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Unsure about my new Gibson. need some advice.

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by usablefiber, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. usablefiber

    usablefiber Active Member

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    Hey sorry for long reads but i Appreciate My main guitar is a 62 strat replica and a tele with humbuckers in which i love the tone but the neck never quite agreed with me so I’ve been trying to find the perfect humbucking guitar to compliment the strat.


    I pulled the plug on the latest Gibson SG And i love how it plays. the neck is great, the feel is smooth and the fret radius and string separation is pretty spot on for my fingers which needed a little more space than the cramped tele. I wouldn’t mind a little more girth to the neck but not a big deal. I also love how loose it is with bends and vibrato since i’ve had elbow problems over bending on tighter guitars. Not Sure if it’s an SG thing or if it’s a particular bridge and combination but it’s nice and slippery to play.

    But i’m not loving how it sounds. It defintely doesn’t seem That versatile, lighter distortion bridge pickup gets some nice ac dc esque punching growling chords, but i’m having trouble finding useful tones, the tele chords through my marshall’s sounded crisp and with dynamic separation. but I’m consistently just getting mostly muddy distortion and not loving the neck pickup, was hoping for a more sweeter bluesy kind of sound. But either way trying a few different marshall’s i very quickly just kept getting mud which was frustrating.

    I know they came with burstbucker i believe but i’m not sure if that’s just par for the course with sgs or i just don’t know how to dial it or if i just need different pickups. which would be a huge pain cause i don’t want to have spend 200 more on pickups and installation, can’t really swing that.

    I’m so torn if i should just return it and try looking for something else possibly a les paul or whatever, as this is a very big expense for me and i can’t justify it if i can’t get it just right.


    Anyone have some thoughts or experience with these guitars? Thanks guys.
     
  2. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer ✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴ ✴- - - - - TEH - - - - -✴ ✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴ Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Words like "sweeter" and "bluesier" might be better served with the traditional combo of a Classic 57 and Classic 57+. Regardless, it's worth pointing out that, to my ear SG's have a unique tonal bump in the mids, and if that's part of what you're trying to fix then perhaps an SG isn't the best choice for you. Either way, trying to describe tone is incredibly difficult; one player's "sweet" could be another's "blanket affect", and "bluesy" has a virtually unlimited number of widely variable interpretations.
     
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  3. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I love my SGs I have 2 of them but they definitely sound different from any other guitar I have and different from each other. I would confirm exactly what the electronics are in the guitar, not all SGs are the same, I'd want to know what pickups are in it and what they measure at, and what the pots are and measure at. It might be a matter of tweaking things a bit to get the tone you want.

    What pickups and electronics are in your Tele? It could be just as simple as duplicating whats in there in your SG if thats what you like.

    Which SG exactly did you get so I can look up the specs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
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  4. axe4me

    axe4me Well-Known Member

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    I've never found the perfect guitar.

    I'd like to think my '69 Gibson 335 is the best.............but be realistic.

    There's always a tweak to make a love better.

    Then another.
     
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  5. giblesp

    giblesp Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like the feel of the guitar is right for you.

    Try having the pick up height adjusted. If that doesn't work, try different pick ups.

    I've borrowed a Les Paul with Burstbucker Pros, sounded nice and bright as humbuckers go.

    If the feel of the guitar is blowing you away, don't be too quick about sending it back.
     
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  6. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    IMO Gibson pups have alot to be desired. None of my Gibson axes have stock pups, they have all been replaced with DiMarzios. As an aside all of my Carvin/Kiesel guitars have factory pups except one which is the DN6/12 two of the original pups had open coils so i swapped them out for two Kiesel Lithium pups i had sitting on the bench.

    As stated if the guitar plays great research some pups, do a swap and you may be in love with that SG.
     
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  7. MP+

    MP+ Member

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    SG is just a stand alone in itself. Difficult to compare to anything else, especially a Tele. It's as much to do with the neck through construction and all Mahogany build. Listen to most SG recordings and you will hear that the bridge pickup is the center of attraction. Lowering the neck pickup will reduce the mud but won't do much to maintain any presence. I love my 2007 SG Standard to pieces but I only use the bridge pickup. Just throwing it out there, if you want something that might close in in Tele. neck pickup sounds from an SG, maybe try a medium / high output quality Seymour or DiMarz and try wiring it as split or phase switchable from a push pull potentiometer switch. Prior to that, maybe play around with the pickup switch in the mid position then try a few settings on both volume knobs.
     
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  8. C-Grin

    C-Grin Well-Known Member

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    My SG came with 490's and I did not care for them at all I swapped them out. Oddly enough they sounded pretty good in an Epiphone Les Paul. But I would first try to lower them a bit at a time and see if it helps. Also if you are getting mud then turn up the treble. Also I like the suggestion of playing with both pickups, on my SG it is a great tone.
     
