SG Classic Review

manufacturer: Gibson date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Gibson: SG Classic
The SG Classic features an all-mahogany body, dual P-90 pickups and bound Dot inlayed fingerboard, the SG Classic fills the missing link in Gibson's hotter-than-ever SG arsenal.
 Sound: 9.6
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Reliability & Durability: 9.6
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 9.2
 Overall rating:
 8.9 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.4 
 Users rating:
 8.4 
 Votes:
 166 
reviews (9) 18 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
SG Classic Reviewed by: Robert_Terry, on november 09, 2012
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1281

Purchased from: Hawker And Howarth

Features: The technical stuff: - Body: beveled mahogany - Neck/profile: mahogany/rounded SG - Fingerboard/inlay: 22 fret rosewood/pearloid dot - Scale/nut width: 243/4"/111/16" - Binding: white fingerboard - Bridge/tailpiece: Tune-O-Matic/ABR - Hardware: chrome/vintage white button tuners - Pickups: dual P-90 - Controls: two volume, two tone, 3-way Switch - Finish: cherry - Came with soft Gibson bag (very good quality). Unfortunetly it suffers from ugly machine heads and as all Les Pauls and SG's do. Only thing I may concider changing at this point. // 10

Sound: This guitar is way more versitile than I thoght, it can do all forms of rock and punk, from twang up to heavy rock. The guitar handles heavy distortion very well (I wouldn't recomend it for a heavy metel player for obviouse reasons, i.e. no humbuckers) and any fan of true rock tone should buy a guitar with P-90 pickups. They are pure rock tone. Personaly I play punk/rock/brit pop. I write my own stuff in a heavyier punk-rock tone but with a more technical playing style than the majority of punks and this guitar is amazing for. I play through a Marshall 100MGDFX, Dane-Electro Chorus pedal, Marshall Guv'ner overdrive pedal, Boss DS-1 (to which this guitar loves), Jim Dunlop Wah-Wah (original model) and in honesty I can play all types of music with this set up, I know a jazz guitarist wouldn't play with an SG, but that's not the point. It's puchy, its powerful and it's a (I don't know if I can swear in these reviews so its a word that starts in "f" and ends in clucking minus the 'cl') amazing and is a brilliant find, they were discontinued in 1999 I think as they were a limited edition re-make of the classic '60s model. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action is very good, as good as any guitar I have played other than a shreading machine built and owned by a friend of a freind (an coustom built guitar amazing) the paint work on the guitar is flawless. My other pro is that, despite hearing of the views of some people that SG's don't stay in tune, I have had mine a week and it hasnt been even slightly out of tune and I have bent, pulled. hammered, slided and riffed like crazy and still perfectly in tune. On slight problem is that, on my model the bridge pick up is a tad hig, so on harder struming the low E string bangs against pick up, and whilst this makes no diffrence to the sound through an amp, acousticly its a touch disconcerning and took about 5 minutes to solove at no sacrafice to the sound. I would give this 4.5 for this minor flaw, but that cannot be done so 5 it is. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have practiced this guitar at gig-volume, but have yet to play it live, but in prcatice its amazing, very little feedback, and (unless you have active EMG's) this was expected the hardwear looks solid, if the P-90's die I would deffonetly buy another pair as I addore their tone (possible emg active P-90's to commbat the feedback, but this isn't nessasory as it really isnt that bad). I use Jim Dunlop strap buttons anyway so yeah the strap buttons are as good as they come, but I would never ever risk not having strap buttons on any guitar. I wouldn't ever gig without a back up (purly incase of strings snaping and having to take a 5 minuit brake from the gig) but this guitar is perfectly capable of, unless human mistake always working. As for finish, time will wait and see but I doubt anything will go wrong (touch wood). // 10

Overall Impression: For punk I can't fault it at all, in rock it's the rock guitar in my opinion heavier stuff does not give it any problems. I've been playing 16 months (day one bought guitar day two went for lesson) and practice 1-2'n'1/2 hours a day. I traded in a Ibanez NDM1 for this guitar which I do not regret at all. My other guitar is a Ibanez Gio 170, which is about to recive a Seymore Duncan Invader pickup upgrade, for the metal moments. I tried this guitar against Gibson Les Paul Studios, Les Paul 'Light', and a PRS Soap Bar. This won hands down. My only dislike about his guitar is the machine head buttons, but I can live with them. If stolen or lost I would claim this exact model back off the insurance. My only wish is that this guitar had a locking trem but thats asking alot. Hope this helped and sorry about the frankly awaful spelling. // 10

