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Gibson SG Diablo Electric Guitar Metallic Red  

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The Gibson SG Diablo is an exciting electric guitar update that adds depth to the SG--a guitar that was ahead of its time when it was introduced in ...Click To Read More About This Product

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A limited-edition rethinking of a rock classic with a fiery finish, cool 3-D top, and tweaked fretboard that gives you even more tonal range for searing leads.

The Gibson SG Diablo is an exciting electric guitar update that adds depth to the SG--a guitar that was ahead of its time when it was introduced in 1961. A carved top with a 3-D effect plus other tweaks add brilliance and punch to its sound.

The Diablo guitar's controls have been streamlined to one volume and one tone, in addition to the standard three-way switch. The volume control has also been moved closer to the bridge pickup for easy access and volume swells. Gibson's Burstbucker pickups--a No. 1 in the neck, and a No. 2 in the bridge--give the SG Diablo the subtle variations of true, vintage humbucker tone with historically unmatched bobbin windings and Alnico II magnets, just like the original PAFs in the Gibsons of the late 1950s and early 1960s. The new SG Diablo also takes the SG's 24-3/4-inch scale length mahogany neck and adds two additional frets--for a total of 24--allowing an even higher register of notes from a guitar already known for its searing lead-playing capacity.

Gibson's traditional round neck profile and rosewood fingerboard enhances the guitar's resonance and sustain, and secures its reputation as the fastest guitar neck in the world. It is available only in a Red Metallic finish, with matching headstock. Grover tuners and gold hardware seal the deal. Like all Guitars of the Month, production is limited.

The Gibson Logo
The most innovative and revolutionary stringed instruments of all time have carried the name Gibson--the Les Paul, the ES-335, the Explorer, the Flying V, the SG. The list goes on and on. There is no mistaking the classic, hand-cut mother of pearl logo, inlayed into a pressed fiber-head veneer that is then glued to the face of the mahogany headstock. A thin coat of lacquer finishes the process. It is the most recognizable logo in all of music, representing more than a century of originality and excellence. There is simply no equal.

Angled Headstock
The angled headstock is another example of Gibson's industry-changing way of thinking. Every Gibson headstock is carved out of the same piece of mahogany as the neck. It is not a glued-on headstock, and the process takes craftsmanship, time, and effort. But the rewards are worth the effort. The headstock is carefully angled at 17 degrees, which increases pressure on the strings and helps them stay in the nut slots. An increase in string pressure also means there is no loss of string vibration between the nut and the tuners, which equals better sustain.

Adjustable Truss Rod
The adjustable truss rod is a Gibson innovation that revolutionized the guitar. Before this groundbreaking discovery in the early 1930s, the truss rod was used only to strengthen and stabilize the neck. By making it adjustable, the truss rod now allows a guitar to be set up using a variety of string gauges, as well as string heights. This easily accommodates any style of playing, and allows a limitless range of set-up options. And by placing it at the base of the headstock, the adjustable nut is easily accessible, even while the strings are still on the guitar.

'50s Rounded Neck Profile
No guitar neck profiles are more distinguishable than the neck profiles employed on the Gibson models of today. The more traditional '50s neck profile--found on the SG Diablo--is the thicker, rounder, more time-honored profile, emulating the neck shapes of the iconic late '50s Gibson models. The neck is machined in Gibson's rough mill using wood shapers to make the initial cuts. But once the fingerboard gets glued on, the rest--including the final sanding--is done by hand. That means there are no two necks with the exact same dimensions. So while it still has the basic characteristics of its respective profile, each neck will be slightly different, with a distinct but traditional feel.

24-Fret Rosewood Fingerboard
Rosewood has always graced the fingerboards of the world's finest stringed instruments, including many of today's Gibsons. The fingerboards on Gibson SG Diablos are constructed from the highest-grade rosewood on the planet, but there's one key difference”the Diablo takes the SG's 24-3/4-inch scale length neck and adds two additional frets. That's a total of 24 frets, which allows an even higher register of notes from a guitar already known for its searing lead-playing capacity. The rosewood is personally inspected and qualified by Gibson's team of skilled wood experts before it enters the factories to be fitted onto the neck of the SG Diablo. The resilience of this dense and durable wood makes these fingerboards extremely balanced and stable, and gives each chord and note unparalleled clarity and bite. The 12-inch radius of the fingerboard provides smooth note bending capabilities and eliminates "dead" or "choked out" notes, common occurrences on fingerboards with lesser radiuses.

