Thoughts on SG quality variations 2000 to current

Marshall SG

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I'm wondering what you guys, the experts, think about the differences in quality of craftsmanship, hardware etc., of the SG's from the early 2000's to the more recent say 2012 up to now. I'm talking all, whether they be standards, faded, juniors, whatever. And how do you think the value holds up with the earlier 2000's models vs. the more modern ones.
 

flognoth

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I'm no expert.

In my opinion there's been both good ones and bad ones from each year Gibson has made any guitar.

QC issues (whether they exist or not) are hotly debated. Some people think everything Gibson has done is magic, some think certain changes made in specific years are awful and junk.

Essentially, it's all personal opinion.

Aside from purchasing brand new, typically the older the guitar, the higher the value. However, I haven't seen a 1993 Standard go for that much more than a 2009 Standard. Early 80's and older tend to be higher priced lately.
 

cerebral gasket

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Far from being an expert, I have owned older and newer SG. My preference is to buy used, bling-free SG. Not only is buying used more economical, but it lowers your expectations for perfection. My favorite are the 2002-2004 SG Special Faded with ebony boards.

In any industry, when goods are mass-produced, there will always be a few that get past QC on Friday afternoon no matter what year it is.
 

Relic61

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Just gotta say things like frets are more consistent & problem free since going PLEK machine &,.. finally going to the availability of full length frets over binding & freeing up our playable fret-plain from the curse of the plastic Nibs that slowly took over in the early 90's & became standard practice as fret height raised & binding got wider.

Todays Gibson HP line is highly consistent in playability from instrument to instrument & model to model & most notably important, that playability is simply nothing short of top notch!

Some might say the older soldered electronics are better than todays circuit board fare but that is subjective & debatable for sure. Pickups are just as personally subjective & debatable as well.

Todays neck profiles have mostly standardized into the common slim taper shape but we can still find rounded neck profiles on '17 guitars like the Gibson LP Traditional T & HP.

Also nice yet still debatable is the Zero fret & adjustable Titanium nut found on the HP line. This along with the G Force auto-tuner (also debatable lol) were of course unheard of on a Gibson from the 2000's! lol

So there we have my little bit of it, the Good the Bad & the Ugly. Being so much is subjective, it really is up to interested musicians to educate themselves, experiment & experience as much as they can so there are no surprises or disappointment should opportunity for purchase present itself.

My own personal feelings are that I would feel very comfortable & happiest buying a stock Gibson HP model from 2016 on up. By 2016 most changes on the HP models were worked out & we see consistently highly playable guitars.

Despite all that praise & confidence I can't make this claim without noting that I do not like or prefer the auto-tuning G Force due to past experience with them not being fast enough or reliable enough for a Live playing / performance situation. But that is certainly due to my own past bad experiences using the one that came on my 2014 HP SG Standard.
I have since lost my confidence in this product & honestly without sounding to dick-ish, I just don't need an auto-tuner at this point in life as my ear & hand are simply faster & more reliable, for now! lol
And besides that, if I was to play in a different tuning I would prefer to bring an instrument dedicated to the constant stress levels of the strings at that tuning! And NOT subject my guitar to such changes in stress while expecting & needing it to stay in tune as I try to play through a song in front of an audience immediately after a performing a major tuning change.

LooneyTunes_Thats_All_Folks_animated.gif
 

SG standard

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the differences in quality of craftsmanship, hardware etc., of the SG's from the early 2000's to the more recent say 2012 up to now. I'm talking all, whether they be standards, faded, juniors, whatever. And how do you think the value holds up with the earlier 2000's models vs. the more modern ones.
I think that's too big a target to get really meaningful answers. Bear in mind people here can argue for days about the tonal changes between an ABR or Nashville bridge, a one piece body v. a three piece, a gloss nitrocellulose finish against a satin finish, etc. All these sorts of changes appear between the different models to begin with, then they also appear between different years as Gibson endlessly try to create something slightly 'different' to last year's model by making changes to specs.

