Question about 61 SG vibrato (unplugged sound)

ajory72

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Hi I’m new around here and have been playing guitars for many years and last year I took the plunge and bought a ‘61 SG w/vibrato…. (Love these guitars btw)

It’s my first SG with a sideways vibrato so I don’t know if what I’m hearing is normal or not… so when I play it unplugged just the G and B strings sound kind of tinny- but when I plug it into and amp it sounds fine.. the ‘tinny’ isn’t in the amp sound…

Is this unplugged sound normal for this type of SG (w sideways vibrato)???

PS I should mention I thought it could be the saddles so swapped them and even changed the bridge (I even tried a roller bridge) and I also changed the string hieght front factory set up to 4mm bass side and 3.5mm treble side… and it still sounds the same unplugged on any fret (but just those two strings), I also checked the relief and have it set to Gibsons recommend heights again.

I’ve never come across this before and I’ve have built a few and set up many guitars in my years, so has me stumped (this is why I wonder if it’s a normal unplugged sound for this type guitar???

Cheers Andy
 

smitty_p

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I realize this is likely not the answer you’re looking for, but I think it’s worth remembering that this is an electric guitar. That is what matters…the amplified sound.

If the plugged-in sound is good, then I’d suggest that there is nothing to really worry about.
 

larsman

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Hi I’m new around here and have been playing guitars for many years and last year I took the plunge and bought a ‘61 SG w/vibrato…. (Love these guitars btw)

It’s my first SG with a sideways vibrato so I don’t know if what I’m hearing is normal or not… so when I play it unplugged just the G and B strings sound kind of tinny- but when I plug it into and amp it sounds fine.. the ‘tinny’ isn’t in the amp sound…

Is this unplugged sound normal for this type of SG (w sideways vibrato)???

PS I should mention I thought it could be the saddles so swapped them and even changed the bridge (I even tried a roller bridge) and I also changed the string hieght front factory set up to 4mm bass side and 3.5mm treble side… and it still sounds the same unplugged on any fret (but just those two strings), I also checked the relief and have it set to Gibsons recommend heights again.

I’ve never come across this before and I’ve have built a few and set up many guitars in my years, so has me stumped (this is why I wonder if it’s a normal unplugged sound for this type guitar???

Cheers Andy
I own the same guitar with the stop tail, when I get home later tonight I will play it unplugged and let you know
 

Go Nigel Go

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Honestly I never evaluate my electrics unplugged. I do know how they sound, but they run the gamut from balanced and highly resonant, to unbalanced and thin, to virtually inaudible. Plugged in is a completely different story. They all sound great,and the differences unplugged do not translate to the differences plugged in in any way shape or form. Solid body electrics in particular are meant to be played through an amp, and if that sounds good I don't care what it sounds like unplugged. Even my 1970 Ovation F Hole ES-335 copy sounds like @$$ when not run through an amp (tinny and rattaly). Plugged in in though it is phenomenal with those DeArmond "toaster" style pickups and will go from rich clean balanced Jazz tones to the hard end of the Blues spectrum with no extra overdrive from a pedal.
 

Decadent Dan

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I’m wondering if the G and B clear the back of the bridge but the high E is touching.
That might explain a difference.
 

ajory72

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Thanks for all the replies,

I guess your stoptail model is going to sound different due to the setup, but I do appreciate the feedback. I don’t think it’s the bridge, but perhaps maybe a reflection of the unique tailpiece/sideways vibrato set up? - which is what got me wondering if everyone else (with the same model) has the same experience with unwound strings sounding tinny…

The strings all clear the back of the bridge by a fair bit (one benefit of this vibrato type :) ) .

As far as unplugged versus plugged in (not sure if that was a serious reply) but I’ll expand a bit on ‘why’ I’m asking this on this forum.
So with frequent lockdowns etc causing me to isolate at home I tend to play it any chance I can whilst sitting on my lounge… as the missus can take a good 5 minutes getting drinks etc at night … I find myself drawn to the awesomeness of the Gibson SG and can’t help playing it! I used to rotate between my Les Paul, Epi 335, Strat and Tele every other week, tweaking here and there but never felt really satisfied… until the ‘61 SG came into my life!
Now the SG gets played daily - morning and night , but I have kids and neighbours so it gets played unplugged or with my Spark amp - which is fine for low volume - clean (mostly).. so the tinny sound of it strummed or plucked can often be heard over the practice amp… and I’ve never experienced this before and as nothing I do changes it I wonder “is it normal for this model?”

I hope that clears up why I’m asking- this is near impossible to google and find answers for but I hope you guys collectively know more and can help.

Many thanks again Andy
 

ajory72

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Thought I’d post an update- as may help someone unable to solve this by most means - Ive end up solving it for the G string by either placing a pick over the g and under the b and d strings- creating down pressure. It seems to work as stops the strings bouncing in place - thought looks odd live… so the last few nights I replaced the G and B saddles with copper saddles ‘un-notched’ and this totally works better… last night as I wanted to test I knocked down the b string so it notched the saddle and the string is tinny again.
 


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