Whether or no longer you think the price is on the excessive side, now we like got to concede that between them Epiphone and Bonamassa like created a magnificent-having a stumble on guitar that no longer handiest makes a convincing visual inform but also covers magnificent noteworthy any musical contaminated you would possibly per chance maybe presumably judge.
Beautifully built with top-quality affords, electrics and hardware.
A stunner that sounds treasure one thing costing some distance more.
It’s miles skill more versatile than its appears to be would possibly per chance suggest.
A massive collaboration.
Some will hang $/£1.5k for a Chinese language-made SG is a diminutive bit rich. SGs simply don’t trust some guitarists.
Others find triple-humbucker guitars too noteworthy of a disclose.
You would possibly per chance find a diagram to belief Guitar World
Our professional reviewers expend hours making an try out and evaluating guitar merchandise so you would possibly per chance maybe presumably dangle essentially the most easy for you. Discover more about how we check.
The first first price electric guitar that this reviewer attach his pennies away per week for became a white SG Custom, inspired by Alice Cooper’s customary guitarist Glen Buxton on the band’s rendition of Below My Wheels on The In model Grey Whistle Take a look at. The SG below no circumstances materialised, but that’s one other legend.
While Buxton’s Custom became the later 1966 to ’71 model with the huge scratchplate, Joe Bonamassa’s derive Gibson SG comes from the heart of the 1961 to ’66 period, with the diminutive pickguard and ‘lyre’ engraved lengthy Maestro Vibrola that regarded in ’63, correct as the twin-cutaway Les Paul mannequin changed its determine to SG.
A exact recreation of its Gibson forbear, our Epiphone parts a two-portion mahogany body with chamfered edges and pincer-treasure horns, the lower a contact shorter than the upper. Into here’s glued a one-portion, slim-taper mahogany neck topped by a single-sure, block-inlaid ebony fingerboard with 22 medium-elegant frets.
Joe’s derive ’63 Gibson has a somewhat irregular neck be a part of, where it tapers smoothly into the body with out the phenomenal step. Over the years, Gibson tried a huge selection of give this notoriously primitive point increased structural integrity, and while one doesn’t gaze too many treasure this, it is miles a accurate Gibson appointment.
The Custom’s headstock is the fast Epiphone make that suits it very effectively. The ‘split H’ pearl inlay is a valorous inform, however the 5-ply headstock binding is darkish orangey yellow as against the creamy white of the neck binding. Curiously, here’s to reflect Joe’s derive ’63, but it does stumble on a diminutive bit queer.
Powering the Custom are three Epiphone ProBucker pickups – a quite increased-output 3 at the bridge and twin 2s in the neck and heart positions. ProBuckers are wax potted and like nickel alloy covers and sand solid Alnico II magnets. Even supposing made in China, their spec is amazingly end to that of Gibson’s derive pickups.
A nylon-saddle LockTone tune-o-matic model bridge and Epiphone-engraved ‘lyre’ model Vibrola tailpiece entire the image. It’s all gold-plated, too, making this one amongst essentially the most opulent guitars around (“Don’t even stumble on!”).
Of the a huge selection of switching alternate choices on hand on a 3-humbucker guitar, which clearly encompass neck and heart pickup mixed, or heart humbucker by itself, Epiphone as an alternate opted for bridge and heart together, wired in parallel. As a result of their end proximity, and the lighter tone that the SG’s building naturally brings, removed from being an queer desire this proves to be a masterstroke. Extra of which later.
Even supposing finished in ubiquitous Japanese Asian polyester, here the Chinese language factory has performed an amazing job of making it no longer stumble on thick and plasticky. It’s gentle, shimmering and, to be factual, we didn’t hang twice about it being nitro or no longer.
The mahogany grain shines by the darkish Wine Crimson stain, in actuality complementing the white pickguard and matching ‘Custom’ plate, sited between neck pickup and fingerboard to screen the otherwise visible neck tenon.
Overall, we reckon Epiphone, with severe input from Joe, has performed a cracking job of inserting this guitar together.
Indubitably feel & Sounds
Some guitarists find it troublesome adjusting to how an SG’s neck protrudes from the body the skill it does. Others don’t find on with a heart pickup – as an illustration, Ritchie Blackmore lowers his Strat’s second single coil pickup as he feels it gets in the skill.
Diversified avid gamers simply find mountainous, rotund vibrato systems too intrusive, particularly when they lend handiest a gradual race to chords or melodies. Place all three together and you would possibly per chance maybe presumably gaze how an SG Custom would possibly per chance presumably presumably be a diminutive bit of a disclose to just a few guitarists.
On the opposite hand, a diminutive bit time spent adjusting to all three and one fast finds a guitar treasure this immensely rewarding. Indubitably, until you’re a accurate digger-internal, the centre humbucker shouldn’t be a neighborhood.