Overall, I'd say there's no significant difference over these years - no period when Gibson lost the plot and produced junk, or went all out and produced something spectacularly better than anything before or since. Every year there will have been some dogs and some diamonds.

As for values - I doubt there's any likelihood of the majority of post 70s SGs acquiring especially high values; by that I mean there may be specific models from any year that gain higher-than-normal values, but even so, none that are going to be worth considering as 'investments'. And if you're going to own and play an instrument for a decade, does it matter if you gain or loose $100 when you sell it? Sure, it's nice if you gain, but it's hardly an important consideration when buying.

cerebral gasket is right about buying used as a way to avoid disappointment (my experience of Gibsons QC is that it's not great), and also for economy, but there is something else to consider: Between September and about February you tend to see a lot of Gibsons on clearance (just this morning I looked again at a new Explorer from 2016 for £699, and a new SG Future Tribute for £499). In the last couple of years I've bought a few new Gibsons at roughly 40% off retail, and several times I've ended up selling them at a profit, as 40% is more than the average depreciation for a new Gibson. Worth keeping a lookout!
 

chilipeppermaniac

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I read the few replies here, and since I make relatively little income to buy extra special of anything,I am like Gasket etc who buy used guitars etc.

Also, my actual Gibsons, now range from 1980's 3 Knob SG Special, 2003 ES 135, 2005 Faded SG , 2008 Classic SG


Then there is my Gibbo clone, EPI Les Paul. This guitar had quality issues that could have hindered playability but I fixed it myself.
Also, the ES 135 is not perfect, but the issue does not affect playability.

Oh and none of my Gibsons/Epi have nibs except the Classic. Nice guitar still.

No experience with Robo Tuners. Also, any other issues I've had are usually pots and unwanted hum related. Rectified that on my Faded SG with pots replacement and copper foil in cavities.
 
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Marshall SG

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Great guys, thanks for all the input. This is very hepful to me. I have an 04 special faded that I bought used in 05 when I knew nothing about guitars other than the manufacturer names and I love it still, it just feels like home when I play it. I just want to give other years/models a try and needed some good feedback as a guide and you guys really stepped up, kudos
 

chilipeppermaniac

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Marshall SG, what color is your Faded? Mine is the Walnut color. Faded's are very nice guitars and well thought of here.

Some others that are liked are the Specials with Ebony fretboards and Moon dot markers.
 

Marshall SG

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mine's a cherry faded. I've just recently seen the ones with the moon inlays, didn't know that existed, very cool.
 

chilipeppermaniac

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I kind of guessed yours was Cherry red. Glad to hear you like yours as much as you do.

Here is my '87 first SG ever for me IMG_5374.JPG
 

chilipeppermaniac

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Do yourself a favor when buying another SG and test it out as some have slim necks, others thick, and of course baked maple vs rosewood vs ebony. Some if not all of the moon inlay guitars are ebony if I am not mistaken.

Also, give P90 Classics a thought, very good guitars.
 
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chilipeppermaniac

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Capture.GIF

Back to quality like you asked about, the best advice is what I said in my other post to personally check out the various ones you might consider. That is precisely what I did when buying my ES 135 considering I found an Ibanez ES 175 copy which looked great, but when I tried it in person, found it had a terribly skinny neck side to side ( nut width)
 

Marshall SG

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Well, I lost the '03 due to being at work, I was to pick it up tomorrow. They made a deal with a friend instead. Thanks chilipeppermanaic, you actually started to answer a question that I'm about to start another thread on, what general things to look for when assessing whether to buy a certain guitar, and even maybe specific things that relate to SG's
 

Col Mustard

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Some personal thoughts on this subject:

• You have to play it. Asking for general statements about one year class or another will only get
you a lot of opinions, or guys boasting about the one they own. I'm often guilty of that. But the only
way to really know is to play a bunch of them through the signal chain you intend to use. Buy the one
that comes alive in your hands, whatever year it is, what ever color it is, etc...

