#1
Hi there,

I've recently discovered the opportunity to buy a used Gibson Les Paul BFG (Gator) for $450 CAD or a used Gibson SG Special (Not Faded) for $500 CAD - both similar prices.

I want advice on which to choose. I am playing anything from country to punk and hardcore to heavier stuff like doom metal. Mostly heavier, more rockin' stuff because I already have a Telecaster for country stuff.

What do you guys think?

Thanks

(These aren't pictures of the exact guitars I'm buying but are pictures of the same models:



#2
I'd probably go for the SG Special.
Better fret access and more ergonomic shape.


However, the Gator BFG looks just awesome and unique IMO.
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#3
I'd be torn. On the one hand, what JesusCrisp says is true, and the SG is a better finished, better built guitar (I'm SO not a fan of the BFGs).

But too many SGs neck-dive (and the old hack of "buy a wider strap" that pulls your shirt up in the back doesn't really work). I have large hands and run into the point on the SG with my fretting hand, so while it LOOKS like you have better upper fret access, I actually don't. YMMV. When I wanted the thin body of the SG and the full 24-fret neck and the unlimited access to the upper frets, I went with an L6S (MUCH wider distance between the neck and the point of the cutaway).

The BFG, much as I think it's a cheap guitar hacked together by Gibson to avoid having to actually put a labor-intensive finish on a guitar, has a P90 in the neck position. You'll be amazed at how much difference that makes in avoiding a lot of mud in the low end when you switch there. While I'd personally swap it out for one of Kinman's noiseless P90's in the long run (same sound, no noise), it's a good choice. On the other hand, I hate the neck heel on a standard LP, and I have to rotate my hand to get to the higher frets on a standard LP as well. If that's not an issue for you, you're in good shape. I'd get rid of the "kill switch", however, and replace it with something more fun and less likely to make you a soundless guitar player in the middle of a song. Look up a Chandler Tone-X.
#4
it's ages since i tried one, but the bfg i tried had pretty poor fretwork

that being said so did the sg faded i tried (which i'm guessing it fairly close to the special)



both sounded pretty good. if you're ok with a little fretwork yourself or have a good tech, shouldn't be a massive problem. personally i'd prefer it to be right out of the box, cutting cosmetic corners to keep the price down is one thing (and to be applauded, IMO), but cutting corners which affect how the thing plays is another.

I agree with JC, too- the SG is probably the "safer" choice, the BFG is more idiosyncratic. Up to you, really.

EDIT: ^ my (standard) doesn't seem to neck-dive but I think I just got lucky

I've noticed that with the point of the horns before at the highest frets, too. I'd still say it's a fair bit better than a LP (though as you said, it does depend a lot on your hand size etc.), but it's worth bearing in mind, too.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Sep 15, 2013,
#5
My SG doesn't have neck dive at all either.

I have always liked the BFG for some reason. I nearly bought a gator one when they first came out but decided against it. They still interest me but I am not sure I would get one unless it was an awesome deal.
#8
The thing I hate about SG's is how damn flimsy they feel. Theyre too thin. I loved the access to the higher frets and only came across neck dive when I was using the very high frets but all ya do there is just take a stance like Angus Young and get stuck in... Ya cant beat and LP with an SG though, especially one with a P90 in the neck...
#9
I've had LPs and SGs and I prefer an SG for feel.
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#10
Quote by dazza027
The thing I hate about SG's is how damn flimsy they feel. Theyre too thin. I loved the access to the higher frets and only came across neck dive when I was using the very high frets but all ya do there is just take a stance like Angus Young and get stuck in... Ya cant beat and LP with an SG though, especially one with a P90 in the neck...


Well to be honest it's all about personal taste, I think Les Paul's are small and heavy and totally out of proportion, love the look of them, just can't get comfortable with playing them.
I love the fact that SG's are lightweight and have great upper fret access, don't think they're flimsy.
T/S go and play a LP and SG somewhere if you can and see which is for you.
#11
Quote by Delboyuk_01
I think Les Paul's are small and heavy and totally out of proportion...


That explains why I like them, theyre just like me.
#12
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Unfortunately (and fortunately), I've found another good local deal with someone offering an '08 Les Paul Ebony Studio in mint condition for $550 CAD. Now I'm completely torn. I'm going to hit up a music store in the next few days and feel each kind of guitar out.

Please keep the insight comin', though.
#14
Quote by itscameron
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Unfortunately (and fortunately), I've found another good local deal with someone offering an '08 Les Paul Ebony Studio in mint condition for $550 CAD. Now I'm completely torn. I'm going to hit up a music store in the next few days and feel each kind of guitar out.

Please keep the insight comin', though.


...sounds like your best bet....try em out!!!...I have an LP and an SG.....the LP is a great alrounder but has alot of girth to the neck, even though it´s a 60´s slim taper, and with my tiny hands the smaller c shaped neck on my SG makes it a real player....I have tried other SG´s and must warn that I have found that the neck girth, and feel, veries quite alot and can only recommend taking em out for a test run before buying I have burst bucker pro´s in the LP, which once again, are really good for an allround sound...greenday to guns, but the 57´ in the neck and angus signature at the bridge in the SG really make for good Classic rock sound.....

