Gibson SG Special Faded

worthim's picture

Gibson SG Special Faded

This was a used instrument when I got hold of it, and thus it shows its age a little, in some light ‘buckle-rash’ on the back and in the ‘polishing-down’ of the matte finish in places. All in all, though, the instrument is in good condition, i.e. no thru-the-finish scratches or any cracks or chips out of the wood.

Gibson SG Faded - FEATURES:

  • Two humbucking pickups, covered
  • Pickup selector switch
  • Tone & Volume control for each pickup
  • Tune-O-Matic bridge/tailpiece
  • All Mahogany body & (set) neck
  • ‘Full-size’ black-white-black pickguard
  • Kluson-type tuners with the classic greenish plastic ‘keystone’ buttons
  • ‘Faded’ natural matte finish, no grain filler, no stain

Gibson SG Faded - LIKES:

All Mahogany, All the Time! What’s not to like about that? I love the warm, thick tone you get from guitars made from good ol’ Honduran Mahogany. In my opinion, though, Mahogany is really a better match for P-90 pickups, adding some warmth underneath the bright bark of the P-90’s. But humbuckers also sound wonderful with it, as evidenced by this guitar. I’ve always loved the comfort of the thin, contoured SG body, as well as the style. The pointy-horned shape evokes an aggressive vibe, while maintaining a very classic look.

Another thing I like about this particular instrument is that, while Gibson usually fills the grain in their guitars made from Mahogany before applying a finish, in this case they left it ‘open’. I’m not sure what sort of finish was used on this guitar (edit from Gibson website: The guitar is available in your choice of two great satin pre-faded nitrocellulose finishes: Worn Cherry and Worn Brown.), but leaving the grain open gives it a more interesting feel. It sort of gives the guitar an oil-finish look. It took some getting used to, feeling the open grain on the back of the neck with my thumb while playing. But it grew on me after I played it for a while. I kinda like that tactile feedback.

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The tone of this guitar is a little darker than I expected, being a thin-bodied instrument. But there’s still plenty of ‘bark & bite’ in the bridge pickup for some wonderfully raucous rock tones. I get everything from mellow, jazzy tones on the neck pickup, to aggressive cranked-out rawk on the bridge pickup. With both pickups switched in, Blues is the word.

The neck is thicker, rounder, and ‘chunkier’ than on most other SG’s I’ve played. Not that that’s a bad thing; I tend to like a chunky neck with a fairly flat fingerboard, such as on this guitar. It evokes a memory of one of my first electric guitars, a SG-shaped ’65 Les Paul Junior. But most SG’s I’ve ever seen have a really thin neck, so I was a little surprised to see this thicker one.

Gibson SG Faded - DISLIKES:

Really, I have just one dislike, that being the huge pickguard covering much of the front of the body. I hated it when Gibson changed to that pickguard on the SG. It just hides too much of that beautiful Mahogany for my taste. I prefer the smaller pickguard such as on the earlier SG’s. Other than that, I don’t have any gripes about this guitar. It’s a Gibson, it’s made from Mahogany, and those two features alone make this guitar a keeper in my book!

Gibson SG Faded - IN GENERAL:

This guitar is basically a lower-priced version of the standard-line Gibson SG, but it definitely still carries the Gibson craftsmanship and pedigree. The usual Gibson quality in the fit & finish, and tone & playability, are very present in this instrument. Get the Gibson SG Faded Today!