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Did Gibson Actually Improve on the Les Paul Design with the SG?? - SG Love..

GreatSatan

Member
Messages
1,720
Well it's certainly lighter there's no denying that,
i wouldn't say it 'sounds' necessarily better.

The lp is laser-focused whereas i see the sg as more raw or ragged around the edges. One's good for straight metal, the other for doom.

The clean tones are something special though.
 
Messages
74
I have never owned a Les Paul, but have played my brother's, and tried some in shops. It's just not for me - feels like something for ogres. I own an SG, and am very happy - it feels nimbler, lightweight, and still has the humbucker throatiness. I'm also a tele guy over a strat, so maybe I like the little brother guitars more.

Having said all that, I am considering an ESP E-II Eclipse DB. Seems to be lighter and have a more manageable neck than a Les Paul has. Really, it's an ergonomic thing - the LP look is very rawk. Nothing quite like a black LP custom.
 
Messages
4,529
IMO, the SG is a flawed design.

The scale of the guitar is set too far forward. It puts the nut too far away and makes the neck so long that the guitar is top heavy in most cases.

They should have the bridge set back where it’s located on a LP.

My first real guitar was an SG. I still have it. But after I got my first LP, I realized how unbalanced and awkward the SG is. I’m very attached to my SG, but I much prefer the LP design.

Also, you can get brightness and clarity out of a LP with the right pickups. But you’re never getting LP fullness out of an SG.
 

Fuchsaudio

Member
Messages
7,744

I went to Les’ house to get my 3-pu white SG/Les Paul signed in the 80’s. I took it out of the case and handed it to him. He immediately said “one of those ****ing things...”. I nervously said “no love for the SG Les Paul ? He cited the horns , neck heaviness and pulled on the neck (eliciting a creak) and said ”see ?”. He signed it, albeit reluctantly...

I did ask about the album covers showing them. He claimed they “went to Columbia in NYC for a photo shoot but didn’t bring guitars. Columbia sent a runner to 48th st to rent a pair of new Les Pauls and got those...”there were a few heavily modified ones at the house, one with four pickups as I recall. Some pictures of the studio had SG’s hanging on the wall...odd. Les tended to sometimes not always agree with history. The differences between his auto biography and biography’s by others show that.

I’ve played a few great SG’s that were rigid, balanced well and sounded great, but they’re as rare as hens teeth.
 
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Fuchsaudio

Member
Messages
7,744
They got the weight down, made it a bit quicker to build yet still with a sophisticated, unique aesthetic and they improved high fret access, so I think they did a good job with the SG. What they got wrong was to discontinue the old one at the same time of course, but the SG is one of Gibson's true classics.

I'm inclined to believe Les's public negativity towards the new design was more a convenient way of explaining the end of his Gibson deal than a serious dislike of the design. And let's remember the result when they finally let Les come up with his version of a improvement to the original...



(And yes, I own that one and yes, it's actually a lot of fun one you get past the fact it weighs more than a small car. But it's no SG in the design department!)

I own one as well. 13 or so lbs ! I run mine through a custom FET preamp I built that jacks it up to humbucker levels and it sounds freaking amazing, but needless to say, I don’t play it often...7 lbs or less works best for me these days.
 

zhivago

Member
Messages
1,230
We need more photos of SGs in this thread...here's mine:



One of the last ones to say "Les Paul" on them, made in 1963...3 PAFs...I installed a MojoAxe VibroStop and I'm good to go.

Here's a video I made of the VibroStop installation:

 

Seth L

Member
Messages
24,377
Now back to TGP where we debate tonewoods, wire gauge on pickups, capacitors and so on... I'd argue the SG and Les Paul are vastly different. If the word "vastly" is the conundrum... then let's say they're "pretty effin different" :)
I disagree.
 

Seth L

Member
Messages
24,377
This POS alone weighs more than an SG Junior. Did Triumph design it? this is NOT an improvement over anything before it.


I had a '62 Custom that weighed as much as my R8. Nice to look at, though.
It's an improvement over nothing, which is what there was before.
 

Rocket Roll

Member
Messages
7
Had the Les Paul first, never could adapt to the body depth. Like holding a huge bumblebee. Small, fat, rounded... Right elbow in the wrong place.

Got an SG in a trade. Much more like a Telecaster when sitting down. Neck too far to the left? Try a Firebird and you'll see what that actually means. SG's about playing fast and high, and for that the neck's in the right spot. You're simply more relaxed and not forced to jam your left hand into your right hand.

I mean, think about it. Gibson's biggest seller. All those folks can't simply be in the wrong.

Oh, and Zappa.
 

Seth L

Member
Messages
24,377
Got an SG in a trade. Much more like a Telecaster when sitting down. Neck too far to the left? Try a Firebird and you'll see what that actually means. SG's about playing fast and high, and for that the neck's in the right spot. You're simply more relaxed and not forced to jam your left hand into your right hand.
Angus Young is a little guy and he manages to reach the first fret easily.
 

Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,587
I own one as well. 13 or so lbs ! I run mine through a custom FET preamp I built that jacks it up to humbucker levels and it sounds freaking amazing, but needless to say, I don’t play it often...7 lbs or less works best for me these days.
Mine is a real monster at 15.5lb. I bought it online and when it arrived I opened the case, went to pick it up by the neck with one hand and it wouldn't move! 12-13lb seems to be the most common range for them but I've heard of a 17lb Professional. I mainly use a ES330 these days so it's an unpleasant surprise every time I get it out, but it's a good sounding guitar.

I have one of those step up impedance transformer things that lets me use it into my usual guitar rig, but where I really like it is for recording where I've no fixed idea what guitar sound I want - I plug the LP straight into my desk with an XLR, record it dry and use the guitar modelling stuff on Logic to set the sound. It's a really interesting way of working, not perhaps what Les intended but I think he would have approved.
 

27sauce

Member
Messages
35,432
It's an improvement over nothing, which is what there was before.
Huh? Standards and Customs had stop tailpieces, the didn’t have “nothing”.

It’s not like these were an option, like a Bigsby or Maestro(which predates the sideways). These were standard hardware.
 

Tootone

Member
Messages
5,582
I imagine there was no musical design ethos in the SG.

Just plain, hard, economics.... and competition.

The SG was "designed" by accountants.

The Les Paul wasn't selling and was costing Gibson losses. The "real person" Les Paul and his music was on the wane.

Fender were dominating the market.

Gibson had to do something fast.

The renamed LP Mark II was cheaper to produce a la Fender, then Les Paul stepped in and removed his endorsement and "Solid Guitar... i.e. SG" was the best the accountants could muster for a name.

Luckily.... it got favoured by smaller physique guitar players who couldn't lift a Les Paul off the ground comfortably.

The devils horns were an accidental "cool" design.
 

Seth L

Member
Messages
24,377
Huh? Standards and Customs had stop tailpieces, the didn’t have “nothing”.

It’s not like these were an option, like a Bigsby or Maestro(which predates the sideways). These were standard hardware.
There were no vibratos.
 

cbm

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,883
I've had a couple SGs, but what ended up scratching my SG itch is a Guild S-100. It's a little beefier than an SG, which gives it a little more sonic heft as well. Not quite Les Paul sonic heft, but in that direction.

I'll show myself out…
 




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