GIBSON | SOLID BODIES | SG | SG STANDARD

Gibson SG Standard

SG-style siolid body guitar with dual humbucking pickups

Beatle George Harrison with his 1964 Gibson SG Standard

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.

Model: Gibson SG Standard
Available: 1961-date
Pickups: Two Gibson humbuckers.
Scale: 24 3/4"
Body: Mahogany
Neck: Initially one-piece mahogany, laminated mahogany by 1970. Rosewood fingerboard, with block inlays.
Frets: 22
Hardware: 2 volume, 2 tone, nickel, then chrome hardware throughout
Finishes: Cherry nitrocellulose

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.

Gibson SG Standard construction

Like all SGs (at least at launch), it sported a mahogany neck, set to a mahogany body. The Rosewood fingerboard had trapezoid 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. In the early 1970s, mahogany gave way to maple as the neck timer of choice.

Gibson 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Interestingly it was briefly withdrawn in 1971/early 1972 to be replaced by a very similar model the SG Deluxe, which was functionally the same, but cosmetically rather different.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 catalogs for the rest of the Norlin period.

Gibson SG Standard catalog appearances

1962 Gibson full line catalog
From 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 catalog
From 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 catalog
From 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 catalog
The 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 leaflet
The 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
1983 Gibson catalog
From 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
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