Sound — 7
Although I didn't get to play the SG in the store, I went to a local guitar center and tried one out, just to compare it to mine. Here is what I think about the pickups, they're crap. At least that's my impression on the stock 490s on this thing. I still have it on the neck and when I tried it out at the store, it was really muddy, and that's how my neck is now. I'm going to change the neck soon to a Seymour Duncan SH-1 59' so my SG can really Shine, although the neck sounds amazing on clean. If you're into metal, I guess the stock pups are ok. They're just too muddy for me, although the response and sustain are pretty good. But other than that, change those pickups!
Overall Impression — 10
I play a lot of Green Day and punk band songs, along with other types of music like Clapton and Linkin Park. Even if I've only been playing for about a year and a half and I'm not that good, my ears have been trained really well and I can tell the difference between different tones and I got really lucky picking this guitar up. It has been able to hold up to all the genre's I play (well at least my bridge pickup). I love how light it is. The way the top part of the guitar and my forearm meet is so smooth and ergonomic, I much prefer this feeling compared to my Epi JR. Also, the strap button behind the body seems to be much easier to hold the guitar while standing up and playing than where the Les Paul button is put, but that's my own personal opinion. The original tuners didn't do a good job since I had a bigsby, so I changed 'em to TonePros Kluson locking tuners. A direct replacement and it solved my problem a bit, but I need to change the nut to a graph-tech trem nut. Now when my friends ask me, "So are you playing with you JR?" and I say "Oh that it's just sitting in it's case in the corner of my room." Once you get a taste of a Gibson, you never wanna go back to the cheap crap you play before!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I haven't played live with this nor do I play Live at all, although it would be fun to do! But this thing seems solid enough and hadnt really done anything stupid while I've played it, so I think this guitar would be awesome. I've dropped it once. I put it on my friend's bed and I guess I left a bit more of the body hanging out than I thought and when I got up off the the bed, it fell it's side and rolled over on it's face. My though was "Shit, I'm gonna have to get a new guitar and I just got this thing a few months ago!" But I was totally wrong. The only thing that happened was a dent on the top of the headstocl veneer but it's hardly even noticable, unless you inspect the guitar very carefully. So will this thing last? You're damn right it will!
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action was pretty good, but when I had the bridge changed, the luthier had it all the way down! That really sucked because I had annoying fretbuzz for 3 months before I changed the strings. But after I raised it up a bit, it was all good! The neck feels so smooth and so does everything else. The finish on my guitar isn't really faded though. I compared it with another faded and that one had some grainy rough parts and really seemed faded. My SG is even darker too. Mine just seems like it was sanded evenly and teated with love.
Features — 10
I bought the SG Faded on Feb. 15 2008. When I got this guitar, I didn't even know that I was getting it. I have an Epiphone Les Paul JR. and wanted to put a bigsby on it. To make a long story short, the posts were too expensive to make 'em wider for an real bridge (not stop tailpiece), so the luthier at the store suggested I put it on a Gibson SG faded. I was pretty stupid not to even plug it in and play it, but hell, it was my first Gibson and Gibson's are always awesome, right? Anyways, I had the bigsby installed along with a roller bridge and a Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB model in the bridge position. It was a giant step up from the $100 Epi JR I bought off of ebay and the neck pickup was an amazing add on for my ears to experience. Everything about this guitar is amazing. I like the faded finish because I don't get to see my fingerprints all over the place, and as time rolls on, it'll give me that "beat up" cool Vintage look.