Price paid: £ 799
Purchased from: London Guitar Show
Sound — 10
I play mostly classic rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Queen etc) and also a bit of blues, mainly Eric Clapton and Cream and the guitar is suited for both of this styles. I play it through a Marshall AVT150, usually with no effects but I use my Crybaby Wah with it sometimes and a Boss OS-2 for a bit of a boost. The guitar itself provides a bright, honking sound which is quite versatile. Of course the guitar is perfect for AC/DC and really nails Angus' tone. I especially like this guitar for Cream era Clapton tones, using both pickups with the tone knobs rolled back, it can really get that 'woman' tone. The guitar also handles the heavier stuff I play such as Iron Maiden and a little bit of Metallica, but it may not handle much heavier than that and probably not great for shredders. When played clean, it gets a really nice warm sound on the neck pickup and quite a twangy sound on the bridge.
Overall Impression — 10
As I stated earlier I play classic rock and blues and this guitar has been the best thing to happen to me and is perfectly suited for me. Before this I was playing some very bad no-named Strat copy, that was dreadful and I leap from something like that to an SG is amazing. When I bought this, I originally planed to by the SG Special but I saw this and just preferred it almost every way- it looks nicer, feels nicer and sounds better. I also compared to the Les Paul Studio but again I prefer the look of SGs and I don't like playing Les Pauls too much because of the weight. I love the lightweight SG and when I play my friends Epiphone Les Paul, I can't believe how heavy it seems. If it was stolen or lost (not sure how you lose a guitar! ) I would probably buy a new one - if I had the money! Sometimes I wish it had a whammy bar because I would like it to play with and I think the Vintage SGs with whammy bars look great. My favourite things about this guitar are the lightweight body and versatile sound, which I both suited perfectly to me.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have never gigged this guitar so I am not entirely sure about Live playing but I feel it would survive as it is a very sturdy and robust guitar. The hardware has had no problems so far, so I feel it will last quite well but I have managed to chip one of the volume knobs somehow but that can be replaced quite cheaply- I just haven't yet. I have knocked it a few times and there have no marks, dents or other problems, so I feel it would survive if played Live. It also seems to stay in tune well, so that is also a good point. The finish seems good and hard wearing and there have been no marks in it so far. The strap buttons have also had no problems. The hard case that is included is also very sturdy and would probably cost 40+ in the shops, so that helps to keep the guitar in good condition.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was set-up fairly well for me. I adjusted the action slightly to suit me better. The pickups were fine and have required no adjusting. The finish is fine and the only marks are ones that I has got from some fairly heavy playing from me. The electronics are also fine. The only problem I noticed was a small mark on the top of the pickup control, but I am not sure whether that was from the factory as I only really noticed it after a few days, so it could have been me. Also the jack socket has a tendency to come a bit loose but I can usually just screw it back with my fingers.
Features — 9
My SG was made in 2006 (4 days after my birthday exactly! ), in America. It features the Standard 22 frets on a rosewood fingerboard, on a rounded profile. The guitar is mahogany in the body and neck, which keeps the guitar very light, in conjunction with the thin body, and provides a bright 'honking' sound. The finish is Heritage cherry which I think is the nicest finish for an SG but it also comes in ebony and natural burst. It has a tune-o-matic bridge, which keeps the guitar in tune very well, but you have to be a bit careful when restringing because it can fall off and damage the guitar. The controls are the usual 2 tone knobs, 2 volume knobs and the 2 way pickups selector Switch. The pickups on the Standard are: a Gibson 498T in the bridge and a Gibson 490R in the neck, these both provide very versatile sounds. The tuners are Standard Gibson Deluxe ones, so nothing special there. The guitar also included a Gibson hard case.