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Stringed Guitars

Created by a passionate guitarist, containing a bit of gear reviews and news

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rock

1979 Gibson SG Standard

This SG belongs to the loved/hated Norlin era.

This means it was built between 1970 and sometime around 1986, loads of guitar enthusiasts hate this era and they will swear that they are the worst guitars Gibson has ever built, but to be honest most of them probably have not tried a Norlin era Gibson, and this feeds the inflated price of the pre-norlin era gibsons, this is why a 1968 SG will set you back around £8k and a 1971 will cost around £1,5k.

This is a great guitar, it’s incredible how fast the neck is and how effortless you can go through the fretboard, this is the reason why they earned the nickname of “fretless wonder” this happens because the action is really low and the frets are not very tall.

Playing these “fretless wonders” does require some time to get used to, it does challenge your ability to perform bends and you have to get rid of the “heavy hand” habit (if you do have it) but once you get used to them, they are great.

Of course this guitar is also part of Angus’ arsenal, (and this the reason why I bought it) you can see him using it on the “Flick of the Switch” video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWKcJwuZnzE) and he also used it live on some occasions.

On this model Gibson implemented 2 curious changes: the inlays changed to a rectangular shape and the output jack changed from the top of the guitar to the side. Personally I love these inlays, they do look great and you get an extra one! (the 1st fret gets an inlay as well, where as before only custom guitars would bring an inlay on this fret). It also has the “speed knobs” not sure how “speedy” they are, but they move smoother than the black top  hats.

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Schecter Demon 6 FR

First time I own a guitar from this brand, bought it a few years ago in a music store, I had very little budget and was looking for used instruments, the guy said “I have this guitar that has a few dings and it needs some TLC” when I tried it… I was impressed, £140 for an awesome playing guitar!

Schecter are more of a heavy metal / progressive metal type of guitar they are really fast and very easy to play. It has a few really nice features, Seymour Duncan Designed pickups (budget version of the Seymour Duncan pickups) Floyd Rose system, locking tuners and awesome inlays.

This is also the first time I have a Floyd Rose equipped guitar, it’s pretty good, you can just abuse it and it doesn’t go out of tune at all, however… changing strings it’s a whole procedure and you better schedule some time of your day for this… and build up the patience, but it’s definitely worth it.

The pickups are really good as well, of course they are active (so you need to buy batteries… eurgh) but they can burst out some Megadeth like type of tunes I love it (2nd time I mention Megadeth? maybe 3rd… anyone who’s counting).

This model is made in Korea so of course it’s not top of the line… but you can’t get anything decent for £140, you are probably thinking of Epiphones? Squiers? Yamaha? nah… not even close to this, Korean Schecter guitars might be the best entry level guitars ever, you may not be a heavy metal dude but they are really versatile, you can get clean tones as well so it’s great for any style even though you might be concerned about the shape but it’s not too bad… it’s not like it’s one of those BC Rich…

So if you find one of these on a good price… trust me and buy it you won’t regret it, give Schecter a chance :), I’m still yet to try an American made one, I can’t even imagine how good they must be!.schecter diamon demon side schecter guitar inlay schecter diamon demon

Marshall Class 5

The little beast.

I’ve always wanted one of these boutique looking Marshalls, I’ve had JCM 900, JTM30, etc. you name it. But this one just looks awesome.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s only a 5 watt amp, this thing can scream! I’ve used in on rehearsals and on pub gigs, and it held up pretty good without any PA assistance, I’m not sure why but it’s just too damn loud.

This is the first version they released which doesn’t have a master volume so it’s practically impossible to get a nice distortion without having your neighbours call the police, Marshall later released a 2nd version with an open back and a master volume which of course allows you to get a nice distortion at practice volume.

By the time I bought this beauty I was not aware of the existence of a 2nd version so I added a master volume my self to the back of the amp, it’s not the prettiest looking mod… but hey… it does the job.

This amp combined with any of my vintage Gibson SGs creates the classic AC/DC sound, great sustain loads of harmonics, the speaker is a “specially designed” Celestion G10-F, to my taste it sounds awesome, probably a Celestion Greenback will be the choice if I wish to swap the speakers, but for now I think this is one of my all time favourite amps.

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1971 Gibson SG Standard

Iconic guitar and of course my favourite.

This is not just a great example of Gibson’s craftsmanship but it is also Angus Young’s first SG, featuring the addition of the volute to the headstock and the “made in USA” stamp, this guitar is the one we can hear in many AC/DC songs.

I’m sure everyone remembers Angus’ lightning bolt model, well… the first version of that guitar was created by John Diggins (Jaydee Guitars: http://www.jaydeecustomguitars.co.uk/) using this exact same model.

John used to fix Angus’ guitars, to the point were the only original part left on the guitar was the headstock, and when he had to rebuild the fretboard he decided that some lightning bolts might look cool, so he added them to the 1971 SG Standard, making it the base for Gibsons’ later Angus Young signature guitar.

This is my 1971 Standard after many years of playing I finally was able to find one and actually buy it this time around.

It doesn’t have any modifications, of course it has some dings here and there but nothing major and it all just adds character to the instrument, the only noticeable “issue” is a small hole on the pickguard which I covered with black tape (I know.. not ideal), I’ll probably buy a 1971 pickguard of ebay at some point.

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gibson sg 1971 standard

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