The Gibson SG is the hard-rocking, no-nonsense electric guitar alternative to its flashier, not-so-horny solidbody cousin, the Les Paul.
Beloved of Tony Iommi and Angus Young, the SG is lightweight, with excellent upper-fret access and high-octane tones aplenty - and best of all, these days, it comes in a wide range of configurations across plenty of price points.
Here, we've rounded up some of the best Gibson SGs models (plus a bonus Epiphone SG) you can buy today. So, for those about to rock, we'd advise you start here.
The best Gibson SGs available right now
Top of the line in ’63 and today, this reissue Custom has been painstakingly recreated using Gibson’s traditional building methods and is one of the best SGs money can buy. Sporting a solid one-piece mahogany body and long tenon, hide-glue fit neck, Classic White vintage patina nitro finish, solid ebony fretboard, mother-of-pearl block inlays, and Custombucker Alnico III humbuckers, this guitar was built to turn heads.
This model is hand-crafted using old-school Kalamazoo factory methods and materials, with a hide-glue ’board/neck/body construction and a nitrocellulose Cherry Red finish. The ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge has brass saddles and a lightweight aluminum stop bar to maximize coupling between the strings and body, providing greater resonance, sustain and detail in conjunction with a pair of unpotted Custombucker Alnico III ’buckers.
This dual P-90 classic from Gibson’s distinctly retro Original Collection comes in a choice of two '60s-style gloss nitrocellulose lacquer metallic finishes: Faded Pelham Blue and Vintage Sparkling Burgundy. With a mahogany body, a slim taper mahogany neck and a bound rosewood fingerboard, the SG Special’s twin soapbar P-90s provide a broad base of tone with a virtually endless array of further possibilities available via the guitar’s hand-wired volume and tone controls.
Pros and students alike have long favored the Junior for its sheer simplicity and killer tones, not to mention its comparatively low price. Recently revived for the Original Collection, the SG Junior has been reintroduced with a design that strongly mirrors its original 60s counterpart, including a Vintage Cherry gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, compensated wraparound bridge, single dog-ear P-90 pickup, and hand-wired volume and tone controls.
The SG Tribute from Gibson’s Modern Collection is a stone-cold classic rock machine boasting open-coil 490R and 490T humbucking pickups, and it comes in a choice of two satin nitrocellulose lacquer finishes: a 60s-vibe Vintage Cherry Satin or 70s-chic Natural Walnut. With a mahogany body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, and an aluminum Nashville Tune-o-matic bridge with aluminum stop tailpiece, this faithful workhorse strips Gibson’s classic SG styling back to basics.
From the new Inspired by Gibson Collection, the Epiphone SG Standard ’61 harks back to the debut of the SG/Les Paul Standard with a Vintage Cherry finish and mahogany neck and body. Bolstered by high-quality CTS electronics,the dual ProBucker humbucking pickups found on this model are constructed using sand-cast Alnico II magnets along with vintage correct ‘18% Nickel Silver’ unit bases and covers, delivering quality vintage tone at a lower price point.
Find out more about how we make our recommendations and how we test each of the products in our buyer's guides.