Some Quick Questions About SG Standard '61 Models

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by colchar, Oct 4, 2021.

  1. colchar

    colchar Active Member

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    Hi All,
    I have some quick questions that I hope folks here can help with while I search out a new SG.

    1) Are the current Gibson SG Standard '61 models basically the same as the previous '61 Reissues? Are they just the current version of the reissue?

    2) Are the ones that some stores list as Gibson SG Standard '61 Stopbar the same as the SG Standard '61s, with the 'stopbar' thing just differentiating them from models with vibrola?

    3) Are the older reissues and these new '61 models significantly better than the normal Standards, at least enough to justify the price difference?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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  3. Derald

    Derald Active Member

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    I wouldn’t say the new Standard 61 are reissues but they probably match most of the reissue specs. I’m sure there are purists who can tell the immediate difference between a reissue, a custom shop and a Standard 61, but to the layperson the real difference are the pickups.
    Comparing the new Standard to the Standard 61 the big differences are the neck joint, the neck profile, the pick guard and the pickups. Both models look like what you would expect an SG to look like. To non-musicians they probably sound the same too.
    The Stopbar differential is just what Gibson uses to identify the Stop tail vs vibrola versions.
    The cost is justified if you have to have the more classic look and neck. Like any guitar, the worth is what you’re willing to pay.
    I paid $600 for a moon inlay Ebony fretboard Faded and $1200 for a similar model in gloss Flip Flop green with a rosewood board.
    It was worth the extra money to me. To others it would be a waste of money since you don’t play the finish ..
     
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  4. MR D

    MR D Active Member

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    The difference between the 3 guitars you mention, IDK, some similarities are there surely, 22nd Fret Neck Joint, TM's(?) check the Gibson Page specs? OR.....someone here will know better than I do...BUT, the '61 had the Neck Joint at the 22ND Fret, it was a deemed a design flaw by GIBSON and many players and changed to the 19th Fret ! That is the exact reason I stay away from SG's w/that NJ placement. A long tennon Neck Joint would probably reduce what people back in the day called 'The Wobbles effect' that the NJ @ 22nd fret caused (or was it GIBSON bein cheeep w/glue? both?). IDK if the new ones have a L.T. N.J. .... Pete Townsend liked that aspect of the Guitar as he did not need a tremolo...so much so PT went and bought every one on the U.K. main island in '66 (?).
    IMO, One reason to stay away from the new Modern SG Standard is the 490 Pickups, not to mention the laughably frikkin ridiculous Hag-Bag the guitar comes with.. Some players like the 490's tho, and at a High Volume ? I had a few '61's and '57's layin around so I just swapped out the 490's and my 2020 Modern SG Standard is now a frikkin' BEAST, the HSCase was $220 extra.
    I hav yet to play a 2020-1 SG Standard '61. BUT, I'm sure they ROCK ! BTW, I think they just got pushed up in price to $1999 or $2199? IDR at the moment....that is Pretty frikkin steep for an SG Standard.
    Post a pic when ya get it, eh ? People seem to like that.
     
  5. colchar

    colchar Active Member

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    There is a guy locally who is selling a '13 Standard (so basically the same as the previous '61 Reissues). He snagged it from someone else yesterday and is flipping it (he beat me to it by about an hour) for about $300 profit. His asking price is $1400 and the guitar has some nicks at the top of the headstock.

    There is another guy selling what he calls a 2017 Standard, but that I think is a '61 Reissue. He is asking $1500. Here is the ad:

    https://www.kijiji.ca/v-guitar/city-of-toronto/gibson-sg-standard/1585024035


    I can get a used Standard '61 Stopbar for about $1799 (Canadian funds) from my local guitar store, or a new one for $1800-$2000 on Reverb but those are located outside of the country so I might well get nailed with taxes when they arrive.
     
  6. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    That's an SG Standard with small guard.
    They flip flopped back and forth every other year on the Standard with small guard and batwing from 2013-2019.

    Up until 2019, the quickest way to tell the difference between SG '61 RI and SG Standard with small guard is the crown inlay location.

    2019 became really confusing because the crown inlay location on the SG Standard '61 is not consistent with an SG '61 RI or vintage 1961 SG Standard.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
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  7. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Another difference between the early and late 1960's is the thickness of the body at the horns. Early 60's with small guard is thin and late 60's with batwing is thick.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    2009 SG '61 RI
    This one has a Nashville bridge as stock.
    Earlier years had the ABR-1.

