NGD: 2017 Gibson SG Faded

Gnarlly

Member
Messages
2,864
This is the third Gibson SG I have owned, and the second faded. I currently have a white 2011 "Guitar Center Exclusive" Standard (Burstbuckers with coil taps instead of standard pickups; rosewood fretboard) and used to own a mid-2000's SG Faded in cherry finish. I purchased this one new in "Worn Brown" finish from a dealer on Reverb for $620 shipped and am very pleased so far (I made an offer lower than the listed price that was accepted).

I tried it at practice the other night and it sounds just as good as my Standard. Some people poo-poo the Gibson 490 pickups, but I really dig them for classic rock tones with a little bite to them (and the alnico II 490T is much nicer to my ears than the more middy/compressed alnico V 498T). It was actually set up fairly well, though I did tweak the intonation and pickup height a little. Nice wood grain (at least a two-piece body), no sharp frets, but I did have to tighten the nut on the pickup selector (see below).

I'm really liking the changes they've made for the 2017 models:

-Glossier finish on the faded models, making it look more like a well-worn older model with nitro finish. My old faded cherry SG was definitely on the flat/matte side, while this 2017 has a nicer gloss shine to it in the light.

-No poker chip under the pickup selector switch looks nice on this more simple model to my eyes. The lack of a poker chip means that the nut on the selector has to be lowered. Unfortunately, Gibson did not adjust the depth of the hole drilled for the pickup selector to compensate for the additional height the poker chip used to raise the nut, so the stock nut bottoms out on the switch without enough wood to grab onto. I added an axle lock washer underneath the wood to fill the gap and allow the top nut to hold the selector in place.

-The neck shape is the early 60's slim taper shape, as opposed to the earlier Faded model's super-fat "baseball bat" 50's profile. I prefer the 60's shape, so a big plus for me. This is still a nice fuller-feeling neck, and not "slim" by modern standards (ex. Ibanez, Jackson, PRS, or modern Fender necks; still more chunky than a PRS "wide-fat")

-Thicker slab of rosewood for the fretboard. Not sure what difference it makes actually, but I can tell it's a bit thicker than my Standard and older Faded.

-The biggest change: a maple neck! I was a little skeptical, but a maple neck on an SG is a great improvement. Less worry about neck/headstock snapping (see below re: gig bag), and it is definitely a lot more stable than the Standard's mahogany neck, which I can bend to lower pitch with just a little pressure. I don't notice a significant difference in tone, and it definitely seems to stay in tune better; no SG neck "vibrato" for this guitar.

-"Tektoid" nut instead of Corian like on my older Standard. I had to file the nut on my older Standard a little for better tuning stability (especially the G string). I have not noticed any string-grabbing ("ping" sound) with this new nut and it stays in tune very well.

Besides the usual paperwork and truss rod tool, the 2017 models also come with a Gibson fretboard protector, strap, polishing cloth, and a photo of the actual guitar on a factory setup desk (nice touch). No hardcase, but it does come with a Gibson gig bag. Normally I would never consider taking an SG out in a gig bag for fear of the headstock snapping, but with how strong this new maple neck is, I'm going to chance it for my gig this Saturday (already took it to band practice in the bag); the bag is nicely padded with the guitar very snug once zipped up.

If you don't need neck binding, a thicker finish, or the headstock and fretboard inlay bling, these are fantastic guitars, and not just "for the money."

And since these threads are "worthless without pics," here you go (from the original ad; pickguard plastic since removed):
1_zpsqcsbwrde.jpg

2_zpsciqwgjgf.jpg

s3_zps1sb2fsbg.jpg

s4_zpsikohazep.jpg
 
Last edited:

sg13

Member
Messages
976
Nice looking and maple necks are great! Just curious, did you test the g string frets 10-14 for less sustain or a dead spot?
I want to confirm my theory that the maple resonates at a different frequency than mahogany, possibly eliminating the classic dead area on the sg.
 

Gnarlly

Member
Messages
2,864
Nice looking and maple necks are great! Just curious, did you test the g string frets 10-14 for less sustain or a dead spot?
I want to confirm my theory that the maple resonates at a different frequency than mahogany, possibly eliminating the classic dead area on the sg.

I have not, but I'm sure I played those frets the other night at practice and did not notice any significant difference over my all-mahogany Standard.
With how solid this maple neck feels on an SG, I kind of wish my older Standard also had a maple neck (at least for the greater sense of headstock security).
 

AlanH

Member
Messages
2,144
Congrats OP! I own an '08 SG Special Faded in worn brown. It's my favourite axe.

I know what you mean about 490R/490T. They're articulate, aggressive with the attack that the SG body gives you, and will take whatever gain you can throw at them.

I have never felt the need to change these pups.
 

Rod

Vibrato & String Bender on Overdrive
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
25,116
Beautiful guitar! I couldn't agree with you more on the maple neck. Great improvement for the SG...
 

DGDGBD

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,809
Looks like the neck might be quartersawn too. I have a '11 SG Faded and love it.
 

Rod

Vibrato & String Bender on Overdrive
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
25,116
Nice looking and maple necks are great! Just curious, did you test the g string frets 10-14 for less sustain or a dead spot?
I want to confirm my theory that the maple resonates at a different frequency than mahogany, possibly eliminating the classic dead area on the sg.
I think the maple neck was a great idea
 

TubeStack

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,338
Looks fantastic! I love my 2016 SG Faded.

One suggestion: look into getting the bridge pickup to sit evenly under the strings. With big-pickguard SGs it sits at quite an angle, due to the lack of a pickup ring.

I evened mine out using a piece of Mr Clean Magic Eraser under one side, haha. It made a huge difference in sound, much fuller and thicker; I was very happy I did it.
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom