For the 13 years that I’ve been playing guitar I could never quite get a feel for the Gibson SG. Being one of the most iconic and aesthetically pleasing guitars in existence, there was always something about the weight that turned me off to that specific model. It seemed as though the neck was always a bit heavier than the body itself, making it feel that I had to use extra effort to keep the neck up while playing.
That being said, I felt those attributes inhibited certain playing styles and/or techniques. I’m sure if the appropriate strap, such as a leather one that prevents the guitar from sliding around, in combination with being adjusted properly the guitar would sit just fine. After years and years of my own biased and somewhat stubborn outlook on the Gibson SG, I have finally found one that I absolutely fell in love with.
About three weeks ago a customer had brought in a 2009 Gibson SG Special to sell to us here at our shop. At first glance it looked like this guitar had never been played, not a scratch or ding could be found anywhere. Hell, the plastic over the pick guard is still on the thing! It was not the brand new condition of this guitar that caught my eye, but the maple fretboard!
Now we’re talking! I was confused at first, thinking Gibson had made a mistake or that this was a custom request by a well-respected client of theirs (neither proved to be true). I asked the customer that had brought in the SG how he had acquired such a rare instrument, low and behold he had won it in a raffle (documents provided) and didn’t seem to know the first thing about guitars.
After further research I discovered that in 2009 Gibson had released the SG Raw Power Series, an impressive line of all solid maple guitars which they produced in nine different colors, one of which was a natural satin maple. The SG that we had purchased and now hangs in our shop is satin white.
I had the honor of setting up the Gibson by adjusting the neck to be straight again and properly setting string height and intonation. After the set up was finished, I plugged it in to one of our tube combo amplifiers and was blown away by its tone. Gibson decided to put in a pair of the uncovered ’57 classic pickups. Inspired by those original PAF’s, the ’57 Classic pickups are made to the exact same specs, including Alnico II magnets, nickel-plated pole pieces, nickel slugs, maple spacers, and vintage-style, two-conductor braided wiring.
I can now consider myself as an “SG guy” after being introduced to this beautiful guitar. Every time I pick it up or see it on the wall, I think to myself “that wouldn’t be a bad axe to add to my collection”.