What makes the SG have 'the thing' that the Les Paul doesnt have..

CoolRene

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Yeah its strange..when i try and raise the action, it almost sounds like the strings loose resination

If thats the correct spelling/word
Higher action should resonate more, so it’s got to be your trussrod adjustment. If it’s too deep at the center, it creates kind of a “ski slope” shape near the neck joint that dampens the tone on the higher frets. If you’re not comfortable about modifying your trussrod setting, get a (good) tech to do it.
 

drivers1959

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I have been playing Les Pauls since the start. I rarely visit shops and when I do, I try Les Pauls.

Recently a friend gave me a visit and instead of the usual LPs, he brought a '61 SG VOS Maestro with him. That thing sounded awesome. Eventually we made a deal and Im now the new owner.

It has that... Bite.. It is less warm, but it has soo much more bite than my 2003 Brazilian '59. I guess bite is the proper word to describe how it sounds.

I am not sold on the body shape, looks of the SG, its fragile heel area and the neck diving, so it will be put up for sale.

However, I am wondering what makes the guitar have this.. 'Thing'? Is it the thin mahogany body or is it all the metal parts of the maestro vibrato... Not sure.
Angus young seems to like the SG....as far as the biting..yea maybe partly due to it's shape, as the pickups are typically stock, some 2 or 3 pickup..and some with p90's ..i'm a huge Gibson owner and the SG is one i've never owned maybe one day,..i played my friends SG years ago and loved it...still love my LP's
 

CoolRene

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My first "real" electric was an 80s Firebrand SG. Played the piss out of it, traded it towards a hockey stick necked Kramer (it was the 80s).

I'm the "Derek Trucks" in my band, playing his slide parts on the TTB songs we cover. I can pull it off on my Les Pauls, but getting to the high registers to get to that "high E" is not easy.

So many modern reissue SGs have historically accurate skinny necks, so I haven't pulled the trigger yet.

I really want to try a 64 Reissue SG, but haven't seen any around here yet.
Yep: ‘64 RI is the way !
 

Rogueaverage616

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Higher action should resonate more, so it’s got to be your trussrod adjustment. If it’s too deep at the center, it creates kind of a “ski slope” shape near the neck joint that dampens the tone on the higher frets. If you’re not comfortable about modifying your trussrod setting, get a (good) tech to do it.
Nope, as far as guitar Techery, i go as far as Making my own nuts, and cutting the slots..etc..

So truss rod adjustment is no trouble…doing this on the other hand? I leave this to master Craftsman
 

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CoolRene

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Nope, as far as guitar Techery, i go as far as Making my own nuts, and cutting the slots..etc..

So truss rod adjustment is no trouble…doing this on the other hand? I leave this to master Craftsman
Wow… then you should have no problem :) have a good setup !
 

Rogueaverage616

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Wow… then you should have no problem :) have a good setup !
But i am though, hopefully i didnt come off snotty, that was not meant

I was basically saying , that im comfertable with a truss rod

And trying to show off build pics if my 58’ Korina V Clone , that LT Dave is building
 

Brooklyn Zeke

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What everybody does not mention is the difference in the angle of the strings after the abr1 to the tailpiece. Because my guitar has the meastro and low action, there is almot no angle, similiar to top wrapping. Top wrapping gives the guitar a slightly different sound. My LP does have much more angle to it.
That's a good point, bosnialove. I, too, have a '68 SG Std w/Maestro/Vibrola tailpiece, with low action, and the break angle behind the bridge is very shallow. How do you think the tone would change were there to be a stopbar tailpiece allowing a greater break angle?
 

MyLesPaul462

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I have been playing Les Pauls since the start. I rarely visit shops and when I do, I try Les Pauls.

Recently a friend gave me a visit and instead of the usual LPs, he brought a '61 SG VOS Maestro with him. That thing sounded awesome. Eventually we made a deal and Im now the new owner.

It has that... Bite.. It is less warm, but it has soo much more bite than my 2003 Brazilian '59. I guess bite is the proper word to describe how it sounds.

I am not sold on the body shape, looks of the SG, its fragile heel area and the neck diving, so it will be put up for sale.

