Which Gibson “Original” SG should I be looking at?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by c_corie, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. c_corie

    c_corie New Member

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    Hello all. I have many guitars but I usually end up back on my 2009 SG “classic” with P90s; it’s probably my most played guitar besides my original 1997 PRS CE.

    I have a 2018 Les Paul 58’, 2014 PRS Custom 24 with 59/09 and a 2019/2020 WildWood Thin Skin 59’ Fender Strat.

    The only guitar “keeping me” from getting a new SG (besides money) is a 2010 PRS Core Starla LTD with bigsby in cherry. The problem is the guitar is worth maybe what I paid new, so I’m conflicted on trying to sell it.

    I bring it up mostly because while I don’t NEED a new SG one day I want one and I wonder if the bigsby is similar to the masestro or the all metal trem, or worse or better!

    I like the look of the trem models more but re-stringing a bigsby is a pain.

    Should I skip the trem SG models even though I think they look cooler?

    Any big difference in tone?
     
  2. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Active Member

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    I am not aware of any great tone benefits or drawbacks to either setup. I'm sure some will claim there is "only one way to go" based on internet hysteria, but I am beyond just skeptical. You can dial in great tone from most any electric if you know what you have and how to use it.

    The biggest question is will you use it or not. I have guitars with and without a vibrato system, and I use what I need at the time. I can play anything on a guitar with a vibrola, but a guitar without simply won't have that option. If you want it, get it. There are some additional set up considerations for any guitar with a vibrato system, but nothing that can't be taken care of with proper attention to the mechanisms involved.

    If you don't want to actually use it, I wouldn't recommend getting it. You will just be annoyed by it and get none of the benefits.
     
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  3. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there is any big difference in tone, no more so than two of the same model guitar played side-by-side. At one point I was thinking of getting one too (I didn't then and still have not for a couple of reasons), and decided it would be the sideways trem one. It came down to two things for me: it just looks cooler than the Maestro, and its heavier which is something I prefer (a heavier guitar). Now, word on the street seems to be that the Maestro will keep tune better with regular use but I personally don't touch a wiggle-stick too often and even when I do its just to put a slight shimmer on something, not to try and go all '80's cheese-metal divebomb.
     
  4. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Had a few different SG in the past.
    Including a 1970 SG Standard with Maestro.

    SG Classics are my favorite.

    Only you can choose the guitar that is right for you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
  5. davesultra

    davesultra New Member

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    I picked up the Maestro equipped variant about a month ago and couldn’t be more satisfied with it. Mine weighs in at 7.6lbs, so no neck dive whatsoever. I would have picked up the sideways vibrato model if they had one in stock. I really hardly ever touch the bar either. MojoAxe makes a nice kit that turns the sideways vibrato into a non-trem unit. I would have gotten that had I picked up that sideways model.
     
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  6. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

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    Brilliant idea. Now that I know it exists I may have to rethink the SG (I bought a Les Paul instead, and now am salivating about the Les Paul Deluxe they just announced)
     
  7. c_corie

    c_corie New Member

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    If I go for it I might do the stop tail. I like the look of the sideways trem but would never use it and I prefer a lighter weight guitar.

    I’ve seen (online) that some REAL 61/62 were ordered as stop tails, is that true?

    Also this is my SG Classic in action, I love P90s but I’d like “normal” Gibson humbuckers, the CB in my 58’ Les Paul reissue are a bit too thin.

     
  8. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Try a Kinman Nasty 90 Heavy at the bridge position of your SG Classic and you will discover that you will not have a need for "normal" humbuckers.

    Stock P-90 at the neck for cleans.
    Kinman Nasty 90 Heavy at the bridge for hi gain.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
  9. JACK N HILL

    JACK N HILL Member

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    IIWY, and I bought a stop-tail equipped SG Standard,Special,Junior and I wanted a tremolo on it. I would forget the Bigsby's (the Maestros are OK and look great!) completely and get a Duesenberg Les Trem II Tremolo, they ROCK !.
    These li'l Doozies are available in Chrome, Gold and Nickel finishes and go on and off the Guitar in seconds, you just must make sure that when the LT-II is engaged that the base-plate is not coming in contact with the guitars body.One or two washers under each post should do it. None of the LT-II's I have has affectted the tone either.
    LT-II's are made in Germany and are finely crafted little feats of engineering.No modifications are necessary and you can go back to the stop-tail set-up in seconds. You can find a new one on Reverb 24/7. Most of the sellers/dealers are in the European Union (one in Canada,IIRC) and it may cost a few bucks to get it delivered to the USA, but for $130 +/- you will be glad you made the purchase....and skipped the Bigsby.
    BTW, the Maestro's I have encountered have all functioned correctly, and they look great. BUT if price is a concern, a Chromed Doozy LT-II will be $75 less and easier to get on/off the guitar than the Maestro or any other tremolo I know of..
     
  10. TattooedCarrot

    TattooedCarrot Well-Known Member

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    I had a historic 2001 SG/LP standard that came with a Maestro and I converted it to a tune-o-matic. Same guitar, no other changes and there was a definite tone difference. The Maestro was a little warmer and softer. It lacked attack. The hardtail had more bite and response. It really comes down to preference and not one being better than the other. If you're already used to a bigsby maybe you wouldn't notice. I like the look of the Maestro but the sound and feel of the hardtail. I had no tuning issues with the Maestro, but I also played it like a hardtail I never actually used the trem.
     
  11. tolm

    tolm Well-Known Member

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    I had one of the Original Collection SGs with the Maestro. There were two “downsides” from my perspective - though they weren’t “dealbreakers” in that I still really liked the guitar:

    1. Neck profile was only just chunky enough for my liking ... very close to “too thin” ... but that’s for nothing to do with the trem, obviously.

    2. I LOVE Bigsby’s and have / had them on many guitars. The Maestro feel was nice but the arm was a little further towards the neck than a Bigsby would be, which I found quite off-putting at first.

    I ended up selling it - not for the reasons above but to help fund a Custom Shop ‘59 335 (which is just awesome) and then recently I was able to pick up one of the SG Juniors from the Original collection on sale - which seems to have a slightly fatter neck (result!) and gets me back in the P90 game, too.
     
  12. NiteGoat

    NiteGoat New Member

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    If you want one to be as close to Ian’s as possible, without buying a vintage 1970 Standard, you would have to get the CME SG, and put a Dimarzio Super Distortion in the bridge. Then you’d have the exact same pickups, pickguard, and neck inlays as his SG.
     

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