SBG500 review by Yamaha

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (8 votes)
Yamaha: SBG500

Sound — 9
I use it to play rock and metal, e.g. Slipknot, System Of A Down, Rage Against The Machine and The Offspring. The thin neck isnt really suitable for soloing, but for a classical rock guitar it handles the riffs pretty well. The Pickup selctor is good for Rage's riffs. I use a Behringer overdrive/distortion pedal, and an evans amp, which has a 'Boost' feature which makes the distortion sound even heavier, perfect for Slipknot. Volume isn't an issue, it's the buzzing sound I get when using any frets higher than 11 on the E and A strings.

Overall Impression — 10
My style doesn't really suit the guitar, but it's nonetheless awesome. I got it as a present, so I'm extremely grateful, for it started my interest in guitar. I've been playing for about a year, and it's much easier playing than my friends Strat. The only thing I wish I had was a wammy bar!

Reliability & Durability — 9
I would love to play this Live, I like being 'out there', rather than having a Standard Strat. The jack (bit where you plug the leads into) loosens and when it comes off, I have to take the back off to fix it. Annoying! So tightening that constantly is also a problem. Although being in the wrong spot, the strab buttons are very solid and will last. I can and will depend on it, and it is great durability wise.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
To me (an amatuer) the guitar is great in terms of build. Flaws: the tuning pegs loosen over time, so tuning is a constant hassle, and there's no whammy bar! That's not a big problem though. The bridge is a bit strange, but it does the job. And it also allows for some great harmonics when picked. The only major problem though is the tuning pegs, which makes the sound quality go down.

Features — 9
Made in Japan, don't know when. It has 22 jumbo frets with pearl inlay and twin passive humbuckers, one near the bridgeand one near the neck join. Solid mahoginy body with 'Bat Wing' style. The only flaw is the stained yellow plastic arond the pickups that gives it that old look. Two volume knobs, two tone knobs, and a 3 way pickup selector. Height adjustable 'Tune o Matic' bridge, so the strings can be lowered. The strap button is on the back, which tilts it forward slightly, but nothing major.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    [ LiAm ]
    Pingis_Or_Death wrote: A bit ugly...
    Yeah, the one in the picture looks different to mine, the knobs are black, and the pickups are better.
    [ LiAm ]
    I cringed when I read the first sentence of "Sound". Please, look over it.
    got a problem, DudesDontDude?
    These guitars age like fine wine. My guitar was made in 80's and I'm still using all the original parts on it. They're perfect for any music genre.
    I have a 1981 SBG500 - I'm a pro player and it's my #1 guitar. I own multiple Gibson guitars (SG, Les Paul, Flying V), and a couple of better Ibanez guitars (Artist and 1977 Les Paul), plus some other brands (Fender, Epiphone). I have a lot to compare it to. Mine is 100% original. They don't photograph well, but the brown sunburst is beautiful in person. The cleans are probably the best I've ever heard on a humbucker equipped guitar. I bought a Strat to record my clean tones with and now I might as well sell it. It's a heavy guitar - the body is made of Agathis (related to pine, the variety used in mid level guitars is not the soft variety and often called mahogany but it's not), have a maple neck, and has a laminated layer construction as the higher end SBG2000. Neck is medium, not like a normal Les Paul but not thin like a PRS or Ibanez. They dirty up nice and sound wonderful through quality amps (like my Orange Rockerverb 100 or vintage Sunns). I play an 80s Peavey Butcher live and it and takes pedals well I use Black Arts Toneworks fuzz pedals exclusively - tone is to die for. The 500 is professional level guitar and rivals almost any Gibson I've played. Yes, they are that good.
    Hello. Drummer and daddy in search for a guitar for his son, here! I found good deal for a mint SG500B and I'd like to know more about it Could anybody help me please? Thanks !
    please, I need to know about this pickups, what is the difference between the neck pickup that have separates cores and the bridge pickup that have a unified core, this pickups are the original of this model? Thanks guys! Sorry for my english