However, I am wondering what makes the guitar have this.. 'Thing'? Is it the thin mahogany body or is it all the metal parts of the maestro vibrato... Not sure.
You are correct when you said "Is it the thin Mahogany body" that's most of the difference at least in terms of the tone. SG's are a thin slab of a single tone wood. This causes more immediacy to the response when you strike the strings vs a Les Paul that is thicker and has two pieces of wood sandwiched together, which has a slight bloom to it by comparison.

You're losing frequency response with the SG, from the bottom end. Some people prefer that, and it's one of the reasons people liked adding a treble booster right after a Les Paul, as those typically worked like a high pass filter. You shave off bottom end and lower mids so you perceive more treble (i.e. "bite").

If your more committed to in-your-face, aggressive styles, you'll probably prefer the SG. If you like being able to lean further into blues and even jazz tones, you'll prefer a Les Paul. But these are marginal things, only perceptibal to nuts like us, and easily compensated for (in either direction) further down your signal chain.

Now play-ability...a way bigger difference due to the major differences in shape. I would imagine an SG plays slightly faster and is easier to manipulate, again because of it's thinner shape and dual cutaways.
 

LtDave32

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You are correct when you said "Is it the thin Mahogany body" that's most of the difference at least in terms of the tone. SG's are a thin slab of a single tone wood. This causes more immediacy to the response when you strike the strings vs a Les Paul that is thicker and has two pieces of wood sandwiched together, which has a slight bloom to it by comparison.

You're losing frequency response with the SG, from the bottom end. Some people prefer that, and it's one of the reasons people liked adding a treble booster right after a Les Paul, as those typically worked like a high pass filter. You shave off bottom end and lower mids so you perceive more treble (i.e. "bite").

If your more committed to in-your-face, aggressive styles, you'll probably prefer the SG. If you like being able to lean further into blues and even jazz tones, you'll prefer a Les Paul. But these are marginal things, only perceptibal to nuts like us, and easily compensated for (in either direction) further down your signal chain.

Now play-ability...a way bigger difference due to the major differences in shape. I would imagine an SG plays slightly faster and is easier to manipulate, again because of it's thinner shape and dual cutaways.


They are supposed to be one piece bodies.

I have a '64 SG Junior in my shop right now that has a beautiful, thin one-piece body, and a neck and Braz board that would make you drool a llttle bit out the side of the mouth. 5.5 lbs. Lovely guitar.

Had a '58 junior in last week, just as lovely.

That was then.

This is now:

A few months back, I had a 2013 SG in my shop for a neck re-set. Factory gave it a 4.55 degree neck angle. Ridiculous. Bridge was way up. pickup was all the way up, still not close enough to the strings to give it much output. I pulled the neck and reset it to 2.5 degrees. Perfect, as it should have been in the first place.

It had a body made up of four pieces, the last piece being a 3/4 inch strip to the outside of the right side of the body, to make the width.

Four pieces.

Under a trans cherry finish, no less.

Under the lights, it looked like a parquet floor.

Nice work, Gibson. I love fixing your mi$take$.
 

dango123

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8.5 is heavy?
After playing a 6.2 pound SG (as well as a sub-6 pound Strandberg)… an 8.5 pound LP feels VERY heavy in comparison IMO. Could be my old back of course… but it’s not a subtle difference. YMMV of course ;)
 

ajwain

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I’d love to own an SG for it’s sound, but I just don’t like them. I’ve played quite a few and even borrowed one for a couple of weeks, but I just can’t get over the imbalance and the fact that unless I concentrate, my hand falls at least one fret higher than I was aiming for.
As I said, I’d love to add the character of an SG to my tonal pallette but I feel anxious and on edge every time I try to play one; they’re too far outside my comfort zone.
 

msalama

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Well I've been thinking about getting a vintageish SG MM, or some other "kiddie" SG, with the small headstock myself, because I've heard they're much better balanced. Dunno if there's any truth to this though, but that's what some say nevertheless.

Or maybe a Sam Ash, come to think of it? They're kind of rare, but also reasonably priced if you can find one. Anyone have any idea how they play and sound?
 

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