Gibson SG Special Vibrola Aged Cherry

This post is in English to help desperate people like me to find any information on this special guitar. I bought mine a week ago at thomann.de

After paying for the guitar in eshop my curiosity went through ceiling and I started to look for details. However, to my surprise, the internet search was completely blank. So was the official Gibson site. Despite the fact the guitar is 2019 model so it should be easy to find it in the current product line. So, I contacted the customer support of Thomann.de asking for any details of the guitars origin. It took them a little while and they informed me that this guitar is special run ordered for Japan market and Thomann obtained a dozen of them or something. Thats the mysterious story. My secret advice is go and grab them while in stock. Not only very stylish looking, this particular guitar sounds way better than what I’ve experienced with Gibson models of recent years. The sustain, the neck, playability, relatively high tune stability (with Vibrola and Lightning Bar bridge combination), lightweight mahogany instrument, good pickups and still a rosewood fingerboard make this guitar a pleasure to play.

Further reading: How did I end up in Thomann last week? I and my son, we went to buy a gift for my son’s 18th birthday hoping this multi-talented musician will fall in love with one of the guitars in Thomann’s showroom and we will experience this dad/son guitarists moment. We ended up with this beautiful unusual guitar. And we tried a few. My son really likes my 1967 Gretsch Rally so we were after similar guitar, but Gretsches were the biggest disappointment of the day regardless any price range. Two of them (out of ten, I would say) played well, sounded very close to what is the image of Gretsch sound but even the winner was a soulless and not very inspirational copy of expensive furniture rather than a dream come true instrument. Price/value ratio blinks red alert. I’ve been trying these Japanese guitars so many times over last 15 years. I always approach them with great lust and they always let me down. I do believe people can love these guitars and they are truly solid made instruments with all respect. But not for me. Anyway. We didn’t try any of Fenders as it wasn’t simply a Fender day. We focused on SGs and tried half a dozen of them. Gibson SG 61 Standard Maestro Vibrola looks simply stunning but sounds rather thin compared to this P90 equipped guitar. It doesnt have to be particularly a bad thing – with the right amp it can scream and roar exactly the right way. But we both are simply more alternative souls than AC/DC freaks of rock. So, in the end of the day, we kept this Gibson SG Special, went to the counter and….

…bought Sequential Circuits Prophet Rev2. Yes, he is better keyboard player and he wished for a proper hardware synthesiser. So he got it.

We came back to Prague and I was still thinking about this SG we left behind. The next day I called the shop asking for the showroom SG still hanging on the reservation hook. End of story. Everybody happy.

  • Mahogany Body
  • Slim Taper Profile Mahogany Neck
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Dot Inlays
  • 24 3/4″ Scale Length
  • 12″ Radius
  • 1.695″ Neck Width at Nut
  • 22 Frets
  • Gibson P-90 Pickups
  • Lightning Bar Bridge
  • Vibrola Tailpiece
  • Vintage Style Tuners
  • Chrome Hardware
  • 7 lbs, 6 oz.
  • .820″ Neck Thickness at 1st Fret
  • .930″ Neck Thickness at 12th Fret
Gibson SG Special Vibrola Aged Cherry

5 Responses to “Gibson SG Special Vibrola Aged Cherry”


  1. 1 Jeremy Drissi (@jeremydrissi) April 7, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Hey Martin!

    Thank you very much for your article. I just ordered the same SG special on Thomann.

    I have one question for you, does this guitar stay in tune with a moderate use of the Vibrola? If it’s not the case, does changing the bridge is the solution? TonePros? What model?

    Thanks in advance for your help,
    Best,

    Jeremy

    • 2 martinprikryl April 7, 2020 at 9:20 am

      Hi Jeremy, well, staying in tune isnt this guitasr biggest strength 🙂 But its ok. I played a couple of gigs with it already, had to retune twice a gig. And I think its more the bridge than the tremolo itself. I have a vibrola trem on firebird VII and that guitar stays in tune forever. However, I changed the strings from 9 to 10 and the overall stability improved a lot. Let me know if you will have a time what do you think about the guitar once you will get it.

  2. 3 Alex Frune April 16, 2020 at 8:56 am

    Hello Jeremy ! I just bought this guitar in an incredible price (exposition model) at thonamn…I want to put out the vibrola aswell. Did you manage to do it ? How come ? Thanks a lot for this article
    Alex

  3. 4 Alex Frune April 27, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    So I purchased this guitar and I had it for few days now. Actually, I thing this guitar is really something.

    To be honest, I was little disappointed at first because of the lacker. It is very thick and when you don’t see the guitar through sunshine, it is very dark, almost oxblood kind of way.

    Also, the bridge is very difficult to use on mine, and it didn’t stay in tune. The quality control was not so good, the D string was mounted as the E string and vice versa…

    You see, it was not love at first sight, even though I always want a SG special with bound and P90…But…

    I set new strings, and wrapped around them through the lighnting bridge, a 54 les paul kind of way, or just as if the Sg’s didn’t come with the vibrola. I took away the vibrola (and now set it back, juste for decoration). I dit set the action and intonation right myself. I know how to do it, and I always do it anyway on any guitar I purchase.

    And when it was ready, I finally plugged it into my Koch Studio tone, and my pedalboard (and my hermida zen drive).

    And that is the moment I got it. This guitar (mine anyway) has just the best sound and the best dynamic and the best response and the best full tone I never had with something else. I must be honest : I play for 30 years, and had (and have lots) of instrument. This sounds absolutely amazing. The pick up are fantastics, and the guitar resonates like hell. the low ends are really low, and the high ends are truly full… I had in the past a SG Standard from 2001, and there is no comparaison. I played a custom shop les paul reissue 54 recently, and the felling is quite the same in fact. I am subjective, because I really love P90, but the combo SG and P90, just gives something more. It is light and well balanced. Also, mine seems to have a one piece mahogany body, which arrives when you are lucky. I don’t know if it changes anything, but my experience is there : sometimes, with gibson USA, you don’t get lucky and your guitar is crap. But sometimes, magic is there, and you have to keep what you have. Custom shops are more consistent, but you can get an USA if you choose well. You have to try instrument, that is why I always advice to find your guitar in a real store, not online, unless it is not a problem to send back.

    For this model, I had no choice. But i really advice to check Thonmann, whos has some yet, but not for long. It will be highly collectible, and if your piece is as good as mine, it is just a hold up for the price…Even more if you have a B stock…

    Cheers !

    Alex

    • 5 martinprikryl May 2, 2020 at 11:12 pm

      Hi Alex, i will try your setup once it will need a restring. Thanx for your post and shared experience. By the way the best amp for this guitar seems to be a Vox AC15 or 30 to me. It brings more chimey brightness and the result is just perfect to me.


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Martin Destroyer

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