Gibson SG 1961 Reissue - Review


In 1961, the Les Paul received a radical change in style that took the model towards a thinner double cut body with sharply pointed horns. After Les Paul’s discontent with the model and disassociation with Gibson due to his divorce, a new name was appointed - the SG.

The reissue we are reviewing features the “bat-wing” pickguard and nickel-plated hardware of the original 1961 model, which has been purchased, used.


This 1961 SG features a mahogany neck set in to a body at the 22nd fret. The neck is 1960s slim-taper, with a crest inlay and sports a rosewood fingerboard adorned with trapezoid inlays. The SG uses the usual tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar arrangement, which are nickel-plated. Four Black top hat knobs with silver inserts, and an adjacent three-way switch control the two 57 classic pickups.

Fit & Finish

As expected of a high-class instrument such as a Gibson no issues are to be found. Everything fits well and tight and the fretwork is superb. Even on this used SG no issues can be found that affect its playability.


The SG has a unique sound, thinner than a Les Paul, but warmer than a Fender type guitar. Clean it sounds mellow on the neck pickup and sparkly on the bridge. Overdriven raunchy tones reminiscent of Angus Young’s sonic arsenal, automatically invite one to perform a rendition of “Highway to Hell”!


If you like the Les Paul sound but not the weight, and don’t mind a lighter crispier tone then the SG is for you. Many famous players agree than the SG is one of Gibson’s finest.

By Ernest H Slade