SG® Guitar Kit Review
An SG® style guitar kit can be a great project to work on whether you are experienced with assembling and finishing kit guitars or even if this is your first build. In the following article, we’re going to take a closer look at SG® style guitar kits, list the best options, as well as provide some tips on assembly.
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SG® Guitars and Genres
SG® style guitars are synonymous with hard rock thanks to guitarists such as Angus Young of AC/DC and Tommy Iommi of Black Sabbath. As a result, most customers interested in SG guitar kits are looking to play hard rock and heavier styles of music in general. But limiting the SG to one specific style of music really doesn’t do justice to the versatility of the instrument.
If you scratch the surface a little you will find a number of influential guitarists that have used the SG® at various times in their career covering a wide range of musical styles. Some of these guitarists include:
Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead)
Jerry Garcia used a wide range of guitars from custom made guitars to Stratocasters and SGs to create music that covered a broad range of influences including blues, jazz, and hard rock.
Frank Zappa was a musical pioneer who played a number of guitars including custom made SG®’s and Gibson® SG®’s over the span of his career. His music has been described as a fusion of pop, rock, orchestral and jazz fusion.
Other notable guitarists who played SG®’s at different stages of their careers include Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Robby Krieger of the Doors, Pete Townshend of the Who and of course Jimi Hendrix.
Anatomy of the SG® Guitar
While SG® style DIY guitars kits are sold in a number of different timber varieties, if you are looking to match the original as closely as possible you will be best selecting a model constructed with a mahogany body and maple neck with rosewood or ebony fretboard.
*Gibson® has recently transitioned from rosewood to richlite due to New CITES Regulations For All Rosewood Species.
Build Your Own SG® Kit
The SG® style guitar kit while not as simple to assemble as ST or TE (thanks to the pickguards or control plates being preloaded with electronics) style kits is still a relatively straight forward guitar to assemble. This makes SG® guitar kits a good option if this is your first building project and want to simply dip your toe in the water, to begin with before taking on something more challenging.
As the SG® is a set neck guitar (the 7 is bolt-on) you will need to assess the scale length of the instrument prior to gluing the neck.
The SG® utilizes a 24.75 in (628 mm) scale length like all Gibson® style guitars.
How to calculate scale length
- Position the neck in the neck cavity. If the bridge holes are not yet drilled, mark a position where the saddles of the bridge will sit approximately on the guitar.
- Measure the distance from the nut to the 12th fret.
- Measure from the 12th fret to the bridge exactly the same distance as to the 12th fret from the nut. In most cases, the neck will sit tightly in the neck cavity hard up against the edge of the body. But if the scale length isn't correct from this position you may need to make minor adjustments to the neck position. If the bridge holes aren't yet drilled, it's better to adjust the bridge position than the neck. The saddles will also allow you approx. 10mm adjustment.
When gluing a set neck guitar it’s important that you don’t use an excessive amount of glue. The glue should be applied to the base of the neck and base of the neck cavity. Try to limit the amount of glue so that it doesn’t come into contact with the edges of the neck or pickup cavity as this can impact on the tonal quality of the guitar and sustain.
SG® Guitar Kit Bridge
The SG® utilizes a Tune-o-Matic bridge. You can read more about this type of bridge here.
SG® Guitar Kit wiring
Below you will find an SG® guitar kit wiring diagram. The SG® is similar to the LP in regard to wiring as both guitars feature dual humbuckers and a 3-way pickup selector switch.
If you are wanting to upgrade the hardware and electronics, an SG® wiring kit can be a good investment. We have listed some of the better options below:
- Gibson® SG® Epiphone Wiring Harness CTS 500K Pots Switchcraft PIO Caps New
- Premium Wiring Kit for Gibson® SG®
- SG® Gibson® Wiring Harness Upgrade Sprague Orange Drop .022 uF Neck and Bridge
- SG® Gibson® - Epiphone® Deluxe 50s Prewired Wiring Harness - Vintage K42Y-2 PIO Russian Caps With 3-Way Switch
- All parts EP-4146-000 Wiring Kit for SG®