Ultimate SG?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Grizzlyman, Jun 22, 2021.

  1. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    Hey all,
    I’m after your opinions…
    I currently own 7 SG shaped guitars from Gibson, Epiphone and Vintage.
    My current favourite is a 2012 Gibson SG Junior 60’s which I have upgraded with a Schaller 456 bridge and a Bare Knuckle Pig 90 pickup, and cool radio shack hex knobs.
    It has a roasted maple rather than rosewood fingerboard, I didn’t know what id think of it, but I absolutely love it.
    I’ve recently come into possession of another Schaller 456 bridge, and it got me thinking that I should really think about using it for my ‘ultimate’ SG.
    So, my question…
    Which SG should I go for?
    Being a lefty in the U.K. my options are limited to:
    - Gibson SG Junior Original Series - the new range, and swap out the pickup probably as I wasn’t impressed with the P90 in the 60’s Junior
    - Jaydee Custom SG Junior - get Jaydee to custom build me a junior around the Schaller bridge and Pig 90 pickup
    - Gordon Smith GSG Junior (I can choose all kinds of custom options, including a roasted maple fingerboard!)

    so, do I go Gibson and tweak to my liking, or do I do ‘full custom shop’ with the Jaydee or ‘semi-custom’ with the Gordon Smith?

    prices?
    The Gibson would be around £1200, the Jaydee probably £1500 and the Gordon Smith probably £1300.

    Pros/Cons?
    Gibson will have a rosewood board, but man I love that roasted maple
    Jaydee will have a 16 month waiting time and not sure if roasted maple is an option (but it probably could be done), but quality is probably the best out of all options
    Gordon Smith have a scratch plate that looks a bit off, quality is more ‘workman like’ than ‘boutique/custom shop’

    5D088D70-5774-4655-B672-FBFC122A3580.jpeg BB2BB9CF-3C42-4F93-B72B-4733021DD9B2.jpeg 6251FFD5-591C-4756-AF25-84DD8BF9CB1E.jpeg
    39F0E553-CE8B-414E-A8B6-5B6B6B7E8BA9.jpeg Pic top to bottom
    Gordon Smith SG
    Gibson SG Junior
    My Gibson SG Junior
    Jaydee Iommi Standard

    Final thing is, I’ll be looking for trans cherry finish ans black hardware as the Schaller 456 is black.

    Opinions please!

    Cheers,
    Grizz
     
  2. alex1fly

    alex1fly Member

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    Do this regardless of what people post: It would be good to clarify what your 7 SGs are not doing for you, that you expect another one to do.

    Maybe a dumb question, but can RH SGs be played lefty? They seem pretty symmetrical. If so, this would make trying them out in stores easier. Yeah you couldn't jam out your favorite riffs, but you can do some single string stuff and at least get a vibe for the sound, feel, craftsmanship, etc.


    My generic experience/opinion: If you want an "ultimate" bond with an instrument, go to a bunch of shops and play a bunch of guitars. Window shopping through online ads is not going to get you that bond. A bunch of specifications that you think are cool does not translate to loving an instrument beyond the honeymoon period. 25% chance you love it, 25% you hate it, 50% chance that it's a pretty sweet guitar but doesn't match up with what you were hoping. I get the problem with lefty guitars being hard to find in stores... hence my thought in the middle paragraph.
     
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  3. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Active Member

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    Totally agree with the above. I have auditioned every guitar I ever purchased, and so far almost all of them have required at least a few hours on the bench to get the most out of them in the first week. I am of the mind that there is no such thing as "the ultimate guitar". There are features and bugs in every design, but every guitar I have bought added something to my arsenal of colors, sounds, and tricks that I wanted and continue to value. I usually have one guitar that stands out for a given song, but which one that is certainly changes dramatically over the range of music I want to play. Most of my instruments will do a serviceable job on 90% or more of what I play, but I can't even begin to think of what an "ultimate" guitar would consist of. Just for a start, with or without a vibrato is a question I could never answer once and for all.
     
