In 1961, Gibson decided to totally revamp the design of the Les Paul model. In 1960, Les Paul sales had lagged behind numbers for 1959, so to attract more sales, Gibson cooked up a creative new shape that lended easier access into the upper register. The flattop, double-cutaway solid Mahogany body they introduced was very different from the earlier Les Paul design. Its contours and sharp points on the cutaways were unlike anything made before, and its slender neck profile with small heel and access all the way up to the 22nd fret was advertised as the "fastest neck in the world." This body shape was so radically different from the Les Paul that it needed its own name. Since then, the SG (for "Solid Guitar") has been a staple of the Gibson line, capturing the attention of guitarists far and wide.
The SG Special also debuted in 1961, and in recent years, this model has been a stream-lined, affordable SG option. This 2005 SG Special brings a lot to the table at a reasonable price for a quality American-made Gibson. It features two open-coil Gibson humbuckers: a 490R in the rhythm/neck position and a 498T in the treble/bridge position. Standard Gibson controls (three-way switch, two volumes, and two tones) provide a wide range of flexibility. From there, the expected tune-o-matic bridge, stopbar, and Kluson-style tuning machines keep the setup consistent and the guitar playing in tune.
This 2005 SG Special shows some expected play wear here and there, but it's a great-playing SG with no history of repairs or issues. There are a few bumps and bruises, and the most significant is on the bass side of the lower bout. But all in all, it's fairly clean, and there's plenty of life left in the frets. True to SG form, this special is lightweight at 7 lbs 10 oz.
One of the greatest advantages to the SG design is the unfettered access down the neck. This 2005 SG Special has low action with .010-gauge strings, and it plays smooth and clean all the way up to the 22nd fret. It sounds great through variety of amps, and it includes a durable molded plastic case.