...if i had to choose though I´d go with the SG
I believe in god, jesus and the holy ghost.....or as i call them Angus, Kirk and Lemmy
#15


BFG.

Cool guitar, an SG Special just isn't anything special. The BFG is just raw and fun.

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#16
I went to the store today and tried an LP Studio and an SG Standard. I thought I would prefer the SG, but the Les Paul actually felt a bit more comfortable, neck-wise especially.

So I think now these are my options:


Gibson Les Paul BFG Gator (with a decent dent in back) for $450 CAD

or

Gibson Les Paul Studio Ebony (mint condition) for $550 CAD

Any final thoughts between these two?

Thanks
#17
I had a LP studio years ago and it was a very nice guitar. I'd go with it, something I just don't like about the bfg
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Morley Bad Horsie 2
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#19
Studio all the way. Do they even sand the necks on the BFG? Rumour has it they just use a knife to whittle out a rough shape for a neck and call it quits from there...
That may be a lie... But either way Studio wins.
#21
This isn't the pit.

Quote by dazza027
Studio all the way. Do they even sand the necks on the BFG? Rumour has it they just use a knife to whittle out a rough shape for a neck and call it quits from there...
That may be a lie... But either way Studio wins.


That's not even... Just no.


TS if you want a fairly unique, interesting guitar, BFG. If you just want an LP get the Studio.

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#22
Damn. I like both very much. I would probably use the LP for a mixture of post-rock stuff (Slint, Mogwai, Radiohead) and doom or hardcore (Electric Wizard). I'm not sure which pickups would best suit these sounds.

I think the Studio has a 490R and a 498T while the BFG has a Burst Bucker 3 and a single-coil P-90.

The P-90 is awesome but I'm not sure if having a single coil would be necessary.

What do you guys think?
#23
bear in mind that although a p90 is technically a single coil, it doesn't sound anything like fender-style single coils like strat or tele pickups. It still sounds very much like a gibson-style pickup- hot, fat and warm, in other words.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#24
Tom ya need a humour transplant old son.. Was taking the piss... I still say Studio > BFG but that's my PERSONAL taste...
#25
But not funny? That's just disinformation.

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#27
Pffft whatever. Couldn't give 2 toots if you had a chuckle or spewed your vindaloo up all over your lap... The last time I checked out a BFG the neck damned near had splinters hanging out. It was rough as guts. Don't be thinking that I am dissing them out, I bleed Les Pauls and I really dig the finish of the body but comparing a BFG (which we call a Barely Finished Guitar over here) to a studio or a standard is like comparing a Massey ferguson tractor from the 50's with a Lambo Aventador... They are two different animals.
#28
Quote by itscameron
So I'd imagine P-90s can still get pretty damn distorted and beefy?


Yes they do. Absolutely and definitely.
#29
I'm kind of falling in love with the ruggedness of the BFG's. I just have one more question - about the neck.

How does the neck on the BFGs feel, considering it is unfinished? I want it to be smooth and real comfortable to fly around on, but haven't felt one yet.
#30
Quote by itscameron
I'm kind of falling in love with the ruggedness of the BFG's. I just have one more question - about the neck.

How does the neck on the BFGs feel, considering it is unfinished? I want it to be smooth and real comfortable to fly around on, but haven't felt one yet.


Quick correction. It's not unfinished. It is not grain-filled and it's not particularly well sanded. But they do spray on a few coats of matte lacquer before they send the guitars out. They just *feel* unfinished.

In My Personal Opinion... I'd rather have a neck that had been sanded well and grain-filled. I have a brand new guitar that's got a maple neck that's been sanded, grain-filled and finished in a semi-matte lacquer. It's very fast to play on. The one Gibson that I played with the BFG style neck finish wasn't particularly pleasant, but it wasn't terrible, either.
#31
Quote by dazza027
(which we call a Barely Finished Guitar over here)



Um... Isn't that EXACTLY what BFG means?
#32
Quote by dspellman
Quick correction. It's not unfinished. It is not grain-filled and it's not particularly well sanded. But they do spray on a few coats of matte lacquer before they send the guitars out. They just *feel* unfinished.

In My Personal Opinion... I'd rather have a neck that had been sanded well and grain-filled. I have a brand new guitar that's got a maple neck that's been sanded, grain-filled and finished in a semi-matte lacquer. It's very fast to play on. The one Gibson that I played with the BFG style neck finish wasn't particularly pleasant, but it wasn't terrible, either.


Ah, I see. I stand corrected. I suppose the feel of the neck is a subjective thing and it would be best for me to try it out. I use a MIM Standard Tele which has a glossy maple neck that is just fine to me. How did the BFG-type neck feel compared to something like the Tele, assuming you are familiar with that glossy kind of neck?
#33
Quote by HippieMagic
Um... Isn't that EXACTLY what BFG means?

Didn't it mean "Best F*cking Guitar" or something along those lines?
I'm not a fan of the snakeskin finish, but the unfinished neck is godly to play on.

My Gibson SG Special 60s Tribute is also a very rough guitar and that's why I love it.
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