The Gibson SG Special: Five Decades of Stripped-Down Rock

The SG Special has always been distinguished by its simpler headstock adornments and the businesslike dot inlays on its rosewood fingerboard, which is also left un-bound in keeping with its stripped-down ethos. These elements aside, however, today’s Gibson USA SG Special runs neck-and-neck with the flagship of the SG family. Its solid mahogany body packs all the resonance and sustain that has helped to make SGs legendary, and it sports the beveled edge that is such a big part of this model’s distinctive styling, while also enhancing playing comfort.

Two deep cutaways with sharp, slightly asymmetrical horns offer unparalleled access to the top of its 22-fret neck, which you’ll scale at lightning speed thanks to the SG Special’s fast, comfortable, rounded ’50s neck profile. Cranking all this tonewood and superb playability to the max is a pair of Gibson’s most popular humbucking pickups from the Modern Classics series: a 490R in the neck position, and a 490T in the bridge. Made in the style of the hallowed PAF humbucker, with genuine Alnico II magnets, but updated to meet the demands of today’s player, this pairing offers everything from smooth, creamy, vocal warmth in the neck to raunchy rhythm tones and searing leads in the bridge.

It all runs through Gibson’s classic control configuration of independent volume and tone knobs for each pickup, and three-way toggle selector switch. Keeping it all locked and loaded are a Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, arguably the most emulated hardware configuration on the planet, and a set of Kluson-style tuners with vintage pearloid buttons.

Add it all up, and the SG Special is ready to rock as hard or as sweetly as you’ll ever need, in a style that more and more players appreciate, and it comes in your choice of two great looking nitrocellulose finishes: Heritage Cherry and Ebony Black. Each guitar comes protected in a padded Gibson gigbag, and is covered by Gibson’s Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 Customer Service.

Body and Finish
A lightweight body made from resonant solid-mahogany, with contoured edge and deep asymmetrical cutaways, distinguishes the SG Special as a rock legend, while making it extremely comfortable to play. The guitar is available in your choice of two great looking nitrocellulose finishes: Heritage Cherry and Ebony Black.

Headstock and Fingerboard
The SG Special is crafted in classic Gibson style with a glued-in neck made from solid quarter-sawn mahogany and topped with an unbound rosewood fingerboard, minimally adorned with simple dot inlays. It has an angled headstock for superior resonance, and its rounded ’50s profile and 1 11/16” wide Corian nut help to make it supremely playable.

Pickups and Electronics
The SG Special carries two of Gibson’s most popular humbucking pickups, a 490T in the bridge position and a 490R in the neck, left uncovered to reflect the model’s “bare bones” look. Both are updated renditions of Gibson’s famous PAF humbuckers of the late ’50s and early ’60s, modified for improved versatility, and routed through the classic Gibson four-knob and three-way switch control section.

The hardware set on the SG Special echoes that worn by SG Standards of the mid to late ’60s, and includes Gibson’s hallowed Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, along with vintage-style tulip-button tuners and traditional aluminum strap buttons. Bridge and tailpiece are both plated in chrome for a professional and durable finish.

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