Were entry level US-made Gibson SGs always this cheap?

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by Acme, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Acme

    Acme SS.org Regular

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    One of my friends came across this model and I'm pleasantly surprised and suspicious at the same time. It's great to see an US-made SG for a price this low but how the hell can they afford to sell these this cheap? Non-100% quality inspection? Are they outsourcing some parts of production? Or are the hardware and electronics made in China? This doesn't make any sense to me.

    The guitar in question:
    https://www.gear4music.ie/Guitar-and-Bass/Gibson-SG-Faded-T-Electric-Guitar-Worn-Cherry-2017/1P4C

    Sorry if these questions are a bit stupid, but I'm really curious what's happening here and if these guitars are worth buying or is it better to stay away from them.
     
  2. exo

    exo SS.org Regular

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  3. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I think the $5k+ high end models partially finance these cheaper models.

    The specials and studios can be good guitars. Usually costs are cut with thinner finishes, less buffing (thus satin rather than gloss finish), and no binding for the LP's.

    From what I know they're still US-made, still use the US pickups, etc. If you look at the Gibson factory tour videos on YouTube you can see them on the racks next to the standards and customs getting built and finished.
     
  4. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Every few years Gibson has a stash of wood that’s rejected for use from all its other guitar lines and makes an entire line up of dirt cheap USA made guitars.
     
  5. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I dunno, I've seen some one piece and two piece Tribute LP's with real nice looking wood. It's less common than a more expensive model but it happens.

    My LP studio has a pretty even and well-figured top, for a Gibson.

    I think that is just something the owners of the standards and customs tell each other to justify their more expensive guitar.
     
  6. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    I never said it’s bad wood. Regardless of what the tonewood crowd says there’s not that many ways of making sure wood sounds good other then tapping it to make sure it’s not a rock.

    That being said there are definitely internal sorting mechanisms used. A good looking piece of wood might be too heavy or too light. An ugly piece of wood might be just right weight wise but can’t be used in a historic because it’s too ugly.

    I still dunno where we got the idea that pretty piece of wood = best guitar tho. I blame kiesel.
     
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  7. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Earlier this year there were Gibsons on Amazon for 500$
     
  8. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    In that sense, yeah they do sort, for sure.

    I remember seeing a factory tour video a while ago, they were sorting through their wood and showing that for stuff like the historics, the wood has to look a certain way and be below a certain weight, everything else goes to other guitars.
     
  9. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    My buddy had a faded SG... I was stoked to try it, until I realized it felt like a really cheap guitar, and couldn't believe it was American made. Terrible fretwork and fit and finish.
     
  10. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    Well, once you remove everything that's LP standard and above, Gibsons are pretty good bang for the buck. I own 4 Gibsons, 3 of them bought new: a LP 60s tribute that cost me around 750, a Flying V that cost me 1600ish (was a 2016 limited edition) and the kelliher explorer that cost me 1350. All these guitars are very good deals, with the V maybe being a bit expensive because of the "limited edition" tag, but I wanted a natural one. No lemon problem or anyting, all were bought from Thomann. The 4th one is an amber explorer pro that I mainly got as an opportunity buy on ebay, soundwise it's more like an SG and not my cup of tea, really.
     
  11. FifthCircleSquared

    FifthCircleSquared Threadender

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    I have a 2014 SGJ that I picked up for a little over $400. Stock it was a good guitar worth the money, and a great "USA-made" platform for mods.

    I ripped the stock electronics out (Instead of solder they used a pcb board with molex connectors for the pickups) in favor of traditional pots and caps, installed SD 59's, replaced the tuners with locking tuners out of personal preference, filed the nut a tad, and filed the fret ends a bit.

    Out of all those things the guitar only really needed the last two, like any sub 1k guitar. It's a great guitar now and I have no plans to sell or upgrade. I may change the pickups to P90's for fun.

    You can hear the guitar here (I'm no recording pro, but it should give you an idea): https://soundcloud.com/approachingproficiency/ewe-of-judas

    Cheers!
     
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  12. cGoEcYk

    cGoEcYk SS.org Regular

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    I have A/B'd this type of $700-800 Gibson against my Agile 3100 and was not sold on the Gibson at all.
     

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