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gibson sg custom question

rvm264

Member
Messages
69
Hi, I am thinking about picking up a sg custom. I do own a sg classic, which I love, but for something different I was looking at the customs. I have never owned a 3 pickup guitar before. I was wondering how you sg custom players like them, pros and cons ect. thanks for your input.
 

azimuth

Member
Messages
175
I think the white 3-pu custom sg with vibrola is absolutely one of the best looking gibsons, hands down. Better than ANY burst, IMO.

The middle pickup gets in the way of some players style from what I've heard. And then some people have issues with the vibrola affecting tuning/intonation. I've only played regular SGs, though.
 

MBreinin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,846
They look awesome. However, I was always banging that middle PU and parted with mine very quickly. If you have a lighter touch with your picking hand, it may not be an issue.
 

Phoebe

Senior Member
Messages
1,723
I agree w/MBreinin. Can't stand that middle pickup in the way, and I never had a use for it's sound anyway.
 

rvm264

Member
Messages
69
thanks for the reply's, yeah, I was thinking of the middle pickup getting in the way a bit, but I was interested in the different tones that might be had with the middle pickup.
 

paulg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,025
The switch wiring is goofy. You get neck, bridge and middle and bridge. There's really no fix I've heard of. I suspect they went to three pickups because a) it looked cool and b) it made it special enough to call it the top of line Custom. They look awesome in white. Also, the ebony board makes the neck stiffer, which can be a plus.
 
Messages
201
I am an SG fan, and have owned many over the years, and my 3-pickup Custom was the best SG I ever owned, hands down.
The middle pickup might get in your way a little at first, but, like everything else, you adapt to it quite quickly, and I found that I was soon playing around it without any conscious effort required on my part at all.

The main advantage of the Custom is that it will be made from a higher-quality piece of tonewood than an SG Standard, Special or Classic, and this should make a significant difference to the sound. Not to mention that they are the prettiest guitar ever made, in my opinion!

Find a nice one, and you will keep it for life! :aok
 

Amp360

Senior Member
Messages
4,547
The switch wiring is goofy. You get neck, bridge and middle and bridge. There's really no fix I've heard of. I suspect they went to three pickups because a) it looked cool and b) it made it special enough to call it the top of line Custom. They look awesome in white. Also, the ebony board makes the neck stiffer, which can be a plus.
push pull for the middle pickup is what I did.
 

rcrimm

Member
Messages
30
I have a white '78, with the Super Humbuckers (probably the worst pickups Gibson ever produced)...I don't play it much anymore, but I always kept the middle pickup lowered as much as possible to keep it out of the way. It (the middle pickup) does have a cool "quack-y" sound when on, cause I think it is out of phase on mine.

I have thought about re-wiring it with a push pull pot for the middle pup, but as I said I don't play it much anymore.
 

bsteff666

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
943
Like ten years or so ago...I was totally in love with SG's. That's all I wanted to play. I had several recent issue SG Standards & SG Specials(the ones with humbuckers) & really wanted an SG Custom...thinking it would be the ultimate SG.

I bought the coolest looking Gibson Custom Shop three pickup SG Custom. It was black with gold hardware...one of the best looking guitars I ever owned.

As it ended up...I just couldn't bond with it. That middle pickup felt like it was totally in the way...and I never could adjust to the feel of the neck profile. It was a thinner neck than any of my other SG's (felt wider too). So...I ended up trading it towards my Rossington Les Paul.
 

