Gibson SG Modern VS Standard: any differences?
Body construction, humbuckers, frets, and more.
We often have to deal in a lot of nuance when it comes to comparing electric guitars. But with the SG Modern and Standard, that is not the case. The Modern is built with a figured Maple top, like a Les Paul, while the Standard is a single solid piece. The Modern also has Gibson Burstbucker pickups, while the Standard has the 490s. There are some other differences you'll see in the spec sheet below. So while the Modern is more expensive, there are clear reasons, and the upgrade is worth the added cost.
|Number of Strings
|AA Figured Maple
|None (single piece body)
|Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer (Blueberry Fade)
|Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer (Heritage Cherry)
|Asymmetrical Slim Taper
|Number of Frets
|24, Medium Jumbo
|22, Medium Jumbo
|Nashville Tune-O-Matic with aluminum stopbar
|Nashville Tune-O-Matic with Stopbar
|Burstbucker Pro Rhythm Humbucker
|Burstbucker Pro Lead Humbucker
|2 x volume (push/pull coil-tap), 2 x tone
|2 x volume, 2 x tone
|3-way toggle pickup switch
|3-way toggle pickup switch
SG Modern and SG Standard Price Comparison
Prices updated Thu, February 29th, 2024.
5 Biggest Differences Between the SG Modern and SG Standard
- SG Modern: Features an asymmetrical slim taper neck shape, offering a modern, ergonomic profile.
- SG Standard: Comes with a rounded neck shape, providing a more traditional and rounded neck feel.
- SG Modern: Equipped with an AA Figured Maple top, which adds a visually striking element to the guitar, similar to a Les Paul and PRS body design.
- SG Standard: Does not have a separate top piece, in favor of a single solid piece of wood for the entire body.
Fretboard Material and Inlay:
- SG Modern: Has an Ebony fretboard with Mother-of-Pearl trapezoid inlays for a sleek and modern look.
- SG Standard: Features a Rosewood fretboard with acrylic trapezoid inlays, offering a more classic aesthetic.
Number of Frets:
- SG Modern: Has 24 medium jumbo frets, providing extended range for lead guitar and solos in the upper register.
- SG Standard: Comes with 22 medium jumbo frets, suitable for more traditional playing styles.
- SG Modern: Features a gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish in Blueberry Fade color pattern, giving it a very modern and vibrant appearance.
- SG Standard: Comes with a gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish in Heritage Cherry, providing a classic and vintage SG look (think Angus Young).
Gibson SG Modern or Standard: Which one?
I always want to give the disclaimer that these decisions require you - as the buyer - to take into your account your own situation, budget, and musical needs. That said, I believe the SG Modern is clearly a better value over the SG Standard. Sure, there are preferences to consider, but I believe it's preferable to have a top piece and figured Maple, which always looks fantastic.
The second nail in the SG Standard's coffin are the Gibson Burstbucker pickups in the Modern. I have a hard time passing those up.
Again, this is just my take and will hopefully give you some direction.
If you have questions about our Gibson SG Modern vs SG Standard comparison, feel free to reach out via the comments section below.
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