Which SG should I buy? (suggestions please!)

DCguitars

New Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Knowing what you like/want is just as important as trying before buying. Everyone will tell you, if you have a chance to play a whole bunch of SG’s, do it. Bit that’s not always realistic. Not everyone lives in a downtown code with a guitar center on the corner.

I have bought many guitars without ever playing them. All three of my SG’s fall in this category. My 61 are/issue was a gift 20 years ago, and it had to be ordered in from a small ma & pa shop. My 2007 Custom was bought online. It was a limited run of 400 and I was lucky to even find one. Hit buy now as soon as I located it. And lastly, my Angus Custom Shop was impossible to find. They instantly sold out. Sweetwater tracked me one down and I have them my credit card info.

All three of those guitars play a little different. But I love them all. 61 has a 61 neck, custom has a Large D shape, Angus has a pencil thin 9/16 nut. They are all fantastic players.

Again, your looking at luthiers and the highly regarded Jaydee (John Diggins). Excellent route to go, but it will take about 3 years. Honestly. And…. Going this route you will pay a good chunk of money and not have an opportunity to play it until you have bought and paid for it. Only with a custom build you don’t have a return option. Buy from Sweetwater (or other major retailer) and you can ship it back if it doesn’t meet your expectations.

I guess my point is playing before paying is not that critical. However it is a great way to increase your chance of buying and not returning. Because you already now you like the neck, pickups, wood grain etc.

I would stay away from the made to measure program. It is extremely costly and meant for those who want something very specific that doesn’t exist over the counter. I don’t think you are in that situation, you seem to be open to almost anything. However you are looking for a “one true love”.

I believe you mentioned that fact that once you buy this SG you don’t want to look for another one. Like this guitar should check all the box’s. If that’s the case I strongly suggest sitting down and writing down all the features you love on a dream SG. That will give you an idea of what your looking for, or more importantly what your not looking for! Go online, and browse SG’s. Look at hundreds of photos and a guarantee you that you will see one and go, “Dam, I NEED that guitar”. Once you have a vision, or a model, you know what your looking for. Once you know what your looking for, you can obtain it.

Right now you are kind of all over the map (no disrespect). But it seems odd to me that you want your dream SG, but your looking at a USA Jr, a Yamaha, a Jaydee custom build, made to measure custom shop, but you also said you don’t like any of the current custom shop models… There are SO many beautiful USA and custom shop models. Look past current production on the Gibson site. Hope on reverb and type Gibson SG Custom Shop and scroll through all of the magic. Surely something will get you Randy

I envy your position right now. Hunting for the next dream guitar is my favorite thing.

Thank you for such a thorough response pancake81. No disrespect taken; you are correct in your assesment.

Jaydee would probably be my top choice. But 3 years... I don't want to wait that long.

The ONLY reason I am so anti-custom shop is the VOS and aging. It just turns me off. I don't want my brand new guitar to look old. I want to wear it out myself. And I have no nostalgia for the 60s at all. I do not have a doubt in the world they make world class guitars in the Custom Shop. But I just cannot buy something like that, out of principle. Unless of course, we are talking about that black SG Custom that goes for $4699. I would be all over that in a heartbeat. But it's been out of stock forever.

I was considering the M2M program so I could get a custom shop caliber model, that quality, without the VOS and aging. And with some specs that are not super important to me, but would be nice (no fingerboard inlays, and a TV Yellow finish). But, you have given me cause to pause.

That said, I saw this great comparison video on YouTube between the USA SG Special and Custom Shop SG Special, and I genuinely thought the USA sounded better. I really like the p90 pickups on an SG. The USA SG Special is probably my top choice right now.
 

pancake81

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
1,903
Reaction score
1,474
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Thank you for such a thorough response pancake81. No disrespect taken; you are correct in your assesment.

Jaydee would probably be my top choice. But 3 years... I don't want to wait that long.

The ONLY reason I am so anti-custom shop is the VOS and aging. It just turns me off. I don't want my brand new guitar to look old. I want to wear it out myself. And I have no nostalgia for the 60s at all. I do not have a doubt in the world they make world class guitars in the Custom Shop. But I just cannot buy something like that, out of principle. Unless of course, we are talking about that black SG Custom that goes for $4699. I would be all over that in a heartbeat. But it's been out of stock forever.

I was considering the M2M program so I could get a custom shop caliber model, that quality, without the VOS and aging. And with some specs that are not super important to me, but would be nice (no fingerboard inlays, and a TV Yellow finish). But, you have given me cause to pause.