Arf

Member
Messages
951
Hi, I am thinking about picking up a sg custom. I do own a sg classic, which I love, but for something different I was looking at the customs. I have never owned a 3 pickup guitar before. I was wondering how you sg custom players like them, pros and cons ect. thanks for your input.
Fantastic Choice!
So many variations, including the odd two pickup ones. The ones I've had were the Epiphones, '62 Reissues, both white. luckily I ended up with Korean ones instead of Chinese, beautifully executed. Anyway, they both set up PRFECTLY! Two of the best playing guitars I've ever played. Looked, well, you know, one of the coolest looking guitars ever made. If you get a Gibson, keep the pickups that come in it. If you track down a Korean made Epi, you better get some others. Luckily, most makers offer gold covers for them these days. Exposed coils on a guitar like this are simply gouche.
Also, like the Epiphone, you may end up with the wierd '62 Three volume/ master tone wiring. I rewired mine like a two pickup and disconnected the middle one altogether. You could buy the more expensive switch and wire it like a '70's Custom, giving you a Stratty middle position in the middle. Kind of Dire Straits dipped in molasses. Way cool.
Also watch the fret wire. My buddy's '74 had the "fretless wonder" Frets, I.E. almost no fret at all, or mayby the early '70's "school bus " wire, square and narow. Luckily most will have standard gibson wire.
So happy hunting. These are wonderful, gorgeous and very satisfying guitars.
 

edwarddavis

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,558
Here's an Elliot Easton SG to feed your SG Custom GAS some more:

much rather have that , had a few SG customs and for some reason or another
they did not last long , not the third pickup reason , just not my thing because I own quite a few 3 pickup guitars just not a SG guy I guess
 

TRawker

Member
Messages
211
Just make sure you have a proper string angle from the saddle to the vibrola. Sometimes there's hardly any angle at all...that could be a problem. I'm sure you'd adjust to the middle pickup just fine. Cool guitars for sure.
 

yell03

Member
Messages
1,609
I just sold my well worn and cosmetically blemished 2001 SG Custom to a forum member about two weeks ago.

I traded my 2009 Les Paul Traditional Plus straight up for it.

The SG Custom neck is SWEET, one of the fastest and most comfortable necks I have ever played.

I just couldn't bond with the guitar.

I prefer the heavier Les Paul tone.

The middle pick-up bothered me at first, but after a bit it was not even an issue.

I had to decide on keeping my SG Custom or my SG Standard VOS which I bought New.
I kept the VOS, it has a deeper, gritttier, and more aggressive tone.
The SG Custom was brighter and smoother sounding.
 

Arf

Member
Messages
951
push pull for the middle pickup is what I did.
What maker gives a push-pull pot that fits an SG? Never seen one. Usually they stick out the back.

But I dig the bridge/middle combo you get on post-Les Paul 3 pickup S.G.'s anyway. Sort of stratty, very cool and logical alternative to the two pickup gibson.

The 3-volume '62 set up gives you all the combinations, but it is a royal pain on stage, I know. That's why I disconnected the middle pickup and wired it normal. I chose the neck/middle combo over the bringe/middle 'cause it's a beautiful sound that I associate with Gibson. Might change my mind next time, who knows.

Too many pickup combos just get in the way if you play live alot anyway.
 

SGNick

Member
Messages
3,578
What maker gives a push-pull pot that fits an SG? Never seen one. Usually they stick out the back.

But I dig the bridge/middle combo you get on post-Les Paul 3 pickup S.G.'s anyway. Sort of stratty, very cool and logical alternative to the two pickup gibson.

The 3-volume '62 set up gives you all the combinations, but it is a royal pain on stage, I know. That's why I disconnected the middle pickup and wired it normal. I chose the neck/middle combo over the bringe/middle 'cause it's a beautiful sound that I associate with Gibson. Might change my mind next time, who knows.

Too many pickup combos just get in the way if you play live alot anyway.
I bought the ones from allparts and had them in my SG for a few years. the back of the pot rested comfortably on the backplate.
 

Arf

Member
Messages
951
What type of tone can be had with middle and bridge pickups. thanks
Let me address a few things. First off I've never seen a pull-pot that won't stick out of the back of an SG, unless there's something new out.

As for the third pickups tone, it's anything but window dressing, except mine, where I disconnected it and rewired it as a two pickup. I did this mainly because it's an Epiphone which nicly replicates a '62, including, unfortunatly the wiring. 3 volumes and a master tone. Long story short you get seven combos, but way too cumbersome if you play live.

The second reason is because I didn't go get the more complex switch to do the '70's wiring, which is more sensible, differing from the two pickup only in the midle position. The #2 Strat sound, two pickups shoved down to the bridge. Just thicker from the HB's. Check this out yourself.
 






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