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Epiphone pays tribute to the first-ever SG model with Burstbucker-equipped ‘61 Les Paul SG Standard

Epiphone has unveiled the 1961 Les Paul SG Standard, a new addition to its lineup of electric guitars that pays tribute to the first SG model ever created.

Carrying the same “Les Paul” name that was attached to the original six-string before it was promptly removed and swapped out for “SG” – Solid Guitar – the new Epi, at least visually, aims to be a like-for-like recreation of its Gibson counterpart.

A quick aesthetic appraisal shows the half-sized five-ply pickguard and Black Top Hat with Inserts control knobs, as well as a cream toggle switch tip, black switch washer and vintage-esque Epiphone Deluxe Double Ring tuners.

Available in either Aged Sixties Cherry or Aged Classic White, the ‘61 Les Paul SG Standard further tips its hat to its forebear with Pearloid Trapezoid inlays, cream neck binding and model-appropriate hardware, such as the LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and LockTone Stop Bar tailpiece.

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Epiphone 1961 Les Paul SG Standard

Epiphone 1961 Les Paul SG Standard Aged Sixties Cherry (Image credit: Epiphone)
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Epiphone 1961 Les Paul SG Standard

Epiphone 1961 Les Paul SG Standard Aged Classic White (Image credit: Epiphone)

In terms of build, it features a two-piece mahogany body – as opposed to the one-piece body of the Gibson – which is paired with a one-piece SlimTaper C-profile mahogany neck. A 12”-radius Indian laurel fretboard, adorned with 22 Medium Jumbo frets and a Graph Tech nut, also makes the cut.

Elsewhere, the ‘60s-era Kalamazoo headstock is finished with a mother-of-pearl Gibson crown and Epiphone logo, and lines up alongside a two-way adjustable truss rod and bell-shaped truss rod cover that carries the period-accurate "Les Paul" transcription.

Perhaps the most intriguing appointment, though, occurs in the pickup department. Whereas usual Epiphone SG models feature Alnico Classic Pros, the ‘61 Les Paul SG Standard ups the ante and comes equipped with Gibson Burstbucker humbuckers.

These are wired to a control circuit comprising CTS potentiometers and Mallory capacitors, which in turn dictate a pair of volume knobs and two tone parameters.

The Epiphone 1961 Les Paul SG Standard is available now for $849.

To find out more, visit Epiphone.

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Matt is a News Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.