Gibson's iconic double cutaway SG electric guitar turns 50 this year. To celebrate, the company is releasing a new model every month, kicking-off with this, the SG Standard 24.
Spec includes a solid mahogany body, glued-in quarter-sawn mahogany neck, PAF-style 57 Classic humbuckers, Nashville Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, vintage-style tuners and a 24-fret neck as its name implies. Topped off with a special '50 Years' headstock emblem and an Antique Ebony finish.
RRP is $2129 - see Gibson for more.
There's little detail about the remaining models to be released this year apart from that they'll each be paying tribute to "a legendary artist associated with the Gibson SG". Think Pete Townshend, Robby Krieger, Angus Young etc.
Check out the full press release below for an SG history lesson…
Gibson SG Standard 24 press release
1961 was a year in which the Soviets put the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin followed by the US in May with Alan Shepard. Construction of the Berlin wall began, the first direct US military involvement in Vietnam occurred and popular music included Chubby Checker's Pony Time and Will You Love Me Tomorrow by the Shirelles.
However a very different and radical landmark in 1961 was the introduction of a guitar way ahead of its years, the first Gibson SG guitar rolled off the production line at the Gibson plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
In 1961 the Gibson SG Standard (SG Solid Guitar) temporarily replaced the Les Paul Standard in the Gibson line up, few were aware that a future icon of rock guitar was being introduced to the scene. Originally called the Les Paul/SG, this radical, double-cutaway electric with two dramatic asymmetrical pointed "horns" and a thin all-mahogany body was worlds away from the single-cutaway maple and mahogany Les Paul that it replaced.
It proved to have similar power, punch and versatility, but also expressed a voice all its own, one that has grabbed many heavy rock and metal players in particular, alongside countless classic rock and blues artists. By the time the single-cutaway Les Paul returned in the late '60s, the SG Standard was already a legend, and had forever claimed its place in rock history.
After its introduction in 1961, key guitarists in the rock and roll revolution of the mid '60s, from Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend in England to Jerry Garcia, Frank Zappa and Robby Krieger in America, quickly fell in love with the slinky, new, fast-neck, double-cutaway guitar - making it one of the coolest guitars in rock and roll and Gibson Guitar's best selling guitar.
Now 50 years after the SG's introduction, Gibson USA is launching a line of 50th Anniversary models to celebrate the legacy of this six-stringed icon. Every month, a new model will be launched, each paying tribute to a legendary artist associated with the Gibson SG guitar.
To kick off the year-round celebration, Gibson USA is releasing the Gibson SG Standard 24 the first in this historic line of guitars. The 50th Anniversary Gibson SG Standard 24 captures all the classic ingredients of Gibson's great double-cutaway solidbody model, with a few twists to make it even more versatile for today's demanding performer.
Like the best SGs of the past 50 years, the SG Standard 24 starts with a solid mahogany body and glued-in quarter-sawn mahogany neck, a pairing that ensures ringing sustain, superb tonal depth, and plenty of clarity and richness. The body's thin dimensions make this a pleasurably light guitar to play, while its classically beveled edges also make it comfortable on the forearm.
To update the format for the 21st century, however, Gibson USA gives the SG Standard 24 the 24-fret neck that its name implies, with even the uppermost of its medium-jumbo frets easily accessible thanks to the SG's legendary deep double-cutaway design. Combine this with a beautifully ergonomic rounded neck profile, and you've got one of the sweetest playing rock machines available today.
Two of Gibson's popular PAF-style 57 Classic humbucking pickups translate the SG Standard 24's sonic goodness to your amp of choice, yielding anything from deep, warm vocal tones in the neck position to endless growl and roar in the bridge, to round and snappy tones in between.
The classic pairing of a Nashville Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece keeps it all rock-solid and resonant, while up at the other end a PLEK-cut Corian nut ensures clean intonation and singing sustain. Top it all off with a set of vintage-style tuners with pearloid buttons, a unique '50 Years' headstock emblem, and a high-gloss nitrocellulose finish in Antique Ebony, and you've got a spectacular celebration of one of the world's favorite electric guitars, all wrapped up in an instrument you can gig with today.
Each guitar includes a Gibson hardshell case and owner's manual, and is covered by Gibson's Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 Customer Service. Check out your own SG Standard 24 today, and prepare to rock for the ages.
Rock and rollers everywhere gravitated towards the Gibson SG guitar, Eric Clapton wailed to guitar greatness with his Cream-era SG. Pete Townshend threw windmills on his SG and even used one as a weapon against stage invader Abie Hoffman at Woodstock. In America, Robby Krieger honed The Doors' revolutionary new sound on his trusted SG and Jerry Garcia used his to summon the gods of acid rock and start a merry, decades-long journey to discovery.
It was obvious why people quickly responded to the new Gibson SG. The slim mahogany body of the SG was perfect for guitarists needing a lighter guitar that still packed a punch. This inspired design, with the added but crucial ingredients of a thin, all-mahogany body and neck and two Gibson humbucking pickups, gave it a sharp and snappy attack, but with a meaty deep punch. The double-cutaway body gave guitarists better access to the high frets and the hand-sanded, rounded neck allowed players to move smoothly around the fretboard and neck. It was a beautifully playable guitar.
Over time, Gibson introduced a few model variations for the SG. The SG Customs had three humbuckers and a pearl inlay on the neck. The Standard had two single coils, and the Junior had a dot inlay. As mentioned, from '61 to early '63, the SG Standard's truss rod cover was engraved with "Les Paul." Until 1967 it also had just a small pick guard until a re-tweaking gave the guitar a "batwing" pickguard.
And that's how the guitar stayed until the '70s. In 1971, a new SG was released with a floating pickguard, as on a Les Paul, and a variety of tailpieces were made available as options, such as the "Maestro," the "Lyre Vibrola" and the Bigsby vibrato tremolo arm. In 1973 Gibson returned to the original SG design, bringing back the small pick guard before production moved to the Gibson USA plant in Nashville in 1974 where they are still made.
In 1971, as well, Gibson issued a lower priced model, the SG 100 and a SG 200 with two single coil pickups. The company also offered a SG Pro and SG Deluxe at the top end of the range. The SG now surfaced as guitar of choice for some of the heaviest rock guitarists in history.
Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi's gothic roar came courtesy of his favorite SG and Angus Young took heavy rock, SG style, around the globe. Away from hard rock, Duane Allman made southern rock an art form on his, while Frank Zappa employed an SG for his experimental art rock. Carlos Santana majestically fused blues, rock and Latin music on a Gibson SG. Not to be left out, pop embraced the SG, too. The Cars' sparkling pop guitar came courtesy of Elliot Easton's effervescent SG work.
In 1980, Gibson issued the first SG with active factory pickups. It used the same Moog electronics that had been developed for the RD Artist model. This new SG had a thicker body (to accommodate the circuitry) and was originally known as the SG-R1, later the SG Artist.
The model was discontinued in 1981. The pioneering electronics returned, however, in 2008 with the Robot SG and its radical electronic tuning system. In 2009, Gibson introduced the Raw Power line of SGs available in colors previously not available to the SG.
Since the early '60s, the Gibson SG guitar has evolved and adapted to rock and roll's needs and moods and has utilized all of Gibson's revolutionary new designs and technologies. An army of SG players will today swear by the instrument, from southern rock maestros like Derek Trucks, to hard-edged rockers like Wolfmother's Andrew Stockdale, to more poppy guitar stylists like Weezer's Rivers Cuomo.
It's not Gibson's best-selling guitar of all time for nothing!