That said, I saw this great comparison video on YouTube between the USA SG Special and Custom Shop SG Special, and I genuinely thought the USA sounded better. I really like the p90 pickups on an SG. The USA SG Special is probably my top choice right now.

If you are loving the P90 sound and want a really nice guitar, this is very highly regarded. Look through this site and there are some recent posts of folks who acquired this and say it is by far the best guitar in their stable.

https://www.chicagomusicexchange.co...ommi-monkey-sg-special-vintage-cherry-1287371
 

pancake81

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
1,903
Reaction score
1,474
Location
British Columbia, Canada

pancake81

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
1,903
Reaction score
1,474
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Some additional options below. Like I said, custom shops are amazing, and dont limit yourself to what Gibson lists on their site. Go through reverb and you will see a variety of amazing instruments that will interest you.

You seem to like:
P90s = Check
T.V. Yellow = Check
Custom Shop = Check
Dots or no markers = Check
Jr's or Special = Check
Guitar that will exceed expectation in craftmanship = Check


Now I want to point out that this guitar IS a VOS. But notice it is not all relic'ed, No finish checking, no big dings or dents, nothing. What VOS is, is a little bit of oxidization on the nickle parts. Thats it! and this happens naturally. Like I said, if you play (or even own this guitar for that matter) for a month or two, it will have this feature. My 2001 61 RI has WAY more oxidizing than the VOS model. So if you think the below guitar looks to your standards, dont rule out the VOS!






https://reverb.com/ca/item/41471627...al-reissue-lightning-bar-vos-tv-yellow-100433

https://reverb.com/ca/item/42025570-2001-gibson-custom-shop-sg-special-tv-yellow-video
 
Last edited:

cerebral gasket

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
4,244
Reaction score
5,176
Some additional options below. Like I said, custom shops are amazing, and dont limit yourself to what Gibson lists on their site. Go through reverb and you will see a variety of amazing instruments that will interest you.

You seem to like:
P90s = Check
T.V. Yellow = Check
Custom Shop = Check
Dots or no markers = Check
Jr's or Special = Check
Guitar that will exceed expectation in craftmanship = Check






https://reverb.com/ca/item/41471627...al-reissue-lightning-bar-vos-tv-yellow-100433

https://reverb.com/ca/item/42025570-2001-gibson-custom-shop-sg-special-tv-yellow-video

That first SG Special is the perfect TV Yellow and the binding is not pink. Unfortunately it has a slim taper neck because the angled bridge position indicates it is a reissue of a 61-62 model.

1963-71 the bridge is parallel to pup and the necks were thicker and rounded.

I’ve seen that third one listed before. It’s a bright yellow M2M. Makes you wonder what’s wrong with it. Why someone would spend that kind of coin on an M2M and then sell it?

IMO, no one needs to be paying $4000 for an SG Special. I don’t care if it is CS, M2M, USA or vintage. SG Specials are simple guitars without any fancy inlays or other features. These guitars should never exceed $2500 max.
 
Last edited:

pancake81

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
1,903
Reaction score
1,474
Location
British Columbia, Canada
That first SG Special is the perfect TV Yellow and the binding is not pink. Unfortunately it has a slim taper neck because the angled bridge position indicates it is a reissue of a 61-62 model.

1963-71 the bridge is parallel to pup and the necks were thicker and rounded.

I’ve seen that third one listed before. It’s a bright yellow M2M. Makes you wonder what’s wrong with it. Why someone would spend that kind of coin on an M2M and then sell it?

IMO, no one needs to be paying $4000 for an SG Special. I don’t care if it is CS, M2M, USA or vintage. SG Specials are simple guitars without any fancy inlays or other features. These guitars should never exceed $2500 max.


Nothing wrong with a good 61 neck, so long as your into that. Personally I love mine, but I like almost every neck shape. Just takes me a few minutes to adjust, they all have their advantages.

Why would someone sell a M2M…? Hard to say, too many guitars, hard times, selling to buy the next one. I would have no issues with buying someone else’s made to measure if it fit my requirements
 

Go Nigel Go

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
776
Reaction score
661
That said, I saw this great comparison video on YouTube between the USA SG Special and Custom Shop SG Special, and I genuinely thought the USA sounded better. I really like the p90 pickups on an SG. The USA SG Special is probably my top choice right now.

Regarding Youtube "Tone Shootouts", Take them with a healthy dose of skepticism. They can be moderately informative, but only if you can see and understand what the demonstrator is doing with regard to each step of the signal chain.

Yes there are things on an electric guitar that affect tone, but probably 2/3 of your tone comes from what happens after the output jack. I have seen two schools of thought in these "shootouts". One dials in the amp for "good tone" with guitar A, then plugs in guitar B with no changes. No surprise that there is a major advantage for guitar A in such a comparison.