Switching from, divulge, a Strat to a PRS, every person knows that there’s some reconfiguring of the skill you steal and race. And by the time you’ve overcome these points you’ve potentially forgotten that your SG’s 15th agonize is where the 12th in most cases is!
Talking of frets, on our Custom they’re medium verging on elegant, but with the guitar’s gentle ebony ’board, 304mm (12-drag) radius and slinky neck, bends and vibrato are no longer a neighborhood. And with that entirely free expanse of pearl-inlaid ebony laid sooner than you, the fretboard is a playground for exploration – even at its absolute most practical reaches, particularly with this neck’s gentle transition into the body.
Plugging into our ever-trustworthy Laney Lionheart 20, we’re reminded how pleasing the clear clank of an SG will even be. The body’s somewhat gentle mass and restful fabricate give it a vibrancy that you just correct don’t find from a Les Paul. The bridge pickup is solid and strident, while the neck is both Les Paul lite or rotund Strat, reckoning on the skill you peep it. With the selector in the heart we uncover some very attention-grabbing tones.
Somewhat treasure a Strat’s positions 2 and 4 on the blade swap, the proximity of neck and bridge humbucker to every other makes for a tone that’s pleasantly vowelly, a diminutive bit bit Strat-ish, and you would possibly per chance maybe presumably presumably find a expend for it in a host of funky rhythm, picked arpeggio and straight strumming eventualities. Whilst you are going to be forgiven for taking into account they’re out of section, Joe tells us they’re no longer.
Whack up the Laney’s wick and ‘every pickups on’ is Glen Buxton’s Below My Wheels tone. Flip to the bridge and it’s fast Angus Younger, or The Doors’ Robby Krieger at the same time as you occur to again off a diminutive bit. Tear to the neck and it’s exhausting to no longer tear straight for the Sunshine Of Your Love riff – certainly, Clapton nicknamed his SG ‘Sunny’ after the song.
And at the same time as you occur to connect in mind how noteworthy you would possibly per chance maybe presumably attach with twin quantity and tone controls, you’ll gaze there’s a ton of massive sounds here, indubitably more than on most Gibson-model guitars.
The elephant in the room is, of course, the Custom’s value. But while $/£1,499 appears plenty when put next with other Epiphones, and particularly at the same time as you occur to would possibly per chance presumably find Gibson’s derive SG Long-established for a the same value online, there in actuality is a huge selection of guitar here.
Materials are all elegant quality, including the accurate ebony fingerboard with right mom-of-pearl inlays, top-notch parts reminiscent of Kluson ‘waffleback’ tuners, a factual Vibrola, and three of Epiphone’s excellent ProBuckers with CTS pots and Mallory capacitors.
It’s miles available in a up to the moment hardshell guitar case with ‘Bonamassa, Nerdville, CA’ stencilled on the top, and, of course, we are in a position to’t put out of your mind the input from the person himself, a participant we know is fastidious about how his guitars stumble on, play and sound.
It’s appropriate that SGs divide idea, as attach three-humbucker guitars in most cases and mountainous, rotund vibrato systems. But whatever your peep on it, and whether or no longer you think the price is on the excessive side, now we like got to concede that between them Epiphone and Bonamassa like created a magnificent-having a stumble on guitar that no longer handiest makes a convincing visual inform but which also covers magnificent noteworthy any musical contaminated you would possibly per chance maybe presumably judge.
So at the same time as you will no longer hang so firstly perceive, here’s a truly versatile guitar certainly. Whenever you occur to’re but to be transformed to the fun of the SG skills, we hang this can effectively attach it.
- PRICE: $/£1,499 (inc plush ‘goldenrod’ lined case with Epiphone and Joe Bonamassa graphics)
- ORIGIN: China
- TYPE: Double-cutaway, solidbody electric
- BODY: 2-portion mahogany with chamfered edges
- NECK: 1-portion slim-taper mahogany with irregular gentle neck to body joint, glued-in
- SCALE LENGTH: 629mm (24.75”)
- NUT/WIDTH: Graph Tech/43.022mm
- FINGERBOARD: Single-sure ebony, mom of pearl block inlays, 305mm (12”) radius
- FRETS: 22, medium jumbo
- HARDWARE: Epiphone LockTone tune-o-matic bridge and Maestro Vibrola vibrato/tailpiece, Kluson waffleback tuners w/ ‘tulip’ buttons – gold plated
- STRING SPACING, BRIDGE: 51.5mm
- ELECTRICS: 2 covered Epiphone ProBuckers (neck and heart), covered Epiphone ProBucker 3 (bridge), 3-skill toggle pickup selector swap, quantity and tone for every pickup
- WEIGHT (kg/lb): 3.54/7.8
- OPTIONS: None
- RANGE OPTIONS: None
- LEFT-HANDERS: No
- FINISHES: Gloss darkish Wine Crimson polyester
- CONTACT: Epiphone
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