Poll: Yes or No?
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View poll results: Yes or No?
YES
2 25%
NO
6 75%
Voters: 8.
#1


! EDITED !

SG idea
- Basswood body? (1 piece)
- Bolt on, recessed heel maple neck. Clear finish
- Dot inlay rosewood/maple fretboard (personally I really like the smoothness of maple)
- Tuners that work :P
- One humbucking pickup (bridge), perhaps Alnico V from Epi
- Wrap around bridge with adjustable sadles OR fixed tele style bridge (no ashtray design)
- Controls: 500K volume
- No pickguard
- Cheap finish

Wood materials need to be cheap but sturdy, plastic parts don't matter that much, decent electronics and tuners. Visuals? haha who cares really, if she plays nice.

Last edited by arjan2602 at Dec 27, 2014,
#2
It will not happen, those guitars are cheap for a reason.

You can get a used G-400 for $150 in very good shape and it is a solid cheap guitar. I have a G-400 faded and I use it along side of a PRS, G&L, and other much more expensive guitars and it works just fine.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#3
^ Agree 100% here and from a marketing standpoint, why would you take [bolt-on, dot inlays] construction that you use for your lowest end guitars and then put a high cost specialty pickup (USA BB) in it? Would have a better chance being made with a set neck and P90's (to appeal to the vintage crowd who loved the old Juniors) or with 1 or 2 single coil pups (to appeal to the vintage kalamazoo crowd) if you wanted to keep the bolt neck. Even then, they wouldn't be able to keep the price much lower than the G-400's are going for now and the specials are cheaper and have 2 pickups. Yeah, they're not BB's but who expects BB's at that price point?

I think the only way you're going to see this guitar is if you pick up a used G-310 and modify it yourself.
#4
Screw the bolt-on neck, the Gibson SG Jr (in heritage cherry) is a stunning work of art and a sweet guitar (mostly). They go for $400-$500 used, even cheaper sometimes.

I'd like to see more p90 loaded Strats.
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
#5
I'd get rid of the crappy wraparound bridge honestly. I like the kind that BC Rich has out but a tuneomatic on ebay with stoptail is about 6-8$ american. So not much of a difference until we factor in routing 4 holes instead of 2.

any sort of 10mm tuners. 14:1 or higher ratio. It's a cheap guitar everyone will upgrade
a bone nut - cattle bone isn't too much more expensive
a volute (re-enforcement in the neck)

rosewood or richlite fretboard - not sure what the going rate for richlite is but its thinking long term. It's extremely smooth and less maintenance than rosewood. I tell people about lemon oil and all sorts of other things but not many listen. Tonally richlite is like ebony. They use it on gibson les paul customs lately.

a 3 piece maple neck. More strength in case the kids drop it

a thin neck like C on the specials or a U. Great for beginners. Gloss or satin finish. If it's not a shredder guitar gloss is fine. When a kid picks it up they will think it's higher end than it is.

bolt on for a chinese guitar is fine. I mean we're expecting a little too much with set neck. The way the neck pocket is designed for set neck SG guitars is probably the reason I'm so discouraged to buy them. I'd totally re-work it like this LTD viper baritone (sg shape with a 27 scale fretobard) had a much better neck pocket.

chinese schaller style strap locks with a nylon epiphone strap.. mmm advertising

an agathis body to keep cost down. It's like mahogany meets alder. It's not as bad as people say on forums. I mean do you really want nato (middle eastern mahogany) or a mahogany body where it's like 10-15 pieces of mahogany laminated together to make the SG shape. The tone will be "incredible". This is why the SG specials sucked.

500k linear volume pot - smoother 10-1 without doing vintage wiring to keep costs down
3 way toggle
the tone knob I'd have fun with it and do the spin a split mod. This in english decreases the output of the pickup from 99% to 50%. If you want 75% go for it. A linear pot must be used for precision.

pickup wise. I'm not familiar with many of gibson pickups. But an import version of the dirty fingers that is 4 wires would be great. Turn the 16k or so to a vintage 8k. The spin a split is a coilsplit so it's going to buzz though. This is cheaper than a push pull, rotary or a SPST switch.

bridge wise. my initial vote is string through with a tuneomatic (sung il or no name). But gibson players are stubborn and don't want any change (yet continue to buy new guitars) so as long as it's not one of those molded wraparounds I'd be happy. Like I said before a lot of guys just buy beginner guitars to start off and spend the difference of a G400 or real gibson on mods. I tell guys to save up but half the time nope! caved... bought a squier bullet series.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Dec 27, 2014,
#6
Wow, that is a lot of thought put into how to build a solid guitar (no sg pun intended) out of something that is intended to be an entry level loss leader model (any type of junior). I still say this is a flop from a marketing strategy point of view. You present an interesting series of modifications, but in my estimation, all of these things add to BOM or production cost, or undo the work they've put into repairing their reputation for quality in recent years by using better hardware. I'm not trying to pick a fight here, just going to brainstorm out loud a little and try to look at this from the manufacturer's perspective.

