Another popular Gibson model which also transferred well into Epiphones lineup is the SG Special. This body shape a true classic, which was and is still used by a number of legendary guitar players. At the same time, experienced players see the SG Special as a proven design in the budget guitars bracket perfect for a beginner.
Body and Neck
The body shape of the SG came to existence when Gibson decided to do their own double cutaway solid guitar. They started with a standard Les Paul, only to develop a whole new model. Epiphone SG Special brings the feel and aesthetic of the original SG at a much more affordable price.
The body is made of alder/maple laminate, while the neck is a standard maple unit. Epiphone did a great job at retaining everything we love about Gibson SG, and packaging it into the SG Special. There are several finish choices, but you definitely go either red/black or all black.
Since this is a bare bones entry level model, Epiphone went with their proven set of standard open coil humbuckers. On a grand scheme of things, these pups rank pretty well compared to other entry level guitars available at the moment. The pickups are controlled by a very familiar layout.
You have one Tone knob and one Volume knob. Aside from these, there’s also that standard Gibson style pickup select switch. Everything is packed in tightly and works reliably enough.
Hardware found on SG Special is pretty much the same one you can find on any entry level Epiphone guitar. In other words, we have their standard tune-o-matic bridge, which is complimented by a set of die cast tuners on the headstock. All of the hardware is chromed, giving the darker color scheme of this guitar some much needed contrast.
Quality of the hardware itself is great. Bridge holds up well, and the die cast tuners are doing a decent job at retaining your tuning, even though they are just a standard low cost set. It is also worth mentioning that SG Special comes with an all black pick guard, as the original SG design dictates.
If we had to start throwing labels around, we would have to say that Epiphone SG Special was meant for a hard rock tone filled with overdrive. It does handle high gain distortion well, however overdrive is where it’s at.with this guitar. Those pickups have proven to be pretty versatile for the most part.
Their true weakness becomes obvious if you’re looking for a very clear and defined clean tone. There is a decent amount of definition, but if you want to get into some rather precise and subtle playing styles, you will run into trouble. Otherwise, this little axe is a real steal. Especially for beginners.
Epiphone SG Special is one of those guitars which invoke mixed feelings in people. When judged completely objectively, this Epiphone is a very capable guitar that can follow you even when you improve your skill over time. As a matter of fact, you could probably use this guitar well into your intermediate stage, with some upgrades.