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Gibson SG Bass Standard Reissue - I Am So Very Impressed

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Misterwogan, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. So I had been thinking about the Gibson SG Bass Standard Reissue – you know that one that's supposed to me muddy and flabby. I was certainly not going to buy without trying and playing so I went along on Monday to my local store (DV247 in Barnet) where they had one in stock. My real intention was to discover how awful this bass really was – and move on.

    I got sat down and plugged-in. The decision to buy happened about one minute later. One hour later it was at home and really I haven't put it down since.

    Is it Muddy?
    Absolutely not. The open E string is a lot more tight and controlled that my American P-Bass.

    Short Scale is Flabby?
    No – 3.25 inches less scale than a 34 inch, does not translate to the fretboard. There is some minor relief due to the scale, but I only noticed this when stretching from 5th degree on the 4th string to 6th degree on the 3rd.

    What About Neck-Dive?
    Yes – I moved the strap-lock to the horn and yet still when released the bass takes the fast route south. I got used to it after an hour.

    There is no Top-End?
    True, there is little to show past 1,000Hz. EQ can solve this – or you could use a Jazz Bass.

    What About the Low-End?
    I did a software frequency analysis of the SG and my P-Bass. The SG produced 8db more output below 120hz than the P. Yes – 8db more. That said, it produced 12db less at frequencies above 2k.

    It's Not Great for Finger Picking
    Partially true. It certainly can rival a good P-Bass when playing just the neck pickup but it is missing the high-mids and the fingers cannot tease them out.

    Is It Good with a Pick?
    Utterly and Absolutely. This is the very best picking bass. Not so that you can get the hollow tone that you would from a P-Bass. The bottom-end on the SG is so massive, that even with a pick you can get finger-style tones from it. A 2mm pick produces a tone that can be used where you might use a P-Bass with fingers – think of a Blues Boogie, it looks weird but it really works.

    So What Does it Sound Like?
    I have been planning this video-christmas-card for a while and had assumed that I would use my P-Bass to record it. However, the SG had its name written all over this.

    This was recorded today.


    Final Word?
    Don't buy an SG Bass only because you think you have small hands or short fingers, there's really not a lot of extra relief on offer. Buy an SG Bass because it's small, light, looks weird, loves picks and will guarantee that you are crowned King of The Deep.
  2. That is ridiculous and, really well done.
    Thanks for that! :hyper:
  3. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    I love mine.
    I will disagree with you about not buying it because you have small hands.
    I find it to be the easiest bass I own to play. The short scale helps a lot.
    I use mine to work out new songs on because it is so easy to play.

    Also, anyone use to a tighter string spacing (like most 5 string players) will have no problem with the 18 mm spacing.
  4. starmann

    starmann Flats and Fingers Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2011
    And if you like it with rounds.

    Put some short scale Flats (chromes) and watch it "come alive".
  5. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    Thanks for the review. I was just checking one out on Sweetwateer. Gibson has a lot of new basses out, it's nice to hear some first hand impressions.

    Great prices too.
  6. So, what is missing from these RI that the originals EB-3's had?
    Any old timers here? :meh:
  7. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    The EB3 had a varitone dial and four knobs .
  8. rockinrayduke

    rockinrayduke Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    Sounds great, Pete, nice video!
  9. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Fender, EBMM, Rickenbacker, BSX. I'm Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    Great job! Glad you like your new bass.
  10. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    2012 SG -


    1970 EB-3 -

  11. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Excellent video bass elf. Not sure how they'd compare, but I'm going to look at and play a mid 70s Aria A-1910 (SG copy) right after Christmas. Maybe a belated present? :cool:
  12. :hyper: Thanks everybody for responding.

    I get the 3 knob 4 knob varitone thang.

    I guess what I am asking is, on the varitone you had neck, bridge, both but, the fourth position, what was going on there,
    more mud for the neck pickup? :meh:
  13. funkytoe

    funkytoe Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Northern California
    I completely agree with this review. For pick style rock or dubby low end, I reach for my Gibson SG. Sounds great with rounds or flats. But I keep D'Addario black nylon tapewounds on mine and they transport me right back to 1977. Thanks for the review and the video.
  14. The SG is my favorite bass. I think I have tried almost every type, if not every brand, of string looking for the perfect tone balance. So far, D'addario tapewounds sound best to me, followed by GHS flats. The GHS flats in particular really give some tonal zing to the D and G strings plus they are not floppy at all, allowing one to really dig in with a pick if desired.

    I don't use rounds so I can't comment on them at all.

    As to short-scale playability, once you get arthritis in your fingers like me it is not only easier to play a short-scale bass; it is also far less painful.

    Strictly personal opinion, but the SG bass is the finest professional grade production short-scale bass available on the market.

    By the way, great review O.P.
  15. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Not to hijack the thread, but I'd be interested in knowing what string sizes you guys are using with the referenced string sets that have been mentioned and I'm also guessing short scale - or maybe there's a different scale length that works better? :cool:
  16. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Huge Jimmy Lea fan here! You nailed it my friend excellent work! I am such a big fan of Jim's playing I had John Diggend build me a replica of his JB bass (Jim's EB3 went missing while in for work at John Birch and was supplied a replacement "EB3" built by JB). Also my Hiwatt DR201 is from Slades back line, they had 9 of them 5 for Jimmy , Dave and Nod had 2 each. Mine is one of Dave's and came with a letter of provenance from Dave himself! myrig6-22-12002. 000_0065. 100_2046.
  17. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    I have had a number of vintage EB3's over the years, thanks to Jimmy's influence :) The SG RI is a very nice bass and very well made. It doesn't have the mud that the original had and that is probably a good thing. The neck pick up is much more docile (originals read 28-32 ohm), not to say you can't get a good EB3 sound out of it the OP certainly nails it. I forget the 4 combinations but one involved a choke. I always liked the toggle mod on these bypassing the choke and having neck, neck/bridge, bridge. Jimmy's EB3 had a John Birch pickup under the palm rest along with a built in distortion circuit. Later it was refinished in white(Jim was livid) and converted to all John Birch pickups.
  18. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Epiphone came out with a 60's spec EB3 this year a very affordable and well done bass. My only complaint is that the body is to thick, sort of like a 70's EB3, a little thinner would have been nice. For the $ it is hard to beat. They list for $500 and map around 349.00 I ended up paying $250 for mine, I have a 60's mudbucker I am going to install in her :) Epi60sRIEB3001.
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I love my frankensteined EB basses ... 34" scale 21 fret neck, pointy headstock, 5 strings, olp stingray bridge, various pickups and electronics, and a straplok extender to prevent neck dive. Mine are not muddy.



    I am building a 3rd one and I am thinking of putting the mudbuscker in the bridge and neck positions and having a toggle to choke the bridge pickup with a .0047 capacitor like the old Rickenbackers.
  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I love the SG basses in white ... For me the SG shape is pure beauty ...