2016 SG Standard vs '61 Reissue

Leo_Gibson

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Not sure when '61 reissues stopped getting made (2015? 2014?) but I know there's a lot of love for them. Also seems like Gibson is returning to form with the 2016 standard. Curious to know form those who have played both and/or are up on spec differences—what are your thoughts on the similarities and differences between the two?
 

SGspecial

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2016 has a fatter neck than the 61 RI.
2016 has large pickguard, 61 RI has small.
2016 has 490R/498T pickups, 61 RI has 57 Classics.
2016 has small headstock, 61 RI has large.
2016 neck joins the body at 19th fret, 61 RI at 22nd fret.
 

Leo_Gibson

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Oh wow, man, those RI specs are much more my cup of tea than the Standard specs. Shame it's going to be basically impossible for me to A/B them side by side. I think I'll still try a 2016 Standard when I get the chance, maybe I'll dig it.
 

TDA1966

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I prefer most of the 61 specs except the less substantial neck joint and thinner neck. The small pickguard, large headstock, and 57 classics are winners for me. Let us know how you choose.
 

SG John

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The 2014, and maybe 2013 SG Standard had the same specs as the '61 reissue. I'm not sure when they discontinued the old '61 reissue, or if it was still in production alongside the Standard. There seem to be plenty available of either on ebay.
 

joy-z

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The 2014, and maybe 2013 SG Standard had the same specs as the '61 reissue. I'm not sure when they discontinued the old '61 reissue, or if it was still in production alongside the Standard. There seem to be plenty available of either on ebay.
The last year for the old 61 reissue was 2012.
 

joy-z

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Guitar Center also had an exclusive SG last year called the SG Standard '61, which had coil splitting. I'm sure you can still find one if you're interested.
 

Col Mustard

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Welcome to ETSG.... yours is a good question!

There are likely to be lots of opinions on this site about the answer to your question.
I'll lay mine out, by saying that the SG Standard and the SG '61 RI are a couple of the
best SGs ever made. They are both right up near the top of the line, and for different reasons.
People rave about the old ones, but there are only so many of
those, and their prices are way too high and they weren't all as great as the legend claims.
So let the old ones be. leave them to the speculators.

The modern ones are quite dependable... you can count on them to be consistently excellent.
I'll stick my neck out and say that only a bonehead would mod a '61 RI.... any mod you'd do to it
would likely be a downgrade.... because it's already the best. If you want a guitar to mod,
don't buy a '61. buy a lesser instrument, and turn it into something more. just my humble opinion...
you get to make up your own mind, like everyone on these boards.

The SG Standard is... well it's the standard. The pickup set was intended to be more modernistic than
the '57 Classics in the '61. But the two models merged in like 2013, and things became confusing.
I'll stick my neck out and say that the SG Standard is a guitar that you can't really go wrong buying.
Unless you pay too much, but these guitars are worth a lot, and used ones keep to a good $800
range, or more. Just close your eyes and pick one, it will very likely be a great guitar, no matter what
year class it's in. You can't say that about every model of guitar.

So the guitarist may play both for comparison, and he may pick one based on how it feels, or the
color, but both are at the top of the line. Either one ought to outlive its owner, and still be capable of
making great music after its owner hands it onwards. The '61s sold for higher prices than the standards, if
that says anything. Both models are built to high standards, and both will scream, growl and purr
according to how they are handled. The '61a are intended to have the classic sound, and the Standards are
supposed to sound up to date. Really, you have to play one to know if it sounds like what you hear
in your head.
 

Delboy

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Welcome, personally I prefer the 61 reissue. I depends on the neck profiles and if they really make a difference to you. Plus I also prefer the pickups on the 61.
 

Leo_Gibson

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Wow, some awesome responses, thanks guys. I guess I'll try and play a couple of 2016 standards in a store, and see if I can try and 61 RIs if if find anyone with one in NYC. Maybe I'll end up with a standard just based on availability (I wouldn't want to buy one in eBay if I'd never played one before). I guess if I'm not into the modern 2016 sound, a pair of PAF clones will sort that out.
 

joy-z

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My Custom Shop '61 reissue is 2014...
Well, that's custom shop. I assumed the original poster was referring to the old regular production 61 reissue - the ones that used to sell new for under 2 grand.
 

Leo_Gibson

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Well, that's custom shop. I assumed the original poster was referring to the old regular production 61 reissue - the ones that used to sell new for under 2 grand.


Yeah, I was referring to regular production 61 reissues.
 

Col Mustard

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you ought to find what you want in a large metro area, for sure.

And really, that's the best way to find your guitar. play a lot of them, and buy the one that comes
alive in your hands. It doesn't matter what it is then... if you bond with it, you'll play your best
music on it. set some money aside, and start looking in music stores.

Play the new ones, those are likely to be awesome. I believe that Gibson learned the hard way
with their 2015 models that guitarists will not accept anything else. So we hope that they've talked
it over among themselves, and decided to give us what we need. If you get a new one, we'll all be
interested in your reaction to it.

Oh and I'd likely put myself in the '61 RI camp. I bought a 2007 faded special and modded mine with '57 classic pickups, and I totally love the sound. When I bought my faded, the '61 RI was selling for like $1899... I couldn't afford that
so I bought the pickups to get that sound from my special. It worked.
Gibson brought the price down later, and the Standards for like $1200 seem like
a decent price for a brand new guitar.
 
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Norton

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61 reissues have the abr1 bridge which screws directly into the body.

It appears that All modern sg standards 2016 included, have the tune o matic with the metal bushings.

There is a fair bit of good voodoo in the abr1.
 

Paul G.

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61 reissues have the abr1 bridge which screws directly into the body.

It appears that All modern sg standards 2016 included, have the tune o matic with the metal bushings.

There is a fair bit of good voodoo in the abr1.

I used to be one of those guys who insisted everything should be vintage or vintage spec all the time. Bridge, nut, headstock angle, neck set angle, weight, correct wood. I have calmed down a bit. A guitar is the sum of its parts. There are many paths to tone and playability.

Recently I was watching a video of Gary Moore. He was playing a Les Paul with no binding. Closeups showed the pickup sticking way up out of the rings. So probably a Studio or some similar blue collar model. His amps were very modern looking Marshalls, lots of knobs. JCM9000? JVM? Regardless, his tone was impeccable. So, a decent guitar in the hands of a decent player is pretty much all you need.

IMO.
 

Norton

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Guitar = tool.

A ¿ B.... As in, "does not equal"

A isn't better than, or more essential than B.

But.... A is Not B.

You don't need an abr1 bridge to make a guitar work. You don't even need one to make a particular sound...but if you want one you can get one. If I had my choice, I'd have the direct mounted abr1 style on all of my guitars. I like them a little better than the nashville style. I also like black t shirts.

Neither the abr1 or the black t shirt makes me a better musician.
 

TDA1966

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61 reissues were offered with both the ABR and Nashville bridges. Primarily, the Nashville was used on later years of the 61 reissue. In true Gibson fashion, why a 61 reissue would have a Nashville bridge is something of a conundrum, but search around and look and you will see they were on many 61 reissues.
 


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