Price paid: € 479
Purchased from: F-Musiikki
Sound — 9
I mostly play metal ranging from styles like progressive metal, metalcore, deathcore, what have you. I play through a Line 6 POD Studio GX USB interface + POD Farm software (Screamer + Spinal Puppet/Treadplate with neutral settings, bass/mid/treb @ 12 o'clock). The GX passes the test really well. The pickups are surprisingly bright for passive pickups, and have almost no background noise whatsoever. You can punch really nice mids and lows out of them with proper settings! One great feature of the guitar is the ability the partially turn off the other coil of the humbucker, producing a great single-coil tone for rock.
Overall Impression — 8
For it's cost, it's a great deal. The only downsides were the oxidization problems and neck-heaviness, but they are biggies for me. However, I only blame the individual guitar, not the whole Epiphone SG-line. Compared to my old cheapy Jackson JS30RR, this is a huge step forward. With a proper rig you can get a lot out of it! I've managed to get really djenty Born Of Osiris-style tones when using POD Farm. While not so much, the pickups still have their traditional 'passive'-feeling, so true metalheads will Drive away from this model and head for the EX.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The oxidization of the bridge was a big minus, but overall it feels like a pretty durable guitar. The light body of the guitar makes it feel kinda flimsy, but it doesn't hurt the sound. Any strap fits in really well, and doesn't come off easily, even if you're breakdancing with it on stage. For being so light, it's very maneuverable and great for live playing. The neck-heaviness isn't persistent when playing with a strap.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar set-up could've been better. Pickup screws were loose, volume/toneknob action was twisty, bridge was a bit oxidized. The mahogany body of the guitar is really light - actually lighter than the neck itself. The guitar did not contain any cosmetic flaws, excluding the oxidization of course. No (factory)-string buzz even on low tunings! The thin neck is extremely fast, and you have great fret access in the 22-24's.
Features — 9
This is the GX version, which AFAIK is identical to the EX version, excluding the pickups, and body and hardware colors. Instead, this bad boy is loaded with high-output Gibson Dirty Fingers -passive pups, along with rose-red mahogany body, quilt maple top, grover tuners, 24-jumbo fret satin neck and "blade" inlays. The golden hardware is really eye-catching and the knobs are decorated with beautiful pearls. Although I somewhat dislike the SG-shape, it is overall one of the most beautiful guitars I have seen. Accessories included a case, string cleanser and a strap.