What can I expect getting a standard in addition of my special?


Dec 18, 2020
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Here's my 1998 SG Special
neck pup: Duncan Phat Cat
bridge pup: Duncan JB

Not much to look at, but it does what I need it to do.

View attachment 48828

If you look a little closer to the LP Studio I mentioned earlier you can see the Gibson P-94R neck pickup I added:


Some may argue that the P-94 design doesn’t quite capture the true P-90 vibe, but I’d argue that I’ve never heard two P-90s actually sound the same…

…and I have played P-90 guitars made in the late 50s and mid 60s, through the 90s, 2000s, including my latest 2022 purchase (also mentioned earlier).

Anyway, my point is that the P-94 in my Les Paul sounds as sexy as any P-90 I’ve played and I’m glad I have it…

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Jan 29, 2015
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Sutton Québec
Here’s another story that is definitely more relevant to your situation…

My other Gibson is a 1991 Les Paul Studio. The reason this is relevant is because these LPs were made almost exactly the same as their higher end models, except without the fancy binding and headstock inlays.

In fact my Studio has features from both the Standard and the Custom, namely; Ebony fretboard, 498T and 490R pickups and plastic from the Custom as well as trapezoid fretboard inlays from the Standard, not to mention the “high end” weight (around 10 lbs).

View attachment 48821

I thought I read that the bodies on the Studios were a bit thinner, but it sure feels like a full sized one after having it hanging off your shoulder for about 15 minutes. Otherwise it has a full thickness carved maple top and mahogany back and neck.

So, other than some non-tone-improving aesthetics, the early to (roughly) late 90s Studios had everything that the top of the line models had - before Gibson realized they were making them “too good” and started changing things that is.

The point is, your ‘97 SG Special sounds like it might be on par with the SG Standards from that era. If so, then you may very well be in possession of the “holy grail” already…

For a Studio closer weightlike to a SG, my 2008 does 6.4 lbs and has even less bling without gold hardware.

2008 Gibson Studio.jpg


Aug 11, 2022
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So, here's my current question : i have a 97 sg special (with humbuckers) i play and love a lot, but wouldn't be against getting a standard sg (if so, i'll try to get one from the 90's, the dark wine red /oxblood ones).

Beside the looks (i mean mainly neck binding and inlays), what would be different ?

Could the tone be different too?

And the weight is an important factor too. Mine is something like 7lbs if I'm correct (3,4/3,5kg for sure).

Could I expect to get a lighter one? (Something like 6lbs would be great, maybe a bit too light for a Sg? hard to find?)

Anyway, just tell me your thougts and more if you want! (And particulary on the standard of this era).
I was also keeping an eye on weight when I bought my SG. I took a fisherman's scale and a strap to the stores to check if the guitars I was looking at were neck heavy. SGs both Standards and specials are a lighter guitar due to the thin bodies. IMHO the ideal weight on an SG is 6.5 to 7 lbs. (2.95 to 3.175 kg). You can find them lighter than 6.5 lbs., but those can have neck dive because of the long neck and location of the strap buttons on an SG. Beleive me, a guitar with neck dive is no fun on a 2 or 3 hour gig. Everytime you take your hand off the neck to adjust an amp knob, the neck wants to go south.

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Active Member
Feb 9, 2014
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Try to grasp my 3 unique body constructions, finish and electrical variations . . .

'17 stock Standard with mahogany body and neck, smooth lacquer finish, stock humbuckers, std. non-switching control board.

a '17 Faded Special with grainy, (to the touch), mahogany neck and body that I added a full face pickguard, LP open coil 4-wire neck humbucker and an open coil Dirty Fingers 4-wire to the bridge position connected to a 2018 SG hp II control board for single coil and humbucker switching on both pickups.

a '16 HP Faded with a smooth maple neck and mahogany body,
its stock HP 4-wire mini-humbuckers, (aka Firebird pickups), (see icon),
connected also to a 2018 SG hp II control PCB for single coil and humbucker switching on both pickups.

Quite a variety ! and all with the SG SUPER SLICK ACTION !

Ka-Boom ! ! !

Col Mustard

Well-Known Member
Sep 29, 2009
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Oscoda Michigan
Here's a suggestion nobody has made yet:

Scrap the nineties idea and get a new one. You already own an excellent nineties guitar. If you want something different, get a new one. There actually has been some improvements in technology since the nineties. Think of
nineties computers if you will... Don't fuss about the color, get a black one. It will be different from what you have.
(and it doesn't matter what you wear when you play it). *grins

Anyway, one of our colleagues suggested you play it before you buy it... That's the only way to know if you
like what you hear and feel. There are a lot of differences in the last twenty years. There is a world of choices
to make. Ignore what anyone says about Gibson QC. Play it before you buy it... then you know.

Some of the SGs from the last ten years had Gibson's '61 pickups... those have had favorable reviews
on this forum. Personally I favor the '57 Classic and Classic +... You'll find those on more recent SG '61 Reissue
guitars among others. A normal SG Standard will be equipped with 490R neck p'up and 498T bridge
p'up... those are normal Gibson premium pickup set that were used on Les Paul Standards and SG Standards
for many years. One of those would sound something different from your nineties SG special.
Top view@100.jpg
Some of the SG specials made in the teens are equipped with mini hum buckers. I have one and love the tone.
if you bought one of those, it would be a very different tone from what you have. And that's the point, right?
You don't want to duplicate what you have, you want to add to it.
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Decadent Dan

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Jun 15, 2021
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The newer stuff also has aluminum bridge and tailpiece instead of zamak.

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