Nickel and Silver Alloy Fret Wire
The fret wire on the Gibson models is a combination nickel and silver alloy (approximately 80 percent nickel and 20 percent silver) specifically designed for long life and superior wear. Gibson's traditional "medium/jumbo" fret wire is first shaped by hand, then cut to an exact 12-inch radius. After hand pressing it into the fingerboard, a machine press finishes the job to eliminate the gap between the bottom of the fret wire and the fingerboard.

Trapezoid Inlays
The classic trapezoid inlay is one of the most distinguishable features of many traditional Gibson models, including the SG Diablo. A figured, swirl acrylic gives these inlays that classic pearl look. They are inserted into the fingerboard using a process that eliminates gaps and doesn't require the use of fillers.

Set-Neck Construction

Like all classic Gibson guitars, the necks on Les Pauls and SGs are distinguished by one of the more traditional features that have always set them apart--a glued neck joint. Gluing the neck to the body of the guitar insures a wood-to-wood contact, no air space in the neck cavity, and maximum contact between the neck and body, allowing the neck and body to function as a single unit. The result? Better tone, better sustain, and no loose or misaligned necks.

Solid Mahogany Body
Probably the most central of all SG features is its solid mahogany body. The mahogany goes through the same rigorous selection process as all of Gibson's woods, and is personally inspected and qualified by Gibson's team of skilled wood experts before it enters the factories. Inside the Gibson factories, humidity is maintained at 45 percent, and the temperature at 70 degrees. This insures all woods are dried to a level of equilibrium, where the moisture content does not change during the manufacturing process. This guarantees tight-fitting joints and no expansion, and controls the shrinkage and warping of the woods, in addition to reducing the weight. It also improves the woods' machinability and finishing properties. Consistent moisture content means that the SG Diablo will respond evenly to temperature and humidity changes long after it leaves the factory.

Gibson's Original Burstbucker Pickups
Gibson's drive to recapture the magic of the original "Patent Applied For" humbucker pickups of the 1950s culminated with the introduction of the original Burstbucker line in the early 1990s. Using the windings on the '57 Classic pickups as a median, Gibson engineers successfully captured the subtle variations of true, classic Gibson humbucker tone with historically unmatched bobbin windings, unpolished Alnico II magnets, and non-potted asymmetrical coils. The Diablo's Burstbucker 1 (neck position) has two slightly underwound coils, and the Burstbucker 2 (bridge position) has one underwound and one overwound coil. Together, they supply a more open sound and slightly higher output, which allows preamps to be driven a little harder to achieve a more natural break-up. As with all Gibson pickups, every part is precisely manufactured at Gibson USA in Nashville, Tennessee, insuring tight, seamless fittings, and superior workmanship.

Tune-O-Matic Bridge
The Tune-o-matic bridge, also known as the ABR-1, was the brainchild of legendary Gibson president Ted McCarty in 1954. At the time, it was a true revelation in intonation, and set a standard for simplicity and functionality that has never been bettered. This pioneering piece of hardware provides a firm seating for the strings, allowing the player to adjust and fine-tune the intonation and string height in a matter of minutes. It also yields a great union between the strings and body, which results in excellent tone and sustain. It is combined with a separate stopbar tailpiece, essentially a modified version of the earlier wraparound bridge. To this day, the Tune-O-Matic remains the industry standard. It is the epitome of form and function in electric guitar bridge design, and is one of the most revered and copied pieces of guitar hardware ever developed.

Nitrocellulose Finish
Applying a nitrocellulose finish to any Gibson guitar--including the Gibson SG Diablo--is one of the most labor-intensive elements of the guitar-making process. A properly applied nitro finish requires extensive man hours, several evenly applied coats, and an exorbitant amount of drying time. But this fact has never swayed Gibson into changing this time-tested method, employed ever since the first guitar was swathed with lacquer back in 1894. Why? For starters, a nitro finish dries to a much thinner coat than a polyurethane finish, which means there is less interference with the natural vibration of the instrument, allowing for a purer tone. A nitro finish is also a softer finish, which makes it easily repairable. You can touch up a scratch or ding on a nitro finish, but you can't do the same on a poly finish. In addition, a nitro finish is very porous in nature, and actually gets thinner over time. It does not seal wood in an airtight shell--as a poly finish does--and allows the wood to breathe and age properly.

