An established favorite with completely new modern styling
Looking to increase the stagnant sales numbers of the Les Paul Standard models of the mid- to late-1950s, Gibson president Ted McCarty and his reputable team of luthiers and engineers set out to redesign the company’s solid body guitar. The result was the introduction in 1961 of what is known today as the Gibson SG line. The first use of the name “SG” actually surfaced on a Gibson guitar in late 1959 with the introduction of the SG Special – a double cutaway model with rounded horns that had previously been listed as a Les Paul since 1955. In early 1961, however, the Les Paul models would undergo a radical change in design in an effort to improve their popularity, and Gibson’s standing as a quality builder of electric solid body guitars. Fortunately, the redesigns would make a significant impact on Gibson’s market share, albeit slowly at first. On average, about 2,120 SGs shipped per year from 1961 to 1970, with the numbers continuing to increase well into the 1970s. This trend eventually made the SG Gibson’s most popular model – a distinction that still holds true today. From 1961 to 1963, the model was still known as the “redesigned” Les Paul Standard, although its namesake did not fully approve of the model’s new look. This would eventually lead to the removal of Les Paul’s name in 1963, in favor of a new name, the SG Standard.
Short for “solid guitar,” Gibson’s SG Standards featured a much thinner body made from solid mahogany, with pointed horns, beveled edges, no body binding and distinctive twin cutaways that offered easier access to the guitar’s higher frets, along with exceptional resonance, superior tone and greater sustain. The new models were also fitted with one of four vibrato tailpieces that were used in the early 1960s. The vibrato tailpiece that adorns today’s SG Standard model from Gibson Custom is the Maestro version with lyre-engraved cover plate that became a standard appointment in 1963. The SG Standard model was also fitted with a new wing-shaped, 5-ply black pickguard, and its new 22-fret mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard and slim-taper profile was quickly recognized as one of the fastest guitar necks in the world.
Today, Gibson’s SG line remains as one of the most popular and best-selling of all Gibson guitars, and the SG Standard from Gibson Custom is a painstaking recreation of this iconic instrument. Its distinct features and legendary tone are meticulously remade with all the precision and accuracy expected from Gibson Custom, including its solid mahogany body with twin cutaways, pointed horns, beveled edges and nickel hardware. Other standard appointments include its figured acrylic trapezoid inlays, single-ply crème binding along the fingerboard and a 1960s slim-taper neck profile. Its legendary tone comes from two of Gibson’s finest pickups – a Burstbucker 1 in the neck position, and a Burstbucker 2 in the bridge. Together these pickups deliver all the power and bell-like humbucker tone of the original SG Standards of the early 1960s. Each SG Standard comes with a standard Gibson Custom case and certificate of authenticity. They are available in a V.O.S. or gloss finish, in either Faded Cherry, Classic White or TV Yellow. They can also be ordered with an original Maestro vibrato tailpiece, or with a lightweight aluminum stopbar.