“It is bound to overshadow everything else in sight and be one of the most exciting new releases of the year”: The Gibson SG Supreme makes a glitzy return

Gibson SG Supreme
(Image credit: Gibson)

Gibson has lifted the curtain on a newly refreshed range of SG Supremes that dress the classic doublecut electric guitar in all manner of finery, with AAA figured maple tops, gold hardware and a liberal saucing of mother of pearl detail detail as standard.

There’s even an triple-humbucker version, finished in ebony, gold pickup coverings because this is, after all, an upscale enterprise. The ship has come in for those who like a bit of bling on their instrument – not that the SG Supreme is a surprise per se. 

Following the return of the Les Paul Supreme in September last year, it was only a matter of time before there was white smoke above Nashville with the news that the SG had been given the Supreme treatment. 

But that doesn’t dull the spectacle any. These are are not so much SGs with their tux on – they’ve got the Patek Philippe on the wrist and a spritz of something expensive behind the ear, too.

There’s something pleasingly unorthodox about seeing an SG dressed up like this, when we often think of it as a simple rock ’n’ roll machine, all mahogany, to the point, everything you need and nothing you don’t, yadda yadda yadda . . .  

These SGs wear it well, and your finish options are similar to the Les Paul Supreme, with translucent Wine Red, Fireburst and Ebony Burst stains showing off all the detail in the figured maple top, and the Ebony model redolent of the Les Paul Custom.

Each of these Supremes has the “Chandelier” mother of pearl inlay on the headstock, which was recovered for these past two Supreme series reissues from an old 1940s blueprint, and there are the super split-block MOP inlays on the ebony fingerboards.

The specs themselves are no less radical. Those fingerboards have a compound radius, and seat 24, not 22, medium jumbo frets. We’ve got Burstbucker Pro and Burstbucker Pro + humbucking pickups on deck, but with coil-splits accessed via the push-pull volume controls. 

You’ll notice another subtle gold accent on the control setup, with Gibson opting for black top hat style knobs with gold inserts. We’ve also got a set of locking Grover Rotomatic tuners with keystone buttons.

Elsewhere, it’s largely business as usual, with the glued-in SlimTaper mahogany neck, the aluminium Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge and stop bar tailpiece. The scale length is 24.75”. These ship in a hard-shell guitar case. There is no pickguard, presumably because if you’ve gone to all that bother of putting a AAA figured maple top on an SG, and giving it some high-gloss nitro TLC, you want to show it off as much as possible.

Priced $3,499, the SG Supreme is available now. See Gibson for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.