SG Special '60s Tribute review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (32 votes)
Gibson: SG Special '60s Tribute
2

Price paid: € 749

Purchased from: Keskusmusiikki Lahti

Sound — 10
Suits my style just perfect! I play a lot of older prog rock (Pink Floyd, Rush, Marillion) and some indie/alternative rock too (for example Circa Survive). I have a Vox VT50 valvetronix amp which I use with either a BOSS DS-1 or a EHX Big Muff Pi depending on the music I play. I also use a Vox V847 wah pedal. The P90s sound really shimmering and clear on the clean channel (especially when using both pickups), but they can also get VERY dirty when used with a Big Muff for example. They GROWL. Fantastic pickups, no need to change those. The only thing that bugs me a little is the noise they produce, but you can get rid of it with a pedal designed for hum cancelling. This is a true workhorse of a guitar, as it can be used for almost every type of music (I said almost because it doesn't do anything REALLY heavy too well. Which is okay with me as I don't play such stuff).

Overall Impression — 9
This guitar matches my musical style perfectly. I've been playing for about 7 years by now, so I'm not a complete guitar noob anymore I think. I absolutely adore this guitar. I own an Ibanez AR300 which I use as a backup. I think this SG beats it in every way, but it's still a good backup guitar. I hope it never gets stolen or lost, but if it did, I would most definitely buy it again!!! I don't really hate anything about it, the most annoying thing is the hum but you can deal with it. This guitar is definitely up there with the higher end Gibsons at least in playability and reliability! For 749 euros this is a great deal. I recommend it for everyone!

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will most definitely withstand live playing! It's built like a tank, and hey, it's a Gibson. Hardware is top notch, very likely to last decades, and strap buttons seem really solid. I also gig with a backup just in case (string breaks etc) but I'm sure this guitar will not let me down. The finish seems like it will wear off with lots of playing, but I don't really mind; it's a workhorse, not a decoration.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The factory set-up was okay, but the guys at the music shop set it up perfect for me (low action, light strings, perfect for bending and soloing). The pickups are P90s so they cannot be adjusted that high because of the plastic covers. The finish looks great, but not as great as an SG standard, since this one has no lacquer on it. But as I said, it's a workhorse so it's not meant to look fabulous. But I still think it's a beautiful guitar. And the satin neck is really fast and feels amazingly good! No flaws in the finish or fit what'soever.

Features — 9
This lovely piece of musical equipment was made in the USA this year (2011). 22 frets, 60s slim taper neck profile. Rosewood fingerboard. Mahogany is used for both body and neck. It has a worn finish, mine is cherry coloured. Tune-O-Matic bridge. 2 volume and 2 tone controls, 3-way selector. 2 P90 pickups. Grover green key tuners. Chrome hardware. Came with a Gibson deluxe gigbag.

