SG '61 Reissue Review

manufacturer: Gibson date: 08/06/2013 category: Electric Guitars
Gibson: SG '61 Reissue
This guitar was made in 2007, in the USA. It has 22 frets and features a slim taper neck which is the slimmest neck offered on Gibsons, but still keeps a Gibson "round" shape, and not a toothpick Ibanez neck (nothing against those). The Mahogany solid top features the Heritage Cherry paintjob which is beautifully laquered to give a shiny lustre.
 Sound: 9.8
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.3
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
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 Users rating:
reviews (6) pictures (1) 34 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
SG '61 Reissue Reviewed by: adamshakermaker, on november 09, 2012
7 of 9 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1647

Purchased from: Ebay

Features: This was made in December 2005 in Nashville. It has a slim 60s neck, 57 classic pickups, mahogony body and neck, rose wood fret board, chery paint and nitro finish. It has a Tune-O-Matic bridge, 2 volume and 2 tone pots with a 3 way selector. It came with the case and owners manual. // 8

Sound: I absolutely love the 57 classic pickups, the tone is amazing with every amp I have used it with. The bridge tone is quite bright with plenty of bite, the neck tone is muddier but still has lots of definition and power. My favourite tone comes from the neck rolled right back and both pickups selected. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar is built to last, the knobs feel very sturdy and precise, the binding and inlays are spot on. It has a wonderful one piece mahogany body, larger '60s style headstock and small type pick guard. The figuring on the one piece body is to die for. I couldn't fault it in the looks department. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This is a very dependable guitar, it gives me so much confidence that I have sold the tele I used as back up. I didn't even feel the need for schaller type strap locks, I just use the plastic Dunlop type. I am very heavy handed and this guitar looks very elegant and delicate but it can withstand a good bashing by my shovel hands. Some people have said the shallow neck joint is a problem but I have found it to be solid, it also gives you excellent access to the lower frets. // 9

Overall Impression: I play a wide range of music and I find with the right amp this guitar can cope with anything, I've had 15 guitars now, my last 3 have been les pauls, but I have enjoyed playing this SG the most. I almost bought the Standard because I like the bigger pick guard but decided that as I could afford the 61 RI I should buy it, and I'm glad I did. This is a very light instrument, and that is the only down side for me, I really like the weight of a Les Paul, so if this was stolen I might pick up another LP instead, if I did I would definetly fit it 57 classics. // 9

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overall: 9.8
SG '61 Reissue Reviewed by: SG Man Forever, on november 09, 2012
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1700

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This guitar is deceptively simple. At first, it appears to be nothing more than the Gibson Standard SG with a different pickguard, but once you pick it up and play it, the differences leap out at you. The first thing that I noticed was that the neck was very thin, in fact the thinnest neck I've ever felt on a Gibson. If you're like me, and prefer a neck that is smooth feeling, then this is a dream come true. Often, thin necked guitars have very flat feeling necks, making them slightly ackward to play chords on. Not so on this guitar. The other chief difference was the famous double cutaway on the SG. On the 61 Reissue, the cutaway is even deeper, providing unparalleled access to all 22 medium frets of the guitar, better even than most "shred guitars" made by companies such as Jackson or Ibanez. It is not only possible, but very easy to fret the 22nd fret of the low E string with your thumb. The pickups also are different on this guitar, they are 57 classics. These differ from the Standard pickups in that they have quite a bit less output, sacrificing some of the gain in return for crystal clear sounding chords, even with loads of distortion. The guitar also has great sustain, as another thing you'll notice is that this guitar is a bit heavier than most SG's, hoever it still weighs quite a bit less than a Les Paul. This added weight contributes to the sustain. // 10