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  4. skelt101

    skelt101 Active Member

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    @Grizzlyman
    It seems to me the answer is already in your original post. The differences in prices are almost negligible. The Jaydee would have the highest build quality. The only questions are: Can Jaydee accommodate the roasted maple request? Are you willing to wait the 16 month lead time? If this is to be your ultimate SG, and one you would (presumably) keep for life, why wouldn't you? No contest for me. I'm hoping to get "the call" any day now on my Old Boy... :cheers:
     
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  5. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    I'm unable to vote here because the very concept of a guitar with only one pickup is something I just can not abide, ironic, since I only use the bridge pick up. Also, my personal dreams are already fulfilled. But I feel one has to applaud a man who, when holding a bridge in his hand, feels that the answer to "And what the heck do I do with this?" is "I must build a guitar around it, of course".

    Having said that, and totally feeling for the sh!t luck of not having many lefty options around; aren't there a bunch of chaps hanging around here, or in the luthier part of the forum, that have cnc machines and can get you whatever you want for that kind of money?
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2021
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  6. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    Hi all, thanks for the replies. I think I may have come across as a bit of an idiot in my OP, as I seem to have generated a few less than positive responses…
    Please allow me to clarify.
    Firstly, the ‘I’ve got 7 SGs’ thing comes across as totally arrogant, and isn’t what I intended. It was merely to illustrate my love of these guitars.
    Secondly, I’m not frustrated with any of the guitars I have, in the way that I have a bond with all of them, or no bond at all depending on your philosophy. They all do their job in different ways, and all of them get used, and I don’t want to get rid of any of them as they all have a place in my heart and my musical history.
    Thirdly, the ‘ultimate’ in my OP really referred to the best possible version of this instrument that I could imagine. Not in terms of bond or anything, unless a guitar is set up like an egg slicer then I’ll be able to make it work. Hence me not having a problem with the ‘junior’ version of the SG, 1 pup, no binding, etc.
    Leading to fourthly, my favourite axe is my SG Junior 60s with the roasted maple board, something I’d have never imagined I’d have liked on an SG.
    Leading to the question:
    Do I wait until another lefty SG Junior 60s from 2012 with a roasted maple board to come up?
    Do I plump for a new model SG Junior from the Original series but will have a rosewood board.
    Do I get a custom made Jaydee and spec up the board I want.
    Or do I get a Gordon Smith which I can spec with a roasted maple board but my have some cosmetic touches that take time to get used to?
    Please bear in mind that trying loads of guitars in shops until I find ‘the one’ is not an option.
    I’ve been playing for 30 years and covered all corners of my wet little island, and probably been able to play 3 high end (as in standard Gibson) lefty guitars in shops over that time. Most leftys in stores are budget to mid range, Schecter and Epiphone being about the top of the pile.
    Also, I should have specified, I did buy the Schaller 456 on purpose as I love those bridges and they are super rare. I have a chrome one on my black SG so I was thinking a Cherry SG with black hardware and this black Schaller bridge would look sweeeeeet.
    So, would love to hear any opinions on my specific options.
    This was meant to be a bit of fun and maybe give me some other things to consider when making my choice…
    Cheers all!
    Grizz
     
  7. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    The answer is in the Skelt101' s avatar . :cheers:
     
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  8. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    this totally cracked me up!
     
  9. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    yeah, you know I think you’re probably right. I just have never seen a Jaydee in the flesh and would love to get a feel for this mythical super quality I keep hearing about! Not that i don’t believe it!!
     
  10. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    not a dumb question at all! One of my SGs is actually a right handed Gibson special faded which I had converted to lefty. I got the knobs swapped over to the other side, changed the nut etc. The biggest problem with this is the bridge, whilst it can be made to intonate ok, you don’t have anywhere near the range of adjustability due to the angle of the tune o matic. Also I find the lack of side dots on the neck a bit of a pain, I should probably just get some put on!
     
  11. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    And man… do I hope you get that call soon! Do you follow the Jaydee Facebook page? They put a lot of customer build updates on there!
     
  12. No Talent

    No Talent New Member

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    Sounds like you already have a very good idea of what you want. If you want a baked maple fretboard then option 1 or 3 are great options. Personally I would go for the Jaydee if he will do a baked maple fretboard.

