Early 2000s Gibson SG's vs more recent Gibson SG's..?

p90rules

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So I've placed a wanted ad for a Gibson SG Standard or 61 Reissue, ideally an early 2000s one as I understand that's a good period for Gibson, plus I once had an SG from this time and liked it.. I've had a few responses, mainly for recent SGs. 2016 onwards.
Can anyone tell me if the quality of the recent SGs are in any way comparable to the earlier ones?
 

ARandall

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There's no logic or truth behind any of those 'good period' myths from the recent past, except for the fact that the SG standard still sported an ABR in the early 2000's.

Guitars have to be taken individually. You could equally find a great guitar now that will wipe the floor with any of the best from the 2000's as you could find a dud from this supposed 'good period'.

The worst Gibsons I have ever bought have both come from supposed 'good periods' for Gibson.
 

Bobby Mahogany

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It is true that each guitar has to be looked at for what it is.
There are good and bad from every era.
But it is also true that early 90's and early 2000's showed consistency in wood quality and craftsmanship.
My experience and a few friends experience with guitars from those periods were very positive.
Whether owning such models, trading or selling in good amounts.

No "one criteria" formula has ever worked in defining a good guitar, but I would say there were more hits
than miss at the time.

Early 2000's '61 RI SG's were great guitars. 57 Classic's pick-ups.
The P-90 Pete Townsend (non Custom Shop) model was a total steal at the price they were selling.
And a real Rock'n Roll machine!
The Standard SG's had 4980R and 498T pickups which I am not a fan of.
But Seymour Duncan doesn't sell lots of '59s for nothing!
:thumb:
 

LPTDMSV

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I had a 2015 SG - now that was the year that had the weird metal nut, wider fingerboard and a few other oddities. But in terms of resonant sound, and fit / finish - absolutely as good as anything you'll find from any era. I've seen some excellent ones from the adjacent years too, even 2018 if I remember right. Not seen any more recent ones.

I just decided that SGs weren't for me.

But fundamentally I agree with @ARandall - individual variations are a bigger factor than supposed "good years". I think the quality control has gone through cycles and I'm sceptical about some periods but you can still find gems even in the down cycles.
 

CerebralGasket

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The only reason to be concerned about which era or year is if you are looking for or avoiding certain features.

A good guitar is a good guitar regardless of year.

If you like P-90’s, try an SG Classic if you haven’t already. Those are my favorite Gibson SG ever produced.
 

pillbug

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I've seen some recent years have lighter/dryer looking fretboards. Just make sure you get a nice dark one. I'd also check craftsmanship of the binding, if it looks well done and doesn't have excessively obvious tooling/scraping marks.
 

Wise Guy

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The only reason to be concerned about which era or year is if you are looking for or avoiding certain features.

A good guitar is a good guitar regardless of year.

If you like P-90’s, try an SG Classic if you haven’t already. Those are my favorite Gibson SG ever produced.
Speaking of the Classic, under the pickguard is it routed for humbuckers do you know??
 

Shelkonnery

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It is true that each guitar has to be looked at for what it is.
There are good and bad from every era.
But it is also true that early 90's and early 2000's showed consistency in wood quality and craftsmanship.
My experience and a few friends experience with guitars from those periods were very positive.
Whether owning such models, trading or selling in good amounts.

No "one criteria" formula has ever worked in defining a good guitar, but I would say there were more hits
than miss at the time.
I can attest to some of those urban myths as well.
I'm the lucky owner of an '01 SG Standard (with ABR stock) and a '90 Les Paul Custom.
I was instantly charmed by both when I first played them.

All I can say is they're pretty special instruments.
I love my '11 Trad, but I always get the feeling it could benefit from a couple of upgrades.
This idea never crossed my mind regarding the previous two.

It could be sheer luck, it could be tighter QC for some years.

I feel like I've been floading the forum with these lately, so I'll post them small :laugh2:

IMG_2552 2.jpg
000_IMG_2564 3.jpg
 

Wise Guy

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It is not routed for full size Humbuckers.
But there is no need for that.

I have two SG Classics with the stock P-90 at the neck for cleans and a P-90 size stacked humbucker at the bridge for hi gain use
"
Well you sold me on them. I ended up picking up a 2010 SG Classic from Reverb to give them a try. Hopefully this arrives in one piece!
1621427839681.png
 

Wise Guy

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I literally had to look up the fretboard wood type since I've never seen rosewood so light. Looked more like a roasted maple. Absolute fantastic player though. The P90's will take a bit to learn but I may still install a stacked 90 in the bridge. I'll keep it as is for now though.
1621637259150.png
 
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Wise Guy

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I also wanted to add that even though Henry J era Gibson gets a lot of flack for their QA issues, this particular SG Classic is flawless in both build quality and playability. With the typical SG low action, no fret outs, nibs don't capture strings, no tooling marks etc... Pickups sound fantastic for what they are(I'm a humbucker guy all the way) and are not noisy even under high gain. There is the 60 cycle hum but nothing close to my Strats.
 

moreles

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Huh? The talk about specific decades being good or less so for SGs sound to me like an internet chat phenomenon that is unlikely to apply to specific instruments. Gibson and most makers are pretty inconsistent. Even something as mechanically simple as a Fender bolt-on often calls for shimming to really get things dialed in. So IMO, the idea that generic SGs from different so-called periods are bettwer/worse is meaningless unless you are holding a few in your hands and can compare. I have an '87 '61 Reissue SG/LP Custom (3 PUs, white) that was supposedly made as Gibson was "recovering" from Norlin ownership with the new guy -- Henry J -- at the helm. Well, it's flippin' phenomenal, clearly uses superior woods, has Shaws for PUs, and speaks for itself. But people (???) say that the 80's were "a bad decade" for Gibson, so I guess it must suck -- even though everyone who sees or plays it wants it, with good reason.
 

Shelkonnery

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Huh? The talk about specific decades being good or less so for SGs sound to me like an internet chat phenomenon that is unlikely to apply to specific instruments. Gibson and most makers are pretty inconsistent. Even something as mechanically simple as a Fender bolt-on often calls for shimming to really get things dialed in. So IMO, the idea that generic SGs from different so-called periods are bettwer/worse is meaningless unless you are holding a few in your hands and can compare. I have an '87 '61 Reissue SG/LP Custom (3 PUs, white) that was supposedly made as Gibson was "recovering" from Norlin ownership with the new guy -- Henry J -- at the helm. Well, it's flippin' phenomenal, clearly uses superior woods, has Shaws for PUs, and speaks for itself. But people (???) say that the 80's were "a bad decade" for Gibson, so I guess it must suck -- even though everyone who sees or plays it wants it, with good reason.
So it’s all internet gossip, except with the one you have?! Lol :laugh2:

I know what you mean though, I have a ’90 Custom that matches your description.
I have read that throughout those Henry J transition years, QC was very tight and production was very low as to achieve the desired quality, like 1/3 of today’s capacity or even less.
Hence the good wood era implications.
 


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