SG 61 RI - Gets Better Every Time

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Tmac1957, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. Tmac1957

    Tmac1957 Member

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    I picked up a '61 RI a few years back. Looking way back, I saw Terry Kath pictured with one on the first Chicago album and wanted one. Played one and it was 'OK' or just a little better. Bought it, and it seems every time I get it out, it just sounds better all the time. I don't know if it is as simple as finding the nuances for this axe specifically, but every time it comes out of the case, I know it's going to be a treat. Anyone else have an SG (or something else) with the same results?
     
  2. gtone

    gtone Member

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    Funny you mention that... I have a love/hate relationship with my two SG's - hate the way they look (no offence to those that dig the looks), but I love the way the tone and playability. Every time I play them, it's almost a revitalizing experience like falling in love all over again. In fact, I'm totally stoked by the time I put them down (which is usually reluctantly, btw!).
     
  3. Elev8

    Elev8 Member

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    Feel that way about mine too.
    I love the looks tho.
    Seems to me to just have more readily accessible potential for messing around with tones & figures. I'm sure there's no factual basis for that and it's all in my head, but when I pick up a guitar just to have a bit of a mess around, it's always the SG.

    It's the newest (to me) of my guitars also, which may be something to do with it.
     
  4. johnny5

    johnny5 Supporting Member

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    Really love my 61, I always took SG's as RAWK guitars but they can be used for almost any style of music (it's my No 1 and I play with alt country band). The problem is that i like them so much that I want to buy more.....
     
  5. Tmac1957

    Tmac1957 Member

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    Yes, I play more jazz/fusion but it does rock when I want it too.
     
  6. Varc

    Varc Member

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    I had a bit of the opposite experience with the 61 RI. Around October of last year I was looking for another guitar to add the the collect. My #1 at the time was a Les Paul Traditional with the 57 classics. I loved the pickups, but the weight of the Paul was starting to hurt my back at longer shows and I've never liked the lack of access to the upper frets. So l started looking at the 61 RI, same pups, lighter body and the ease of play was amazing. I tried out a couple at different music stores and ended up buying a 2010 model used.

    I got the guitar home and plugged it into my rig and thought I was going to be amazed. Unfortunately I couldn't get over the thin tone of the guitar when compared to the Les Paul and because I had just gone back to school for jazz (I'm 25 and took time off after highschool to play music) the SG just wasn't cutting it. Kept the guitar for about 2 months and ended up selling it for exactly what I paid and bought a new es-335 and haven't looked back.

    Though if I was doing nothing but gigging these days, the 61 RI would probably be the perfect guitar.
     
  7. Third Stone

    Third Stone Member

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    love my RI 61 SG. the biggest improvement I made was pulling the lame stock studs/inserts and adding Faber studs that screw directly into the wood.
     
  8. johnny5

    johnny5 Supporting Member

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    I upgraded the bridge and studs to a Faber ABR-1 with steel ABR style studs. This was a subtle change but very important to the overall feel of the instrument. Very much worth the $60
     
  9. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    Proud 2001 "61 Les Paul / SG Reissue" owner here. 2001 was one of the last years where they guitar had an original ABR1 bridge before they changed the catalogue name to "61 SG Reissue" and added a Nashville ABR bridge.

    I added a second set of bridge height adjustment wheels, both screwed down to the face of the guitar, to keep the bridge from tilting toward the tailpiece. Also added a Tonepros locking bridge.

    I also honked the tailpiece all the way down and do a top-wrap string wrap. A little more of the wood gets through to the amp this way.

    Finally, screwed the bridge pole pieces down to where they were recessed slightly below the surface of the pickup covers, and then raised the pickup as high as it would go without making contact with the string when fretting across the 22nd fret. This added imense fatness to the bridge pickup.

    Killer sounding/playing guitar.
     
  10. johnfv

    johnfv Member

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    I love a good SG but I tried a couple of 2011 '61 reissue SGs late last year and was disappointed. In particular the neck/binding joint was lame - instead of being smooth and flush there was an uncomfortable sharp edge where the neck stuck out past the binding. I may be biased because of the wonderful '60s and '70s models I have owned and played over the years but I know recent Gibsons can be much better - my 2008 Firebird has a perfectly smooth binding joint. I may have to try a custom shop SG to see how that feels...
     

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