Standard SG Bass Review
about electric bass guitars most people automatically conjure
up the image of a Fender Precision or Jazz bass and quite
rightly too. Not only did they invent the concept of the electric
bass but they clearly have a large number of players enticed
to either instrumentís charms.
are also a large number of alternative instruments such as
the SG standard bass that we are reviewing today.
I am myself a
long time Jazz bass player and was attractedto the SG bass
in view of having something completely antipodal to it.
are good, upon opening the form fitting case the heritage
cherry finish contrasts greatly with the white lining of the
case. The case itself is quite usual of Gibson instruments
but compared to other Gibsonís I own, I notice the lining
is white not dark grey, the lack of the shroud (cloth that
covers the instrument) and that the combination lock has been
replaced with a lock staple. I do believe that these changes
have applied to most Gibson cases over the last couple of
Moving back to the bass itself
the fit and finish are what you would expect from a high end
American made instrument.† The nitro cellulose lacquer is
generally well applied, bar a slight unevenness on the top
of the fingerboard which truth be told is hardly noticeable.
The rest of the bass is well executed without any paint blemishes
or overspray as is sometimes usual even on high end instruments.
When I first played the bass ithad a strange rattle, but this
was easily fixed by tightening the neck pickup cover.
The SG sports
a set mahogany neck with a 30.5Ē scale (otherwise known as
short scale) adorned with Gibsonís traditional trapezoid fret
markers. The fingerboard is rosewood and has 20 frets, which
are all easily accessible thanks to the double cutaway body.
The body again
is made of mahogany and has the traditional SG double cutaway
shape with the sharp horns and bevelled edges for extra comfort.
All hardware is chrome such as the shamrock tuners and the
three way adjustable bridge as are the pickup covers.
In the electronics
department the SG has a TB full size humbucker in the neck position for that classic
deep SG sound plus a TB mini sized humbucker in the bridge
position to accentuate the mid range.
To finish off
the specifications, the controls are comprised by a volume
control for each pickup plus a master tone control. These
are topped off with the usual SG top hat knobs with silver
the bass sounds and feels good and rings true, plugging into
an Ashdown Five Fifteen 100 watt amplifier the classic deep
SG sounds comes through. Turning the volume down slightly
on the neck pickup brings out a slightly brighter sound from
the bridge pickup with well a pronounced mid-range, turning
it down completely brightens it up totally. This can be also
fine tuned using the tone control.
The bass sustains
well and has a funky kind of tone in the higher register.
I have yet to play the bass in a live situation and it will
be interesting to see how it cuts through the mix.
The short scale
neck makes playing fast runs a breeze especially with the
uninhibited access to the upper register. The bass is very
comfortable to play both sitting and standing and the use
of a suede strap with a rough back avoids the usual neck dive
associated with SG Basses (and guitars).
In my opinion
the bass is best suited to finger style playing or playing
with a pick for harder styles. Although traditionally not
a bass for slap style playing it is indeed possible as long
as care is taken
All in all a worthwhile investment.
By Ernest H Slade