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First released in 1961, the Gibson SG electric guitar features a solid body with a double cutaway design. Since it was born, millions of players have picked up an SG, in nearly every musical genre. Thanks to its versatile tone, lightweight design and unique feel, the Gibson SG is one of the world's most famous guitar models.
When it launched, the Gibson SG was originally labeled as a Les Paul model. The name changed after the launch at the inventor’s request. There is some debate as to what motivated Les Paul to request that his name be removed from the new design. Some say it was because he was going through a divorce at the time and he didn't want to have his wife claim a share of the royalties. Others say Les just didn't care for the look of the new guitar as much. Regardless, after 1961, the model name officially changed to the SG.
The SG’s design differs from the Les Paul design in several ways. Instead of the typical Les Paul's arched maple top cap and body binding, the SG has a lighter and thinner solid mahogany body with double asymmetrical cutaways and beveled edges. These beveled edges prevent the sides of the SG from digging in to the player's waist and further add to the increased player comfort.
For those who feel a Les Paul is a bit heavy to wear over the course of a long gig, the SG makes a great alternative. In addition to the thinner body, the SG also has a slimmer neck. That distinct neck shape became known as a 60s profile neck. The neck attaches to the body at the 19th fret, as opposed to the 16th fret on Les Paul models. This gives the SG player great access to the upper frets, and helps to explain the guitar's popularity with lead guitarists.
The electronics are very similar to what is available in the Les Paul line. Some models feature dual humbuckers, while others substitute dual single coil P-90 pickups. The SG Junior model has only a single P-90 pickup. You’ll also find SG Custom models with three humbuckers installed, along with the Custom's block neck inlays and other visual upgrades. SGs tend to have more tonal focus in the midrange than Les Pauls. Depending on which pickups you opt for, the voice of the guitar is well suited to rock and metal styles. It has been a mainstay of players in those genres for decades.
Famous SG players include Eric Clapton in the Cream days, Angus Young of AC/DC, Pete Townshend, Tony Iommi, George Harrison in the Revolver era, Elliot Easton, Ian MacKaye and Derek Trucks. Today Gibson offers several different SG models with a wide range of features and options. You’ll find pickup choices, faded finishes, VOS (Vintage Original Spec) cosmetics, as well as various fixed and vibrato tailpiece options. Musician’s Friend offers the complete assortment of Gibson SGs. No matter your color or style choice, you’ll find it here at the guaranteed lowest price.