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overall: 9.4
SG Classic Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: Limited re-release of this classic guitar for 2005 in Canada. Mahogany body, set-in mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, 22 frets, Tune-O-Matic and stop bar, and the best part of the whole thing, the sweet P-90's. I play blues, punk, rock, rockabilly, psychobilly and anything else I can lay my hands on and this guitar has yet to disapoint me. Metalheads might wanna look elsewhere, as the sharp, biting, midrange-heavy tone might not suit your ideal tone. Came with a gig bag, bought a hardshell case as well. // 9

Sound: These pickups, first and foremost, are loud. They scream, they sing, they wail. The neck pickup has a huge bottom end and a nice top end, kind of like a Stratocaster neck pickup on steroids. The bridge reminds me of an old school Gretsch, but more focused and biting. Since these are single coil pickups they make a lot of noise when distorted, but that's the price you pay. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar came with a great set up, though I immediately swapped the strings (stock were .009-.042) for some heavier ones, I put on Ernie Ball strings, whatever the name is for .010-.052, has a nice slinky feel on the top and the bottom strings are good and tight for chord work. The pickups needed a bit of tweaking to get my prefered voice (neck pickup louder than the bridge), but it worked out nicely. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It's a Gibson. Nuff said. I go onstage with this and know it will work for forever and a day. // 9

Overall Impression: Amazing, go out and find one. // 10

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overall: 9.6
SG Classic Reviewed by: PumpkinPieces, on november 09, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Mine was made in 2007 in the USA. It has a 22 fret rosewood fretboard with an all mahogany body and Heritage cherry finish. Has a tune-o-matic bridge, two volume and two tone controls and a three way pickup selector. It has two P-90 pickups and Gibson tuners (I don't know too much about tuners). It also comes with a Gibson gig bag. Basically ou have all the controls you need to tame this guitar. // 10

Sound: I play in a grunge/garage band however play many different styles around blues, classic rock, and punk. This ig Muff guitar can handle all of them in stride. I use many effects, the ones I've used with it so far are my Big Muff going through my Bad Monkey overdrive. It sounds great and with this set up and cover just about any genre of music. it's just a bit noisy on heavy distortion when you're not playing. It has that classic P-90 crunch on the Bridge pick-up and a nice warm bluesy tone in the rhythm pickup. Blues, Punk and classic rock tones are easy on this guitar and with the right distortion and overdrive Grunge and Smashing Pumpkins tones are easy as well. I'm a big fan of the P-90 sound since I don't play too much metal, the P-90 covers everything just under, basically if you like good old rock and roll this guitar is for you. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Everything was fine right out of the factory I just had to lower the action a little bit. The pickups were adjusted well, and the bridge was routed properly. The cherry finish is beautiful and didn't contain any flaws at all. Also all the knobs, controls, and input jack, etc. were all fine, none were loose or anything. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar feels very sturdy and would most likely withstand Live playing. All the hardware seems solid as well as the strap buttons. I wouldn't bring a back up to a gig, after all it is a Gibson. I've bumped it a few imes already due to a crowded playing area and the finish has held up well with no nicks. Overall it's a pretty solid guitar. // 9

Overall Impression: This fits all the music I play perfectly, I chose this guitar to replace my old Epiphone SG that I cracked in half a the end of a concert. I've been playing for a year and 8 months, I also own a Fender Telecaster, Stratocaster, an Epiphone Jr. P-90 and a LP-100. The guy Who helped me was really good at showing me the differences between the Standard SG and this SG Classic, the SG Classic just seemed like it suited my style more. Not to mention Pete Townsend played this kind of guitar at woodstock and I loved the way it sounded, this guitar lives up to my expectations. Now if you like hard rock or heavy metal, you'll want to check out the Standard with the Humbuckers. If I had the money I'd replace it if it were stolen or lost. I love everything about this guitar, the neck, the way it soudns and even where and how it rests over my shoulder. I love this guitar and I'm sure if you try one out you'll love it too. // 10

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overall: 9
SG Classic Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: Body: Beveled mahogany Neck/Profile: Mahogany/Rounded SG Fingerboard/Inlay: 22 fret rosewood/Pearloid dot Scale/Nut Width: 24 3/4"/1 11/16" Binding: White fingerboard Bridge/Tailpiece: Tune-o-matic/ABR Hardware: Chrome/Vintage white button tuners Pickups: Dual P-90 Controls: Two volume, two tone, three-way switch Strings: Brite Wires .009-.042 Made: In USA // 9

