Gibson SG 61 RI vs. Gibson ES-137

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Iago, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Iago

    Iago Member

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    Gibson SG 61 RI--in classic white of course.

    Gibson ES-137--in cherry sunburst. Duh.

    Both are pretty tempting. Haven't played either. How different is the tone? Which is brighter and clearer? The SG because of the small body or the 137 because of the maple body?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  2. Iago

    Iago Member

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    Is this thing on...........
     
  3. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    It's too hard to compare these because they are just so different from each other. That's likely why nobody responded.
     
  4. Kelsey

    Kelsey Member

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    I own an ES-137 Classic and owned an SG Classic and an LP Classic. I would say that the tones are very different, and would say that the solid bodies have a clearer, brighter tone. The LP was the least comfortable to play sitting or standing. I liked the body contours and the neck profile of the SG, but it didn't hang well while standing at all for me. My 137 has a nice rounded 50's neck profile, is very comfortable to play sitting, is manageable standing, and covers the semi-HB sound while getting into solid body territory with the bridge pickup. I changed the stock 490R/498T pickups to SD Seth Lovers, which was a big improvement in making it more open and clear sounding. Nothing quite beats the feel of the sound whooshing out of the upper F-hole when the 137 is cooking.
     
  5. Jim S

    Jim S Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    :agree

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Dashface

    Dashface Member

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    That is really almost as different as I can imagine two guitars being.

    You've gotta go and try some. For me, personally, I much prefer the SG. But that may not be the case for you.
     
  7. Iago

    Iago Member

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    Actually the original thread title was "Compare these similarly priced Gibson". When I changed it to include the SG and 137, I got responses. :p
     
  8. Thinkin4D

    Thinkin4D Member

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    So here's the take from the guy who just swapped his Cherry '61 reissue SG for a Blueburst ES137 Classic last week:
    I cannot, cannot, CANNOT get comfortable with the SG body style. Just not a fan. That being said, the fact that I held onto it for the last few years in spite of this should speak volumes about how stinkin' good it sounds and plays. The '57 classics just sing, the neck is phenomenal, and the overall quality just makes you wonder why they're only charging 2 grand for these new.
    The ES137, on the other hand, was the perfect style body for me, but didn't have quite the same voice. The 490R pickup was an okay choice, but the 498T just didn't do it for me at all. Fortunately I had a pair of '57 classics already so the first thing I did was swap the pickups out and put new pots and caps in (the axe wasn't in great shape in many regards but did have great intonation). With those installed, the ES was perfect. Keep in mind that the ES137 Custom comes with these as well as the Variatone switch, but that'll cost you another 800 new. In the end I wound up with a sound that had a really similar flavor to what I got out of the '61, but it was a tad darker. Also have to manage the feedback a bit, but that's what volume pedals are for!
    So basically, if you dig SG's I'd reccomend leaning towards the '61, you won't be disappointed and you get a LOT of bang for your buck. But if you really have your heart set on an ES, the 137 Classic has a lot of potential, just see how you feel about the 490R/498T combo and be sure to compare it to the 137 Custom as well.
     
  9. seth3

    seth3 Member

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    My vote - Gibson Raw Power SG

    Why? You liked the smaller size of the SG and the maple body of the 137. This has the same '57 Classic HB's of both, but has both the features that you're comparing. And, it's probably cheaper than either:

    [​IMG]
     

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