Gibson SG Special Explained


Gibson SG Special Explained. If you’re in the market for a new electric guitar, then the Gibson SG Special might be right for you. Featuring a versatile pickup design that works equally well for rhythm and lead playing, this guitar is a good compromise between a classic acoustic and a modern rock guitar. In this article, you’ll learn about the features and the price of this guitar, as well as the construction and pickups.

Gibson SG Special Explained


The SG Special is an excellent guitar for any beginner, intermediate or experienced player. Its twin P90 pickups offer a meaty midrange punch and a bright, cutting top-end response that will cut through the mix. The Special has the original P90 pickups, which register in the low to mid 8k range for output. Les Paul is credited with the invention of this guitar and his name is now synonymous with the guitar.

Unlike the SG Junior, the Gibson SG Special is built with twin P90 pickups, whereas the SG Junior has one. These pickups are single-coil, unlike the humbuckers that were used in the previous models. The pickups are not identical to those of other SG models, but they are still ornamental and set into the necks of the guitars. The control layout is the same as other SG models.


When it comes to buying a Gibson SG Special guitar, the price is one of its main selling points. While the basic specs are the same as those of the standard SG, the Special’s design is much more extravagant. It features a fast SlimTaper neck profile, a rolled-edge pickguard, and a custom-built ebony fingerboard. The SG Special is also available with custom aging and gold hardware, which increases its price.

The Special also has different pickups than the Standard. While the Standard features a single-coil P-90 pickup, the Special features twin P90s. The Special once had small humbuckers, but they were more ornamental than functional. Despite the difference in pickups, they shared the same control layouts and wiring. This meant that the Special could still be used for basic guitar playing. Its price is more than reasonable.

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The SG Special has a distinctive design that distinguishes it from the standard SG. Its distinctive body is aerodynamic, and the set neck is made of solid mahogany, with a maple fingerboard and a 50s-style contour. Its pickups deliver a wide range of tones and are great for rockers, but they also lend themselves well to lead playing. The construction of the SG is not only attractive, but it’s also highly functional.

The SG Special’s distinctive construction has influenced the sound of guitars for generations. Its snarling and sweet sustain make it an ideal instrument for classic rock recordings. The guitar’s slim mahogany neck and bound rosewood fingerboard are complemented by a gold Gibson decal. The SG Special’s two humbucking pickups are renowned for their rich, fat snarl when driven and smooth, warm tones when played cleanly. The guitar’s three-way toggle switch provides volume and tone controls for each pickup, as well as an output jack. Earlier models move the neck pickup away from the fingerboard to increase the strength of the neck joint.

Gibson SG Special explained
Gibson SG Special Explained


The Gibson SG Special uses a different set of pickups from the Standard, and the two guitars are completely different. However, they are both capable of producing a full range of tones and are suitable for rockers of all levels. Moreover, the SG Special has a slightly more compact sound than the Standard, and its midrange growl is more pronounced than the Les Paul Special. However, if you’re just beginning to learn to play guitar, the Special will be a great compromise between the Standard and the Special.

If you want a ringing, booming sound, and great sustain, you can consider upgrading the guitar’s pickups. There are several sets of pickups available for the SG Special, and it’s up to you to choose the ones that fit your musical style. For example, you could try Gibson SG Special pickups made by EMG. These feature Alnico 2 magnets and a smooth and clean tone. In addition to this, the guitar’s bottom plate is also nickel silver.

Fret size

The fret size on a Gibson SG Special is Medium Jumbo. This fret size is between a medium and jumbo fret and is great for beginners. Medium jumbo frets have a narrower profile than full jumbo frets but are still very easy to play. They’re also wider than most frets, so pressing the strings is easy, and there’s enough feedback to know when to stop pressing the strings.

The higher the frets on the Gibson SG Special, the lower its intonation will be. A guitar with high frets has an acute angle, which will cause the note to be sharp, while a lower-profile guitar will have a more comfortable feel. Guitar fret wire comes in many sizes, ranging from 0.078 inches to 0.90 inches. Despite the differences in fret wire sizes, each fret is positioned on the body of the guitar at an appropriate height.

Gibson SG Special
Gibson SG Special Explained

Neck shape

Gibson Custom Shop 1964 SG Standard Reissue with Maestro Murphy Lab Ultra Light Aged Pelham Blue e1676121644553

The SG Special’s mahogany body and bridge pickup are two characteristics that set it apart from other models. This guitar’s playability is due to its psychological preconceptions. Its unique neck shape makes it an excellent choice for classic rock and roll. Its humbucker pickup was developed in 1957 by Seth Lover.