Sound: I play this guitar through the Roland Cube 60 amplifier. The dual P90 pickups are hot! They scream! It can play a variety of tones and sounds, from soft music to heavy metal. They're just amazing! I play classic rock, punk and hard rock and the guitar suits my music style. The guitar suits my style perfectly. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar is set up very well from the factory. The pickups were adjusted very well, the brigde was routed properly and there were no flaws. The action was high, which I prefer. There were no flaws on the finish. The neck binding was perfect, and the neck looks awesome! // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have played this guitar live a couple of times, and I don't worry about anything breaking. It's a Gibson, made in USA, so you know that it's a reliable guitar. The hardware is excellent, and I am sure it will last. The strap buttons are very solid. The finish is awesome and will last a long time. // 9

Overall Impression: I am 13 years old and have been playing for five years. I love this guitar a lot! My favorite thing about this guitar are the P90 pickups. I compared it with an American Fender Stratocaster, but this Gibson is better because the sound is better and everything about it is better. If I lost this guitar, I would buy it again. Buy this guitar! It is fantastic! // 9

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overall: 9.4
SG Classic Reviewed by: Chris_gotts23, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: Made in 2003 at the Menphis Gibson Factory (USA): 2 P-90 Pickups, SG style body, heritage cherry finish, mahogany body, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, 22 Frets (Dot inlays), Tune-A-Matic Bridge. Came with a deluxe gig bag that protects very well. // 10

Sound: SGs suit the classic rock sound very well. The SG Classic comes with P-90 pickups, which can easily put out an Eric Claptonish sound and feel. I play blues based rock, and the Gibson SG Classic suites me very well. The P-90s ARE single coil, so I wouldn't recommend this guitar to anyone Who plays any high gain metal, because the pickups can start buzzing very easily at high gain settings. However, the P-90s carry a large variety of sound. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action seems to be higher than the normal guitar, which I like. The pickups were ajusted very well. The only problem I have run into is the nut. It seemed just fine when I first recived this guitar, but a few months afterward, I had to get the nut ajusted. It had dropped off balance, and my bottom E string buzzed. I however, got this fixed with my warrenty card, and now I'm fine. // 8

Reliability & Durability: It's a Gibson! What more do I need to say? Everything is soild, trustworthy, and sounds amazing. I wouldn't only take this guitar to a gig, this is the ONLY guitar I would take to a gig. It looks amazing, and the finish seems like it will last forever just as the guitar will. The Gibson SG Classic is a definate road instrument. // 10

Overall Impression: The Gibson SG Classic is a great guitar for blues/rock. That's what I play, and it suites me very well. This guitar suites me just perfectly, although I don't think that very many metal-heads would be satisfyed with the single-coil pickup sound. I however, don't play on high gain settings so I don't run into this problem. I really love the great sound of the P-90s. The Gibson SG Classic is a great guitar, and I recommend it to any loyal Classic Rock player. // 10

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overall: 9.2
SG Classic Reviewed by: Pillsburry, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 990

Purchased from: Musician's Freind

Features: Made in 2003 in the USA, proving good quality. Features include 22 frets with Dot inlays, a mahogany body, mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, Tune-O-Matic bridge, a 3 way pickup selector, along with P90 pickups. I purchased this guitar from Musician's Freind, so it came with a deluxe gig bag. The gig bag is good, but I would perfer a hardshell case. // 9

Sound: The P90 single coil pickups are meant to recreate the sound and look of the 60s. The P90s acomplished this job very well. While this guitar can't handle heavy gained settings, but it handles 60s rock very well. If you plan on playing music similar to that of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, (especially) The Who, and even some Hendrix, then this is without a doubt a guitar worth purchasing. Also, if you plan on using this guitar for any kind of blues, you will be making the right choice. The Gibson SG Classic handles blues extremly well. All in all, unless you play metal, this guitar is worth purchasing. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action seemed to be about what the average guitar would be set up as. The pickups were ajusted well at the factory, seeing that Gibson is a USA based company. The finish on my guitar is a very pretty heritage cherry, which is a pleasure to look at. The only problem I have ever run into with this guitar is the poorly cut nut, but I had that handled no problem thanks to the lifetime warrenty. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Other than the one problem I mentioned in the section above, this guitar has held up for me very well. I have gigged with it twice, and both times it managed to hold up very well the entire time. Gibson makes pure road instruments, and the SG Classic is a very good one. No backup needed. // 10

Overall Impression: The Gibson SG Classic fits my genre very well (I play blues and 60s rock). The P90s are without a doubt my favorite feature. The heritage cherry finish is outstanding. If it were stolen or lost, I would be heart broken, this guitar is without a doubt one of the best I have ever played. Other than the poorly cut nut, I have not run into any problems. The only other con is the fact that it doesn't handle metal very well. Highly recommended instrument. // 9

