Purchased from: Guitar Center, CT
Sound — 9
The SG has this ability to sound a hundred different ways just by adjusting the volume and tone knobs. With the bridge pickup selected, I can literally go from metal to rock to Indie to whatever. It is very versatile, although it is not that great at heavy metal. The pickups are pretty beefy, but it has a somewhat fuzzy quality that won't give you that razor edge scooped sound that modern metal demands. Very quiet; the nickel covers cancel most hum. However, this is a very warm guitar; it will not give you a thin clean sound like a single coil will. The only complaint I have is that I wish the clean sound had a little more treble to it; sometimes it lacks the high end to cut through a live band. Also, the pick up Switch gets a bit rattley after about half a year of use when in the middle position. Finally, the pickups don't have much sustain, unless an effect is used or a Fernandes sustainer is installed.
Overall Impression — 9
I play mostly rock, but also hardcore and indie/acoustic. This is my third guitar and I couldn't have asked for more. To be honest, I like it a lot better than most Les Pauls! It's thin, light, and has the balls for rock and roll. Play any AC/DC song through this guitar and you'll be sold. If it were stolen, I'd save up for the same guitar, but maybe in a different finish, say tobacco sunburst or something. I compared this guitar to the lesser Gibson SGs and also to 3 or 4 Les Pauls, and it shined through. Sure, it costs over a grand, but if you have the time and money, and are really going play this guitar to it's limits, it is definitely worth it. I only wish it had more sustain. It seems to be great for rhythm, and is excellent for lead; however, don't expect to get notes ringing out for more than 5 or 6 seconds unless a compressor or something is used.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The guitar itself is built for rockin'. I gigged once to two times a week last year on tour and I never had to use a back up. Not even a string broke. The case it comes in is very sturdy and protective, and has a neat little storage space for picks and cables. I've only had the guitar for two years now, but even now I only have a couple of scratches in the finish and some belt rash, which is typical. I'm willing to bet it will last for years to come.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The strings it came with wore out pretty quickly, so I use Dean Markleys or whatever else I can get my hands on. The action when I first got it was perfect; even to this day I haven't adjusted it. Absolutely no fret buzz. The neck pickup was set a little low, but I like the neck humbucker to be a little quieter so I left it there. The finish was flawless, and the clear lacquer coat saved the actual mahogany from countless gouges and scrapes. Because of this clear layer of lacquer it's very easy and cheap to repair the finish. The frets are smooth and flow with the rosewood fretboard nicely. The stock tuners are pretty decent, although the G string is still somewhat notorious for pulling sharp, even with graphite rubbed in the nut slot. Note: The strap button is placed on the back of the neck where it meets the body. This poses no problem for people who stand still and play. However, the rockers out there who like to jump around should definitely get strap locks. The only flaw I found in the body was that the guitar is a little top-heavy; if you lean the slightest bit forward without holding the guitar while its on you, the headstock will dip downward, sometimes even to the floor. Be careful of this.
Features — 10
It's a 2005 Gibson SG Standard, made in USA. 22 frets, nice cream binding, solid mahogony body, pearl trapezoid inlays, rosewood fretboard. Neck is glued in with stock tuners. Tune-O-Matic bridge, everything else stock.