Ordered by phone from a prominent on-line guitar store last week. This model (Daytona Blue SG GT) has a somewhat limited availability, so I confirmed with the store that they had one in stock. Nothing was said to suggest that this was not a new guitar.

The guitar has obviously been out of its case a lot: There are numerous extremely fine swirls and scratches on the front of the body, a few small blemishes in the paint, and a scrape through the paint on the edge of the upper waist that is about an inch long.

Also, the volume knobs are at angles so that their lower rims are not parallel tp the body surface. They do not contact the body, but the bridge volume is tilted significantrly enough that it hangs in the middle of its rotation arc. I wonder if the knobs were struck against something, the pots poorly installed, or the knobs set on crooked. Or what? (These are cylindrical knurled metal knobs used only on the GT series, I believe, if that makes a difference.)

ON THE OTHER HAND: This particular number has the original-design bridge! The first photos from Gibson of this model (also in Daytona Blue) showed a chrome-looking device that looked sort of like a tailpiece. Lately, the photos are showing a smoother piece carrying the white stripe design with what looks to be a clear center strip. A review that I read on one vendor's board said this was an easily-removable plastic cover over a conventional fixed bridge. So I open the case, and there is the chrome tailpiece. It is cool! It is a heavy casting that houses the bridge adjustments. They are accessed though individual holes at the rear of the housing. On the back of the body there are three large allen-head screws recessed into flush metal collars. This is a very solid piece of equipment, and I can imagine that Gibson dropped it to keep costs down.

I can also imagine that this might be a lot of trouble to restring. And it may have an awful sound for all I know. (I can't put it into an amp yet, but will pursue that at a local guitar store.) I expect that it will be collectible, but I'm not really interested in that aspect. If it sounds as good as it looks, though, I want to keep it.

So... How should I approach the vendor about the wear and tear? I would live with the blemishes, but would generally expect a price break for them. The volume controls are another matter. They really should be fixed, but I do not want to "swap out" for a new instrument... that would very likely have the plastic bridge cover.

Since I am 1) new to guitars and 2) a technoramus, I didn't want to fool with taking apart the volume controls or contacting the vendor until I had some advice.

What say ye?
Well if it was me, I'd contact the store and give them a mouthful.

If they didn't advertise those deficiencies then you didn't deserve to get it that way.
I can't really help you with the other stuff, but I have seen many guitars with that slanted volume control thing you were talking about. My epiphone SG's knobs are slanted, my friends Les Paul has them slanted and I believe I've seen it on other guitars also. It may be designed that way or could just be a very common problem
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Well if it was me, I'd contact the store and give them a mouthful.

If they didn't advertise those deficiencies then you didn't deserve to get it that way.

Dude just tell them that if they want to screw you over you don't want their business. They will be more than happy to make you happy, since it could mean profeit for them.
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can you post pics?
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Yeah, I bought an SG supreme about a month ago and it had a few blemishes on it... Let's say I was really disapointed, but since the flame top was wonderfull, I decided to keep it (I'm scared of getting a ****ty flame...).

As for the slanted knobs, ALL Sgs are made like that
I'll take some photos. What do you want to see? The cast bridge, the slanted knobs?
i want to see it all. the whole body front and back, the knobs and the bridge.
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That sucks, go with the mods suggestion.
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My first attempt to take pictures was horribly bad. I'll try again tomorrow. Meantime, tell me how to upload them here. For picture of entire guitar, Gibson website has a photo still showing the chrome tailpiece that is better than anythoing I could take. Click the alternate red color above the photo to see the plastic version.
The photos on Guitar Center's website, for example, show both the Daytona Blue and Candy Red with the plastic covers.

Contrary to my first take, I see now that the chrome tailpiece on mine is simply a massive stopbar. (On the plastic-covered versions you can see that there is a conventional stopbar used.) At the rear of the chrome stopbar there are six holes that run through to the openings that feed the strings up onto the bridge. The string-stopper-dealies are visible up in those holes. The three through-bolts must hold down the stopbar, so it wouldn't be any harder to restring than most other designs. And, it is a massive and solid (through-bolted!) stopbar design.
Yeah, ironically enough, I was just looking at the same guitar in a local shop today, and the knobs are supposed to be like that...But it's a real sweet guitar, and plays well...

My Epiphone Les Paul on the other hand has a problem with the actual knob pieces being cheap and crooked, but that can be fixed buy just buying new pieces for under $20.00...Maybe your problem is similar?
Okay, here's my take. Took the GT to a couple of guitar players that I know. Both liked the instrument, neither was much bothered by the scratches or the knob tilt. Like plyr369, one guy said the tilt thing was not uncommon. As for the scratches, it's only a cosmetic thing, and I'll have it that bad in a month anyway. Too bad, and crappy business practices by the vendor, who will hear from me, but I'm going to keep it.

As for photos - they'll have to wait a while: I left the guitar with a shop to set it up and do what can be done with the knob situation.

As for the paint, my GT has a pretty lame paint job. Only the front is high-gloss, and the paint generally is not very thick or durable. At least it is even and smooth. Not many SGs are painted, but I would think they'd do as well on these as they do on the LPs. Not my impression.

If for some reason I decide to keep this one as a collectible (the cast tailpiece is the only thing special about it), I will not refinish it, but just get used to a "distressed styling" to my SG as the paint gets more and more messed up. Otherwise, I'll replicate the color scheme with first rate work, and do the job Gibson should have.

Here's my theory for the SG GT. I'm guessing that Gibson found itself with a bunch of paint-grade mahogany, and figured they could make guitars with it, but sweeten the pot for the customer with a few feature improvements, so they could still move them at a pretty high price. They set this model up in the sales pitch as a session musician's tool: no frills, good fittings. So, they use an ebony fret board, some decent Grover locking button tuners, coil-tapped electrics, and that mother tailpiece. Maybe I have ended up with a really good bargain, if that paint-grade mahogany has good acoustic properties, maybe I have a limited edition piece of junk. I'll let you know how it pans out.
Well, I finally did the obvious thing and eMailed Gibson customer service to ask about the GT's tailpiece. Here's the reply:

"When first introduced the "scoop" on the tailpiece was plastic (as
pictured in the candy apple). It was later changed to the aluminum
scoop as on your guitar. Thank you for the inquiry."

I still hope one day to post some photos.
Last edited by Marco76 at Oct 2, 2006,
Hmm, go and demand some of your money back from the shop as they described it as new and it clearly isn't in "new" condition.
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I still hope one day to post some photos.

Please. I wish I owned this guitar model.

Edit: How much was it?