Gibson SG Standard 61 Question?

Mondoslug

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Greetings!





First…this could be operator error/ unfamiliarity but I dunno.

I had one about a year ago, it was nice. I didn’t love the sound of it but it was a beautiful guitar, tuning was so so, played great, got rid of it.
I just picked up another new one. I don’t know. It feels weird, the frets feel a little flatter on top like it’s a little more awkward to dig in. I mean, it could just be a case of I need to get used to it or maybe the action’s a bit low but the frets do seem a little flatter, Like anything, you gotta find the right one but I don't remember the last one's frets being like this & it’s not exactly love at first play. Could be me though. Anybody had a similar experience with recent SGs and you could tell me I'm FOS also, that's fine.

TIA!
 

papagayo

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The feeling you have with this SG can come from the neck profile and setup of course. Two Gibon same model don' t have the exact neck profile.
 

3bolt79

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My 2022 has the flat frets. Gibson has done this many times, and on models other than the SG. A proper set up, with the nut’s slots filed to the correct depth, will get the strings contacting the frets in the correct place, instead of the back of the frets which will cause your cowboy chords to play out of tune.
 

Colnago

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Gibsons typically come with flatter frets than most other guitars.
Get them dressed and all will feel better.
 

Mondoslug

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The feeling you have with this SG can come from the neck profile and setup of course. Two Gibon same model don' t have the exact neck profile.
Hey thanks, makes sense...could be a few other contributing factors here for sure.
 

Mondoslug

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Gibsons typically come with flatter frets than most other guitars.
Get them dressed and all will feel better.
Yeah I've played a few guitars with frets like this before no doubt. I raised the action a little which is helping my cause a bit. It's a nice guitar, verdict's still out. Thanks for checking in y'all.
 

Mondoslug

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So yeah, the whole flat fret thing, now that it's been mentioned I guess I now remember that it's a thing. I've had several Historic LPs, some had it & I guess & some didn't and the 2020 SG 61 I had did not have it at least I remember that thing playing nice so the question is do I love this guitar enough to have the frets dealt with & will that be enough, I dunno. Again thanks.
 

Colnago

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Gibson is the reason that I learned how to crown frets.
A buddy of mine prefers a flat topped fret, he must also enjoy no intonation as well. No idea.
Anyways, yeah, Gibsons and their flat profiled frets don’t do it for me at all, they must be rounded and polished like a gem.
I hope you can see past this and see the guitar. Cheers!
 

Mondoslug

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me me me meeeee...

and he's back....I almost like it a lot. I bought this brand new sight unseen online.
These frets feel pretty low(to me. Not all recent Gibsons have felt like this to me. It's a nice guitar though.
There's something to be said for trying 'em first though. I'm going to actually try to go play one or two in town.
To be continued!
 

SGBreadfan

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The frets on my 2020 ‘61 feel pretty flat/low also, when I got it it felt quite stiff no matter how I tweaked it. Nice low action and fast playing, but bends took more effort compared to some other Gibsons I own. I could‘ve switched to a lighter string gauge (I use 10-46 on all my Gibsons), but really didn’t want to do that. I raised the tailpiece a bit to relieve some tension and still have the action at medium-low (neck is relatively flat with a bit of relief). Two years later it’s loosened up considerably, def. plays more easily but it’s not quite all the way where I want it yet. I’m sure it’ll get there eventually, it just needs to be played in more. In my experience, Gibsons do loosen up with ample play time.
 

Mondoslug

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The frets on my 2020 ‘61 feel pretty flat/low also, when I got it it felt quite stiff no matter how I tweaked it. Nice low action and fast playing, but bends took more effort compared to some other Gibsons I own. I could‘ve switched to a lighter string gauge (I use 10-46 on all my Gibsons), but really didn’t want to do that. I raised the tailpiece a bit to relieve some tension and still have the action at medium-low (neck is relatively flat with a bit of relief). Two years later it’s loosened up considerably, def. plays more easily but it’s not quite all the way where I want it yet. I’m sure it’ll get there eventually, it just needs to be played in more. In my experience, Gibsons do loosen up with ample play time.
You nailed it, couldn't have said it better. I've got 10s on it, i'm thinkin' okay let's put a set of 9.5s on it & see how it feels but I've never had an issue with 10s on Gibsons. The neck's straight, I also thought maybe put a little more relief in it, see if I can dig in a bit more but I like 'em straight as they can go. Bends do take a little bit more effort. I'm sure dressing the frets would help but they're too low to begin with to me so not messing with that. I like the guitar though I just wish it had frets. :)
 

SGBreadfan

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You nailed it, couldn't have said it better. I've got 10s on it, i'm thinkin' okay let's put a set of 9.5s on it & see how it feels but I've never had an issue with 10s on Gibsons. The neck's straight, I also thought maybe put a little more relief in it, see if I can dig in a bit more but I like 'em straight as they can go. Bends do take a little bit more effort. I'm sure dressing the frets would help but they're too low to begin with to me so not messing with that. I like the guitar though I just wish it had frets. :)
Give it some time if you can and see if it loosens and becomes more comfortable. I’ve owned a lot of Gibsons and some seem to take longer to really loosen/open up, but the payoff is usually worth it. I understand that some players don’t have that kind of luxury and the time/patience it can take. I never considered letting go of the ‘61 because it sounds amazing and it’s flawlessly built, no wonky neck issues or dive etc. If a guitar really has the goods, I always give it every chance to work for me…even if it’s a bit stiff to begin with or a little finicky in other various ways. Hope it works out for you either way, they certainly are great guitars!
 

