My new '61 Standard...Oh, yeah

Siamese

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I go back a little ways with SG's. In the early-mid seventies I had a 1961 Les Paul Jr., single P90 that is the only guitar I ever sold that I wish I had back. And, in the 80's, one of the Firebrand SG's. Nice. And, in about 2007, a special...gloss finish, dot neck, no binding, and uncovered 490 pups.

Other than that, I'm a Strat guy. Having recently sold off a couple extras and finding myself with just one guitar (Strat), I decided I needed that mahogany/humbucker Gibson thing going on. Gibson seems to have made some good decisions about producing their traditional guitars the way people want them, and upping their quality, so now's the time.

The '61 Standard arrived yesterday. All is good. If there's a flaw, I haven't found it and I don't want to. Not sure yet if it's a one or two piece body. If it's a two, it sure is matched perfectly. But, boy was it stiff straight out of the box. Part of that is me getting used to it. And part of it is brand new frets that haven't been played in. And the rosewood fingerboard (nice chunk of rosewood by the way) was sticky. Do a bend, and your finger just goes skroink as it digs into the rosewood. I mean, you plug it into the amp the first time, and you want to hear the angels sing. But that's not how it works.

Day two, I put on Super Slinky's. Always played 10-46, but the fingers...well, 9-42's treat them better. Do NOT get old. Spent 15 minutes rubbing mineral oil into the fingerboard to clean and condition it. Old chunk of t-shirt came away filthy. I used a Miracle Cloth on all the frets just to give them a head start on the playing-in process. Oh, and I wrapped the new strings over the stop tail instead of the stock configuration. I remember when I was in sales at Gibson/Norlin the R&D guys and execs were all into "down pressure". Seventeen degree headstock angles and sharp angles at the bridge were oh-so essential. I didn't buy into it then, and I don't now.

But anyway, after the tweaks and another hour of play-in time, hello new guitar. The rough edges are knocked off it now, and it sounds terrific. Pickups are reasonably low output, and I confess I like them with just a smidge of clean boost from my Boss GE7 before they hit my OCD and my amp.

I need to put my Strat in it's case and acclimate myself to the SG properly. My first takeaway is that the neck is so looooong. I like having those upper frets available, so I'm not complaining. But it just seems to go on forever. I'll be jamming and go to the fifth fret for a lick, and realize I'm at the 7th...it's disorienting. But great. Jamming at the 12th fret, and "oh, look", there's a whole 'nuther guitar up here!

Way to go, Gibson. Ya nailed it. My Strat'll probably remain my #1, but all things are possible. While the Strat, for me, covers more musical territory, for things like Southern rock ala Dicky Betts/Duane Allman, the Gibson's the hot ticket.
 

Igonuts

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I got one of those too in mid 2021. No complaints after dicussions here and time. My case was wonky. Getting new exchange.
Billy Gibbons said back stage w B.B. King, king said, "why you working so hard". Reference to King using 8's while Billy used 10's. Billy now runs 8's. Me thinks thou strats, to me feel better w heavier gauge set. I be old school, old fart. Been playing since late 60's. Back then, most i knew used 8's on gibs. I'm commited to 8's meself. But, yea, i be old fart w arthritis. Couldnt handle the 10's that theSG came with.
BTW!
I learned quickly here:
"Pics or it never happened".
 
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Go Nigel Go

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Oh yeah, Pics are always appreciated. Also, it is soooo nice to see fellow players who understand there is an adjustment period where the guitar gets fine tuned and adjusted to the player. I actually enjoy that "getting to know you" period where you get to really find out what the old girl can do.

Don't be afraid to adjust pickup height and pole pieces until things sound strong and balanced. That is what they are there for. It was one of the things I actually missed going to my first Strat, but I quickly realized the Fender was just a different animal and those pole piece adjustments weren't as critical the way Fender does it. You are right to treat it as a different animal, and you will likely be very happy with both once you get everything settled in. I would be hard pressed to go strictly Fender or Gibson at this point. Both have some major things to recommend them, and I am glad I have several examples of both to choose from whenever I want. :dude:
 

An Abiding Dude

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My system for conditioning the neck on a new guitar with a rosewood fretboard is using super fine steel wool (#0000) to open the pores of the rosewood and polish the the tops of the frets. Sweep away the steel wool sheddings, and then use some "Guitar Honey" to condition the board. I don't think I've ever had a new guitar that didn't need the fretboard conditioned, going from that dry, light brown look to dark and rich.

I like Rotosounds guitar strings and use hybrid 9s (Roto Oranges) for standard tuning, 10s (Yellow) for half or whole step detuned and then 11s (Red) for my Iommi that is being kept in step and half detuning. I tried the Ernie Ball 11s for the Iommi, but the G string felt like a piano wire!
 

SGBreadfan

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Congrats, let’s see a pic or two! I bought my Standard ‘61 in early 2020 and it’s really now just starting to come into it’s own…it feels wayyyy more worn in now and looser, I def. believe in the break in period with guitars. Although it varies from example to example and different brands. Sometimes a shorter break in period, sometimes much longer…and of course that correlates with how much the guitar is actually played.
 

Usablefiber

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It’s sooo good this one. so smooth to play, Fretboard with and feel is just right, feels so easy and right to play. Congrats man!

It’s almost perfect for me.
 

Usablefiber

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I will say i got mine and out of the box felt great to me on the fretboard. felt smooth and slick as butter, but maybe cause i’m coming from long use of an old guitar not really cleaning it properly.

Also It’s tough with ordering cause often times websites will pack up the floor model or a semi used one even it says new, and i’ve noticed that “setups” from the factory or shop vary a lot. well this is my first time getting a gibson new from online. but from other companies.
 


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