The Gibson SG is a true design classic that has stood the test of time, remaining popular for almost half a century. The list of SG players is a who's who of the guitar. Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Pete Townsend, Carlos Santana, Angus Young. And so on.
The SG Custom and the SG Standard were available first in early 1961. The high end Custom had gold plated hardware, 3 pickups and pearl inlays throughout. A very fine guitar. Both models sold well. A letter to Gibson dealers from late June 1961 explains "The New Model Les Paul Custom ... AND the New Les Paul Regular ... are enjoying tremendous acceptance. Sales of both models have already passed last year's entire output."
This sucess lead naturally to the addition of more models to the range: SG Junior, SG TV, SG Special, ranging in price from low to high. Even the Melody Maker was redesigned from it's popular body style to the SG shape. The number of SG models available fluctuated, reaching a peak in the early 1970s when there were also the SG Deluxe, and entry level models SGI, SGII, SG100, SG200 and SG250.
The SG is a Gibson staple, and hasn't changed significantly in nearly four decades. But of course there have been changes in hardware, neck profile, construction methods and so on - common to all Gibson instruments made in a factory always trying to improve upon its designs whilst remaining profitable over the long term. Models came and went. Have a look at the Gibson SG 1960s timeline and the SG 1970s timeline for some examples of these variations.
Or have a closer look at these SGs
Back to the GIBSON INDEX | comment