Sound: I play many different styles of music, and this guitar excells at all of them. One of the things that I think is essential for a great guitar is a great clean sound. The lower output pickups help grealt with producing pristine clean tones. I once was able to plug into a Mashall JCM 800, the monster amp that powered bands like Slayer and Metallica, and even with the gain set to 11, turning the volume knobs on the pickups down resulted in some truly wonderful clean tones. As with most SG's, this guitar has a very well defined top end to it, and the pickups add much clarity to that sound, whcih is great for diminished chords and finger picked clean passages. As far as gain goes, it is capable of producing some great classic rock and blues tones, courtesy of it's low output pickups, and the cyrstal clear definition they provide, and classic rock was originally played on guitars with lower output picks, and amplifiers turned up all the way. The low output allows you to really hear the steel of the string and the wood of the guitar, whic is great for classic rock. This is after all, the same guitar that Hendrix would sometimes plug into when he felt the need for a Gibson, in addition to his famous Flying V. For metal, the guitar needs a boost to really Shine, and I do it with an Ibanez TS-9, which I heartily advise getting, it's a great cheap pedal. With this boost added on, this guitar can easily achieve some of the greatest tones of heavy metal from the 70's to the 80's. It's an aggressive guitar, and metal sounds great on it. Let us not forget some of the very first metal riffs such as Iron Man and Paranoid were authorrd of a left handed 61 SG. So, if you feel the need to Drive down the Highway to Hell, you'l know what guitar to use. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I've mentioned the pickups several times in this review, and they are indeed one of the chief elements of this guitars great sound. The pickups have a lot of midrange frequency to them, which is great for achieving a punchy, yet smooth sound. The treble responce in the bridge pickup helps deliver a very aggressive sound without being peircing, and the neck pickup is great for slower, melodic lead lines. The tone and volume pots have an excellent taper to them, allowing wonderful volume swells, mimicking a synthesizer, similar to the track "Cathedral" by Eddie Van Halen. Also, as I've said before, the neck is very thin, yet round and natural feeling, providing a fast yet solid feel to the guitar. This guitar is expertly crafted, and I feel I play my best on this guitar, as it allows me to play to my fullest. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Overall, this is a very solid guitar, I replaced the strap buttons with straplocks, as the stock buttons had a tendency to unhook from the strap, but they were still solidly mounted. The nickel plated hardware is cool looking, but will discolor, although this may not be a bad thing, as it helps give the guitar a Vintage look. The finish itself is fairly soft, and if you aren't carefull, it will ding pretty easily. I gig on a very often basis with this guitar, and rarely use a backup, overall a well made guitar, but it isn't made of stone. // 9

Overall Impression: I play mostly metal and shred, and have been playing for about four years, and this guitar is perefect for my style. I really can find almost no flaws with it, except for the fact I wish it had 24 frets, as there is enough room inbetween the 22nd and the neck pickup for two frets. If it were ever stolen, I would first sick bounty hunters after the person that did it, and get wolverines to eat hiim alive. Assuming that could not be done, I would buy it again in a heart beat. // 10

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overall: 10
SG '61 Reissue Reviewed by: one vision, on november 09, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1382.5

Purchased from: Long and McQuade toronto

Features: This guitar was made in 2007, in the USA. It has 22 frets and features a slim taper neck which I believe is the slimmest neck offered on Gibsons, but still keeps a Gibson "round" shape, and not a toothpick Ibanez neck (nothing against those). The Mahogany solid top features the Heritage Cherry paintjob which is beautifully laquered to give a shiny lustre. Warning: The Nitro Cellulose laquer is very sensitive and things like extreme temperature changes may cause it to crack, but things like sweat are not a threat if you wipe off your guitar after the playing session, use only the Gibson polish with a 100% cotton cloth so to avoid scratching. The Gibson finish is a real eye-catcher and ages beautifully; If you take care of this guitar it will benifit you in the long run, after all, they are guaranteed to outlive you). The body has two cutaway horns which are now so strongly associated with hard rock thanks to Angus Young and Tony Lommi. It has a Tune-O-Matic Bridge, 2 Volume and 2 tone controls and a 3-way pickup selector. The '57 classic humbuckers in the bridge and neck are great for classic rock as they are not too high-output, but I also find it is easy to play shred such as paganini on it, but obviously an Ibanez style guitar is preferred for that kind of work. The green key tuners are problem free, although some people complain about them due to the fact that they are plastic. In my opinion, I think they suit the guitar very well and feel very sturdy. This guitar comes with a Gibson USA Hardshell case. // 10

Sound: This guitar suits many different styles such as Classic rock, Jazz/Blues, and even Shred (due to its thin neck). I use a Vox AD50VT with it which is a modelling amp so I have no need for pedals at the moment. It works excellent with reverb and full gain on a clean setting which gives a "fendery" sound. On the other hand, it also works well on Highgain settings (gain halfway, if you use more it starts to get messier, obviously) and gives excellent lead tones on AC30 setting with gain around 3/4 full. The pickups are very versatile and I usually use the neck pickup for jazz (and shred) as it gives a warm sound, while the bridge pickup nails classic rock tones (think Led Zeppelin's Heartbreaker). // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar had an excellent setup from the factory. Action, intonation, pickups, everything was great. One thing I noticed though, was that the pickgaurd was missing a screw, but I had the salesman at the store put one it, so no problem. I checked the guitar for scratches, it was clean. Not a single scratch. It was polished, both the hardware and the body. Some of the tuning pegs were a bit uneven in their tension, but it is not a problem at all, and I would go to the store to get it fixed, I just don't have the time, and it's not a concern right now. All the electronics were fine also. No noisy pickup selector, nothing loose, ect. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will definetly withstand Live playing, everything is solid, and I would go onstage without a backup. For some people, the high neck joint location may be troublesome, because it is more fragile than the standards, but it's a guitar not a baseball bat. Also, although the strap buttons are pretty solid, I would highly recommend getting strap locks because it's not wise to take a risk with such an expensive instrument, especially with the neck dive. As I mentioned before, the finish is sensitive, but as long as you wipe it off and polish it, there should be no problems. // 10

