Hello! I am new to playing guitar and I'm ready to buy my own. I have always wanted an SG, so that's what I'll be getting.

The only differences I can find between the two SG's (other than aesthetic things) is the pickups - exposed on the Special, but covered on the Standard. Does this make a whole lot of difference? I've also noticed the Special is a couple hundred less than the Standard.

If anyone could help me with the differences in these guitars it would be very much appreciated.
The Gibson website has the full spec of each guitar for you to compare. The only other things worth noting are that the Special usually gets slightly lower grade wood (although it's not a massive difference) and that there is also the Special Faded which comes with a thinner satin finish, which many people find easier to live with. You should also bear in mind that every single Gibson is different, regardless of what the spec sheets say. The only way you're going to know which guitar is right for you is by going to some stores and playing a lot of SGs; forget what the model names are. It make take you a while to find one that is right for you, since the neck profiles can vary a lot (even if the guitars are meant to be the same model).
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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Yes! Finally a thread I can feel comfortable in.

Well, let us see... I have both guitars (and an Epi) and IF you like SGs and will be playing that for a long time, take the Standard - It will last for ever. But if you want to expand your guitar collection and your looking for something dirty that will do some tough jobs and your going for plain ol´ rock n roll or punk, go Special.

I personally prefer the Standard for personal matters.
You can buy my sg, it is just a half painted body with no hardware or pickups but who doesn't need a good project lol.