SG Special Faded review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (498 votes)
Gibson: SG Special Faded

Price paid: $ 900

Purchased from: Musikbörsen

Sound — 9
I mainly play classic rock, which this guitar pretty much was made for. I mostly play things like AC/DC, which justified the purchase of an SG even more. I was going to get the SG Standard att first, but since they cost 2100 US Dollars here in Sweden, I thought that I should have a look at the SG Faded too. It was a really pleasant surprise! The sound from this thing is really raw and powerful, and the cleans can be fantastic aswell. I couldn't find any big differences (except the finish) that would make me pay 1000$ more for the SG Standard, so I happily took the SG faded knowing that I had made a really awesome deal for such a good price. I currently use it through a P.A-system where I take guitar lessons, an Apple Mac Pro modelling amp style application (which is great) and a Laney 50W (I think) amp at my bands jamming place. The reason I gave it a 9 on "Features" is because of the pickups. Don't get me wrong, they are great and all that, but they are a bit noisy and it can be a bit bothering. I could depend on the amp though, as I'm only getting this through the Laney-amp. The guitar has a really rich and bassy sound on the rythm pickup, and a bright and sharp lead guitar/solo sound on the treble pickup. The tone knobs on the guitar don't really change the sound too much, but the volume knobs help a lot. When playing cleans on the knob set to '10', you can still manage to create "natural distortion" by playing rougher - hence making it sound almost better than modelled distortion. For cleans, it helps to turn down the volume knob a bit.

Overall Impression — 10
To sum it up, I think this is a great guitar and definately worth the money. Maybe I got a really good one, or I played a lemon SG Standard, but I can't see that the Standard lives up to the pricetag. I really love this guitar and I will probably keep it my entire life. If it was stolen, I'd find the one Who stole it and torture him/her until I either got my guitar back, or get the person to buy me a new one. On a more serious note, I'd take the insurance money and buy me a new one (if guitars count as home insurance). The only bad thing I have to say about it is that the pickups might be a little noisy and produce a bit of white noise, but as I said; I only experienced it through the Laney amp which has been used for a long time and is really beaten up.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I'm confident that guitar would be great Live. I haven't played any gigs yet, but when I do, I will most definately use this guitar without a back-up. The hardware feels great, I had my doubts about the treble pick up earlier because it sticks out quite a bit from the rest of the body, but I got the store's guitartech to fix it when I bought it. Now it's only raised a bit. The strap buttons feel rock solid to me, so I probably won't do anything to them. I checked them thoroughly before buying, and if they were loose I'd get it fixed on the spot. The finish is gorgeous and I'm really cautious of getting dents and dings, so I can't really say if it is resistant to it. In my opinion, the finish on the Faded is even nicer than the one on the Standard, but that's up to everyone to decide for themselves.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was set up perfectly and came in tune. I'm really happy with the set up work made by Gibson before I bought it, and you can really feel the quality. I had to tune my previous guitar, Washburn WI14 (beginners guitar), every 15-20 minutes. I haven't tuned this guitar once since I bought it, which was 5 days ago. I've played it for atleast 2 hours everyday since I bought it, and it still stays in tune like nothing I've ever seen before!

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