Gibson SG Electric Guitar!
Reviews Photos & Features of Gibsons Solid Guitars!
Gibson SG Electric Guitar
Featuring the Double Cutaway
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The Gibson SG electric guitar was born because
musician Les Paul didn’t like what Gibson was doing to the guitar line named after him.
When he withdrew his endorsement, Gibson scrambled to stay relevant in the electric guitar market by continuing to produce their supposedly improved instruments under the SG -- or Solid Guitar -- name.
Eventually, Paul renewed his association with Gibson and his models returned to Gibson’s lineup, but the SG model continued to be successful.
Here’s how it happened: Gibson sales slummed in 1958, so the company made some changes.
The Les Paul was remodeled to offer a thinner body with a flat mahogany top and a double-cutaway that made it easier to reach the upper fret.
The neck joint was also moved from 16th fret to the 19th.
Out went the carved maple top and the bound body of previous Les Pauls.
The electronics inside stayed pretty much the same, though.
The simpler body construction meant Les Pauls cost less to produce, and the changed neck was billed as the “fastest neck in the world”.
People liked it.
But not all people.
The man himself, Les Paul, didn’t like the new design at all and requested that his name be taken off of it.
In 1961, Gibson honored Paul’s request and took his name off the Les Paul, renaming it the SG.
Until 1963, however, some SG components still showed the Les Paul name.
The guitar that was intended to restore the slumping Gibson Les Paul model actually ended up bringing an end to the line -- at least for a while.
Paul, of course, eventually reestablished his relationship with Gibson and Les Pauls are more popular than ever today.
Now, a variety of Gibson SG models are also offered.
In general, SG models have a shallower neck than Les Pauls.
They usually come with two humbucker pickups and a Tune-O-Matic bridge.
The double cutaways are always there, too.
Variations include Special and Faded models, musician signature models and custom offering.
Menace, Gothic and classic configuration reissue models have also been made.
Players like Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Frank Zappa and many others are associated with the SG.
So Paul’s decision to pull his endorsement from Gibson worked out just fine all the way around.
While the Les Paul returned to even greater glory than it had in the 1950s, Gibson SG electric guitar models now hold their own place in the music world.
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