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Information on the Epiphone SG-Special Electric Guitar

    History

    • In 1960, the creators at the Gibson Company decided to make a lighter guitar to compete against Fenders. Using the Les Paul design for inspiration, they came up with the SG. The term "SG" stands for "Solid Guitar," not "Satan's Guitar," as urban mythology has suggested. In 1980 Epiphone began building the SG Special in Asia as a subsidiary of Gibson.

    Construction

    • The SG Special is made from laminated Alder and Mahogany, which gives the body a split- proof, void proof, consistent tone. Computerized routers cut its body to exacting specifications, and then beveled the edge to give the SG its comfortable feel. It has a rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays and most have a bolt-on maple neck. According to Bill Connelly, luthier at Guitar Solutions in Ontario, Oregon, "I've worked on lots of SG's and the ones with bolt-on necks are infinitely easier to fix than the ones with fixed necks."

    Hardware and Control

    • The Special is wired hotter than most guitars. It has a chrome stop bar tailpiece, a tune-o-matic bridge and two open-coil humbucking pickups. The open coil design looks raw and tough, and allows the guitar to harness controlled feedback. The Special only has one volume and one tone control.

    Epiphone vs Gibson

    • For the average person, it's hard to tell the Epiphone SG from the Gibson SG. You have to play the guitars to tell the difference. Because of its slightly cheaper parts, the Epiphone may not stay in tune quite as well as an American made SG. The American SG is usually solid mahogany and the Epiphone is usually plywood. There might be a few rougher edges on the SG. When you run your hand down the length of the necks, you can feel the edges of the frets on the Epiphone, but not on the Gibson.

    Cost

    • While the Epiphone SG sounds almost identical to a Gibson, the Gibson will usually cost five times as much. In April 2010, the cost of an Epiphone SG special was $169, while the Gibson SG Special sold for $699.

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