Now granted, the reflected street price is exponential from production cost so how much more would it actually cost them to MAKE it? Probably not much in a consumer's mind, but pennies (or fractions of pennies) matter in large scale manufacturing. I suspect these changes would put the thing up close to les paul standard territory once you factor in retooling costs and the logistics of reworking their supplies and production lines. There would need to be a compelling reason for them to do this. And if the cost starts getting close to a "regular" sg from their line, how many people are going to buy this new one?

You're absolutely right about guitar players being resistant to change. Oh sure, there are forward thinking individuals, but by and large, familiarity seems to rule. The fact that a lot of us are still playing tube amps decades after that sort of circuit went by the wayside for every other consumer application seems to bear that point out. In the 70's, Gibson DID start building guitars with neck volutes. They were absolutely stronger. But their customer base seems to have hated it so much that today, you don't see them built with them. (This may finally be changing next year, I haven't looked at the 2015 lineup to know for sure but I thought I remember seeing something about that).

If they have to absorb anything resembling a higher production cost, they'll pass that on. Any brand has tiers of product and I think the sort of product you guys are proposing would either blur that line too much for a customer to ever be interested in anything other than top tier or less likely, force production to higher standards across the board which would just drive the price of everything up, which I suspect they are loathe to do to that extent as it loses them market share.

Tallwood, I see the same thing you do, guys buy cheap guitars and then spend the difference or more on aftermarket parts. It kind of boggles my mind. I mean, yeah I guess if you're smart about it, you have parts lying around, or something else you can get out cheaper, but Once you get up into spending that kind of money on parts, I wonder why they didn't just get the nicer guitar and have a better base platform to being with that is built better, and either won't need most of those part replacements or can be hot-rodded far beyond where they could have gotten the cheaper guitar to. I thought about doing that once with a BCR Warlock I paid about 300 bucks for. Got it set up as well as I could. It was fair enough, but as soon as I started looking at replacing the stuff I was less than 100% satisfied with (tuners-$60, bridge-$60, pups-$200 ish, and wiring switch and pots additional) I was going to be $600+ into a guitar with a multi-piece body, veneer top and back, and bolt neck. It was a pretty guitar but not worth all that work, so I just gave it away. The recipient was happy they got a guitar and I came to my senses about what constituted a worthwhile project. It was still perfectly playable and functional, but I needed to do too much to get it to a point where I would want to play it. I know how to fix my stuff but I'm not so into hotrodding stuff I'm gonna eat a huge loss just for the sake of it.
#7
I totally agree. how far can we modify a guitar if it doesn't sound good to our ears out of the box; It's all about acceptance right. One of my good friends who worked for one of the best places in the city before going solo had one customers recently bring in 3 or so counterfeit gibsons and the guy put 200-300$ worth of new parts and labor into the guitars each easily and they still won't play as good as a hand made electric guitar.

That is true most of those things would bring the cost up. China I've heard has been doing a great job recently too. My friend in Montreal was going to buy a SG400 but the chinese one sounded better to him. But back to production as long as the 3 piece neck option and richlite fretboards stay. They could be excellent ideas. In terms of maintenance and so forth. Grovers I kind of shuttered when someone said they wanted a cheap guitar with them on it. Although I'm curious on a whole sale level directly from them how cheap they could get if they did 10,000 or so of a certain model. The beauty of it is they could use the tuners for other guitars too so it's not like they're going out of their way right?

One brand I paid the most attention to was BC Rich. I remember one year they had the NJ deluxe series they introduced at namm 2011 or 2012, the year after practically anything and then 2014 it was low end and mid ranged guitars. Not going to lie I love the burl tops on some of them. Skervensen (however its spelled) do some amazing guitar finishes with elm burl. they also add colors to their flamed maple fretboards too.

For low end guitars and modifying them I would do it for customers as I was importing and modifying a lot of guitars for customers as a side business. It's to the point I do custom wiring requests and so forth.

