switch which switches between off, single-coil, and humbucker. The middle single-coil pickup has a switch to
    turn it on and off. So I can get lots of pickup combinations.


    One day, after trying out a bunch of $1000-$3000 SGs, I tried a used Gibson SG Firebrand. I thought it felt better than those expensive SGs. It's tone was way better too. It was only $425 so I grabbed it! I always wanted to have another SG as a backup at gigs. I hated using my strat as a backup because I really fumbled a lot playing that guitar while on the other hand, I felt like a guitar hero when playing SGs. My firebrand is the mahogany version, not the walnut version.

    As the years progressed, I found myself liking the humbucker sound less and less. I guess I like single-coil cleans tones way better than humbucker clean tones. So I ended up replacing the Firebrand's pickups with Harmonic Design Z-90s. I love those pickups. They seem as hot as the humbuckers were. They are fat, yet have clarity. I no longer have a muddy tone in the neck position. I think they sound beautiful through a good tube amp. I also think they sound good for a lot of the classic rock I play. Highly recommended.


    Here's the equipment I mainly use:

    - Gibson SG Special (has become my backup SG since it is getting pretty worn)

    - Gibson SG Firebrand (my main guitar these days)

    - Reverend Commando GT guitar
    Has S-S-H pickup configuration and a whammy bar. Think of it as a rich man's Danelectro or a hollow body Strat. It's like a solid body guitar but has the resonance of a hollow body guitar (since it pretty much is). I use it when I need single-coil tones, hollowbody tone, or when I need a whammy bar. I bought it for it's versatility. However, I don't play it much because it has that awkward Strat feel.

    - Alvarez Telecaster clone.
    I just picked this guitar up recently for only $80. I hate to say it, but this guitar is probably going to get about as much play time at gigs as my SGs. I bought it for those songs that need a thinner rhythm tone (Steve Miller, Pretenders, Monkees, Police). To me it feels very comfortable to play, as comfortable as my SGs. It has the body shape of a telecaster but it is contoured like a Strat for comfort.

    - 70's Silverface Twin Reverb amp that I "blackfaced".
    I love this amp for its clean sound. I used to gig with it all the time. But I realized it wasn't that great for most of the classic rock I was doing. Also its too loud. So now I don't gig with it anymore. But if I ever had a country, jazz, or surf gig, I'd pull it out!

    - Crate Vintage Club 50 amp.
    I bought this amp since it had a good clean sound and an acceptable distortion sound.
    After experimenting with the tubes and speakers, I can get some decent tones out of it.
    For a while, I was gigging half the time with this and half the time with the next rig.

    - Gibson GA-15RV amp.
    This is the main amp I gig with now. I usually play it in the 6-watt triode mode. I play it through a Mesa 3/4-back 1x12 cabinet with a Celestion Vintage 30. This setup works well with distortion pedals and has a decent clean sound.

    - Here's the signal chain
    Guitar->Boss TU-12 Tuner->Fulltone Clyde Wah->Tonebone Hot British->Barber Electronics Burn Unit->Fulltone FullDrive 2->Boss CE-3 Chorus.

    I used the Burn Unit as my main distortion (since it sounds so 'classic rock') and use the Fulldrive 2 in comp-cut mode to boost for solos. I only use the Tonebone Hot British for heavier distortion.


    Well, I've rambled on long enough!
     
  2. NeoConMan

    NeoConMan New Member

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    Well done Clint!
    Welcome to the forum!

    What is that old saying?
    Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement....

    Looks like you learned a thing or two along the way, share the wisdom (and the pain.)

    Neo
     
  3. axmaker

    axmaker Member

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    welcome clint. two sg's and the start of many more..... :D
     
  4. Six String

    Six String Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to ETSG clint! :) :) :)
     
  5. Wags

    Wags New Member

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    Welcome indeed there Clint!! Take ya shoes off an sit a spell with us!!
     
  6. Justini

    Justini Member

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    Hi Clint, the first step on the road to ruin is admitting you have a SG problem. :roll:

    Coffee and Donuts in the back.
     
  7. Wags

    Wags New Member

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    and after the coffee and doughnuts, then we pull out the SG's so you can get your fix before leaving!! ;D
     
  8. Justini

    Justini Member

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    If you feel like you're having a relapse; call the hotline and a dedicated forum member and friendly voice will be there to assist you through the crisis. Unless EveryMn picks up, then you're screwed.
     
  9. javamagic

    javamagic Well-Known Member

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    [quote author=Justini link=topic=12518.msg163655#msg163655 date=1172524307]
    Unless EveryMn picks up, then you're screwed.
    [/quote]
    ;D ;D
     

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