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overall: 8.8
SG Classic Reviewed by: Zanary, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 750

Purchased from: Private owner

Features: My example is a USA-made Gibson SG Classic from 2004. The instrument is classic Gibson: mahogany body and neck, 22 frets on a 24 3/4 scale, P90 single-coil pickups, 3-way pickup toggle, volume and tone knobs for each pickup, and the classic Tune-O-Matic with the Stop Bar bridge setup. The axe is the transparent Heritage Cherry, and came with a non-original gig bag. // 9

Sound: I've had very little time on P90 guitars, which is part of the reason I made the purchase. Those big single coils are on a ton of great rock songs, but are often replaced live with less noisy humbuckers by many acts. Their sound in my guitar is right between my modded G&L Fullerton (think Strat) and my good ol' Les Paul: gutsier and warmer than the G&L but brighter than the 'Paul...and P90s have a snarl all their own. For my music-which is across most "rock" genres-it's very useful, though I have to get used to the considerable pickup noise and the tendency toward feedback. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came to me essentially perfect minus some normal scratches on the pickguard. The finish is flawless, the binding is perfect, and I wouldn't be surprised to see new examples that looked and played worse. I can't vouch for the factory setup, but it was fantastic when I got it. The jack and the Switch are fine, and everything works as it should-sorta. The tuners that come stock with these guitars aren't all that great, so a set of Grovers is likely in the future. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The guitar seems extremely solid and has been perfect in the jams/auditions its seen with me so far. The strap buttons were puny, so I bought it a set of Schaller strap locks immediately; I do that for all my guitars. Away from the buttons, though, the guitar has been played hard and performed very well indeed. // 9

Overall Impression: As I stated earlier, I play across much of the "rock" spectrum with anything from the Allman Brothers to Alice in Chains possible at any given time. This guitar actually cleans up very nicely and snarls wonderfully with gain added, so it's getting a lot of use across the board. I love the versatility and the feel, and it's working its way into becoming an axe that I grab naturally. I'd definitely replace it if it were lost/stolen...though I might get a Les Paul Studio Gem (used, they're long out of production) as that's another inexpensive P90 Gibby. The only things I'd consider changing on this guitar from here on out would be the possibly addition of a Bigsby tremolo, and possibly some high-end P90s (Lollars, Rio Grandes, etc) with an RS wiring kit for the true Vintage tone. // 9

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overall: 9.8
SG Classic Reviewed by: Delboyuk_01, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 625

Features: Just bought this 2005 model, although bought used, it's in immaculate condition. Mahogany body and Neck, Rosewood fret board with Dot inlays. Also you get 2 P90 pickups and a tune-o-matic bridge and button style tuning pegs which aren't the best looking but work really well. Unlike humbucker pickups I like the sound of the P90's on any setting you can choose, I don't usually like the sound of both pickups at once, but the P90's sound great in any position. The guitar is really well built and the quality of the binding around the neck is excellent. The one I bought was ebony and not the usual cherry ones, the finish is excellent and imaculate. Came with gig bag but I'll eventualy get a hard case for it. // 9

Sound: I play mainly Classic rock and Alternative. The sounds you can get from the pickups are very different. You can't get a single pickup to sound like humbuckers and vicer versa, but the P90's get close to both od these pickups, they're sort of the middle of these two if you know what I mean. I've only played this through my Boss studio as my Marshall is in the repairers at the moment, it's sounds great whatever sound you select on the Boss studio. Not noisy at all apart from a little crackle when changing the pickup slector switch. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: As I said, I bought this as used, so It's probably had a set up or 2 since new. I's set up well, but not to my personal taste, but I haven't made any adjustments yet, so it's not bad enough for me to bother changing straight away. The build and finish on this guitar is top noch. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will definately withstand gigging, I gigged with my '63 SG for years and this model is much stronger in the neck build. I would gig with this guitar without a back up, all the hardware and strap buttons are sturdy and well put together. The Nitro finish is excellent but unfortunately it shows every little finger print, I forgot what black guitars were like for that, looks good though. // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is great for the style I play, you can really get that great Pete Townsend sound with this guitar, wouldn't recomend it if you want to get an Angus young tone though. I bought this guitar because I wanted to get something for everyday use and SEMI-retire my old SG, This guitar is definately as nice to play, the only difference I can notice is it feels newer. All in all and well built, good looking guitar, the binding on the neck is really set off by the ebony paint job, I would definatley buy another if it was stolen, after I got out of prison for murder that is. // 10