Agathis body with a photo flame top like the Slammer WG1 to appeal to the audience
low end asian electronics - box style 3 way toggle , spin a split mod
the spin a split mod is appealing and the cheapest wiring mod ever besides a killswitch which kids may really like. Guitar hero 3 era it would have sold like hot cakes.
plastic knobs
no pickguard
richlite fretboard if it's cheaper. If not rosewood with dots
a thin finish - better acoustic tone , less cure time , easier to chip and want a new guitar
perhaps a bolted in pickup? more sustain , and no mounting rings?
zinc parts, no question about it , zinc is the cheapest I can imagine.

although I wonder what would be cheaper a 3 piece neck or quarter sawn as well. That and I've actually heard from Ed Roman in an interview set neck is cheaper. But if they got to get the guitars out from the factory as quick as possible nothing wrong with bolt on.

just some thoughts and insight, so glad I don't work for Epiphone / Gibson a guitar like this I'd probably never play them. The KVQ Jackson king V or hellraiser hybrid series are the only 2 new production models that caught my eye this year.
#8
and this is the spin a split wiring. Of course for Dimarzio , EMG-HZ and other name brand pickup users use the right color code or this won't work proper. If you see two wires that are soldered together solder them here.

can you convert a 2 wire pickup to 4? yes but it's tricky. Like before this adjusts the output of the guitar. the tone knob at 10 = 100% output , 9 is 90% ...0 is 50% for a single coil like tone. It's a useless mod in my eyes but someone out there will appreciate it. It's mostly marketing in my eyes. I'd save up the 2$ and get a push pull from echo bay.

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#9
Quote by Hydra26
^ Agree 100% here and from a marketing standpoint, why would you take [bolt-on, dot inlays] construction that you use for your lowest end guitars and then put a high cost specialty pickup (USA BB) in it? Would have a better chance being made with a set neck and P90's (to appeal to the vintage crowd who loved the old Juniors) or with 1 or 2 single coil pups (to appeal to the vintage kalamazoo crowd) if you wanted to keep the bolt neck. Even then, they wouldn't be able to keep the price much lower than the G-400's are going for now and the specials are cheaper and have 2 pickups. Yeah, they're not BB's but who expects BB's at that price point?

I think the only way you're going to see this guitar is if you pick up a used G-310 and modify it yourself.


Sounds like quite a solid idea thanks
#10
Quote by Tallwood13
and this is the spin a split wiring. Of course for Dimarzio , EMG-HZ and other name brand pickup users use the right color code or this won't work proper. If you see two wires that are soldered together solder them here.

can you convert a 2 wire pickup to 4? yes but it's tricky. Like before this adjusts the output of the guitar. the tone knob at 10 = 100% output , 9 is 90% ...0 is 50% for a single coil like tone. It's a useless mod in my eyes but someone out there will appreciate it. It's mostly marketing in my eyes. I'd save up the 2$ and get a push pull from echo bay.

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I'm no expert on electronics but form a function point of view I don't think I'd be very interested in the spin split. If I understand correctly it only engages when the knob is rolled all the way off? Which a) prevents you from actually rolling the knob all the way off in it's normal function and b) makes you roll your tone to min to engage it? Just seems unnecessarily limiting to me in a general sense. I'm with you on just get a push/pull.

I think it would be cheaper to do a single piece neck with a scarf joint. Eliminates the need for a huge piece of largely wasted wood for the neck (two shorter pieces, or even a long piece and a scrap) and doesn't require the skill/time of properly laminating and lining up although this is probably not terribly significant. I'm mentally approaching this exercise in terms of how could they do this cheaply, rather than good. They'll build it only as good enough as it needs to be to move units.

I do like some of the veneer tops, they can be very pretty whether it's burl, flame, quilt or spalt, although sometimes (like the aforementioned warlock) they are so thin, you can see a little dip in the surface where the body pieces are glued together underneath. I'm fortunate enough to have kept a decent enough job to where that level of instrument isn't the best I can buy so I generally don't look at them much these days.

As far as new models, I'm not terribly excited by anything I see these days. The recent exception is the tronical tuning system Gibson started offering on their guitars a couple years ago. It's very fast compared to the old robots. Perhaps not quite as accurate but the trade off is it's completely non-invasive and reversible. They're almost cheap enough now to where I think they might catch on more. Some people will always be against it, but I think it could potentially make alternate tunings more convenient (and hence more common) for the average player. It's not a necessary thing but I think it's enabling.