Gibson SG Standard ’61 Ebony review – an all-time classic, back in black

A truly quintessential version of the guitar beloved by Angus Young, Tony Iommi and Derek Trucks

Gibson SG Standard '61 Ebony
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Guitar World Verdict

This top-tier SG is stripped-down like the originals and a bona fide rock machine, but it can do a lot more besides. And it sure wears that Ebony finish well.


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    Classic rock tones.

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    It's a lot of fun to play – lightweight and zippy.

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    Ebony finish is beyond cool.


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Anyone who attended the 1991 Monsters Of Rock festival at Donington Park, England, or has whiled away a Friday night, supping cold ones and enjoying AC/DC’s heroic headlining set on video, will recognise this Gibson SG. It’s a dead ringer for Angus Young’s weapon of choice on the night.

Finished in Ebony, with a rosewood fingerboard and acrylic trapezoid inlays, the five-ply teardrop pickguard, the MOP ‘pineapple’ inlay on the headstock – it’s a classic.

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.