Gibson SG Standard '61 Electric Guitar Vintage Cherry
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Official Gibson SG Buyers Guide 2023 - Original, Modern & NEW Custom Color Series SG
Mark Agnesi Talks About The SG Standard '61 Model
Jeff George Demos The SG Standard '61
The aptly named Gibson SG Standard ’61, with its infamous “devil horns,” debuted in the early ’60s as the first double-cut electric guitar from the renowned purveyors of the Les Paul. Then headed by Ted McCarty, Gibson responded to the growing popularity of double-cut instruments by introducing the Solid Guitar (SG). A truly versatile classic, the reissued SG Standard ’61 embodies the looks and features associated with the guitar that temporarily halted LP production, including a SlimTaper neck, rosewood fingerboard and solid mahogany body. Gibson Burstbucker 61 pickups lace the SG with vintage voicing, power and top-end clarity. The Gibson SG Standard ’61 honors a legacy of profound innovation—a future-proof double cut recalling the guitar’s everlasting prime.
The Gibson SG Standard ’61 features the same contoured mahogany body as the original—a thinner, lighter-weight, double-cut answer to the Les Paul. Always ahead of its time, Gibson developed the legendary SG outline after they’d already experimented with trailblazing shapes like the Flying V and Explorer. The Solid Guitar was another bold, recognizable design from Gibson, going on to become the “signature” instrument associated with icons like Tony Iommi, Pete Townshend, Angus Young and Robby Krieger. While many iterations of the guitar have existed, the hardtail Gibson SG Standard ’61 is the flagship.
Burstbucker 61R/61T Pickups
A pair of Burstbucker 61 pickups balance the darker tonality attributed to the ’61 SG’s solid mahogany body and neck. These faithfully vintage-voiced P.A.F. humbuckers maintain an undeniably classic sound, with subtle modern improvements to increase output and enrich top-end definition. The latter advantage is a perfect accompaniment to the mahogany’s naturally thick low end and controlled high end, supplying frequency content that’s essential for clarity as chords ring out and solos take front and center. Gibson is thoroughly in control of its destiny when it comes to pickups, and the Burstbucker 61 rhythm and treble set combines historical accuracy with present-day advantages, like even greater hum cancellation and a fine-tuned frequency response.
Understated inclusions in the SG Standard ’61 are audio taper volume potentiometers and Orange Drop tone capacitors. Both electronic components contribute to the response of the volume and tone controls, and subsequently the range of tones you can coax from the Gibson SG. Audio taper pots increase or decrease volume in a logarithmic fashion, which is most conducive to how the human ear perceives sound level. Practically, it means that greater adjustment is required to note an audible change—perfect for guitarists who might inadvertently roll a volume knob on stage. Additionally, Orange Drop capacitors are regarded for their openness and reliability, quietly helping guitarists find their unique sound by harnessing the SG Standard ’61 tone controls.
Starting in 1959, Gibson steered away from the “tree trunk” neck in favor of more comfortable shapes. The SG Standard ’61 receives the SlimTaper profile that’s widely considered one of the most playable vintage Gibson appointments. The solid mahogany cut pares down the top and bottom edges nearest the bound rosewood fingerboard, most closely resembling a slim C-shape carve with virtually no changes in thickness from the first to the 12th fret. Just like the original SG, the Standard ’61 also has a 22nd-fret neck joint that lends itself to unhindered playability in the upper registers, and acrylic trapezoid inlays offer striking looks and effortless navigation.
After more than six decades, the Gibson SG Standard ’61 is as relevant today as ever. Many of rock’s most influential voices have picked the Solid Guitar as their weapon of choice, thanks to its lightweight wield-ability, adaptable humbuckers and smooth-playing neck. As the adage confirms, nothing in the SG Standard ’61 needs fixing—rarely does one get it right the first time, but the original SG was a grand slam. If you want to find out how a storied legacy sounds and plays, head to your local Guitar Center and try a Gibson SG Standard ’61 today.
- NItro-finished solid mahogany body
- 24.75"-scale mahogany neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard
- Dual Gibson BurstBucker 61 pickups, 3-way switch
- ABR-1 tune-o-matic bridge, stopbar tailpiece, Vintage Deluxe Keystone tuners
- Body shape: Double cutaway
- Body type: Solid body
- Body material: Solid wood
- Body wood: Mahogany
- Body finish: Gloss
- Orientation: Right handed
- Neck shape: SlimTaper
- Neck wood: Mahogany
- Joint: Set-in
- Scale length: 24.75 in.
- Truss rod: Standard
- Neck finish: Gloss
- Material: Rosewood
- Radius: 12 in.
- Fret size: Medium jumbo
- Number of frets: 22
- Inlays: Trapezoid
- Nut width/material 1.69 in. (43 mm) GraphTech
- Configuration: HH
- Neck: BurstBucker 61R
- Bridge: BurstBucker 61T
- Brand: Gibson
- Active or passive pickups: Passive
- Series or parallel: Parallel
- Control layout: Volume 1, volume 2, tone 1, tone 2
- Pickup switch: 3-way
- Bridge type: Fixed
- Bridge design: ABR-1
- Tailpiece: Stopbar
- Tuning machines: Vintage-style
- Color: Nickel
- Number of strings: 6-string
- Case: Hardshell case
- Country of origin: United States