Overall Impression: This is an excellent match for my style of music, the only reason I got this particular model as opposed to the SG Standard was because of the slim taper neck. I wanted something that was "rock and roll" but also something I could play shred and sweep-style stuff on. I have been playing for 4 years and am very dedicated. I am currently in University and taking a music minor along with which I participate in a Classical guitar ensemble. I have owned previous guitars such as Godin SD, Epiphone Casino and Ibanez RG 350DX. I play through a Vox AD50VT and a DA5 Practice amp. Before buying this product, make sure you research other possible options, I did, and I am glad. I was about to buy a Standard but the neck wasn't for me. If it was stolen, I would definetly buy another one. I love everything about it, except the maintinance demanding finish. My favorite feature again, is the slim taper neck. I compared it to many other products, even an Les Paul Standard, and I still like this one the best. In my opinion it is one of the best Gibson guitar models ever made. One thing I wish it had was some kind of Vibrato, down the line I am thinking of putting a Bigsby on it. Anyways, this guitar is a 10/10, and thanks for reading my review. // 10

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overall: 10
SG '61 Reissue Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1800

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: To be honest, if you had 6 electric guitars, and one of them were the 61 Reissue and another was an American Strat or Tele, that would be all you need. This guitar has a wide 60s neck which feels absolutly great. The tuners are the best part of the coolest part of the visual part of the guitar and they also work really well. The red finish just blows me and everyone else away. When I wake up in the morning or open the case befroe a gig, my heart drops from the beauty.Even the knobs feel good not to tight and not too loose. I find this guitar very sturdy and reliable. // 10

Sound: I love the late '60s and '70s music aka classic rock and the blues very much. That's my generation. Yes, Clapton, Zeppelin, Doors, etc, all of it sounds well on the guitar. Even if you enjoy metal, or punk, or '50s stuff, it's amazing. I use a Marshall Half Stack and a Marshall Micro Stack on it. The guitar can scream and it sounds real good on a real nice amp. The neck pick up doesnt't get any cleaner that any other guitar. It rings like a bell which I have been looking for in all of my guitars. The Bridge pick up is also great. In cleanliness wise, both sound a little different, but I keep the bridge on 0 so I can get Clapton's woman tone when I play. This guitar is a freakin' tank in music wise. I doubt you can find a better sounding guitar than this one. The strings I recommend putting on this guitar are Gibson Vintage size 10. The ones that came on it. My first set of '57s by the way. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Like I said, the guitar is very strong and everything feels great. Everything is put in nice and tight. There is no buzz what so ever. If your wondering about the kick ass tuners, they are the greatest. The frets are great, the wood is pure, there is nothing to blame about. The only thing that I feel wierd about is the nut which is actually good but I've just had a lot of trouble with them for some reason. You have nothing to worry about. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Again, this guitar is a tank. This guitar can withstand Live playing and drops. Yes, drops, I know that because my father had a real 61 SG which he wouldn't give me, bastard, but he said he dropped it twice from standing. The only thing that you can see on that guitar from that drop is a little dent in the wood that you can barely see and a buffered out scratch. I'm 100% sure the 2008 guitar can survive being ran over by a truck. I play at gigs a lot now, and this is my work horse. The only back up guitar I bring is my Stratocaster just so I can get a different tone. My father played his guitar everyday and he still does. He loves it more than me and my mother. He got it when he was 10 by the way if you were curious why he loves it so much. If that guitar can take on 50 years and more. I am sure the 2008 Gibson SG 61 Reissue guitar can last 150 years and more. The only thing I would be concerned about are the strap buttons because that was obviously the reason why he dropped it. // 10

Overall Impression: I have been playing for 10 years. I am 18 years old. If I had to chose 1 guitar that I had to play for all eternity, it would be the SG. Maybe the ES 335 block but you get my point. I someone stoll this guitar, not only would I be heart-broken, but I would go out the day or next day I found out it was stolen and buy the same exact guitar. I bought this guitar on accident. I was looking for a Highway One Stratocaster or any other guitar no more than 1G. After trying out literally 7 guitars. I saw this one which caught my eye liek it was the only thing in the store and picked it up. The second I took it of the rack and held it which took almost 4 seconds, I feel in mad love with it and I said to the salesman this is it. Every customer and employee complemented on the guitar and my taste. I recommend this guitar very, very dearly. I don't regret buying this guitar at all. // 10

