The Gibson Custom Shop’s new Brian Ray Signature SG Junior is a tour-de-force of vintage guitar design, coupled with some future-forward but avowedly analag bespoke features.
Taking Ray’s ’63 Standard SG as a blueprint and infusing it with a potent dose of period-appropriate Gibson DNA, you might say that this is the sort of guitar that the lead guitarist for Paul McCartney’s band should be playing.
Spec-wise, it’s incredible. Where do we start? Well, it has a single custom dog-ear P90 pickup in the bridge position, nickel hardware. It has a mahogany body with a set solid mahogany neck, only the body is an eighth of an inch thicker than your typical SG to add a little weight. This being the Custom Shop, they used hide glue; the neck tenon is long. The fretboard is rosewood with custom trapezoid inlay, the hardware nickel.
But that’s just the half of it. Take a deep breath, because from here on it gets really interesting. The Brian Ray ’62 SG Junior has a convertible bridge. You can either have a tune-o-matic ABR-1 or wrap-tail bridge and a Vibrola tremolo or stop bar tailpiece setup. These changes, says Ray, should be “as easy as changing a set of strings.”
That passive induction circuit Ray mentions above will be huge for killing the sort of hiss you can get when playing a guitar equipped with P90s at high volume. Activated via a push/pull control, it won't change the character of the pickup.
That White Fox finish looks incredible. But it will be interesting to see how it plays, with those fatter Dunlop 6100 jumbo frets a modern touch.
This is available through Gibson USA. Click here (opens in new tab) for more details.