    If you like rosewood fretboards, or they are not a make or break kind of deal then I highly recommend one of the new Gibson Original series SG Juniors. They have been knocking it out of the park with this series with few exceptions like the other recent thread on this site which seems to be a very rare experience.

    My local guitar store has sold about 5 - 7 of the 2020 - 2021 Gibson SG Juniors in the last 6 - 8 months. I was talking with one of the guys at the store 3 days ago. He was going to buy the SG Junior I bought from them in December, and he ended up buying another one they got in. He said all have been consistently nice with no issues.
     
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  13. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    Really appreciate this reply, was the kind of thing I was hoping to see!
    It’s good to know what the quality of the new original series Gibsons is like… my 2 Gibsons are great guitars, but you hear a lot of stuff about Gibson QC on the internet!
    I’m curious of how much of a real difference there is between a good Gibson and a Jaydee…
     
  14. alex1fly

    alex1fly Member

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    Hey, sorry if my post came across negatively. Certainly wasn't my intention as well!

    I think the issue is that "best" is so wildly subjective, so you're going to get wildly different takes on that question. For me, best means "how do I get the best bond with an instrument". You've clarified that isn't the case, in which case you get to have fun nerding out on parts and pieces and see where that lands.

    Another issue is that forums are full of folks with different goals - playing, collecting, building, trading, researching. Sometimes those goals butt heads with each other, hence the "just play the darn thing" attitude. I think most forum-goers have to fight the urge to go down the rabbit hole with gear too much, otherwise we'd be destitute and would also forget how to make music. For example I've sacrificed my practice regimen many times for the sake of researching hardware I'll never install or other ways to find tones that I can already achieve...

    Anyways, enjoy the journey! If you don't mind bolt-on, consider Warmoth as well. The tonal difference in a good bolt-on vs a set/glue neck is debatable. Heresy here, perhaps, but considering bolt-on construction expands your options tremendously.
     
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  15. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    Ah man, I totally get it. I was probably being a bit sensitive to be honest!:D
    I guess I could have phrased my question a bit more succinctly; what is the best quality, fit and finish out of the Gibson SG Junior Original series, the Jaydee SG, the Gibson SG Junior 60s and the Gordon Smith.
    As you say, I get to just concentrate on those aspects for my ‘ultimate’ SG as bonding with an instrument isn’t a factor for me.
    Man, I’d love to see for myself the quality of a Jaydee…
     
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  16. Demon Dave

    Demon Dave Active Member

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    Jaydee
     
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  17. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    Boom!
     
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  18. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    Here’s me with the 7 SGs…
    E8EF4073-D709-4C25-95E9-B4C564478D45.jpeg
     
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  19. skelt101

    skelt101 Active Member

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    Thanks Grizz! I'm not on The Facebook, but I do follow them (and TDog Customs, who does all the finish work) on Instagram. Truly drool-worthy stuff! BTW, SG Lou has compared the older Gibson Custom Shop Iommi SG with the Jaydee Old Boy and said (paraphrasing) it isn't even close (in favor of the Jaydee). I would imagine the QC at a smaller builder like Jaydee gets a lot more attention than anything Gibson can do.
     
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  20. Jumpin Joe

    Jumpin Joe Member

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    IDK if you are a RICH GUY or what, BUT...ya cant go wrong with a GIBSON SG Standard and tweaking it to your desires. However,if you must have a Maple FB.... putting a Maple Fret-Board on it may be problematic/untenable.

    BUT.....IF your a Rich Guy, get an SG CUSTOM....those with the Ebony Fret-Boards, Custom-Buckers, Headstock M-O-P DC Diamond In-Lays and Binding...PLUS, GIBSON SG CUSTOMS are generally considered to be THE $#!T !

    BUT also, how do you like EBONY Fret-Boards ? Some players don't like them.... I've only had two in my entire playing life-time and I LOVED them both, above all others (by a wide margin), especially Maple.
    So as far as an ULTIMATE SG goes?.......I'd say go w/GIBSON.
     
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