• Used guitars are the way to go. When you buy a new instrument, it's instantly worth 2/3 of what you paid for it, or less. If you love the new guitar thing, then that's worth it, and it's what you're paying for. But if you
want value, buying used can be excellent. You might be buying someone else's problems, but guitar
problems are usually fixable, and when you buy a used one, you hopefully save enough to afford to figure
out what it needs and put that right. But you might also be buying someone else's mods, and those might
be the bee's knees. They also might not, but once again, you pay less up front, and maybe can afford to
make your dream guitar. You might be buying one that's already set up and broken in. That's valuable
IMHO.

•If you already own an 04 SG faded special, you probably have one of the best there is. I am a fan
of the SG faded special, and mine (2007) is the best guitar of any kind that I have ever played. It's plain
and lovely, a two piece body, mine rings like a bell acoustically and when I plug it in, it chimes and jangles,
it growls and roars, it shrieks and casts spells. I named mine Luna, she was my first SG and still my favorite guitar. I've modded Luna with the best of everything I could buy or make, like buying jewels
and clothes for an exceptional lady. She rewards me with excellent tone and playability, and calls
to me from her cozy case that I bought her: "play me..."
Luna & Orange 2017@100.jpg
I believe that the SG faded special inspires this kind of feelings in many
of us, (though not all). Congratulations on being in this club, and Welcome to ETSG.

Of course there are other kinds. The SG faded have no binding, no nibs, no problem.
Sometimes the fret ends might protrude, (this changes with humidity etc)
so you take her in once and a while for a good setup
and pay an expert to do the frets right. Then you bring her home and play the hell
out of her, which in the case of an SG, is NOT POSSIBLE. plenty of hell left tomorrow.

Polish your SG faded with Howard's Feed n Wax.
Body Upper Bout@100.jpg

And here's another ETSG unwritten rule:

PICTURES, OR IT
NEVER HAPPENED
 

Col Mustard

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Things to look for when buying a used SG:

•Neck breaks... many Gibson SGs (and almost ALL other Gibsons) are made with mahogany necks
and a 17 degree back angle at the headstock. This gives us the awesome tone we expect from our
Gibsons, but creates a weak spot right at the headstock, due to the grain of the mahogany. I don't
consider this a design flaw. (other members here do) I consider this the price we pay for the tone
we get from our Gibsons, and I consider it to be worth it. What that translates to is this:

--It's the owner's job to protect his Gibson from falls, and hard blows in this area. Don't lean it against
greasy tavern walls, don't prop it against your amp, don't use a guitar stand that will let your SG fall
on her face.

--Luthiers will tell you that repairing broken Gibson headstocks is how they send their kids to college.
Broken headstocks are common (often due to owner carelessness) and repairing them is routine work.
A well repaired Gibson headstock gives no trouble, and does not harm the tone. But it decreases the value.
The audience will never know it was broken, so if you see one with a repaired break, you can buy one hell
of a guitar for a lot less than for an unbroken one. The same if you sell it. You get less. The value is in
the music you can make with one. So learn to spot this.

•Mods: Many posts we see here say something like this: "Hi ETSG, I just unpacked my new Gibson SG
'61 ReIssue and before I play it much I'm planning to replace the tuners, the pickups, the nut, the wiring,
the bridge, the pick guard, and I'm going to install a Bigsby and move the strap buttons. Help me choose
what mods to do in order to improve my brand new top of the line Gibson SG..."
There's a good lesson on how to turn a $1500 Gibson into a $500 Gibson, before you even play it much.

I understand mod fever, having modded my (less expensive and more ordinary) SG Special and turned my $600 Gibson into a $500 Gibson I spent $1500 on. *shrugs ...Mine's not for sale. So my daughter can worry about the resale value after I'm gone and they pry my cold dead hands off my Luna. In the meantime I'm playing my dream guitar.