Mondoslug

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Hey thanks, appreciate the advice. I'm going to try one and maybe a Standard(not 61 Standard) locally & see if I feel a difference in frets, if so I'll either think about exchanging this one in hopes of receiving one with better(to me) frets or picking up one locally. I hear ya about giving it a chance but I think I've talked myself into the fact that I've had plenty of guitars that I liked a lot from day one, why not this one.
 

SGBreadfan

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That’s understandable, ya’ gotta do what’s best for you. I have an older batwing standard (2010, my avatar) and it def. has bigger frets than my ‘61.
 

Mondoslug

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Conflicted, I’ve biatched some about the frets. I could send it back and exchange it in hopes of receiving another one that felt like it had taller frets. Plek or not, no two are gonna be identical. I mean It’s a beautiful guitar, it plays so easily. I mean it’s an SG. I could probably stand to raise the action a little. It is a bit fretless wonderish 😊 to me. I mean I wish I could find one with 6105s or similar on it already but probably not gonna happen. As advertised you just gotta get used to it, you gott grab the nites a little differently. Anyway some crummy pics.
 

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AxemanVR

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I have over a dozen guitars and they all play and feel different.

In fact, it has never occurred to me to worry about such things until the internet came along and everyone started fixating on neck shapes and fret profiles.

My only criteria is the TONE.

If a guitar sounds amazing I learn to live with it. I’ve never come across a (normal) guitar I couldn’t play. I’d even go as far as to say it has made me a better musician, since each guitar inspires a somewhat different approach which often yields new and interesting results.

So the only question I have for you is: Does it sound amazing?

If the answer is “yes” then (if it were me) I’d learn to live with it.

If the answer is “no” then, well, I think you know what to do…


 

Mondoslug

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Very solid comments! I've had amazing sounding guitars that I've let get away. It's a bad feeling that comes back & haunts you forever. This one, I don't think it's amazing sounding or I wouldn't be commenting so much about it but it's pretty sweet. I don't love the pickups so there's possibly that whole rabbit hole to go down but it plays great, It'd be nicer with different frets on it though. How am I doing?
 

An Abiding Dude

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Very solid comments! I've had amazing sounding guitars that I've let get away. It's a bad feeling that comes back & haunts you forever. This one, I don't think it's amazing sounding or I wouldn't be commenting so much about it but it's pretty sweet. I don't love the pickups so there's possibly that whole rabbit hole to go down but it plays great, It'd be nicer with different frets on it though. How am I doing?
I have a '21 '61 Standard with the Maestro vibrola and I get what you're talking about. I think it was the first time I bought a SG with a slim taper profile neck and it gave the illusory feeling of the the neck being wider and flatter (even though all (most?) Gibson necks have a 12" neck radius). But after playing it for a while that goes away and you get comfortable with it. I wasn't a fan of the Burstbuckers either (a very vague type of dissatisfaction, but it was there) and swapped them out for a set of Seymour Duncan Seth Lovers (which are supposed to be a faithful recreation of PAFs). Love the guitar now.

What AxemanVR says is true, until the internet a guitar was a guitar, you played it without thinking twice about it, but now with all the forums and YouTubers you kind of get programmed to never be satisfied, that it seems like there's always something better around the corner and your guitar will never be good enough until you do this or that to it. You just have to break the buying/modding fever, shut down the internet and play the darn thing.
 

Maguchi

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Greetings!





First…this could be operator error/ unfamiliarity but I dunno.

I had one about a year ago, it was nice. I didn’t love the sound of it but it was a beautiful guitar, tuning was so so, played great, got rid of it.
I just picked up another new one. I don’t know. It feels weird, the frets feel a little flatter on top like it’s a little more awkward to dig in. I mean, it could just be a case of I need to get used to it or maybe the action’s a bit low but the frets do seem a little flatter, Like anything, you gotta find the right one but I don't remember the last one's frets being like this & it’s not exactly love at first play. Could be me though. Anybody had a similar experience with recent SGs and you could tell me I'm FOS also, that's fine.

TIA!
I don't know man...I got guitars with huge frets, small skinny vintage frets and everything in between, even got a "fretless wonder." They all feel slightly to somewhat different when I first play them, but after a few minutes I feel at home. I like the "just plug in and play" philosophy. Cheers!
 

S.Ustain

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SG necks do seem to be all over the place. My 1987 Reissue '61 LP/SG Custom (the 3 PU model) has an extreme neck for sure, being thin and flat-ish and way far from the baseball bat neck that has been so trendy. I think it's impossible to generalize about SGs as players because they vary so widely. As one who likes fast, thin necks, I find the one on my own guitar to be fabulous! it has an exceptional ebony fretboard on a thin neck with a flatish back with just a slight curve. Other SGs have incredibly different neck profiles. It's easy to love -- or hate -- various of there. I did a lot of work to get my SG balanced on its strap, and once that was done it felat great and handled easy on the macro level -- whole guitar on its strap and micro level (fretboard, bridge). Though nearly vintage, it is basically a great modern guitar. I almost never choose my LP any more -- much preferring the SG.
 


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