Sonex 180 Deluxe Review

manufacturer: Gibson date: 06/15/2015 category: Electric Guitars
Gibson: Sonex 180 Deluxe
It is definitely a character instrument and has great potential. Heck its a legendary name and has a great sound.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (2) pictures (5) 6 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.2
Sonex 180 Deluxe Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 300

Purchased from: trade

Features: Made in the good ol' USA. 22 small frets with a Big maple "C" shaped neck. Body is Rosinwood with a tone wood core. Great Les Paul Shape But HEAVIER than any I've tried. Tune-O-Matic bridge with passive Gibson Zebra pickups. It's a 180 Deluxe so not the Dirty Fingers pickups. Two volume and two tone controls. With three position toggle close to pots. The tuners are stock Gibson but no badge on them. Mine came in a trade with an aftermarket case. // 9

Sound: I like guitars with personality. I don't really care where they come from, but if they don't sound good then I won't buy. I had a newer Ibanez with character issues, so I traded it for the Gibson. It has many sonic possibilities from that woman tone Slash is famous for to metal or blues punk, anyway its versatile. The neck pickup on this one is louder than the bridge for some reason. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Being a trade I did get it in excellent condition with the exception of a scratchy toggle switch. Sometimes I find string bends on the guitar a little on the difficult side for the higher notes. That's where I miss the Ibanez. All hardware still performs perfectly but the bolt on neck has a gap at the body which causes some tuning problems sometimes. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I have used the guitar as a backup and it can be my main guitar for bluesier songs. The hardware is good quality and strap buttons seem fine under the great weight of this guitar. I need strap locks for continued playing or when I'm feeling acrobatic. Good paint on the guitar and black tends to hide everything (except under a light). // 8

Overall Impression: I'm a singer/songwriter and play acoustic lots. When I want to get on the wild side the Gibson is there to wail. I have a couple Ibanez Roadstar's that I really like, and a great Mark Three Traynor amp from the 70's. The Gibson shines with this setup too. I despite the Gibson's quirks it is definitely a character instrument and has great potential. Heck its a legendary name and has a great sound. If it were stolen I would try to find another and feed it to whoever stole the first one. Then buy another on top of that one to actually play again. It would be nice to have the coil tap feature that the customs have. It's way better than an Epiphone or cheap Strat. // 9

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overall: 9.8
Sonex 180 Deluxe Reviewed by: bradleyard, on june 15, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 250

Purchased from: Some old guy

Features: This is a black, USA-made, 1981 Gibson Sonex 180 Deluxe, also known as a poor man's Les Paul. 22 fret C-shaped bolt-on mahogany neck, Resinwood body laminated over mahogany. Tune-o-matic bridge, stock neck pickup, 500-T in the bridge (I couldn't stand the stock bridge pickup). Tuners are the stock Gibson tuners, which are good, but they're getting worn out, so I'm probably going to replace them with similar units eventually. It's everything you would expect from a Les Paul-type guitar. Very nice! // 10

Sound: I play punk, progressive rock, and blues, and it works great! I play it through a 100 watt 2x12 Fender amp, an ancient DOD chorus, and a DigiTech RP200, and it *moans*! I really, really love the tone of this guitar. It used to be really noisy, which I traced back to a bad ground wire and fixed, so it's nice and quiet now. It has the sort of tone you would expect from a Les Paul, that creamy, mid-rangey sound, but it's a bit brighter, and it sustains for days. The one disappointment was the stock bridge pickup, which, as stated above, I replaced about a year after I got it with a 500-T. I love it! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action and intonation were off when I got it, and the nut had a crack, so I had it replaced with a bone nut, and had a good set-up done. It hasn't needed anything since, aside from a few odds and ends, such as replacing the cracked pickguard. Seriously, this thing was built like a tank. When I got it, some 24 years ago, I was young and dumb, so I abused it. It's had some restoration work done, and has a lot to go (tuners, some minor odds and ends), but the tone and playability are there. I definitely can't complain. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar has withstood many, many gigs without a back-up guitar. Seriously, it's built like a tank. The strap buttons were kind of small, so I put larger ones on, and that solved that. It's beyond dependable. The finish is showing a lot of signs of age and wear, and the guitar, as a whole, is showing its age, but it's still my main guitar, and will be as long as the neck holds up, and then I'll just have it replaced anyways. It's really served me well over the years, and hopefully it'll continue to serve me well for many, many years to come! // 10

Overall Impression: As I said, I play punk, progressive rock, and blues, and this one easily suits all three. If it were stolen, I'd find whoever stole it, and slowly carve them, alive, into small pieces, then feed them to their dog. I absolutely love everything about this guitar. It's been my main guitar since I got it 24 years ago, and it's going to be until I can't play anymore. When I got it, I tried a couple different Gibson/Epiphone, Ibanez, Peavey, Washburn, Fender, and ESP models, and this was the one that spoke to me. It's perfect the way it is. // 10

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