SG Raw Power review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 6
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (18 votes)
Gibson: SG Raw Power
0

Price paid: £ 699

Purchased from: Dawsons Music

Sound — 10
I play the RP through a Vox VT30 with either an M audio Black Box or a Boss GT6. It has the absolute ideal balance between sweet clean tone and gritty distortion grunt. I played it alongside the SG Worn Cherry and the SG Standard in the shop and I found this to have by far the best versatility.

Overall Impression — 9
I play anything from Metal to Acoustic so I really wanted a guitar that was versatile. This manages anything you throw at it with surprising ease. I also own a Gibson Es335 (07) and an Epiphone G400. And thought the Es335 obviously has the nicer sound in terms of clean playing, it does not surpass the RP so much that I'd lug it around too. I would definately buy another one of these if it were to become stolen or broken but I'd let them keep the soft case! The only thing that lets this guitar down is customer service. If the guitar shop were not willing to repair I could of been waiting well over the 2 weeks I waited as it was because in them 2 weeks they hadn't even bothered to pick it up. Overall though, a very satisfying guitar for a very reasonablt price I think.

Reliability & Durability — 6
When I bought this I was chuffed, knowing I was about to start a steady stream of gigs. The next week however, the bridge pickup cut out, Gibson caused all sorts of confusion and in the end I asked the guy in the shop to fit a new pickup, this he did and said it was down to the wiring of the original pickup, its since worked great and I wouldn't take a spare to a gig as it can take a good playing. The finish however is not as resilient. Aready the tip of the top horn has become worn from the strap rubbing past it and the top of the head has become faded slightly from te zip of the soft case (which Gibson so thoughtfuly supply with no padding or overlapping material around the zip.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action on the guitar was fine, the bridge pickup was set a little too high for my liking but I fixed that myself. The 3 way selector is a little clunky but it isnt so noticeable if your not listening for it. The tuning pegs are spot on, having played a guitar with grover tuning pegs for the past year it feels so nice to have the ebony pegs back!

Features — 8
I purchased this US Gibson Raw Power '09 in Black after trying it in the shop. My intention was to buy a Gibson SG Worn Cherry but after comparing the two I found the Raw Power to have much more playability and tone. The Raw Powers neck pickup (the RP has '57 classics btw) seems to rid itself of the muddy sound that most SG's harbour, and instead gives a nice smooth tone. Gibson caused a bit of confusion s when they released the Pre-release photos they boasted a mahogony neck and maple body with 24 frets. Somewhere along the way they've changed this to a maple neck + body with 22 frets. You get the usual choice of a 3 way selector and 2 volume, tone knobs.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ceesjah
    Ill always prefer my SG special II with EMG's 81/85 in it.. But this one does sound nice. Really love the shape and sound of this guitar, its one of the best imo.
    eyeofsetSG
    American Musical, Zzounds and Same Day Music all have a few in stock in the black color. You can also try ebay if you want to take your chances but the above vendors would be a better bet. I am thinking about getting one as soon as I get some money to put towards a down payment and before they go out of stock.
    Mattratcliff92
    SeanX3187 wrote: I really wanted to get one of these, but the limited production seems to have ended because I can't find one new. I loved how they looked and if i'm lucky I'll be able to find one in a shop somewhere. awesome review.
    dawsons music and thomann and I think maybe GAK still are all stocking new ones
    Mattratcliff92
    ibanez_freq_777 wrote: Anyone who thinks they can gig without a backup is just inviting Murphy to come play along. Obviously Mattratcliff92 hasn't played very many (if any) shows or he would probably know that already. It doesn't matter how tough a guitar is, electronics can fizzle out, strings can break, etc. This guy needs some schooling on the principles of Murphy's law (if it can go wrong, it prolly will).
    I've been gigging on and off with epi's and gibsons for nearly 5 years, the SG doesnt need a back up more than any other guitar is what i'm trying to construe, the electronics can go wrong on any guitar, but though this guitar is extremely thin, even for an SG, it just feels solid.
    jpk6044
    I own an SG Standard. The tone, while crushing, is definitely not muddy.
    kodadak
    How much is that in US dollars, I'm not much of a Gibson guy, but I've always been drawn to SG's for some reason
    SeanX3187
    I really wanted to get one of these, but the limited production seems to have ended because I can't find one new. I loved how they looked and if i'm lucky I'll be able to find one in a shop somewhere. awesome review.
    Jsteele1408
    NHECOS wrote: A Gibson so cheap???? Are you sure that is not an Epi???
    Yeah that's the point of the Raw Power series. They're essentially made with the cheapest materials of all Gibson models, but they're still petty good guitars. Not my taste, though.
    ibanez_freq_777
    Anyone who thinks they can gig without a backup is just inviting Murphy to come play along. Obviously Mattratcliff92 hasn't played very many (if any) shows or he would probably know that already. It doesn't matter how tough a guitar is, electronics can fizzle out, strings can break, etc. This guy needs some schooling on the principles of Murphy's law (if it can go wrong, it prolly will).
    Shayne777
    I thought Gibson discountinued this model a little while back? maybe it was only the Les Paul version
    design8r
    cool thx for that review, i'm really thinking of getting this guitar, i just dont know whether to get the platinum or the natural finish!
    bla556
    Metalology wrote: Man, I LOVE the look of that natural finish one!
    yeah, me too. I'd also love to see a LP raw power
    8000man
    love this SG @
    loganATH wrote: Hard case sounds like a great investment for such a sweet guitar!!
    true that
    DrewMeyer
    Ceesjah wrote: Ill always prefer my SG special II with EMG's 81/85 in it.. But this one does sound nice. Really love the shape and sound of this guitar, its one of the best imo.
    I hope you mean a Gibson sg special, or your guitar is crap.