Sound — 8
The 490R/498T pickups don't fit my Vintage style all that well. The neck pickup with tone turned down to about 7 will give a nice late-'60s sound, and the bridge pickup does give some nice crunch for harder classic rock. However, if you are into Vintage-style music, it would be best to Switch pickups or get a different model SG, such as the Gibson SG '61 Reissue. I use my SG with a Peavey Classic 30. The pickups don't give the best clean sound. They are wax-potted, so you don't get terrible feedback with high gain settings. This guitar can do a wide variety of genres, but it is only passable in some. Examples of genres include hard rock, metal, classic rock, punk rock, and modern styles of rock. It is best for modern sounds.
Overall Impression — 10
I play classic rock and blues-rock, and this guitar can handle these styles decently, but I am replacing the pickups very soon. I have three years of playing experience. Other items of gear that I own include the following: Peavey Classic 30, Carvin Bolt, and a 1977 Aria steel-string acoustic guitar. If this guitar somehow left my possession, I would probably buy a Gibson SG '61 Reissue, or another one of these. I love the overall feel of the instrument. The only things I dislike are the pickups and the pots and caps, which will be replaced shortly. I chose this guitar because it has a neck that isn't terribly thin and because the price was right. If it came with '57 Classics or other Vintage-style, low-output pickups, I'd like it better, but it's a great guitar how it is. This thing will be staying with me for a long time, so I thought I'd just share how great it is.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar can take a beating. You really don't have to worry about anything going wrong on stage, unless you happen to have rough bridge saddles or nut slots, which could lead to string breakage if left rough. I have had no troubles with the strap buttons, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a set of Schaller strap locks for extra security. I would feel safe gigging with this guitar without a backup. The finish is quite lasting, and it still looks Brand New after two years of use.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I did not buy this guitar from a shop, but I did buy it used in very nice condition. The setup on the guitar when I received it from the original owner was about how I like it. I currently have it set up with Gibson's factory specifications, and it seems to be a good setting. There are no flaws concerning finish, oxidation, bad soldering connections, etc. It was perfect from the factory.
Features — 9
My Gibson SG Standard is a 2006 model, made in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. It has a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, with the Standard Gibson 24.75" scale. The SG Standard has a '50s profile, which is bigger than the '60s profile, but it is very small in comparison to Historic Gibsons with the fat '50s necks. It has a solid mahogany body and is finished in a transparent "Heritage Cherry." It has a double-cutaway body. The bridge is a Nashville Tune-o-matic, which is paired up with a stopbar tailpiece. The guitar has passive electronics, which include two volume controls, two tone controls, a three-way selector Switch, and two humbucking pickups. The pickups are Gibson's 490R/498T "Modern Classic" set. The 490R has an Alnico II magnet, while the 498T has an Alnico V, and is significantly hotter. The pickups have a modern flavor, so they aren't really the best for Vintage-style classic rock and blues, but they can be passable with a decent amp. The tuners are non-locking Kluson-style tuners. Included with the guitar is a very nice hardshell case, as well as a truss rod adjustment Tool that is very handy for use as a screwdriver.