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Might buy an SG Special tomorrow. Questions.

Vics53

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Jan 21, 2021
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132
Just got back from my local music store where I tried two SG Specials. One was the Sparlking Burgandy and the other has the Cherry finish.
They both played great but the cherry one seemed to play a bit better. I didn't plug either in, just wanted to see how they sounded on thier own and how they played. Both had a nice ring and sustain to them and both felt fairly light. I've been wanting to experiment with a dual P90 guitar anyway so here's my chance.

I'm going back tomorrow to try them with my Pod Go. My only "gig" is at church and at my age (69) and with a glitchy back and knees my days of lugging an amp head, cab and pedal board back and forth are a thing of the past. I've learned to get some great sounds from it as well.

For those who have an SG special, how do you like it? Seeing how there's no individual saddles for intonation how well does it play in tune? How well does it stay in tune? How noisey (60 cycle hum) are the pickups?

I've been loving the sound of these guitars from the YouTube video's I've been checking out. I do have an Epiphone SG Pro (w/humbuckers) and I find the way the guitar plays sitting and standing agree's with me on all levels. But I've been wanting to "up the game" so to say. The Burgandy one looked great, but there's something that's so right about the Cherry finish on an SG. I'm hoping that one works out for me.

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks and have a good day.
 
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jb_abides

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The newer Compensated Wraparound is improved upon the vintage Lightning, having been modified, with screws added against each post to assist in proper alignment for intonation. Will you be able to fine tune line individual saddles? No. Will it be OK for you? Subjective, depends how susceptible you are to hearing tuning issues ... well, you know. How many of us are Eric Johnson? Some are gifted, some are sensitive, is that you?
But baseline, yes, can be tuned. Stability results from overall condition of the particular guitar and the set-up situation: clean nut travel, tuner post wrap slippages, bridge wobbles, and string stretching. Same as any Gibson, really, knowing folks ding SGs and LPs even with the best tuners and bridges.

P-90s are awesome, and are what they are. Glorious tone. Totally subjective to you ambient electronic noise environs, where you stand/sit, your relative position to other gear and lighting, etc. Repeat: Glorious tone. Consider your church space, but it's going to be down to a test run, and what can you live with. Repeat: Glorious tone. Repeat: Glorious tone. P-90s just intermittently noisy when sitting around waiting to sing. The antidote to P-90 noise is to keep playing or get a bypass or volume pedal, or learn how to be fast to turn down the volume pot when idle.

How thin do you find the Sparkling Burgundy finish, can you see any grain through the gloss, or pretty smooth and glassy?
 
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Vics53

Active member
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
132
The newer Compensated Wraparound is improved upon the vintage Lightning, having been modified, with screws added against each post to assist in proper alignment for intonation. Will you be able to fine tune line individual saddles? No. Will it be OK for you? Subjective, depends how susceptible you are to hearing tuning issues ... well, you know. How many of us are Eric Johnson? Some are gifted, some are sensitive, is that you?
But baseline, yes, can be tuned. Stability results from overall condition of the particular guitar and the set-up situation: clean nut travel, tuner post wrap slippages, bridge wobbles, and string stretching. Same as any Gibson, really, knowing folks ding SGs and LPs even with the best tuners and bridges.

P-90s are awesome, and are what they are. Glorious tone. Totally subjective to you ambient electronic noise environs, where you stand/sit, your relative position to other gear and lighting, etc. Repeat: Glorious tone. Consider your church space, but it's going to be down to a test run, and what can you live with. Repeat: Glorious tone. Repeat: Glorious tone. P-90s just intermittently noisy when sitting around waiting to sing. The antidote to P-90 noise is to keep playing or get a bypass or volume pedal, or learn how to be fast to turn down the volume pot when idle.

How thin do you find the Sparkling Burgundy finish, can you see any grain through the gloss, or pretty smooth and glassy?
Thanks JB! As far as the Burgandy finish, I couldn't see any wood grain and the finish felt smooth but not satin smooth.

As far as the 60 cycle hum factor, I won't know until I try it. But my Pod Go is equipt with noise gates of which I haven't had to use so far. That will be new ground for me if it comes to it. All I know is I don't want to up on stage at church and hear the guitar humming away during moments of reverance. True, I could turn the volume knob down or use the volume pedal but again, if it works out for me tomorrow I'll just have to experiment.

