Thinking about SG Standard

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Siamese, Feb 9, 2021.

  1. Siamese

    Siamese New Member

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    Well, here I am thinking about buying an SG Standard. New. I've had SG's before and like them, but before I pull the trigger on this, I wanted to check in with you folks regarding Gibson's current quality 2020/2021.

    Buying a PRS is easy, as they seem to be consistent quality from year to year. My P90 McCarty is awesome. Gibson quality, as you know, is less consistent.

    What do you think of the current crop of Gibson's, and the current SG Standard in particular?
    Good time to buy?
     
  2. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    ETSG wisdom says:

    PLAY IT BEFORE YOU BUY IT...

    Buying an expensive guitar online, unplayed, based on the recommendations of strangers
    like me who know nothing about your music, is sort of like gambling.

    I don't like gambling. I like a sure thing. And I 've bought guitars online before, but only
    from reputable dealers. And I would buy a guitar online only if I already knew that I wanted
    that instrument.
    I personally don't think general statements about year class or QC have
    much meaning... so I try not to make them.
    If you MUST buy online, I recommend Sweetwater, because they claim that they
    check guitars over thoroughly before shipping, and they'll set it up for you as well.
    I've dealt with them and had good results in the past.

    Anyway, good luck in your quest. Reasons to shy away from buying online:
    1. if you're picky about neck shapes... play it first, that's how you know if you can handle it.
    Don't believe what anyone says. One man's ceiling is another man's floor.
    2. If you expect a new and expensive guitar to be perfect... go in person to pick out your guitar
    and take your magnifying glass with you. Check everything before you pull out your MasterCard.

    That said, I own three Gibsons and love each one. I have gotten each of them set up by an expert
    luthier soon after buying, and have had very few problems since. That's my recommendation to you
    as well. Get the one you want, and plan to have the best luthier you can find or afford go over that
    guitar and set it up for your preferred string gauge and music style.

    And don't forget to report back, complete with pictures, once you find
    a guitar you like.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2021
  3. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    Truer words were never spoken Col Mustard. Best general advice ever.
     
  4. Siamese

    Siamese New Member

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    Well, maybe I know a little more than I let on. I was in marketing at Gibson, but that was, um...forty years ago. But, it was a pretty good education. I have no problem setting up my guitars.

    Didn't ask about buying online, and I'm aware of the pitfalls.

    Gibson suffered from goofiness when I was there, and under the "new" ownership, that tradition seems to have continued with odd and inappropriate model releases, and inconsistent quality. But, I suppose that's not a situation peculiar to Gibson.

    Since leaving Gibson, I've played mostly Strats, but because I'm enjoying my PRS McCarty so much, I'm thinking of an SG for my backup/alternate.

    I've always enjoyed SG's. My first was a 1961 Les Paul Jr., single P90, and later on, a Firebrand, and most recently a 2007? SG Special. The '61 stands out as the one guitar I should have never parted with.

    There's a new SG Standard in stock not too far from me, and I may stop by and evaluate it.

    Thought I'd inquire here and see what the consensus is on quality from those who are likely following all things Gibson more closely than I've been.
     
  5. Huntroll

    Huntroll Active Member

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    How do you feel about nibs ?

    If you get a current SG with binding it will have nibs.

    You can get an SG special without binding but it may have a maple neck.

    I have a couple SG specials with maple necks and really like them.

    The maple necks feel super strong and able to withstand more punishment.

    If you grab the headstock and twist it gently back and forth while the strings are vibrating,

    you can hear the difference between mahogany and maple stiffness.

    I also have a couple all mahogany SG standards with nibs, I do like them but hate the nibs.

    My all-mahogany SG's really feel the most resonant when playing them.

    But needless to say, the necks are extremely fragile.

    I'd say get (at least) one of each !

    Whatever you do, get a hard shell case to protect them !
     
  6. Westernrider

    Westernrider Well-Known Member

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    Try as many as possible and pick the one that both speaks to you and with you.

    Yes, you'll know which one is right for you.
     
  7. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Out of all the SG ever produced, the SG Classic is my favorite. I prefer a bound neck with dots, batwing, P-90s. The binding color is perfect IMO.

    [​IMG]

    No cream or pink binding like what was being used on the SG Standards at the time.
     
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  8. Rusty Chops

    Rusty Chops Well-Known Member

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    I think Gibson has tried to make recent course corrections on QC.
    I rarely encounter the crap anymore.
    The production stuff now rivals the CS
     
  9. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Member

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    2019 SG Standard here. I think I'm pretty picky, especially as this was the most expensive guitar I'd bought at the time (since spent more on a Gibson LP Junior, but the SG lists is higher). Fit, finish and set up was perfect (I played about 5 SGs in the shop when I chose this one), I've only slightly tweaked the set up once when I got it home and put my favourite EB10 strings on it.

    Mine had the PCB for the vol/tone controls and I didn't like the loose feel they had, so I changed the PCB for traditional wiring. The '61 model has traditional wiring already and perhaps the newest Standards do as well, but worth checking.

    My opinion doesn't count for much thought I guess, so you can't beat trying them in person and giving a thorough check over before leaving the shop if you decide to buy. Good luck. :)
     
  10. PauloQS

    PauloQS Member

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    I’ll just share my experience with the current stuff.

    I had a 2018 SG Standard ‘61 that I absolutely hated. It was my first SG and I just though SGs weren’t for me. I just felt that the guitar fought back a lot. Other than a very minor twist in the neck, and when I say very minor, I really mean very minor, there was nothing technically wrong with the guitar. Some techs wouldn’t spot the twist in their initial inspection, that’s how minor it was. The only thing that kept me from concluding SGs weren’t for me was a 2017 SG faded I played a back in 2017 that played extremely well.

