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.
This way-cool SG started its life as an SG Special Faded—a low-cost, but still USA-made model that features a faded satin finish. It was made in 2008, but since then, this guitar has been totally tricked out with high-end after market parts. With each upgrade, great care was taken not only to maximize the tone and playability, but to also honor that original 1961 SG.
For pickups, this 2008 SG Special Faded now sports two Klein Epic PAFs with aged nickel covers. Klein is known for historically-accurate recreations of iconic pickup designs, and the Epic PAF has all of the sizzle and touch-sensitive dynamics that make the original PAF Gibson humbucker so desirable. For hardware, this SG is set up with an aged nickel Faber bridge and an aged nickel Faber tailpiece. For tuning machines, it has aged Klusons with early-'60s appropriate double-ring tulip buttons. Under the hood, this SG Special Faded is outfitted with after-market CTS pots and a genuine Switchcraft three-way switch. It has a paper-in-oil .022 uF tone capacitor.
Thanks to the upgrades—and a killer setup—this 2008 Gibson SG Special Faded is now a true player's guitar with a lot to offer. It is a deeply expressive instrument with a lot of versatility. It was signed by someone named Derek who also loves red SGs, and its tone is a faithful tribute to the early PAF-equipped SGs from the '60s.
This 2008 Gibson SG Special Faded has been refretted with Medium Jumbo frets, and it has an upgraded bone nut. The Faded satin finish was intended to pick up play wear, and the years of play and use have given this one a cool played-in vibe. In particular, the neck feels like a treasured vintage guitar. This 2008 Gibson SG Special Faded includes a basic gig bag from Road Runner.