A Little SG History

In 1961, the Les Paul was redesigned with a thinner body and two sharp cutaway horns that making the upper frets more accessible while lowering production costs. The new guitar was popular, but Les Paul the guitarist did not like it and asked to have his name removed. Gibson renamed the model the "SG" which was short for "solid guitar". Though Les Paul's name was officially removed from the model in 1961, the plastic Les Paul nameplates (positioned between the rhythm pickup and fingerboard) were in abundance in the Gibson factory and SG models having these nameplates were built and sold by Gibson up to end of 1963. SGs have been the choice of world-class artists such as Pete Townsend, Eric Clapton, Tony Iommi, and Angus Young.

  • Body Wood: Mahogany
  • Scale Length: 24-3/4"
  • Neck Joint: Set-in
  • Neck Wood: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Neck Shape: rounded
  • Frets: 22
  • Nut Width: 1.6875
  • Fretboard Radius: 12
  • Bridge: Nashville Tune-o-matic
  • Pickup Bridge: Burstbucker Pro 2
  • Pickup Neck: Burstbucker Pro 1
  • Controls: 1 Vol, 1 Tone, 3 way PU selector
  • Tuners: Grover
  • Hardware color: Gold
  • Finish: Lacquer

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 10 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Reviewed by 10 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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The Premier Gibson SG has arrived.

By Maleficio

from Virginia Beach VA

See all my reviews

I purchased the SG Diablo because it displayed everything I've wanted in an SG for a long time. I've wanted the SG to have a carved top for years. The Les Paul has had carved tops for decades, and I've always felt that the SG was neglected by Gibson's design department. The SG has been treated like a red-headed stepchild.....until now.The Diablo's most radical departure from the norm is the body carving. The original outer routing is still intact, but now it's got an inner bowl carve from the routing edge inward to a rise in the center. The new body is absolutely stunning. It has a flowing liquid quality.All I can think: "Wow. Gibson finally finished designing the SG. It is now complete".The Burstbucker pickups are remarkable, and belong on this guitar. Playing through my Budda 18-watt combo, this guitar sounds like a living, breathing demonic being. "Diablo" is undeniably the proper name for this gorgeous beast.Many people were concerned about the placement of the volume knob being so close to the bridge, that it might interfere with comfortable hand movement, but this is not the case. The knob sits in the trough of the carve, and resides below the string height, and sits almost evenly with the bridge pickup. It's not in the way at all, and in fact, I don't think my fingers have bumped it once. Gibson designed this guitar wonderfully. It's very well thought out, through and through.The solid metal-flake red paint is beautiful. This guitar resembles an exotic Italian sports car. Its hard to take one's eyes from it. Hypnotic and mesmerizing this guitar is. I jumped on this guitar when it first went on sale, and I'm glad I did; most vendors are now sold out. Comes with a very nice special case.Buy one while you still can! You will not regret it. :)


Modern Classic

By uvsound

from San Jose, CA

I was pleasantly surprised to open the box and find an exquisitely beautiful guitar. The carved top makes all the difference in the world. The guitar was not set up as the inspector claimed on the inspection tag; the action was high and the intonation way off. Yet the neck was strait, so all I had to do is lower the bridge and set the intonation. I brought the guitar to the gig (along side my R9) and it met with rave reviews. The guitar has a more aggressive midrange tone than the R9, and even though the Burstbucker 1 & 2 in the SG are a bit lower in output (7.5K & 8 respectively) to the R9's '57 Classic and Classic Plus (8.3 K and 9k), the SG was just as loud, and in fact, more present. This guitar is an excellent compliment to my Les Pauls. I may have to buy another one. I hope they come out with other colors (besides the silver one due in November.)


Gibson SG Diablo red metallic - heaven sent!