Glorious tone, eh? That's what I'm hoping for. I've watched numerous YouTube reviews of this guitar and people have said one of two things: P90's have their own thing going or, it's a cross between a single coil and a humbucker. If it's the latter of the two then I'm all for that. I love the clarity when playing chords on my Telecaster. Fabulous tone. But I don't like the thinness of the higher strings when doing lead work. Humbuckers took care of the thin sound great, but sometimes the overall sound is a bit too thick for my liking. So if P90's are in fact that "middle ground" then this should be fun! Personally I do hear a combined touch of single coil and humbucker in some of the reviews.

As far as the tuning, I'm no Eric Johnson! As long as it's close without making your ears cringe the I can live with that.

I'm currently playing a PRS Vela semi hollow body. Wonderful sounding guitar and I get compliments all the time on how great it sounds. However.....the neck is what they call their Pattern Regular and it's a bit on the small side for me. I have adapted to it, but the way the guitar sits or how it holds when strapped on is very different. Everything seems to be too much to the right. Playing lower is fine but when I get higher up it does a bit of a number with my fretting hand position. I find I have to really think ahead when changing positions on the Vela.

The necks on the SG's I tried feel wider and had more chuck to them but not overly so on both counts. Nice rounded profile on the back of the necks. It's the Slim Taper but I swear it feels a bit bigger than the neck on my 2002 LP. But the SG necks really felt like home to me. Again, sitting or standing SG's just feel right to me. Probably more so than any other guitar.

So we'll see what happens tomorrow when I try them both out.
 

corpse

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Listen to The full Live at Leeds- and the night after (Hull IIRC). That is an SG Special.
Another guitar tone I hear in my head... that and my tinnitus.
 

Vics53

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Jan 21, 2021
Messages
132
Listen to The full Live at Leeds- and the night after (Hull IIRC). That is an SG Special.
Another guitar tone I hear in my head... that and my tinnitus.
I'm well aquainted with Live at Leeds! Fabulous album! I don't think I've ever heard the Hull performance so I'll have to give that a listen.
 

corpse

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Pete's tone- and echoplex- that runs throughout- are more in evidence on there. I was looking at one of these myself.
 

Old dude 70

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Dec 20, 2021
Messages
31
Love my special, and getting those p90s really reinforced my love of singles

can be noisy, I turned the volume knob down… but the karang is worth it

haven’t changed a thing on it, it’s a 2012 ish Townsend 50th anniversary, basically a polar white 63 special
 

brandtkronholm

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Dec 3, 2006
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2,473
Just got back from my local music store where I tried two SG Specials. One was the Sparlking Burgandy and the other has the Cherry finish.
They both played great but the cherry one seemed to play a bit better. I didn't plug either in, just wanted to see how they sounded on thier own and how they played. Both had a nice ring and sustain to them and both felt fairly light. I've been wanting to experiment with a dual P90 guitar anyway so here's my chance.

I'm going back tomorrow to try them with my Pod Go. My only "gig" is at church and at my age (69) and with a glitchy back and knees my days of lugging an amp head, cab and pedal board back and forth are a thing of the past. I've learned to get some great sounds from it as well.

For those who have an SG special, how do you like it? Seeing how there's no individual saddles for intonation how well does it play in tune? How well does it stay in tune? How noisey (60 cycle hum) are the pickups?

I've been loving the sound of these guitars from the YouTube video's I've been checking out. I do have an Epiphone SG Pro (w/humbuckers) and I find the way the guitar plays sitting and standing agree's with me on all levels. But I've been wanting to "up the game" so to say. The Burgandy one looked great, but there's something that's so right about the Cherry finish on an SG. I'm hoping that one works out for me.

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks and have a good day.
Well?
How'd it go?
Do we have a new SG?
We need answers!
 

Vics53

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Jan 21, 2021
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132
Hey gang. There's a new SG in my house!!!

Yep. Packed up my Pod Go and off I went. I tried this guitar yesterday (not plugged in and it was fresh out of the box. Today I spent about 3 hours at the music store playing, tweaking and getting aquainted with the tonal offerings. Once I got the guitar tuned up I spent a fair amount of time working on the intonation as it was pretty sharp. (Didn't mind at all doing it myself. The staff was busy and they know me very well). Actually took at least a good hour because I took it slow. When I left the store I got the intonation just barely sharp with the 2 E strings. Still needs a tad of tweaking but it's a hell of a lot better and it sounds a hell of a lot better than when I first started out, believe me.

