Gibsons are expensive. We all know. So how about this? A fantastic SG, at a great price – the satin finish is not as shiny as a regular finish. But that’s it. it’s still a fantastic sounding SG, with it’s trademark bite. With the full pickguard it’s very much late sixties style. Think Pete Townsend on Live at Leeds, or Carlos Santana at Woodstock.
- Powerful, intense, and affordable 6-string electric guitar with solid mahogany body and ’50s rounded neck profile
- 490T and 490R pickups–“T” for treble, and “R” for rhythm
- Swirl acrylic inlays for classic “pearl” look
- Gibson Tune-O-Matic bridge; 2 volume and 2 tone controls plus 3-way toggle
- Worn brown finish with chrome hardware; comes with Gibson Deluxe Gig Bag
The Gibson Faded SG Special is an electric guitar that maintains the tradition of looks, functionality, and value for which the SG guitar is known. Under its attractive faded finish, the Faded Special SG is still the traditional SG, with mahogany body and neck, Tune-O-Matic/stopbar bridge, and alnico 490 pickups. The guitar’s faded finish gives it the look of an electric that started its rockin’ days in the ’60s.
The Gibson SG range was first popular in the mid 1960s . Very influential guitarists such as George Harrison of the Beatles, Eric Clapton of Cream, and Robbie Kreiger of the Doors all played Gibson SGs. But this model, the full-scratchplate Gibson SG Special is most associated with Pete Townsend of the Who around 1969-1970.
A Little SG History: In 1961, the Les Paul was redesigned with a thinner body and 2 sharp cutaway horns that made the upper frets more accessible while lowering production costs. The new guitar was popular, but Les Paul the guitarist behind the original Les Paul did not like it and asked to have his name removed. Gibson renamed the model the “SG” which was short for “solid guitar”. Though Les Paul’s name was officially removed from the model in 1961, the plastic Les Paul nameplates (positioned between the rhythm pickup and fingerboard) were in abundance in the Gibson factory and SG models having these nameplates were built and sold by Gibson up to the end of 1963. SGs have been the choice of world-class artists such as Pete Townsend, Eric Clapton, Tony Iommi, and Angus Young.
’50s Rounded Neck Profile
No guitar neck profiles are more distinguishable than the neck profiles employed on the Gibson models of today. The more traditional ’50s neck profile on the SG Special is the thicker, rounder profile, emulating the neck shapes found on the iconic 1958 and 1959 Les Paul Standards. The neck is machined in Gibson’s rough mill using wood shapers to make the initial cuts. But once the fingerboard gets glued on, the rest–including the final sanding–is done by hand. That means there are no two necks with the exact same dimensions. So while it still has the basic characteristics of its respective profile, each neck will be slightly different, with a distinct but traditional feel.
Gibson’s 490 (R) Rhythm and (T) Treble Pickup
The mid to late 1960s saw the emergence of a very different type of music coming from the clubs of England. It was an interpretation of the blues that hadn’t been heard before, and it was much harder, more rocking, and definitely louder than anything else before it. As such, this new genre’s players were demanding more powerful amplifiers with increased volume outputs to satisfy their sonic explorations. This led to a call for a more versatile pickup that could split coils through a push/pull knob, and prevent microphonic feedback from occurring when the volumes were turned up to maximum levels.
Gibson answered this call with the introduction of the revolutionary 490T and 490R pickups (“T” for treble, and “R” for rhythm). The 490R is a humbucker with the tonal characteristics of an original PAF, with a slight increase in upper mid-range response. The 490T bridge pickup is calibrated to match the 490R, with pole pieces aligned a little further apart to accommodate the spacing of the strings at the bridge, which is different than the spacing of the strings at the neck.
Solid Mahogany Body
Probably the most central of all the SG Special’s features is its solid mahogany body–lightweight, strong, with a thick, warm tone. The mahogany goes through the same rigorous selection process as all of Gibson’s woods, and is personally inspected and qualified by Gibson’s team of skilled wood experts before it enters the Gibson factories.
Inside the Gibson factories, humidity is maintained at 45 percent, and the temperature at 70 degrees. This ensures all woods are dried to a level of “equilibrium,” where the moisture content does not change during the manufacturing process. This guarantees tight-fitting joints and no expansion, in addition to reducing the weight. It also helps with improving the woods’ machinability and finishing properties. Consistent moisture content means that a Gibson guitar will respond evenly to temperature and humidity changes long after it leaves the factory.
Over the years, the classic dot inlay has been one of the more traditional features of many Gibson models, including the SG. A figured, swirl acrylic gives these inlays that classic “pearl” look. They are inserted into the fingerboard using a process that eliminates gaps and doesn’t require the use of fillers.
This guitar features a nitrocellulose finish–one of the most labor-intensive elements of the guitar-making process–which dries to a much thinner coat than a polyurethane finish, meaning there is less interference with the natural vibration of the instrument, allowing for a purer tone.
A nitro finish is also a softer finish, which makes it easily repairable. You can touch up a scratch or ding on a nitro finish, but you can’t do the same on a poly finish. In addition, a nitro finish is very porous in nature, and actually gets thinner over time. It does not “seal” wood in an airtight shell–as a poly finish does–and allows the wood to breathe and age properly.
What’s in the Box
Gibson SG Special electric guitar, Gibson Deluxe Gig Bag, and owner’s manual.
List Price: $ 1,164.00