The neck of the guitar has 24 frets. The fingerboard is made from a thicker cut of wood than on other guitars.

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The neck shape of the Gibson SG Special is the most popular design feature of the instrument. Its shape was derived from the neck shape of the Gibson Les Paul Special. The neck shape of the SG Special was first used on the Gibson Les Paul Special in 1959 and was then carried over into other models. Besides this, the SG has multiple birch wood laminates, a bound mahogany fretboard, and two P-90 pickups.

Top hat knobs

Top hat knobs on a Gibson SG Special guitar are the same as those on a regular SG guitar. They allow you to control volume and tone in increments rather than making a complete rotation. This gives you a smoother sound. If you have the original top hats, you can still use them. But if you’re looking to replace them with new ones, you’ll need to take special care to match the knobs with the SG Special’s control pot shafts.

The original SG Special featured aged hardware, but it was later introduced with the “Vintage Original Spec” treatment. The hardware and finish are slightly dulled. The SG Special is the first guitar to feature Mother of Pearl fret marker inlays, and the control placement and beveling were first seen on the ’61 Reissue. Despite its more modern look, the SG Special retains the traditional ’60s shape.

Body shape

What's the Difference Between a Gibson SG Standard and SG Special

The SG Special is a popular guitar made by Gibson, but you can also purchase a cheaper version made by Epiphone. The Epiphone version of the SG features a mahogany body, maple neck, and rosewood fretboard with dot inlays. It also features a single volume and tone control knob, as well as a kill pot killswitch. These features make playing the SG Special an easy experience.

This body shape first appeared in 1961 and was meant to replace the Les Paul model. The name SG stands for “solid guitar”, and these guitars have humbuckers. The SG Special is much simpler than the SG Standard, though; it lacks binding on the neck and features a simpler inlay. Besides, it is made of a lower-grade tonewood. Gibson has continued to offer the SG Special since its introduction in 1961.

Body size

SG Special guitars are available in a variety of sizes. The body size is similar to the Gibson Standard SG, but the measurements are different. The body shape of the Gibson SG is the standard baseline for all Gibson variations. The guitar’s body is made of mahogany and the neck is maple. Its body is carved with dot inlays on the fretboard. The SG features a single volume and tone control knobs as well as a kill pot killswitch.

The SG Special is 13 inches wide and weighs 6.70 pounds. It has a nut width of 1 11/16 inches and a 24 3/4-inch scale length. The SG Special features a solid mahogany body with a one-piece mahogany neck a rosewood fretboard and 22 jumbo frets. It also features a Gibson logo inlaid in pearl. Other features of the SG Special include a closed-back Kluson Deluxe strip tuner and a five-layer pickguard.

Who plays a Gibson SG Special
Gibson SG Special Explained

Who Plays a Gibson SG Special?

There are plenty of guitarists who dabble with the iconic double-cut, but only a select few can really hammer this iconic instrument. Whether it’s the classic Custom or more modern SG Standard model, these guitarists show that this Gibson classic can handle everything from hard rock to country and punk to indie music – making it truly versatile and adaptable.

Gary Clark Jr

Gary Clark Jr, a bluesman with an affinity for gritty sounds, has been using various SGs over the past decade to craft his gruff lead work. Whether it’s a 1961 Les Paul Tribute model with vibrato or a P-90 equipped SG Standard, Clark demonstrates the instrument’s versatility by crafting some meanest lead work on tracks like This Land and When My Train Pulls In.

Carrie Brownstein

An iconic force in alt-rock, Carrie Brownstein has been using a Gibson SG since Sleater-Kinney formed in 1994. Her powerful tone and left-leaning lyricism make her an indispensable component of Sleater-Kinney’s heavy yet melodic sound.

Brian Molko

With just under 15 years in the band, Placebo frontman Brian Molko has developed an affinity for the SG guitar. This instrument allows him to play clean and ringing up until the 22nd fret without sacrificing any aggression that his band needs for dance-worthy beats.


Metal fans around the world share an unbreakable devotion to these Atlantean kings of rock music. Brent Hinds in particular is known for using an array of beautiful Gibson SGs on some of their best-known tracks – unlike many other metal musicians who prefer Les Pauls. With its slim neck and low action strings, Hinds finds that combination works best on his signature songs like Where Strides the Behemoth?