The second approach uses different settings for guitar A and guitar B Of course that isn't a 1 to 1 comparison, but it is more likely to show how good both can be. Of course it is also more likely to be affected by "experimenter bias" since the user has a massive amount of control over the final sound of each instrument.

The best Youtube demonstrators can give a reasonable subjective analysis, and some idea of what you can expect from one example of a guitar with a given set of amp/player/signal chain options. Your mileage may vary if your equipment, expectations, playing style, etc. are different.

The worst Youtube demonstrations can be seriously flawed, highly biased, or neglectful of important details.

My experience is that I can usually get several subjectively "good" tones from almost any combo, but they can be different from what other players would get with the same rig, and not everyone is going to agree on what is a "good" sound to begin with. This is the primary reason so many people are stressing the "Play it before you buy it" mantra. There is so much going on with electric guitars in terms of "tone", there is only one way to be sure and that is to put it though it's paces if you are looking for something that you will be 100% satisfied with.
 

DCguitars

New Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Some additional options below. Like I said, custom shops are amazing, and dont limit yourself to what Gibson lists on their site. Go through reverb and you will see a variety of amazing instruments that will interest you.

You seem to like:
P90s = Check
T.V. Yellow = Check
Custom Shop = Check
Dots or no markers = Check
Jr's or Special = Check
Guitar that will exceed expectation in craftmanship = Check


Now I want to point out that this guitar IS a VOS. But notice it is not all relic'ed, No finish checking, no big dings or dents, nothing. What VOS is, is a little bit of oxidization on the nickle parts. Thats it! and this happens naturally. Like I said, if you play (or even own this guitar for that matter) for a month or two, it will have this feature. My 2001 61 RI has WAY more oxidizing than the VOS model. So if you think the below guitar looks to your standards, dont rule out the VOS!






https://reverb.com/ca/item/41471627...al-reissue-lightning-bar-vos-tv-yellow-100433

https://reverb.com/ca/item/42025570-2001-gibson-custom-shop-sg-special-tv-yellow-video

How exactly do they go about this VOS process? I read about 'gunk' in the past.
 

pancake81

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
1,903
Reaction score
1,474
Location
British Columbia, Canada
How exactly do they go about this VOS process? I read about 'gunk' in the past.

VOS is just supposed to resemble a vintage guitar as if it were unplayed and stored in the closet since new. Basically a little bit of oxidation on Nickel parts. No aging as if it were road worn.

like I said, those photos above are the VOS treatment. Look at the stop bar in the first photo, see how it’s not shiny nickel or chrome, a bit of oxidation. That’s it, that’s VOS. I prefer it to be honest. Personally I wouldn’t be afraid of it, your guitar will take on that look naturally in short order. Quicker if you are a player
 
Last edited:

sgguitarzz

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Messages
47
Reaction score
42
Hey everyone! This is my first post on these forums. I was not entirely sure where to start this thread, so, if it's in the wrong place, my apologies!

After many years of playing cheap/borrowed guitars, I am finally ready to purchase a serious instrument. I've played classical, acoustic, and electric guitars, and of everything I have tried, the SG is my favorite by a mile. I have about $6500 saved up for this purchase.

I am a player, not a collector. I want to play this thing daily, for years, wear it out, and not treat it like a Ferrari, but rather, like a heavy duty pick up truck.

I want this to be the best damn SG my money can buy. That said, NO current Custom Shop SGs (I just don't dig the whole VOS/aging stuff). NO Epiphones. And, I care very little for glitz and glamour on guitars. Quality and value are what matter to me most.

Here are the options I am weighing right now:
- Gibson USA (People say the worst things about their QC, I don't know what to believe, but it worries me. I want this purchase to be a slam dunk.)
- Vintage 60s/70s/80s/90s (I have my eye on a mint 1991 SG Custom 30th anniversary)
- Jaydee Custom Guitars
- Do you know of any luthiers that could build me an SG?

Obviously, I would prefer not to spend all of the money. If a new Gibson USA 61 Standard gets me 99 percent to the quality of an SG 2-3x its price, that would be good enough for me. But if it's only 50 percent of the way there, I would spend more. I don't want to lust after another SG after this purchase!

Looking forward to your suggestions!

You do not need to spend $6500 to find a great guitar. I have been playing for 50+ years and own 2 SG's. One is a 1969 I bought new as a kid and a new 61 Standard reissue this year for $1700. Both are fantastic guitars. Focus less on price and go around and play a bunch. Trust me they will all feel and sound a bit different. If you play enough you will find a winner for way less than $6500.
 

cerebral gasket

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
4,244
Reaction score
5,176
I don't get SG with expensive price tags.

