Some designs just don’t go out of fashion. Its been 46 years since Gibson redesigned the Les Paul, giving it those batwing cutaways and characteristic translucent cherry finish – and they haven’t looked back. Be it guitar or bass, the SG has attitude, and plenty of it.
Although the shape has seen continual use on guitars, Gibson didn’t produce a bass version for over 20 years. That was until 2005 when they launched the SG reissue bass.
But it hasn’t stopped there – as well as Cherry, White, Ebony, Canary Yellow, Coral Pink, Coral Blue, Silverburst, and faded finishes, there is the maple flamed-top SG Supreme, and a Supreme Fireburst.
Its not just looks that make a guitar; the SG reissue bass is proving a big hit for its sounds and playability too.
Model SG Reissue Bass
Bass type Passive, 4 string
Neck 1 piece, glued in mahogany, 30 1/2″ scale
Fingerboard Rosewood, 20 frets
Pickups Gibson TB Plus Bass Humbucker, Mini Bass Humbucker
Controls 2 Volume, 1 Tone
The SG basses were very popular in the 1960s, with models like the EB0 and EB3 selling in huge numbers; appearing in the hands of everyone from Jack Bruce and Andy Fraser to Jermaine Jackson of the Jackson Five. For more about the vintage Gibson basses, have a look at FlyGuitars.com.
So does the SG reissue live up to its predecessors reputation? Well yes, in fact it exceeds it! Whilst keeping the looks, construction and general sound of the EB basses, it simplifies the controls – no varitone switch to play up, and no extreme volume changes when you change to another setting.
It balances well, is lightweight whilst substantial and most of all has the classic deep rich sounds you expect from a Gibson.
There are two variations. The all mahogany SG Reissue bass, and the maple-topped SG supreme bass
The SG Reissue bass
Initially offered in Cherry, Ebony and White. A short time after the launch, three new colors were added to the line for export only (although these are stocked at certain online retailers). Coral Pink, Coral Blue and Canary Yellow. Check here for availability. The latest colors are Heritage Cherry Sunburst and Silverburst >more
Gibson have now put out a limited SG Faded bass. Available in Worn Brown (shown) and Worn Cherry. Really reminiscent of the early seventies walnut basses. These have the same hardware as the other basses, yet sell for a few hundred dollars cheaper, simply by having a thinner finish. >more
Gibson SG Supreme Bass
This bass came out in 2007 as Gibsons 1st Guitar of the Week. It really is diferent from the Reissues – the thick maple top gives this bass far more punch than its all mahogany sibling, but it is also more ornate, with an inlaid headstock, and block inlays. As a GOW it is limited to a production run of just 400. >more
The fireburst version is Gibsons Guitar of the Week from week 18, although in other respects is the same as the Natural version. Again just 400 were made. >more
So there we have it. An absoutely iconic design, with versions to suit traditionalists, those on a budget, and those who prefer the brightness of maple, over the warmth of mahogany
Try one out!
- Read about classic Gibson basses at the FlyGuitars.com