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Gibson SG Standard

Solid body electric guitar

Gibson SG Introduction | Vintage SG adverts | SG forum posts | SG timeline 1960s | 1970s

models Gibson SG Standard | Gibson SG Special | Gibson SG Junior | Gibson SG Custom | Gibson SG Deluxe

A closer look: 1963 SG Standard | 1969 SG Special

1962 Gibson full line catalogueFrom the 1962 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue

An established favourite with completely new modern styling... with thinner, lighter weight contoured body, and deep double cutaway
1963 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogueFrom the 1963 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue

Ultra thin, contoured, double cutaway body, nickel-plated machine parts and individual machine heads with deluxe buttons
Gibson 1966 Full Line catalogueFrom the 1966 Gibson full line catalogue

Slim, fast, low-action neck joins body at 22nd fret. One-piece mahogany neck, adjustable truss rod
1970 electric solid bodies catalogueThe 1970 electric solid bodies catalogue

Neck is designed for quickness... go from deep, rumbling bass sounds to piercing, biting tones instantly
1973 Gibson solid body leafletThe 1973 Gibson solid body leaflet

Gibson's famous SG Standard is back, better than ever with revolutionary new Super Humbucking pickups. The rhythm pickup delivers an extra clean sound while the lead has just enough "dirt" added to make it interesting

1975 Gibson solid body catalogueFrom the 1975 Gibson solid body catalogue

1978 Gibson catalogueFrom the 1978 Gibson catalogue
1980 Gibson catalogueFrom the 1980 Gibson catalogue
1983 Gibson catalogueFrom the 1983 Gibson catalogue

The SG Standard is like no other guitar Gibson makes, an instrument that grew up in the 60s when rock was reaching it's zenith, versatile and powerful enough to project the rebellious tone which became the fabric of that classic era

The SG Standard was the best known of Gibson's SG range, being used by many famous 1960s artists: George Harrison of the Beatles (his 1960s SG Standard sold in Dec 2004 for almost £300,000), and Eric Clapton of Cream to name but two early users, although just about every professional guitarist has used one since.

It's no wonder that this instrument has been a key part of Gibsons solid-body range for almost 50 years.

The SG series derived from the Gibson Les Paul, with the SG Standard initially named the Les Paul Regular. It was designed and built at Gibson's Kalamazoo factory, alongside the Les Paul (SG) Custom, and launched in early 1961, with the other models added shortly afterwards.

This model was a step above the SG Special being fitted with two nickel or chrome covered Gibson humbuckers rather than single coil P90s, but a step below the SG Custom, which had three humbuckers with gold covers.


Like all SGs, it sported a mahogany neck, set ito a mahogany body. The Rosewood fingerboard had block position markers. This was, and still is, typical Gibson construction, and along with the Gibson humbuckers, played a major part in giving the SG it's characteristic sound.

SG Deluxe

Interestingly it was briefly withdrawn in 1971/early 1972 to be replaced by a very similar model the SG Deluxe, which was functionally the same, but cosmetically rather different. It had scratchplate mounted electronics and no back body route; which was a more efficient (ie cheaper) means of guitar assembly than having electronics assembled directly into the guitar body. Customers didn't like the changes, and sales of the Deluxe were considerably lower than of the SG Standard in previous years, leading to a quick reversal in time for the summer NAMM show of June 1972.

The SG Standard remained in production throughout the 70s, and early 1980s appearing in all major catalogues for the rest of the Norlin period.

ModelGibson SG Standard
PickupsTwo Gibson humbuckers.
Scale 24 3/4"
Body Mahogany
Neck Initially one-piece mahogany, laminated mahogany by 1970. Rosewood fingerboard, with block inlays.
Hardware2 volume, 2 tone, nickel, then chrome hardware throughout
FinishesCherry nitrocellulose

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