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overall: 9
SG '61 Reissue Reviewed by: dan_g_, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 2300

Purchased from: Local store

Features: Made in USA. 22 frets, Mahogany Body and neck with a rosewood fretbored. 1.695" Nut, Nickle plating and 2 Classic 57's PAF humbukers. Comes in Heritage cherry. Nitro finish. Tunomatic bridge. 2x volume and 2x tone and a 3 way selector. Double cut away. The neck is extremely thin and it makes a huge difference, some people have played it and tell me it is too thin and they have trouble with chords or just playing, I find other necks too big and clumsy to play on now and this seems just perfect. See for yourself. // 10

Sound: This guitar suites every style of music I play. It is mainly used for classic rock, It can also do sparkling cleans, metal, blues, jazz. I use it with a Marshall DSL401 at the moment and occasionally a GT-8. The guitar sounds superb, it has for me just enough sustain and the 57 PAF's make a subtle yet noticable difference in the sound compared to the Standard SG or others with say p90s. The rythm/treble selector works as it should. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was set up properly when I bought it, although the pickups were a little high occasionally buzzing on the strings. (Simply screw them down a little if this is an issue) The tone and volume controls on mine were poorly built or damaged in transport, this is not what you would expect in a guitar which is slightly overpriced such as this. It in no way affects the instrument other than not having smooth controls. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will be dented with every knock so take care of it. The finish has lasted perfectly although there is some corrosion on the bridge and bridge pickup which is inevitable. The strap buttons are a little small and unless you have a locking strap then this will fall off occasionally. Over all very reliable. // 9

Overall Impression: I play rock and metal and some shreddy stuff too, this guitar handles all relatively well. This guitar feels so natural to me now, although I wished I had played some more guitars before buying it, but at the moment I would'nt trade it for anything. If it were stolen or lost I would probably look at either a PRS, Jackson or another of these (don't let it be stolen, these are a little overpriced). // 9

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overall: 9.2
SG '61 Reissue Reviewed by: steve_121, on august 06, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 1200

Purchased from: Guitar Village

Features: A design classic. Double cutaway Cherry red, 22 frets, Grover style tuners, Gibson tune-o-matic bridge and stop-tail and twin humbuckers. A three way switch with a rhythm / lead indicator for the neck and bridge positions. Two tone and two volume controls. One piece mahogany body and mahogany neck. Rosewood fretboard, trapezoid inlays and a three ply black and white scratchplate. It came with the classic Gibson case. It is "the SG" we've all seen countless times on the TV. Beautiful transparent finish showing off the mahogany to it's best - as I said a design classic. 'Nuf said? // 9

Sound: The sound is based around the classic humbuckers. Where pickups on a PRS Custom 24 are clean with clear intonation the SG is a growler. Where the Fender Strat sings the SG growls. It is a beefy sound with plenty of low end. Play it through a Fender valve amp and you get clear articulation of every note, and a fantastic crunchy valve overdrive at every pick. When I put it through a Mesa Boogie it really rocks. It is great for "brit rock" of the '70s and for indy music from the '90s. My favourite combo is when I use it with a valve delay (Blackstar) adding both chorus and compression. Awesome gritty sound. Not as versatile as many Les Pauls, or the PRS's of this world but who cares - what it was designed to do it does with ass kicking verve. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The finish was perfect in every way. Fantastic workmanship from Gibson on this guitar. The set up was also spot on and in three years all I've had to do is change the strings - no other adjustment necessary. Occasionally I catch my fingers on the pointers by the pots (because it's the only guitar I have with anything like them), and if I detune it then I get a bit of buzz. Overall though it looks exactly like I expected and was finished to a great standard. And believe me I checked very thoroughly when I picked it up. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The finish is as good now as when I first picked the guitar up. There is a little pattern rust developing on the pointers by the pots, and the scratchplate is less hardy than I might have expected. But the tuners hold themselves well, the body is solid, and even though there are horror stories about the neck joint (because it is so shallow into the body) mine is looking good after quite a bit of use. No point in a back-up, but for most sets I wouldn't just use this guitar, because of the sound. // 9

Overall Impression: This was my dream guitar when I was growing up, I was lent one to learn on and I wanted another ever since. So when I picked it up it was like going home. It's not as versatile as many other guitars, but it is light - so stage friendly, robust and has a classic look. For growly sound you can't beat it - and I love that sound for rhythm parts. I can't say I'd buy another if it was stolen, not because it's not great, but because it's a big world out there and I'd probably buy something else for the change. Don't get me wrong it's great, but it's no longer the God of guitars I thought it was when I was 16. // 9

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