  9. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Treble bypass on the volume pot?
     
  10. DreamerDeceiver

    DreamerDeceiver Well-Known Member

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    *cough Dirty fingers cough*
     
  11. Kinkless Tetrode

    Kinkless Tetrode Well-Known Member

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    You could try an A4 or an A3 magnet in the neck pickup. It's low cost and might just do the trick. Assuming they are BBs.
     
  12. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    you answered this yourself bro.
     
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  13. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I’ve owned a couple of SGs, I didn’t get along with either one of them very well. They both sounded a bit thin for my taste, sold them off.

    If you’re gonna keep the guitar I think you should be prepared to spend some $ to get the tone you’re searching for. Tubes, pickups, electronics, things like that.

    Good luck @usablefiber.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
  14. El Gringo

    El Gringo Well-Known Member

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    So very true as the same thing with all of my Gibson Les Paul's as they have ThroBak 101 + humbuckers . People rave and go on and on about Gibson Custombuckers which I find weak and bland like vanilla . Also , I think in general that Gibson wants there humbuckers to be like hospital food and not spicy or hot .
     
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  15. TheToneDig

    TheToneDig Well-Known Member

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    Single coils that are not hot enough.

    Humbuckers that are too hot.

    Isn't that a recipe for the P90 pickup?

    Bluesy sound. Yes indeedy.

    [​IMG]


    It may be important to note that Krieger gets his tone from also not using a pick. He is a finger player. Not my style of playing but that tone is great.
     
  16. junk notes

    junk notes Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
    @usablefiber: Based on your own admission and criteria sounds like the logical thing to do to ensure your happiness and solidify your quest.
    @ricksdisconnected is saying it does not come easy, and you have to put your soul into it! ;-)

    After reading and understanding the direction that you are wanting to go, then you already know what to do if you are not reluctant to do the necessary to..
    :yesway::fingersx:
     
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  17. ampeq

    ampeq Well-Known Member

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    Try to get your hands on a LP std. to compare side by side. The SG has a thinner body with no cap, not as complex as a nice thick LP. You can make the SG sound very good by putting in a little hotter and warmer set of pu’s but this may take some time and money to get right. As others have said, no guitar will really do it all. However, the LP is probably the closest thing to it. I have an ESP E2 Eclipse that has a thin body and needed warming up. I went with DiMarzio pu’s and it made a huge difference. For me, I used a ToneZone in the bridge and a Breed in the neck. It is a fantastic rock / metal guitar, not as good for cleans though. My ‘77 LP has a SD and a PAF in it, also from DiMarzio and it can do just about anything. That big block of wood makes a big difference when looking for cleaner tones. Ideally you need to play the guitars you are interested in all through the same amp in the same setting so you can see, hear and feel the difference between them.
     
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  18. MP+

    MP+ Member

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    The SG is just a find the tone you like or let it go sort of thing. It can sound thin depending on the band situation, like whether there is a rhythm guitar going (as with ACDC), keyboards (as with The Doors), an insane rhythm section (The Who) , still, Who and Zappa thickened the sound out using fuzz boxes. Then there's Sab. going into a big Laney amp set up. So it can be a handy tool to get some bite cutting through a big mix, more suited to a big Amp. set up. Really tricky one. The neck pickup on its own is even trickier, can't think of many stand out recorded examples there. The SG bass guitar is then more trickier than that, some of them sound like mud but then some sound Ok through a bass rig that has some distortion going.
     
  19. Phony iommi

    Phony iommi Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what model sg you bought, but...
    If you’re on a budget and can’t upgrade pickups at this point you may wish to consider an LP Tribute.
    Retail is $1200 and depending on what you paid for the sg you might have some money left over to upgrade the pickups on the Tribute. They come with the 498/490s in them and may just have the sound your after.
     
  20. fitz288

    fitz288 Well-Known Yinzer Silver Supporting Member

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    Not sure if this would help your tone, but I was recently coerced by the forum to add a Bigsby to my SG.
    Mine has classic 57 pups, and I've always thought the guitar sounded kinda thin in the tone department compared to my LP.
    The Bigsby B5 came with the Vibramate no drill mounting kit and installed faster than a new set of strings.
    I have no scientific basis for my claims, but I swear the tone of the guitar changed drastically.
    It now seems to have a much fuller, richer tone and better sustain.
    Not sure if it's the added mass of the Bigsby on the thin SG body, but I like it.
    And as an added bonus, the little bit of neck dive is completely gone.
     

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