    The SG Standard '61 is a reissue of the SG '61 RI, but with the crown inlay at the historically incorrect location.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This was the guitar that made me realize that I had a preference for neck profiles. I had a 2004 SG Special at the same time. The SG '61 RI has a Slim Taper neck, probably the slimmest of any Gibson I have ever played. The 2004 SG Special has a Rounded or 50's neck profile. If I had to draw how drastically different the necks on the those two guitars felt in my hand, they would look something like this:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
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  9. colchar

    colchar Active Member

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    I thought the ‘17s had different knobs and tuners.
     
  10. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they also used white neck binding on the 2017-18 models instead of the pinkish beige color they have been using the past 20 years or so.

    2019 LP Special

    [​IMG]


    2004 and 2006 SG Classics

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I find it really bizarre that the SG Classics got white neck binding, but the SG Standards from that same era got the pinkish beige binding, same as the 2019 LP Special.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
  11. colchar

    colchar Active Member

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    I have an older Special set up for slide, and would be setting the new SG up for slide too (maybe not immediately). When using it for slide the neck profile isn’t as big an issue as when playing normally.

    Having trouble deciding whether to snag the ‘13 Standard or pay extra and get the Standard ‘61 Stopbar.
     
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  12. colchar

    colchar Active Member

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  13. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    2013 SG Standard = 2021 SG Standard '61

    Nashville vs ABR-1
    57 Classics vs Burstbucker 61R / 61T

    Other than that, same guitar.
     
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  14. An Abiding Dude

    An Abiding Dude Active Member

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    Yeah, I've seen cerebral gasket post that neck profile diagram several times, but I can say with certainty the '61 Standard does not have the slim taper neck represented in that diagram (which is practically a 1 to 4 ratio). The slim taper profile on that diagram is more like something you'd find on an Ibanez or its ilk.

    Gibson's website does call it a slim taper, but I would say a "D" neck profile would be far more accurate. If you took the "rounded" profile from cg's diagram and cut about a third of depth out, you'd have a good representation of the '61 Standard neck profile. Also, it feels like the neck flares out a bit as you approach the 12th fret (but I think that is rather common). The neck definitely has a different feel to it because it is slimmer which creates, what it feels like to me, an illusion of a wider feeling neck (even though it's not). I was also steeling myself for vibrola creating tuning instability, but once it broke in a bit the tuning is pretty damn solid, but it also reacts like a tremolo system in that if you retune on the fly (such as detuning from "E" standard to "Eb") you're going to be there a while until the tuning stabilizes across the vibrola system. But get it set up proper and keep it in a single tuning, you're good to go.

    At first I wasn't certain if I would warm to it, because pretty much all my other guitars lean toward "C" profiles (and to be honest, I bought it on a bit of a whim, but it had the vibrola tailpiece and I've always loved the look), but now it is the guitar I always seem to gravitate to. I'm still on the fence about the burstbucker pickups which seem to have a quieter, silkier quality and seem more subdued that my other humbucker guitars. Maybe I just need to raise them up a bit so they're closer to the strings?
     
  15. colchar

    colchar Active Member

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    The differences don't matter to me and the '13 is about $625 cheaper.

    Unless there is something untoward about the '13, it is the smarter option.
     
  16. An Abiding Dude

    An Abiding Dude Active Member

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    Ah, yes, well, when it comes down to it, a Gibson USA is a great guitar most of the time. There are some stories about Gibson's QC being a bit wonky in the mid-2010s and that the 2019+ models were a return to an improved QC under their management reshuffle, but as long as the guitar's in good shape and you're happy with it why not save some money?
     
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  17. colchar

    colchar Active Member

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    I considered the models with the trem system, but decided against them. I like the tailpiece on the Derek Trucks sig model, but have no use for the trem. Then again, I was always against having a Bigsby until I bought my Gretsch. Now I get it.
     
  18. colchar

    colchar Active Member

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    That's what I was thinking. If it was a couple of hundred bucks difference then who cares, but at $625 cheaper that is a significant savings.
     
  19. An Abiding Dude

    An Abiding Dude Active Member

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    Yeah, the vibrola arm is definitely not a whammy bar. It is pretty stiff, and does exactly what the name implies, gives you a bit of vibrato which for most players is in the fingers anyway. Try any kind of significant dive and the tuning goes out. I keep the arm twisted toward the back of the guitar 99% of the time, some remove it altogether, but I like the aesthetic so I keep in place.
     
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  20. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    2013 SG Standard is very close to a '61 Ri, same body shape.

    [​IMG]
     
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