New Guitar Day: Epiphone SG PRO Edition
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
That was my experience last Friday, anyway. I had a very nice Godin Progression Plus (a Canadian-made Strat copy) that I was shopping around. The guitar itself was great — nothing wrong with it, and very high quality — but I’d had it for several years, and as excellent as it was, it just didn’t “click” with me. It was time to let someone else have a go.
I listed it online for several months but didn’t get any bites. So last week, I had to go to the local guitar store to get new tubes for my amp. I decided to take the Godin to see if I could sell or trade for it.
And boy, did I find a guitar.
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Making the trade
I was browsing around the store and saw what looked to be a new Epiphone SG for sale. The price tag indicated a potential trade, so I picked it up and played it for a while. I could tell it was a very nicely made guitar.
I put it down and tried some more guitars. Then I came back to it (uh oh). I went to talk with an employee about the Godin and he said that he’d be happy to make a trade on any of the used guitars in the shop — at which he pointed directly at the rack holding the SG.
“You mean the SG over there is used?” I asked.
Okay, then. Poker face, Jon! Hold it together!
I went back a third time. The guitar was spotless. Not a nick, not a scratch. The strings even felt new.
So we made the deal. I got the guitar home and performed a proper set up. That’s when I realized that Epiphone had really outdone themselves this time.
Epiphone Limited Edition 1966 G-400 PRO
It took a little digging to figure out exactly which guitar I now owned. Part of the problem is that Epiphone doesn’t call their SGs by that name. In this case, the official model number is G-400.
Nevertheless, it is an SG; it even says so on the truss-rod cover. And this particular model is loosely based on the 1960s-era Gibson SGs. It’s a remake of a classic, launched in 2013 as part of Epiphone’s 140th birthday celebrations. (Mine happens to have been made in 2020, though.)
There are some distinctive features that make this guitar stand out. For one, the neck is a pretty wide D shape, yet it’s pretty flat at the same time. The result of this shape is a guitar that feels a little chunky but still plays fast. The nut is a little wider, too, and the fretboard has a flatter, 12" radius. As a player with larger hands, this combination makes the neck a delight to play.
The pickups are amazing. The Alnico Classic Pro humbucker pickups have push/pull coil-splitting, and to be honest, the guitar is now the best-sounding instrument I own. It has more clarity, definition, and character than any of my other guitars. (That’s saying a lot, since I own a PRS SE and a Danelectro that both sound great.)
The guitar is visually spectacular too. Mine is all black, and it features a “batwing” pickguard that really complements the body. Classic trapezoidal fret markers and vintage-looking tuners really round out the look.
And of course, the absolute best thing about this guitar is I can now play AC/DC songs just like God intended — with an SG cranked to 11.
This is a great guitar — full stop
Sometimes you luck into things, and I feel like this was the case here. I knew the guitar was good, but I didn’t realize how good it was until I got it home, set it up properly, and ran it through my rig. That’s when it outpaced my expectations.
If an SG has been on your wish list, I’d highly recommend you give one of these particular Epiphones a try. I don’t believe they make this model anymore, but they are going for under $500 on the used market. But this is a great guitar at almost any price point.
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