Price paid: £ 799
Purchased from: Music Junkie
Sound — 9
I am a Strat player by choice and a single coil enthusiast but have always wanted something to play AC/DC, Led Zep Type stuff on and have tried many a SG and LP but never fell in love until I tried this. I plugged it into a Fender Blues Jnr in the shop and wow!... It felt good in the hands too! Not too bright with a subtle bass and a mid roar that left me shivering. It has sustain to die for and is very resonant. I am very surprised and pleased with the variety of tonal settings and found myself equally happy to play clean jazzy type stuff aswell as blues to raw rock filth, the latter without losing too much of the guitar's own character.
Overall Impression — 10
I play mainly Blues based classic rock lead and rhythm guitar through Marshall and Engl amps and have found this guitar to be a lot more versatile than I had previously thought. It cleans up nicely and can achieve thunder on request and plenty inbetween. As I mentioned before I have tried and borrowed and even bought various Gibbo's before and had always found them wanting in some area but this one really has surprised me. I hasten to add, that I did try a few other Standards in the past and the same faults applied. I think with this one I just went to right shop at right time and landed on my feet. I have a USA 1996 Standard Strat, an Eric Johnson RW sig. Strat and a couple of decent Squiers, an Engl Screamer 50w, and a Marshall 2266C 50w and have been playing for 35yrs ish. My ratings are based purely on the guitar I bought and I would strongly suggest trying as many as possible before buying to avoid disappointment. On reflection after many, many, spontaneous purchases I would advise trying rigorously any guitar before buying as it will save a lot of time, money and moral deflation in the long run, believe me I know, lol.
Reliability & Durability — 8
It seems like a tough enough thing and reliable except for one little thing, whilst practising one day the bridge pup suddenly went quiet, I fiddled with the knobs, tapped the pup and pulled my lead in and out, then it just came back to life and has been fine ever since(weird). Apart from that the guitar looks and feels as if it would survive a tour or 10. I have a cautious eye on the tuners but again they have been ok but I think I will stick some quality locking tuners on there. I will probably change pups too for some more classic type HB's, 59's or similar but that is purely a taste issue and not putting down the pups it came with.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
One of the concerns I have always had with Gibsons that I have tried, is the fact they all seemed to be inconsistent in their set-ups and general build. This is one of the reasons I had not had one before, for any length of time, as I always seemed to find something that wasn't right. This one however seemed to be bang-on! Nice low action, stayed in tune and up until now, 3 months later, I have found absolutely no fault with it in terms of build quality and playability. The neck was an important factor for me as I am not a lover of big fat tree-trunk necks. I prefer a thin neck, most of my Strats have V necks but this one on the 2012 SG feels really nice to me although it is still chunky compared to my Strats.
Features — 9
2012 Gibson SG Standard, USA made, 24 frets, solid mahogany body in cherry nitro, the neck is not as chunky as the early ones but not skinny either somewhere inbetween. Tune-o-matic bridge, Gibson modern type pups(490T I think), 2 tone 2 vol. Knobs, classic Gibson tulip type tuners(green) and a nice solid hardcase, black well fitting with white faux fur interior. It also comes with a little Gibson booklet and a truss rod adjustment tool and sports a set of Gibson 10 gauge strings, which I changed for D'Adds 10's.