    I went to my local store to buy strings and saw an original collection SG Standard ‘61 and I decided to try it out. I was absolutely floored. Went home, got my 2018 SG and traded it in for the original collection SG.

    I’m now considering upgrading my original collection SG to a custom shop SG, but I’m having a hard time justifying it. I currently own a few Gibson custom guitars, including an R9 and an R0, so I know what the custom shop brings to the table. It’s just that I can’t seem to make my SG sound bad and it’s just an absolute joy to play.

    I own way too many guitars and have owned several Gibson guitars from 2017 to current production, including Slash, Standard ‘50 (x2) and ‘60, Tribute, Special DC, limited runs, R9 and SG. I think 2017 were awesome, but you could find tiny cosmetic blemishes here and there. 2018 had a few playing issues, like fret sprouting, especially among the lower price point, like tribute and faded models. I think the lower price point 2017 faded and tributes played on average a bit better than the current entry level Gibson stuff, excluding the specials SGs and LP DCs, for those are awesome. Anything above tribute on the other hand has been absolutely fantastic.

    I’m going to be very blunt, so forgive me if this strikes a nerve. If you’re going to use a macro camera lens and/or a magnifying glass to see if they left tiny tool marks that go away after you clean your fretboard with scotch brite or steel wool the first few times, than perhaps a Gibson isn’t for you. If you’re concerned with playability and blemishes that you can see with a naked eye on a guitar that is not inches away from your face, than the current Gibson guitars are golden.
     
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  11. Spuds

    Spuds New Member

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    I wouldn't buy a new one tbh. I did buy a new one that was discounted and just before they whacked their prices up another increment. It did have a small QC issue, and the grain of the wood could be better. I love the guitar but I will never buy a new Gibson again because they're terrible value, especially with all the talk of QC issues. And if I was buying a secondhand one I'd have to have seen it and played it first.
     
  12. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Anyone who claims "this year is better than that year" is full of it, period. Nobody has enough experience with a wide enough sample size of guitars from every year to even come close to making an informed judgement and generalize massively like that. 90% of the time you hear that, it's somebody that tried one guitar from one year and preferred it to another guitar from another year. In many cases, they didn't even own them, just played some floor model at GC that was never set up properly. It's annoying to hear this narrative about QC being repeated so uncritically and just stated as an accepted matter of fact.

    If you're looking to buy, just go out there and get your hands on as many guitars as possible. Simple as that. Keep an eye out for issues yourself, because every guitar is different and there is no way to predict the existence of flaws.

    Also, there seems to be a conflation between QC and playability, which doesn't make sense. My SG has quite a few paint flaws but it's the best playing guitar I have.
     
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  13. Rob H.

    Rob H. Member

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    Very true. Here’s my ‘01 Classic next to my ‘12 Standard.

    The Classic has yellowed some and still looks white next to the Standard.

    6D15D6E3-E9C7-463A-8C3B-C4208232F8ED.jpeg

    I whole-heartedly recommend an SG Standard to the OP. My 2012 is the only electric I still own that I bought new. It was a “good one” and they are perfect in stock form.
     
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  14. notsofast

    notsofast New Member

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    I bought my first ever Gibson guitar SG Standard 2020 at around the 1st quarter of 2020. Was quite thrilled at the workmanship unlike that of the horrible stories I read from others prior to the re-birth of Gibson and the leadership. It was a sigh of relief to say the least. After playing the SG for a while I decided to ditch the stock P90s and replaced them with Seymour Duncan pups. I wasn't too thrilled in the way the bridge pick up sat so close to the strings at such a steep attack angle and then something about the way it sounded. The metal covers too began to not appeal to me. After having looked into the 490T bridge pickup itself it became evident they are reversed wound from that of the neck 490R which is in part the reason why the neck pup sounded warmer and appeared hotter than the bridge 490T. Prior to my purchase I went back and forth on whether to buy the standard or tribute. The price difference is as you know $500 bucks and aside from the aesthetics the tribute might have been the better choice though I would in all probability find myself replacing the stock pups.
     
  15. JackStraw

    JackStraw Member

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    NGD!!
    I bought a 61 Standard at a very good price. I received the guitar this past Saturday & I can't put it down! If you're buying from a company Sweetwater, Zzzsounds, etc they have very friendly return policies but I can recommend the 61.
    The guitar's birthday is 12-7-20 so it's fairly new & everything about it is mint!
     

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  16. Neezduts89

    Neezduts89 Member

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    I have a 2020 Gibson standard that I picked up late last year and I absolutely love it. It quickly became my favorite guitar out of all the ones I’ve owned. It sounds better, plays better, and looks better than all the others. I had no QC issues with mine whatsoever. The guitar is in perfect shape, and everything on it functions exactly as it should. I’m definitely glad I decided to pick one up and give it a chance. I connected with it instantly and enjoy playing it way more than any other guitar I’ve played
     
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  17. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Looks great! Get some lemon oil on that fretboard though, she looks dry!
     
  18. JackStraw

    JackStraw Member

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    I will when I finally put it down. Thank's
     
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  19. semka

    semka Member

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    There is some anecdotal evidence that the quality slipped in the second half of the last year due to the pandemic, shortage of labor force, lower employee morale, higher demand, etc. Having said that, I bought a perfect new LP Standard last year but it was produced in the end of 2019, so I would try to get it from a b&m store where you can try it first, as others said.
     
  20. Neezduts89

    Neezduts89 Member

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    Where are you getting this evidence from? My standard was produced in the second half of last year, and also purchased then. There is not a single flaw on the guitar and all of the others I’ve seen from that period have been very nice as well. I’ve looked at a few different standards and 61s at guitar center before I bought mine, and they were all mint QC wise
     
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