SG Special review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (201 votes)
Gibson: SG Special
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Price paid: C$ 1000

Purchased from: Guitarworks

Sound — 10
I play almost exclusively metal, ranging from Nightwish, to SOAD, to Dragonforce. I also dabble in punk, but not very often. Either way, this guitar performs brilliantly in whatever genre I'm playing. I use it with a Line6 Spyder III 120 Watt amp, with the FBV Express footboard. The treble pickup gives clear lead tones, especially with the tone all the way up. It also gives some good rhythm settings, which are also quite clear. This pickup is quite bright, as opposed to the rhythm pickup, which gives a very full sound. I like to turn the tone down on this pickup for a more aggressive sound, but other than that, it doesn't have the variety that the treble pickup delivers. Still, between the two pickups and the neutral setting, I never find myself asking for more. The sound is extremely clean on a basic amp setting. If I turn the distortion up, it sounds exactly as it should, without any annoying extra noise to deal with. All in all, this guitar has an amazing and versatile sound.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this guitar fits a metal style nicely, but it could probably pull off anything I'd ever want it to. I've been playing this guitar for about 8 months now, and in comparison to my Squier student model, it's purely amazing. I love almost everything about this guitar, especially it's versatility. I would prefer the prettier look of the normal SG, but the look doesn't mean much. I tried out a number of other guitars before this one, including a Les Paul and a BC Rich Warlock, but this seemed to fit my style best. It would be nice if it had a whammy bar, but it doesn't matter much. I would certainly buy this guitar again if it got stolen, but I might trade up to the normal SG if it was in my budget. However, they're practically the same guitar, so yes, I would buy this guitar again in a heartbeat.

Reliability & Durability — 10
In the few gigs I've played, this guitar has been great. I haven't done anything weird on stage like set it on fire, but I've played it, and it's been dependable. The hardware doesn't look like it's about to fall apart any time soon, so I expect it'll last a good long time. The strap buttons are very solid, and have held up even with a really crappy strap that I had for a while. On all the gigs I've played, I've used it without a backup, and I'm perfectly willing to continue to doing so.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action was very good the first time I played it. The hardware is set up very well. Everything fit into their proper place. The tune-o-matic bridge has proved useful to achieve the best tone possible, so I'm very happy with that. The finish was well done, and looks great. Overall, I have no complaints in this category.

Features — 10
This guitar is an American guitar that came into being in '06. 22 frets with Dot inlay, rosewood fingerboard, and 23 3/4 inch scale. The body is in the regular SG style, with the double cutaway that opens up the high end of the fretboard. The pickups are both alnico humbuckers, specifically the 490r and 490t. The controls are excellent with separate volume and tone controls, as well as a 3-way Switch for each pickup on it's own and both together. The guitar came with it's own case, which is pretty good on it's own, but nothing special. However, the features allow me access to everything I use in a guitar at the moment.

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