SG Special Faded review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 1
  • Overall Impression: 1
  • Reliability & Durability: 1
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 4
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 2.8 Junky
  • Users' score: 8.4 (498 votes)
Gibson: SG Special Faded
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Purchased from: Long & McQuade

Sound — 1
The "sound" is terrific, when it's in tune, which it never is. I play mostly classic hard rock, so it would be the ideal sounding instrument, if it stayed in tune more than a minute or so. I use a Fender Twin Reverb and Fender 85 studio set up. It was a bit noisy with an external chorus pedal, but I fixed that by just using the factory chorus on the Fender. It has a rich overdriven sound that hard rock players love, but don't be dazzled by the sound, it's a lame duck.

Overall Impression — 1
My overall impression was so poor that I returned the instrument to the retailer and demanded a full refund, and traded up to a Les Paul Classic. Don't endure the frustration. Spend the extra money and get an LP or an ES or even a V or Xplorer, if it's for a stage instrument. If your budget is around $1000, go for a Fender or something Japanese, but avoid the SG Faded. Don't the sound fool you into buying what is really an unplayable instrument.

Reliability & Durability — 1
This guitar will not withstand Live playing because it only stays in tune for about a minute. I have used it on a gig without a backup, but the band has to pause for me to re-tune between every song. The materials all seemed okay, but this guitar has been set up more than 10 times in 2 years and it still doesn't hold tune. It's just a cheap knockoff of a real SG and will really disappoint you. Don't be cheap, buy an SG Standard, or better still, spend the extra money on a Les Paul.

Action, Fit & Finish — 4
The action, fit and finish were okay. The fret wire was a bit rough and the action needed set up to remover fret buzz, but not too much of an inconvenience. The inconveniences with this piece of junk are other than action fit or finish. I did notice, however, that another SG Faded in the store (there were 2 when I bought) had a top that was glued. The grain on one of the horns didn't match, so it looked like the horn was just stuck on. So, if you still want one of these after reading my review, be sure to inspect the body to be sure you're buying a solid, single piece of wood and not something patched together.

Features — 7
2005 US made, faded red, 22 fret, mahogany, the standard SG horned body, Alnico pickups and the lot. The only included accessories was a gig bag, but I bought a hardshell case which needed the lock replaced on it in about a month. The features are what they are in an SG, pretty Standard. The key missing feature here is locking tuners. Gibson needs them on these things to make them at all playable.

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