Guitar review: Gibson SG special

Gibson SG SPecial Faded

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The SG special.

I want to say that this is a great guitar for beginners because of its price.  I’m not sure that would be entirely fair, though…

Ok.  Let’s start with the negatives, shall we?

Its tuning will slip quite easily if knocked.  Get a hard-case if you’re transporting.

The end frets of the twenty two can be awkward to get to, because the nineteenth fret is where the neck joins the body.

The treble pick-up can be a little too high-end if amp/effects settings don’t offer enough low.  Not a massive problem, and easily fixed.

And that’s about it for the negatives.

I tried hard.  I really did.

Gibson SG SPecial Faded
Gibson SG SPecial Faded

The positives:

The SG special has a similar sound to the Les Paul, in the sense that it has that low down blues sound, which also transposes brilliantly to genres such as rock, metal and punk.  But like any good guitar, you have to get an equally good amp to do it justice.  If you like that lower sound, then this is a positive.

The tone is great.  Sometimes I think it’s a little unfair how the SG gets pigeonheld into the hard rock/heavy blues section.  Not entirely fair, as this guitar can handle jazz tones, and can even get (with the right setting up) the highs of funk.(again…through a good amp!)

The action on the model I’m playing here is perfect.  I’ve had guitars in the past that have needed to be set up properly after coming from the factory,  which is annoying as you just want to get on and play the damn thing!  The strings are nice and low, but not low enough to cause any buzz.  Because of this, it’s also great for soloing.

It’s very light, but tough.  Recently, I saw a friend drop his SG at a gig.  We all recoiled in horror, but with a little tuning, it was fine.  Thinking about it, ‘dropped’ isn’t the right description.  It was more, dropped, bounced a bit, smashed against a table and then got flooded in beer.

This is a tough guitar.

It has a mahogany body,  a rounded, maple board with twenty two frets.

Volume, tone, pick-up switch which shifts between Gibson’s 490 Rhythm and treble pickups.

Coming back to the first thing I said in this review: “I want to say that this is a great guitar for beginners because of its price.  I’m not sure that would be entirely fair, though…”

This is because it isn’t only good for beginners.  It’s good for anyone, especially those that love the crunch and punch of the genres mentioned above.

So let’s be really honest.  For the price you’ll pay, it’s hard to find negatives with this guitar.  Yeah, of course it could be of a higher quality in some particular areas, and of course, there are better guitars out there, but for the price you pay, it really is…well, special.

Sorry for the cliche.


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