When you think about it, an SG Custom is just an SG Standard body with an LP Custom neck and headstock. Large blocks vs trapezoids, bound headstock vs unbound, split diamond vs crown inlay. Is it really that much more expensive to produce because of different neck and headstock ornamentation?
 

An Abiding Dude

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
383
Reaction score
399
I don't get SG with expensive price tags.

When you think about it, an SG Custom is just an SG Standard body with an LP Custom neck and headstock. Large blocks vs trapezoids, bound headstock vs unbound, split diamond vs crown inlay. Is it really that much more expensive to produce because of different neck and headstock ornamentation?
I think we're entering the Cadillac v. Honda Civic argument, cg. Both will get you where you need to go, but one of them says, "look at how much I spent on this car!"
 

An Abiding Dude

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
383
Reaction score
399
Hey everyone! This is my first post on these forums. I was not entirely sure where to start this thread, so, if it's in the wrong place, my apologies!

After many years of playing cheap/borrowed guitars, I am finally ready to purchase a serious instrument. I've played classical, acoustic, and electric guitars, and of everything I have tried, the SG is my favorite by a mile. I have about $6500 saved up for this purchase.

I am a player, not a collector. I want to play this thing daily, for years, wear it out, and not treat it like a Ferrari, but rather, like a heavy duty pick up truck.

I want this to be the best damn SG my money can buy. That said, NO current Custom Shop SGs (I just don't dig the whole VOS/aging stuff). NO Epiphones. And, I care very little for glitz and glamour on guitars. Quality and value are what matter to me most.

Here are the options I am weighing right now:
- Gibson USA (People say the worst things about their QC, I don't know what to believe, but it worries me. I want this purchase to be a slam dunk.)
- Vintage 60s/70s/80s/90s (I have my eye on a mint 1991 SG Custom 30th anniversary)
- Jaydee Custom Guitars
- Do you know of any luthiers that could build me an SG?

Obviously, I would prefer not to spend all of the money. If a new Gibson USA 61 Standard gets me 99 percent to the quality of an SG 2-3x its price, that would be good enough for me. But if it's only 50 percent of the way there, I would spend more. I don't want to lust after another SG after this purchase!

Looking forward to your suggestions!
So DC,
Here's a great guitar that many on this site praise. The SG Classic from the aughts.

https://reverb.com/item/43991248-gibson-sg-classic-2010-cherry-w-hsc

Check 'er out. Super fun guitar, looks great and P90s to boot. If nothing else, it'll get cerebral gasket's unfetter approval!
 

cerebral gasket

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
4,244
Reaction score
5,176
Which one to buy?
It's a matter of how many.
One for each tuning.
E, E♭, C#

full
 
Last edited:

alex1fly

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
45
Reaction score
55
TRY before you BUY.

+10000000

Oof, my response is a bit rough, but here goes anyways. My advice for finding a dream guitar? Don't fixate on an SG. Hit all the guitar shops you can, play as many guitars as possible, and make note of what speaks to you. THAT'S how you find a dream guitar - by playing tons and tons of guitars and making notes. You have the money to get darn near anything - why limit yourself to an SG that, admittedly, you'll have to find online?

You want an SG - get an SG. There's tons out there. Heck, buy 4 SGs and sell the 3 you like least. But "finding your dream SG" through the power of your wallet alone is pretty vain and a bit naive IMO.

However, showing up to a forum and stating that you've saved $6000 to buy your perfect guitar tells me that you and I are not the same. I've been playing music semi-pro for 25 years and am classically trained in strings, wind, and voice, and would NEVER spend that kind of money on a solidbody electric guitar, when loads of amazing ones can be found for sub-$1000.
 

donepearce

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
5,081
Reaction score
4,481
Location
London, new hearing aid project - exciting
I do own some nice guitars - a McCarty PRS and a Les Paul traditional, but they are strictly for me to enjoy at home. They would never go to a gig. I have an Epiphone SG, a 339 and a Strat for that, and they all play perfectly because I've taken the time to make sure they do.
 

Go Nigel Go

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
776
Reaction score
661
While I totally agree with the above by Alex1fly for myself, in fact that is exactly how I approach guitar buying, I think the OP specifically wants an really nice SG for his/her own reasons. I get that. With up to $6,000 to play with that should be absolutely no problem.

I think there are a lot of good reasons to play other guitars as part of the search too. It seems the biggest problem for the OP is defining exactly what they want from their ideal SG. The best way to do that is, as you say, to go forth and figure it out by playing a bunch of stuff.
 
