Sonex 180 Standard review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (8 votes)
Gibson: Sonex 180 Standard

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: DiPinto Guitars

Sound — 10
Sound is awesome as stated above with the stock Dirty Fingers. My first time hearing original ones. Have had an Epiphone Prophecy with the reissues in it. Reissues are OK, but don't hold a candle to the originals. Suits my style fine which is mostly rock, but works just fine for other styles too. Neck pickup on this is one of the best sounding I have ever heard. Smooth and NO MUD. I'm using it with a Fender Mustang III 100 watt and a Vox Cambridge 30 watt Hybrid. Mine isn't noisy at all besides a very slight hum and if I get too close to the Fender. It will feedback (Unpotted p-ups). Not so much with the Vox though. Play through a multiple of settings with and without effects on the Fender Mustang III and I like the gain boost on my Vox. Bridge is a brighter tone then the neck as usual. Completely able to be full and rich when adjusted properly.

Overall Impression — 10
Play a little of everything, Christain rock, 80s hair metal, Alternative, Blues, Country, Etc. Been playing for 3 years, Other gear is 2 Epiphone Traditional Pros (1-Ebony and 1-Korina) Les Pauls, Fender Mustang III, 100 watt amp, Vox Cambridge 30 watt amp, Gibson Melody Maker Les Paul, Carlson IG10 Strat copy HSS, and an ESP AC-20 flamed maple acoustic. I LOVE everything about it, Nothing I hate, Favorite feature is the Dirty Fingers pickups and the Great sustain it has. I had never heard of these before and when I found out about them I had to try one. Its unique and RARE and I like that its got killer character. If it were lost or stolen, I would definitely try and get another one. But that would be tough in the condition mines in. And mine was only made for 1 year, They discontinued it for the Artist model in 1981. I wanted something Vintage and I liked the reviews of these. Most of them out there are the Deluxe and Custom models. Rarest to find the Standard and Artist models. These are a players guitar and alot I have seen are Rode hard and put away wet, But keep on playing. The one thing I forgot to mention is they do have some weight to them, Mines 9+ pounds but it balances nicely and I think it helps with the sustain. It has everything I need and nothing I don't. I love mine and will continue to cherish it.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Yes it will withstand live playing, They are built like tanks. Hardware is fine and tuners hold tune. Strap buttons are solid, I wouldn't gig without a backup because of string breakage, But do find this reliable enough to do so if I had to. Finish is just fine-32 years old and still on there except for a very few TINY spots.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Don't know about factory setup on this - it's 32 years old. DiPinto Guitars did an awesome job on the setup, VERY low action with no buzz, Too low for my taste, I raised it on the bass side a bit. For this guitars age-Its darn near MINT condition, 3-VERY TINY paint dings on the back side edge and some typical headstock rub on the edges. Only flaw I found was the neck pocket on these are NOT tight. Bass side is tight and the other side is probably a 1/4" gap between the edge and the neck itself. All hardware is great and rust free, Nut cut perfectly, Nothing loose and all selectors work just fine.

Features — 10
1980 U.S.A. made Sonex Standard (not Custom), 22 medium frets, Chunky "C" profile mahogany neck, Solid body resonwood over mahogany ply (I guess?). Satin Black body finish shiny in areas rubbed on and back of neck. Single cutaway Les Paul style body with thinner contours like an SG. Tune-o-matic bridge and tail in chrome. Passive "AWESOME" Dirty Fingers pickups Zebra neck and bridge. 2-Vol. 2-tone, 3-way switch, 2-way coil tap toggle, chrome unbranded Gibson tuners. Came with unoriginal tweed L.P. case with Sonex manual and a Norlin tag.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    My Dad has one it's pretty cool. It's my go to guitar when I visit.