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overall: 9.4
SG Classic Reviewed by: Phantom123, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 610

Purchased from: ebay

Features: This guitar was a near-pristine condition 'Heritage Cherry' SG Classic from Gibson. It has dot inlays (like the lower-end SG Special), and Gibson-Standard binding (like the upper end models such as the Standard and the 61 reissue). In many ways, this is something of an intermediate level SG, with a couple of mild differences between lower end faded series or the higher quality Standard series. What changes all of that are the pickups. The SG Classic has 2 P-90 picked, which give this model it's edge and secret weapon. These are the reason you get this over a Standard, people. If you've ever considered trying a P-90, here is one of the best chances around. I give features an 8 for a few reasons: It's a great guitar, but if I were to name specific features, it's technically not the best. No tremolo, no ABR-1 bridge, and the tuners (white key classics, apparently) aren't very good (They were picked for their Vintage looks, not their perfect pitch keeping). If the tuners were better, this would be a 9. However, the rest of the package is basically an SG Standard without the trapezoid inlays and with a differet type of pick-up. // 8

Sound: The sound is amazing on these things. The P-90's combine with the naturally dark guitar (it's 100% mahogany, btw) to create a thrashy monster of pure Rock. They buzz when highly distorted, yes, but the effect this has on your sound has been greatly over-stated in recent years. I play heavy metal with this thing, and it sounds incredible. I run it through a Randall MTS series 100 watt combo 2X12 amp. My particular modules are a Plexi, a JTM, a Recto (Dual Rectifier), a Brown (Eddie Van Halen's hot-rodded plexi-esque sound) and an Ultra (Randall's trade-mark High gain sound). I can max the volume and gain on all of these, and it will sound incredible (better than my humbucker guitars, honestly). The cleans shimmer; I love the top-end I get with P-90s. They make for better cleans than Humbuckers do, for sure. What this guitar does REALLY well is rock, though. With my plexi in, I can get THE AC/DC sound with virtually no hum (it has little hum until you hit heavy metal, and even then, it's ignorable). I can't get enough of the bridge vs. neck either; The neck really does a deep, brooding bluesy sound very well, while I can switch to the Bridge and blast out a searing guitar solo. These pickups clean up very well, meaning that I can do entire shows without hitting a single button except my pick-up switcher, and turning my volume/tone knobs on the guitar. No foot pedal. No amp-fidgeting. No channel changes. Nothing! And what's so great is that this can work for ANY channel I set it to before the show; I don't need to have a particular one for this to work, as EVERYTHING sounds good! I'm giving sound a 10. I have NEVER heard this guitar sound bad, no matter what I plug it into (and I've had this a solid 6 months with heavy duty gigging; this isn't some "Ooh I just got it!" orgasm fest. This may have seriously turned me off to Humbuckers or normal single coils. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought this guitar used, so I can't comment on factory set up, but it came to me with the same original set of Gibson 10's it was originally strung with (like I said, near pristine. Only a few tiny scratches which I had to hunt for). The finish still stuns me; I have always loved Heritage cherry, and this particular shade is very odd. It is blood red/dark (Not the Orange abomination on most SG's today; I got lucky), and yet it seems to change color. The lighting of the room really does a number on this thing; It can go from Angus walnut-redish to an almost Robot-y metallic-red shade, depending on the room. The pickups came in flawless condition (as described in the sound category). As far as the finish quality goes, there was a single, tiny finish flaw on the back, where the finish was almost... swirled I guess? It's on the back, and it's smaller than a penny, so it's not something that effects me at all. However, it IS there, so I ought to mention it. I give this a 9. It ought to be a 10 (The neck feels perfect, and has better access than anything I've played in years), but I simply can't ignore the swirl. It's nothing I care about, but 10 means that everything is perfect, and, well, it's technically not :\ Consider it a 9.5 // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will and has survived Live play. I've played this everywhere; clubs, indoors, outdoors, stadiums, and it will provide! I HAVE gigged without back-up (It was for a festival in the summer) and it endures being outside for on-and-off playing over 7 hours! And I live in Texas, so it was pretty damn hot! The finish has not changed since the day I got it, and nothing seems to have differed at all. I compared it to a photo of when I got it to confirm (and boy did it confirm well!). // 10

Overall Impression: I play everything, so I need a guitar that can do everything. This SG Classic can provide! It can clean up better than a humbucker, it sounds BETTER when distorted than a humbucker, and it gives more of a response to me than a humbucker can! It was perfect. // 10

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