But if you, the buyer see a Gibson that's been altered by installing whatever her former owner thought
was cool and special, you can offer less for it. You might have to correct the butchery. Or you might get
a gem. (like mine of course) ...you have to play it. That's how you know.

•Fakes... Many sweat shops in Eastern Europe and the far East are busy busy busy, churning out fake
Gibsons as fast as their unfortunate employees can build them. There are more '59 Les Pauls for sale right
now then were ever made. The same for '67 Gibson SGs or '61 ES-335 Dot guitars, '55 Fender Strats,
'52 Telecasters etc... But I believe they are making fakes of more modern Gibsons as well, and so you
need to know how to verify before you buy, and how to spot a fake right away. (this is getting harder to
do all the time, the fakes are getting better and better). You have to look at recent articles on this.
 

Marshall SG

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Wow Col Mustard, you couldn't be any more on point. Absolutely enjoyed reading that post, a lot of very useful info. Thanks for taking the time much appreciated. You've given me plenty to digest and made my day at work that much more interesting:dude::cheers: And btw, I love Michigan, used to golf there all the time until I had a family....families are good too:naughty:
 

Paul G.

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It's purely a guitar-to-guitar thing. You probably won't find any dogs at all, but some are certainly better than others.

That being said, I've never encountered a Gibson from any era that can't be made to play beautifully, and after all, that's all that matters to me.

P.
 

grausch

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cerebral gasket is right about buying used as a way to avoid disappointment (my experience of Gibsons QC is that it's not great), and also for economy, but there is something else to consider: Between September and about February you tend to see a lot of Gibsons on clearance (just this morning I looked again at a new Explorer from 2016 for £699, and a new SG Future Tribute for £499). In the last couple of years I've bought a few new Gibsons at roughly 40% off retail, and several times I've ended up selling them at a profit, as 40% is more than the average depreciation for a new Gibson. Worth keeping a lookout!

My wallet always hates the annual Gibson clearance sales...That being said, as SG Standard noted, I also acquired some nice guitars at very good prices - doubt I would lose money when I sell them.
 

lcw

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Had a ‘98 Standard. Now have an ‘11 Standard. Both batwing. Both 490R/498T. Hardly any difference. Both excellent.
 

Relic61

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if you, the buyer see a Gibson that's been altered by installing whatever her former owner thought
was cool and special, you can offer less for it. You might have to correct the butchery. Or you might get
a gem.

A couple of my favorite Gibby's are ones that were modified by a previous owner in ways I just happen to like! Not only were the mods I wanted already done but the sale price was also reduced because of those mods! It's like a Win - Win!! lol
Plus, a modified Gibson with a reduced sale price is essentially a carte blanche ticket for your individual creativity to turn this gift from the guitar gods into your own personalized weapon of non-mass construction. In other words, your own personalized 1 of 1 Gibson, made just the way you like it. Permission to Personalize & go crazy granted with no guilt required baby.

Of course I would still keep extreme modification (especially the irreversible sort) away from vintage, high value or otherwise collectable Gibsons but that said, the gift of a used Gibson that has been modified & no longer commanding the 'original condition' moniker demanding top dollar resale is truly a gift in more ways than one that should never be automatically overlooked or consequently dismissed but instead, seen for the potential blessing it really can be.

------------------------------------------------------

Here is one of my first Gibson non-original gifts I scored at a greatly reduced price due to it's modified condition.

sexy couch crop 2 resized smllr (157x390).jpg

While this 69 Standard did come with it's original Vibrola, bridge & pots, it also came with an extra pickup (essentially turning it into a faux SG Custom) an extra toggle switch & accompanying hole through the body, as well as frets worn down in spots right to the frik'n rosewood fretboard!

The low purchase price paid for a fret job, 2 vintage Patent Sticker pups & allowed me to splurge on some pricey embossed chrome pup cover 'Bling Bling' & end up with a pretty cool very playable modified 69 SG.

Rock 'n Roll.
 
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