By happy ziggy

from los angeles

I can almost not believe it, but I own this guitar. Ogled it for 18 months on the Gibson website, found a brand new one in a most unexpected outlet, tagged with a ridiculously low price. Took the wife and kids down to look at it. Paid what I suspect is the lowest price on the planet for one, less than used SG Diablos on ebay, or anywhere else. I could have never have afforded the list, or even the prices found around on the internet. My lucky day, and a dream come true. This guitar is so insane, and sounds so mighty and huge and fat. It is unspeakably gorgeous. I bought a 'The SG' brand new in 1979, and if you want to talk about the evolution of guitar, this thing is like peering thousands of years into the future. I have played a Wizard neck for the last 18 years, so Gibson necks feel a little narrow and deep in my long, skinny fingered hands, but I have always loved the 24 3/4" scale. The action is a little higher than I have been used to, so I am going to lower the bridge a bit. My 79 SG is very buttery, but it really needs a fret job, as it has a few fret-out spots along the fretboard. 30 years of bends, it happens. Back to the Diablo: played it through a vox modeling amp, it was godhead. I felt like the king of the world. My wife loves the tones, she says it sounds much fatter and huger than my Ibanez (which frankly is a pretty spectacular guitar, custom built for me 19 years ago). Something that I am really struck by is the balance between the bridge and neck pickups. While there is a shift in tonality and harmonic overtones, the levels are perfectly matched. They really complement one another. The carved body is just stunning, the red/gold (diablo, perfect) color scheme, well... it is not something that I would normally go in for (more of an orange, black, or white person), but it is just so beautiful. It is the first guitar that I have ever been so swayed by its cosmetics before even hearing it. But what a growl! The SG Diablo just oozes rock, even bluesy rock. Some instruments kind of just take you over, dictate what or how you will play. I do not know if subliminally I am just returning to 1979 and my first SG, or if it is just the nature of the beast, but my inclination is to dig in and bend and hold those notes. A beautiful, musical breakup out of these pickups, so warm. I want to say crunchy, but it is so much smoother than that. It is a golden tone. This guitar does not have any single coil type vibe at all. I am not a huge humbucker fan, but this is just so right, it just rocks, the power in your hands when you play this guitar is astonishing, inspiring. Here is the caveat: I would never have thought once about playing this guitar if it were not for the 24 fret neck. It has always driven me out of my mind that SGs did not have 24 frets. For heaven's sake, they put that little plastic Les Paul plate where they could have had the next two frets on the original models. The voluptuous carved top, the sexy metallic red finish with gold hardware (even the cream binding and pickup frames are all right), the tone for as far as the ear can hear, the 24 frets to take you to the nth level... I am so satisfied and delighted with this guitar. I always regretted not finding a way to buy a 24 fret Les Paul DC back when Gibson made them (not the 22 fret imposter of the same name that they sold recently). I could not let another masterpiece pass me by again. If you can get your hands on a 24 fret, carved top SG of any flavor, do yourself a sweet favor and do it. I am a deliriously satisfied guitarist. I have been jamming it through my vintage Fender Champ at home, was so inspired by it that I had to record a little tune that the Diablo muse brought on. Three tracks of this lovely devil sounding mighty fine. I am too giddy about my Diablo now (I guess I am in the infatuation phase of the relationship). I had best sign off. People, guitar people: This guitar rules. Sonically crushing, aesthetically breathtaking. I love it.


Gibson SG Diablo

By les-paul-dude-4895

from Chicago, IL

See all my reviews

Unlike most Sg's this isnt top heavy. Same weight and distrabution o a strat but look way cooler, plays better, and has a much better tone.Great Buy


SG Diablo

By Jagger192

from Canada

I Love this gutar, It sounds amazing and plays the same. Still getting used to the SG style body and Neck(Never owned an SG before, I play Strats) I also like the fact it doesnt weigh a ton. It doesn't have the extra knobs but I'm glad it doesn't now as i think it would take away from the body contour. You really have to see this guitar up close to appreciate it, I loved the contour of the body in the pics but thought it may have looked to overdone with the gold hardware but in person it looks great. You'll eitther love it or hate it. My only beefs are: on one section of the body you can see a few specs of the woodgrain that wasn't picked up by QC after it was painted. The other is the cheesy guitar of the month logo on the hardshell case.



By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

this guitar was awesome i could not belive the sound


Great guitar

By Sglova-24

from Kansas City,Ks

See all my reviews

This is a very good Gibson SG. To tell you the truth im only 13 years old and I have this guitar. This guitar's tone is beautiful. You should really buy this guitar.



By Old Rocker-O5gd3

from New York

Gibson did a lot right on this one! This is without doubt the most beautiful SG available. It also has a 24 fret neck, and the volume knob is perfect for adjusting on the fly. Burstbuckers are terrific, and it even has Grovers. Buy it!


Sg with a makeover.

By pickingrinin71

from chicago, il

See all my reviews

I could not believe my eyes and ears the first time i picked the guitar up. The pickups seem more agressive than older models. The neck seems to have a more balanced feel in the hand. Good deal. Great feel.


Gibson SG Diablo (Metallic Red)

By Arpeggio42

from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

I was really concidering buying a Gibson white Les Paul with gold hardware. I saw this as a Feature guitar in a local music store and was BLOWN away. The appearence resembles a Corvette Stingray, and roars louder than one. People complain about the price but youre paying for quality. Besides, theres not that many of them being made. Beautiful guitar, I certainly made the right choice. Play on

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