Which would you rather?

Which would you rather?

  • A single custom shop SG

    Votes: 13 54.2%
  • Three SG Standards or equivalent

    Votes: 11 45.8%

  • Total voters
    24

An Abiding Dude

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Here's an interesting question that came to me via That Pedal Show. Is better or would you rather buy a single custom shop guitar or several, more baseline models? I've been eyeballing the 1964 SG Standard Reissue With Maestro Vibrola on Gibson website, but the price, $4,600, gives me great pause. The SG custom comes in at a $100 more. You could buy three American SG standards for the same amount or hilariously, nine(!) Epiphone standards.

Dan from TPS firmly came down on investing in the custom shop, but he loves his bought and paid for '63 custom shop Telecaster, "Red," which is his default guitar on most any occasion.

I have plenty of great guitars, so this is definitely a hypothetical debate and am not looking for anyone to convince me one way or another, just curious what people's thoughts are. Three damn fine guitars or one theoretically super, awesome guitar? I'll create a poll as a supplement to this.
 

pancake81

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Interesting question.

I am in a unique spot that I have 3 SG’s. One USA mode, a custom and a Custom shop model. My 61 RI (USA) plays just as good as the other two. They are all different, but all fantastic players.

The interesting things with Customs as well, is traditionally they were made in the same factory as the USA line, just different features. So historically I don’t think there was a huge craftsmanship variable between the models. Of course this changed when the Custom shop came into effect, to which I now understand the customs and custom shops are built at.

There is no right answer here. If I wanted the most versatility and wall art my money could buy, I would go with 3 USA models. However, if I loved a specific custom or custom shop model enough I would go for it assuming it would fill a niche for me.

The biggest thing I notice with the customs and custom shop models is that they offer build specs that cannot be found in the USA line. If they offered the same specs in an USA build and a custom ship build the CS sales would tank (my opinion). So there is some marketing at play
 
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I can’t decide. For me I’m looking at a P90 loaded SG (my #1 is a standard) and I’m not sure if it’s worth CS or not.

Fun question
 

An Abiding Dude

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The question becomes even more interesting if you think about if you'd be willing to gig with a custom shop or does it stay home because it's not worth risking it? I suppose if you're a high end player with a decent layer of security (and/or a personal guitar tech who takes responsibility when it's not in you hands) between the audience and the stage, maybe? But for most of us mortal, weekend warriors playing bars or small clubs, would it worth the risk considering this would be a significant investment for most people? On the other hand, what's the point of having an awesome guitar if you can't show it off?
 

cerebral gasket

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Three SG.
One for each tuning.
E, E-flat, C#.

2 regular production models.
1 luthier-built model.

Pickup configuration:
Neck: P-90
Bridge: Hum-Cancelling P-90

full
 
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An Abiding Dude

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Three SG.
One for each tuning.
E, E-flat, C#.

2 regular production models.
1 luthier-built model.

Pickup configuration:
Neck: P-90
Bridge: Hum-Cancelling P-90

full




SG Standard P-90 2016 T
So two Classics and and a non-Gibson custom build? If you're comfortable sharing, how much was the luthier build?
 

Steve D

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For less than half of a CS SG, I have all this. More fun, less stress.

I have a custom shop SG and I love it. Got a good deal on it and at current prices a new SG Standard would be more than I paid for it. No stress for me, I bought it thinking it would retain resale but anymore I just think 'this is one for life' and even if it gets a headstock break I'll get it fixed and move on.

Our home is small and I'm down now to three electric guitars. At this point I'm more about a small number of guitars I love rather than a stable of ones I don't play. So I have my SG, a 1990 PRS Custom 24, and a newish Strat. The newish strat is getting sold soon. Now I do regret very much selling my favorite 1982 Dan Smith strat and if I could have a do-over I'd keep that sone. But other than that I'm at peace with all the stuff I've sold off over the years.
 

DrBGood

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At this point I'm more about a small number of guitars I love rather than a stable of ones I don't play.
The six you see are being played weekly, most daily. That's why I leave them hanging at arms lenght. If they were in cases or not being played regularely, they'd get sold pretty fast.

I never had the budget for a CS guitar and frankly, I don't think I'd appreciate it for what it is supposed to be. Expensive doesn't impress me, I hate bling, I love simple, functional and a good design ... in everything.
 

Go Nigel Go

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I would definitely prefer to have 3 guitars over one. Most likely though they would all be very different rather than three of the same (or similar) instruments. I love variety in both feel and sound and the more options I have the happier I am. Often when I feel I am in a rut, I will change instruments for inspiration, which usually works.
 

Tracer

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Custom shop doesn’t guarantee a great guitar. I had a’59 reissue Lester that I tried to like. I replaced it in 2010 with a new Les Paul traditional and to me that is the best Lester I’ve ever had and I still have it. The absolute worst strat I’ve ever seen was a custom shop version that had fret sprout that would cut your fretting hand to ribbons. For me the coolest geetars are the ones that inspire you to play and create. Sometimes a custom shop guitar will do that, sometimes it’s a standard production line guitar that floats your boat. I have some nice guitars, a USA Jackson pc1, a Alex lifeson es 355, to name two, but right now I absolutely can’t put down my new 2021 sg standard. That’s one inspiring git fiddle..ymmv…
 

Von Trapp

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As the "super awesome" guitar is unlikely to sound or play better than the others the usual applies: Will chicks know the difference? Most likely not but then there's the question of whether it makes me feel better and thus play better. In any case, if the question assumes unlimited funds I'd get the one that makes me feel good, which could be any of them. If it assumes limited funds, I'd get one at the time of the others (assuming I HAVE to buy three then, god knows why) But, since it's all about the chicks I'd just get an Epi and spend the balance on beer.
 

cerebral gasket

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Guitars are tools, not museum pieces.
I buy them to play, not to collect.
One guitar for each tuning.

$4,600 for an SG?
None of mine cost anywhere near that.
Expensive does not always equal better.

A good guitar is a good guitar regardless of age, cost or where it was produced.
 
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Jackson753

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trypeus

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I have two SGs, a 'burst' standard with 57 classic pups and a Pelham Blue special with p90s - bases covered...
 

No Talent

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I don't know that I ever had, or ever will have ~$4600+ to spend on a single guitar. Right now all my guitar gear total is around $2800 and that includes two guitars, one amp, and a couple pedals. If I saved up for a couple years and sold my 2020 SG jr I'm sure I could by a custom shop SG or similar custom shop guitar but I would feel anxious about dinging the thing up at that price even though I only play at home.

That said, I have been seriously mulling over whether I want to go the "one ultimate guitar" route or not as I get older. As has been said you only live once so make it count!
 


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