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    rv_phoenix
    Congratulations for this fine axe, dude! You're certainly not a rookie if you chose this particular guitar. As for the hum, at least when you're in the middle position it should disappear. But don't rush to buy noise gates or something like this before you explore all the other noise issues. I'm sure you know even the plug can induce hum... So: buy a reliable noiseless power source for the amp, then a real cable (I suggest the Evidence Lyric HG, or Evidence Forte if you play many gigs), then a noiseless adapter for the BOSS/ the EHX devices, then check for the noise once again. If it doesn't drop below an acceptable level, you can try a noise cancellation pedal (or rack device). I myself use the Hush Pedal from Rocktron at about 15-20% of its gain and it works perfectly.
    pda00124
    I just got mine in today. Everything is flawless on it. As far as hum I haven't experienced any at all. I like the action and the factory setup. only thing I would recommend is to get a hard case, I don't trust those cheap Gibson gig bags.
    rikuplaysfloyd
    Congratulations for this fine axe, dude! You're certainly not a rookie if you chose this particular guitar. As for the hum, at least when you're in the middle position it should disappear. But don't rush to buy noise gates or something like this before you explore all the other noise issues. I'm sure you know even the plug can induce hum... So: buy a reliable noiseless power source for the amp, then a real cable (I suggest the Evidence Lyric HG, or Evidence Forte if you play many gigs), then a noiseless adapter for the BOSS/ the EHX devices, then check for the noise once again. If it doesn't drop below an acceptable level, you can try a noise cancellation pedal (or rack device). I myself use the Hush Pedal from Rocktron at about 15-20% of its gain and it works perfectly.
    Just created an account to reply. The middle position isn't actually hum cancelling, which is a pity. And I'm sure the noise comes from the pickups as this doesn't happen with my other guitar, which has humbuckers. I'm actually not bothered by the hum too much as I don't use an awful lot of gain. And the further you play from the amp, the smaller the amount of hum gets. So it's not really that big a deal
    rikuplaysfloyd
    I just got mine in today. Everything is flawless on it. As far as hum I haven't experienced any at all. I like the action and the factory setup. only thing I would recommend is to get a hard case, I don't trust those cheap Gibson gig bags.
    Congratulations for your purchase! Yeah definitely get a hard case, I don't trust the shitty gibson gig bag either.. You don't want this baby to hurt itself And to the guy that asked about the binding, no there is no binding on the neck.
    rv_phoenix
    LedZepFan543 wrote: No binding?
    SGs don't have a binding, because the edges are slightly rounded. Since the body doesn't have a binding, there's no need for it on the neck neither.
    rv_phoenix
    rikuplaysfloyd wrote: Congratulations for this fine axe, dude! You're certainly not a rookie if you chose this particular guitar. As for the hum, at least when you're in the middle position it should disappear. But don't rush to buy noise gates or something like this before you explore all the other noise issues. I'm sure you know even the plug can induce hum... So: buy a reliable noiseless power source for the amp, then a real cable (I suggest the Evidence Lyric HG, or Evidence Forte if you play many gigs), then a noiseless adapter for the BOSS/ the EHX devices, then check for the noise once again. If it doesn't drop below an acceptable level, you can try a noise cancellation pedal (or rack device). I myself use the Hush Pedal from Rocktron at about 15-20% of its gain and it works perfectly. Just created an account to reply. The middle position isn't actually hum cancelling, which is a pity. And I'm sure the noise comes from the pickups as this doesn't happen with my other guitar, which has humbuckers. I'm actually not bothered by the hum too much as I don't use an awful lot of gain. And the further you play from the amp, the smaller the amount of hum gets. So it's not really that big a deal
    I'm glad to meet someone who thinks the right way. Hum is actually a part of the whole sound. Buddy Holly or even Jimi didn't have noise cancellation devices, but, hey, what a sound they've had... My Rocktron pedal is meant to cancel only the hum induced by the domestic plugs and the cheap DC adapter of my processor: I didn't manage to improve all my equipment at once, I still have to buy some stuff. However, I'm a little bit surprised the middle position isn't noise cancellating: I've always thought that reversing polarity will actually cancel all the hum. Did you try to take a look at the wiring inside? I know it's a Gibson, I understand it isn't big deal, but still... a second opinion doesn't harm anyone. Anyway, congratulations once again for the taste you obviously have!
    rikuplaysfloyd
    You're right, those guys have some of the best tones ever! I didn't take a look at the wiring.. I guess I should. Thanks a lot for your kind words again!
    retaman
    Got mine Gibson SG 60's in Worn Ebony yesterday. Unboxed it and was quite suprised when noticed a scratch on the upper side of the body ( 5 cm ) so the natural colour of wood was visible. Other one is on the back of the neck - looks like the guitar was hanging on sth sharp or whatever. Anyway I called the shop and distributor as well and was said that the scratches were made in factory by Gibson and this is what the "worn" ebony is all about. They also added that with time nitro will come off the guitar and axe will get this worn look in a half of the year. Pitty Gibson doesn't show some pictures with worn details, showing only brand new and shinny finish. Anyway - what do you think ? Maybe the scratches was made by accident at the shop and guys simply lie about that ( which I think is rather unbelievable 'cause they sent me some pictures of other guitars - they had scratches in varous places as well... ) Anyway I 'll keep mine 'cause it feels and sounds great
    dexfx69
    There's no doubt it's a quality guitar. And no doubt it's very stripped down look (no binding/no inlays/single ply PG/etc) gives it a less decorated look than a standard or classic. It's a meat and potatoes FAST axe due to the slimtaper 60s neck, and the tone is fantastic due to the thin nitro finish/P-90s.
    ronhoward
    I purchased the lefty Ebony version of this a few months ago. Hands down has to be the best purchase I've ever made (well except for hookers, but whose counting). I do get hum on mine, but I figure between the pups being so hot and not having high end gear through my whole setup that it's to be expected. I was (pleasantly) surprised at how light it felt. The only thing I don't like about this guitar so far is the off white colored tuners. I'm thinking about having them replaced with some silver grover tuners. To Most_Triumphant, You must've had something other than this model, because it feels everything but cheap.