Tonally it's very differnt from what I'm used to (PRS Vela semi hollow body) so I've got some tonal tweaks to do but I'm loving the possibilities I'm hearing. That bridge pickup snarls but it really cleans up nice and the volume and tone controls are very responsive. Fact is, of the guitars I've owned this set of controls is no doubt the best. Of course, I had to lower the tone control on the bridge pickup to try and make the neck pickup sound a bit clearer. I still have some tweaking to do with the pickup heights and pole pieces. But offhand the clean tones from the bridge and middle positions are clear and sparkling but with a nice bit of depth to them. The neck pickup is a tad dark and I'd like to get more clarity out of it but hey, it's a new beast for me (P90's) but I know I'll get there.

Yep, it's got that 60 cycle hum! Knowing this was the case I added a noise gate into the preset I normally use on my Pod Go before I left for the store. I actually forgot I added it because no hum came from the guitar at all. But when I realized the gate was on then clicked the gate off, there was the hum in all it's glory! So the noise gate is going to be a must with this guitar, especially at church.

Slim taper neck. Seems like Gibson has different variations with the Slim Taper. I have a 2002 LP Standard with the slim tapered neck and there is a difference. The SG neck is wider than the LP and the LP neck is deeper than the SG.

Width at 1st fret on SG: 1.740. At 12th fret: 2.106
Width at 1st fret on LP: 1.710. At 12th fret: 2.038

Depth of neck at first fret on SG: .785. At 12th fret: .918.
Depth of neck at 12th fret on LP: .820. At 12th fret: .959

Pickup readings: Bridge is 7.99. Middle is 3.97. Neck is 7.92.

No neck dive at all but for me, a 3" wide leather strap is the way to go. With that strap the guitar doesn't lean away from me when in a standing position. Feels right at home.

I took multiple pictures but these two seemed to really capture the color and grain. I was having trouble with the picture sizes. Sorry, wish they could have been bigger but this was the best I could do.

So, I'm a very happy camper right about now. My first Gibson SG and first P90 guitar! I'll tell ya, because of the shape and the color I'm have a good flashback feeling to my youth when holding it. I started on bass and I bought my first good bass guitar in 1970 which was a new 1969 model EB3. At 69 years old I'm feeling that same thrill. Been a long time since I've really been thrilled about anything and that's a good feeling!
 

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jb_abides

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You've been busy, great fun!

3-inch suede backed leather, no worries. Wish I had those EB3 memories.

Congrats and enjoy in good health. Just don't PT-whack anyone in the congregation.

Love that wood grain pattern, that's pretty. Seeing such nice wood and finish, I know why you might have ignored the Sparkling Burgundy. I love the arch that starts at the cutaway above the neck spacer and sweeps all the way back, the lines running from the posts to the tail, and pattern around the bevelled bass side lower bout, like topographic goodness.

I big-up'd it for you...
index.php



index.php
 

Vics53

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Thanks so much JB! Wow, those pics look even better now! Yeah, I'm a traditional kinda guy which is why I went with the cherry finish. (That grain patter is cool!). That's what I grew up knowing and that's what I wanted. I mean, two of my guitar hero's had this finish on their guitars: Pete Townsend and Robby Krieger. I'll never join thier ranks and that's okay. I'll have my own kinda fun.

I almost had a coffee outta the nose second when you said "just don't PT-whack anyone in the congregation!" Love it!

As said, got a bit more tweaking to do with the intonation of which I'll do sometime today. All in all it's not bad but I know I can get it better. Both E strings are still showing just a tad sharp.

I'll tell ya, this guitar is a player! Can't believe how well the neck suits me.

Thanks again.
 

renderit

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If an SG fits your hand there ain't nothin' like it.

Played them for YEARS.

The only thing that comes close to that neck is an ES on some model years.
 

Vics53

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A little update now that I've had the guitar for about a month.

I really like this guitar. A lot! The neck fits me very well and everything falls into a good place with my fretting hand either sitting or standing. The action is fabulous and no problem with string/fret buzz. They did a great job!

