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Official Gibson SG Buyers Guide 2023 - Original, Modern & NEW Custom Color Series SGplay button

Official Gibson SG Buyers Guide 2023 - Original, Modern & NEW Custom Color Series SG


collapse expand iconDescription

The Gibson SG Standard electric guitar, with its infamous "devil horns," debuted in 1961 as the first double-cut offering 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 present-day SG Standard embodies the looks and features associated with highly sought-after late ’60s models, including a rounded neck profile, rosewood fingerboard and solid mahogany body. Gibson “Modern Classic” 490 humbuckers lace the SG with iconic P.A.F. thickness, singing sustain and the power to drive. The Gibson SG Standard honors a legacy of profound innovation—a future-proof double cut recalling the guitar’s everlasting prime.

Gibson SG Standard Body

Late ’60s Style

The Gibson SG Standard rocks the classic late ’60s aesthetic—an iteration of the guitar preferred by countless players. A traditional appointment is the "batwing," 5-ply semi-symmetrical pickguard, which is an identifiable feature of Solid Guitars from that period. Over the years, the shape and size of SG pickguards evolved, though it’s the one inherited from 1968 that’s perhaps the most recognizable. This style of plate is mounted to the SG Standard’s extensively chiseled mahogany body that’s lightweight, comfortable and capable of soaring sustain.

Gibson SG Standard Pickups

Gibson 490R/490T Pickups

Outfitted with a set of Gibson 490 humbuckers, the SG Standard handles divergent genres with confidence. The 490R neck position harkens back to early P.A.F. pickups, delivering the same richness, clarity and dynamic sensitivity found in those legendary windings. Minimizing hum with higher-gain amps, the 490R accomplishes the same tones that rock and blues guitarists originally took to decades ago. In the bridge, an aggressively hot 490T serves as an essential complement to the more vintage-flavored rhythm humbucker. Its searing sound suits heavy styles with ease, emphasizing chord definition and lead-line vocality. The 490T is also incredibly responsive to pick attack and volume roll-off, contributing to its versatility—particularly when paired with the 490R.

Gibson SG Standard Controls

Classic Hardware

Setting off its timeless looks are black "top hat" volume and tone knobs with silver reflectors. These give the Gibson SG Standard an additional air of vintage nostalgia, staying true to early design choices that feel as contemporary today as they did at the close of the 1960s. Chrome-plated aluminum accoutrements further stylize the SG Standard, standing out against the black backdrops provided by its pickguard and headstock. While there were many experimental revisions of the Solid Guitar, the representative model is the late ’60s Gibson SG Standard.

Gibson SG Standard Neck and Headstock

Vintage-Playing Neck

The SG Standard comes with a rounded mahogany neck that meets the body at the 19th fret. Its bound rosewood fingerboard features a workhorse 12" radius with exceptionally low action that aids in fretting and movement. Evident upon first picking up a Standard, the rounded neck is as natural in the hand as they come, suited to guitar players of all tastes and preferences, and acrylic trapezoid inlays help lead the way. The Gibson SG is a no-frills music machine embodying the essence of the electric guitar with its effervescent simplicity.  

Guitarists don’t have to track down a vintage model to enjoy the benefits of an iconic Gibson SG Standard. Tracing this guitar’s lineage to one of music’s most celebrated eras, the SG Standard, with its definitive look and feel, is here to stay. If you’ve ever thought an SG wasn’t your style, you might be surprised by just how welcoming and versatile these instruments are. Don’t just take our word for it—get your hands on a Gibson SG Standard at your local Guitar Center.

collapse expand iconFeatures

  • Nitro-finished solid mahogany body
  • 24.75"-scale mahogany neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard
  • Dual Gibson 490 '61 humbuckers, 3-way switch
  • Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge, stopbar tailpiece, Grover Rotomatic tuners

collapse expand iconSpecs

  • Body shape: Double cutaway
  • Body type: Solidbody
  • Body material: Solid wood
  • Body wood: Mahogany
  • Body finish: Gloss
  • Orientation: Right handed
  • Neck shape: Rounded 
  • Neck wood: Mahogany
  • Joint: Set-in
  • Scale length: 24.75"
  • Truss rod: Standard
  • Neck finish: Gloss
  • Material: Rosewood
  • Radius: 12"
  • Fret size: Medium-jumbo
  • Number of frets: 22
  • Inlays: Trapezoid
  • Nut width/material: 1.69" (43 mm) Graph Tech
  • Configuration: HH
  • Neck: 490R
  • Bridge: 490T
  • 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: Tune-O-Matic
  • Tailpiece: Stopbar
  • Tuning machines: Grover Rotomatic
  • Color: Chrome
  • Number of strings: 6-string
  • Case: Soft shell case
  • Country of origin: United States

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