Last edited:

DCguitars

New Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
+10000000

Oof, my response is a bit rough, but here goes anyways. My advice for finding a dream guitar? Don't fixate on an SG. Hit all the guitar shops you can, play as many guitars as possible, and make note of what speaks to you. THAT'S how you find a dream guitar - by playing tons and tons of guitars and making notes. You have the money to get darn near anything - why limit yourself to an SG that, admittedly, you'll have to find online?

You want an SG - get an SG. There's tons out there. Heck, buy 4 SGs and sell the 3 you like least. But "finding your dream SG" through the power of your wallet alone is pretty vain and a bit naive IMO.

However, showing up to a forum and stating that you've saved $6000 to buy your perfect guitar tells me that you and I are not the same. I've been playing music semi-pro for 25 years and am classically trained in strings, wind, and voice, and would NEVER spend that kind of money on a solidbody electric guitar, when loads of amazing ones can be found for sub-$1000.

Yeah that was a bit aggressive. Not sure what warranted that.

Just to be clear, I never claimed that I wanted to buy a $6000 SG. That’s just the amount I have saved for this interest/hobby. I’ve played guitar for many years. I’ve been playing a Yamaha C40 the past few years. Before that, I played a MIC Fender acoustic guitar for about a decade. And throughout, I’ve had cheap Strat-like guitars lent to me for months at a time, that I played through cheap peavey amps. So, yeah, I want something I consider ‘good’ or ‘nice’ now. Musicians play the piano, clarinet, trumpet, violin, etc. At one point, they invest in an excellent, high quality instrument that costs way more than what guitar players are used to. And, I’m fully aware that most of what you pay for in high priced guitars is fancy binding and inlays, etc. I could care less for that stuff. But I don’t think it is insane for a person who considers themselves a serious, practicing musician, to invest in a high quality instrument. And by this I mean of course, build quality, sound quality, durability, and playability. Of course, for an electric guitar player, the amp is the other half of the instrument. So, spending the full amount I have saved on the guitar would be foolish. If I find the right guitar for $1500, then I have a lot left over for a nice amp. I never claimed a nice guitar costs $6000. I don’t even believe such a thing. I’m not sure you read my original post.

And for the record, the reason I like SG guitars is because I’ve done exactly what you and Go Nigel Go said: I’ve gone to a guitar store and tried everything. The SG is the guitar that I felt most comfortable with. For a simple reason that most people here would probably relate to: super light weight and excellent doublecut upper fret access. SGs look very stupid to me. Sophomoric even. I hate the horns. And I prefer the Les Paul in regards to tone. But the ergonomics are there with the SG. And Les Pauls weigh half a ton.
 

Go Nigel Go

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
776
Reaction score
661
I do hope you will post pictures of what you finally settle on. :D

Your budget limits should easily cover a really nice SG, a really nice amp, and probably quite a few other nice things (like pedals and such). You are of course 100% correct that the amp is in a very real sense "the other half of the instrument". What style/types of music do you plan to play? You can certainly do anything you want with the right combo. SG's are very flexible beasts that will cover a lot of musical ground.
 

Carrion

Active Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
146
Reaction score
154
Hey everyone! This is my first post on these forums. I was not entirely sure where to start this thread, so, if it's in the wrong place, my apologies!

After many years of playing cheap/borrowed guitars, I am finally ready to purchase a serious instrument. I've played classical, acoustic, and electric guitars, and of everything I have tried, the SG is my favorite by a mile. I have about $6500 saved up for this purchase.

I am a player, not a collector. I want to play this thing daily, for years, wear it out, and not treat it like a Ferrari, but rather, like a heavy duty pick up truck.

I want this to be the best damn SG my money can buy. That said, NO current Custom Shop SGs (I just don't dig the whole VOS/aging stuff). NO Epiphones. And, I care very little for glitz and glamour on guitars. Quality and value are what matter to me most.

Here are the options I am weighing right now:
- Gibson USA (People say the worst things about their QC, I don't know what to believe, but it worries me. I want this purchase to be a slam dunk.)
- Vintage 60s/70s/80s/90s (I have my eye on a mint 1991 SG Custom 30th anniversary)
- Jaydee Custom Guitars
- Do you know of any luthiers that could build me an SG?

Obviously, I would prefer not to spend all of the money. If a new Gibson USA 61 Standard gets me 99 percent to the quality of an SG 2-3x its price, that would be good enough for me. But if it's only 50 percent of the way there, I would spend more. I don't want to lust after another SG after this purchase!

Looking forward to your suggestions!


1991 SG Custom 30th anniversary .. done and done ..
 


Latest posts

Top