The weight of the guitar is not cumbersome. I have a bad back and can't stand for long periods at a time. As long as I use a 3" wide strap I'm good to go for about an hour.

There is NO neck dive at all. I think the wider strap contributes to that.

To my ears, the tone of the bridge pickup sounds like a Telecaster on steriods. It's got the clarity that I love from my Tele while having a bit more overall strenght to the sound. I LOVE that sound.

I'm digging the sound from the middle position and have been experimenting with varying degrees on each volume control for different sounds. Very useful.

I like the bridge pickup sound on it's own and I like the middle sound, but I'm not crazy about the neck pickup on it's own. When going from the bridge right to the neck pickup, the tone is very dark, has excessive bass and doesn't have enough clarity. I saw a mod on YouTube that I'm considering having done. It turns the neck pickups tone control into a bass cut mod. I want to give these pickups a fair shot and if a simple mod like this gets the sound to my liking then cool! Cheaper than another pickup!

The nut does need some work. I've noticed that the high E string doesn't ring out like the others do. But I'm very confident that a good tech will be able to correct this.

The tuners seem a little "sluggish" if that's the right word to use. Maybe it's because they're new and maybe they'll respond better once they're broken in a bit. But then, maybe things are binding up a bit in the nut.

As far as the bridge.....all in all it's not too bad, but it could be better. I have it adjusted so the intonation on the two E strings is dead on, but the intonation on the other strings is showing a tad flat or sharp. But for the most part you don't notice too much of a tuning/intonation problem when playing, but then sometimes you do. So I am considering a bridge with individual saddles for each string. Recommendations?

All in all I like it a lot and I'm glad I bought it. Been playing it every night and have been using it work on some original songs of mine. No regrets with this purchase.
 

jb_abides

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To my ears, the tone of the bridge pickup sounds like a Telecaster on steriods. It's got the clarity that I love from my Tele while having a bit more overall strenght to the sound. I LOVE that sound.

(y)

As for the bridge. Try working the nut and tuners first, and obviously how the strings are wound on the posts matters, as well no string stretching.

Otherwise, check out MojoAxe (dot com), as a recommendation.
 

Vics53

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132
(y)

As for the bridge. Try working the nut and tuners first, and obviously how the strings are wound on the posts matters, as well no string stretching.

Otherwise, check out MojoAxe (dot com), as a recommendation.
I have no more than 2 winds on the posts. If this makes sense, I do the "through, circle back around, bring it under and back over, crimp it over" method so it kind of locks in place. Hasn't failed yet. I do stretch the strings. Always have and it works well for me.

Yeah, I want to give it all time before I change anything like the bridge. One thing I know about a new guitar is that things are going to move for a while. Things need time to settle in. This is why I don't like buying a new guitar and taking to a tech immediatly. I like to see how it's going to settle in first. But then, some things like the nut generally do need a good going over.
 
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jb_abides

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Things need time to settle in. This is why I don't like buying a new guitar and taking to a tech immediatly. I like to see how it's going to settle in first. But then, some things like the nut generally do need a good going over.

Yup. Settle down easy.

Just pure speculation to assist in thinking thru diagnosis: Could the culprit be the tuners... perhaps Gibson has gone cheaper lately and the internals are 'loose'...?
 

Vics53

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Yup. Settle down easy.

Just pure speculation to assist in thinking thru diagnosis: Could the culprit be the tuners... perhaps Gibson has gone cheaper lately and the internals are 'loose'...?
That's a possiblility. If (again, if) Gibson has gone cheaper I wouldn't have any way of knowing. They don't feel loose or sloppy, they feel tight but not to quick to respond when tuning up or down. So maybe it's the tuners but then again, the strings could be binding up in the nut to some degree.

Whatever, I'm not being quick at pointing a guilty finger. Good example: for the first two days I had a hell of a time keeping the guitar in tune and by day two I was quite sure it was because of the way Gibson strung it up. The went through the post and then wound it up to pitch leaving a good 4 winds on the posts. Once I restrung it using the method I described and gave the strings a good stretching, that problem was solved. Sure the tuning fluctuates a bit but the seasons are changing. I'm in Michigan and while the mornings are a touch cool it's been fairly warm come afternoon. It's 6:40 right now and it's 70 degrees outside! Hmm, think I'll go for a walk!
 
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