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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 on the SG Special is the thicker, rounder profile, emulating the neck shapes found on the iconic 1958 and 1959 Les Paul Standards. 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.
Over the years, the classic dot inlay has been one of the more traditional features of many Gibson models, including the SG. 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.
Gibson's 490 (R) Rhythm and (T) Treble Pickup
The mid to late 1960s saw the emergence of a very different type of music coming from the clubs of England. It was an interpretation of the blues that hadn?t been heard before, and it was much harder, more rocking, and definitely louder than anything else before it. As such, this new genre's players were demanding more powerful amplifiers with increased volume outputs to satisfy their sonic explorations. This led to a call for a more versatile pickup that could split coils through a push/pull knob, and prevent microphonic feedback from occurring when the volumes were turned up to maximum levels. Gibson answered this call with the introduction of the revolutionary 490T and 490R pickups ('T' for treble, and 'R' for rhythm). The 490R is a humbucker with the tonal characteristics of an original PAF, with a slight increase in upper mid-range response. The 490T bridge pickup is calibrated to match the 490R, with pole pieces aligned a little further apart to accommodate the spacing of the strings at the bridge, which is different than the spacing of the strings at the neck.
Solid Mahogany Body
Probably the most central of all the SG Special's features is its solid mahogany body - lightweight, strong, with a thick, warm tone. 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 Gibson factories. Inside the Gibson factories, humidity is maintained at 45 percent, and the temperature at 70 degrees. This ensures 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, in addition to reducing the weight. It also helps with improving the wood's machinability and finishing properties. Consistent moisture content means that a Gibson guitar will respond evenly to temperature and humidity changes long after it leaves the factory.
22-Fret Rosewood Fingerboard
Rosewood has always graced the fingerboards of the world's finest stringed instruments, including many of today's Gibsons. The fingerboard on the Gibson SG Special is constructed from the highest grade rosewood on the planet. The rosewood is personally inspected and qualified by Gibson's team of skilled wood experts before it enters the Gibson factories to be fitted onto the necks of the SGs. 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.
The Tune-o-matic bridge 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.
- Style: SG
- Species: Mahogany
- Species: Mahogany
- Nut: Corian
- Nut Width: Standard Gibson 1.695 +/_ 0.050
- Truss Rod Cover: Bell Shaped Stamped SG
- Neck Pickup: 490R
- Bridge Pickup: 490T
- Controls: Black Tophats - 2 Volume, 2 Tone, 3 Way Toggle Switch
- Species: Rosewood
- Inlays: Dot
- Frets: 22
- Scale: 24 - 3/4
Equipped with Gibson Britewires 0.10 - 0.46
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