Price paid: $ 180
Purchased from: Rick's Music Shop
Sound — 7
I play mostly rock and metal, and this guitar can definitely handle it. I play it through a Fender G-DEC amp, and a Crate GLX212. It doesn't make that much noise. At this price, you can't expect much from the pickups. Distorted, it's decent. It really has a "crunch in the punch" when set on the bridge pickup. Middle position, it's softer, and slightly muddy. At the neck pickup, it has slight fuzz to it. Clean, it sounds bright on the bridge, slightly crisp at the middle, and smooth and warm at the neck. Overall, it sounds okay clean. It would be nice to have the extra volume and tone controls.
Overall Impression — 7
It's a pretty versatile guitar, which is great. I also own an ESP LTD F-100FM, a Squier Standard Strat, a Jackson JS30KV, a Silvertone SIK1, and an Ibanez IJX40. After the LTD, this is my favorite one to play. If it were lost or stolen, I would buy it again, but with the cherry finish, and also buy a better amp to go with it. What I like most is the neck. It's very comfortable. I also like the crunch it has on the bridge pickup. I don't like the finish, though. All in all, it's a good guitar for the price. It's good enough for beginners and even intermediate players. If you can't blow a lot of money, give this guitar a go.
Reliability & Durability — 6
I don't play live, but I would have a backup, or just use this guitar as a backup. The hardware seems like it will last for a while. I haven't had any problems with the strap buttons. I never drop my guitars, but I do bump them into things, or they will occasionally fall over, but there are no nics/chips on this guitar. I play this guitar for a few hours everyday, but the finish is still fine, just some small, harmless scratches. You wouldn't even notice them if the finish wasn't ebony.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
I don't know a thing about setting up guitars, so the local shop owner does that for me. I didn't have any problems with fret buzz. The only flaws were a bit of dust here and there, and the nut around the input jack come off, so the jack fell inside the guitar. These things were easily fixed, though. The controls were not loose, and the selector isn't too noisy. Ebony was the only color available, but I would have chosen cherry, were it an option.
Features — 7
Made in China, the Epiphone SG Special has 22 frets, a bolt-on, maple neck, a rosewood fingerboard, a laminated alder/maple body, with an SG body style, and an ebony finish. The bridge is a tune-o-matic with a stopbar tailpiece. The pickups are 2 Epiphone open-coil humbuckers. It has a 3-way selector Switch, 1 volume control, and 1 tone control.