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Gibson SGJ14 - 2014, Fireburst Satin Reviews

4.5 stars based on 17 customer reviews
  • from Seattle, WA September 22, 2014Music Background:
    Studio Musician, YouTube Personality


    I cant even believe the bang for the buck these guitars are. I really think years from now people will collect these because they sound and play so good. Get this now.

  • from Spring City Pa August 20, 2014Music Background:
    been playing for 40 yrs

    excellent guitar and service A +

    was kinda hesitant ordering a guitar online ,i like to play what i buy first ..but after looking over the site here and the ability to choose which serial number guitar i wanted out of 4 from HIGH res images i pulled the trigger...
    guitar came perfect still in tune they double boxed it ,fast delivery too! Chis my sweetwater Tech was helpful and knowledgeable and made the purchase EXTREMELY easy ! (thanks again Chris)
    as to the guitar i was and am still amazed .. a USA MADE GIBSON for under 600 bucks! plays like a dream ..lowered the action a bit to fit my needs intonation was SPOT on PERFECT sweetwater does a nice Job on the guitar evaluation not a single buzz in the frets :)
    Neck was a lil thicker then the Les Paul i have owned for 20 yrs
    got used to it in a day ..
    pickups sound great thru both my marshall and my old 200 watt Peavey Special both clean and Distorted , if your thinking of buying one... all i can say is DO IT ! you wont regret it ..best $544 i ever spent on a guitar in 40 yrs ..

  • from Corinth, ME June 8, 2014Music Background:
    Live sound engineer, guitarist for 15 yrs, hobbyist.

    Great guitar!

    First of all, go buy this guitar from Sweetwater then come back and finish reading this review. That pretty much sums up how I feel about this SGJ. The price made me a little nervous but my SGJ is every bit as good as my 2004 Gibson Les Paul Limited. This guitar us lighter than a standard SG and is perfectly balanced, no neck heaviness here. Super comfy! It also plays like butter. Mine arrived right out of the box set up almost perfect. All I did was lower the action a bit for my own personal tastes and was able to do so without any extra string buzz. The fretwork is perfect and is just a pleasure to play. It also sounds as good as it plays. The new ''61 zebra pickups are fantastic. Super responsive and cut through the mix with ease. Also sounds fantastic clean or distorted, you've got hear it for yourself. This is an incredible value from Gibson. I usually don't like to order guitars over the internet but Sweetwater made it a great experience. From being able to choose my Guitar from 5 others in the gallery to the 55 point inspection, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a guitar from Sweetwater again.

  • from Kearney, NE June 6, 2014Music Background:
    17 year experienced guitarist

    Good Quality and Sound

    I am in LOVE with this guitar. Pretty much have played it daily since receiving it from Sweetwater. The guitar arrived in perfect shape and setup already to my liking and already in tune, which was amazing. The gig bag is very nice, too. Good padding inside. Only thing I changed was the strings to the gauge I use (Dunlop 10-48). I've ordered guitars before online but never had the experience I've had with Sweetwater. Customer service rocks. Next guitar I do buy will be from Sweetwater, no doubt. Oh and the 55 point evaluation is awesome. Rock on.

  • from New York, USA May 21, 2014Music Background:

    My First Gibson, My First Sweetwater Purchase

    I have been playing guitar for almost 35 years and owned many different manufactured guitars (Fender, Ibanez, Charvel) but never a Gibson. I loved the way they sounded and played but I could not pull the trigger on the ones that I wanted. That was until I saw the SGJ14. USA made, mahogany, '61 zebra pickups and nitrocellulose finish? All for $554. That was a no-brainer. If you are looking at this, just get it. The only thing I suggest is that you get it with a hard shell case. The gig bag is nice but the neck angle is so steep that I would not trust it even to lay around the house that way.

    BTW, Sweetwater Rocks!!!. I was hesitant to buy a guitar online. I always bought instruments locally. I was also concerned about getting one shipped without a hard case. Before, during and after the sale, my sales engineer confirmed everything would be perfect and it was perfect. It has been a pleasure to deal with such a customer oriented company. From now on, I will be buying all my gear from Sweetwater.

  • from Union, MO January 24, 2014Music Background:
    Retired part time musician

    What a bargin !

    I've been watching and wanting an SG for some time. When the SG14 came out I knew it was time to get one. Sweetwater and my rep Matt made it all come together for me on New Years Eve. I unboxed the Gibson at about 3 PM and used it for 5 hours that night at a gig. I can't brag enough about it, this SG does it all with ease. It felt a little raw to me when I first started playing, it felt like the fret board and fret edges where rough but by the end of the night WOW! This thing is a player, and for less than $500 . If you need a smoother feeling guitar spend $2000, if you can't afford that go with the SG14 you will be blown away plus it will break in and you will fall in love with it, just needs to be played awhile. Sweetwater can make it happen and will do back-flips to keep you satisfied. Rock On !

  • from MA, USA January 3, 2014Music Background:

    What a deal!

    I've had a Epiphone G400 for a while but didn't use it a lot. I started playing again and wanted to check out the Gibson SGs as the G400's action isn't so nice. I actually looked at the Angus SG but the nut is so narrow and the strings are so close together it just wouldn't work, plus it was kinda pricey. The Standard was great but when I checked out a new SGJ I just couldn't see enough difference for all the extra money. The SGJ plays, looks and sounds great! Love it and the colors are very nice. Only issue was I had to adjust the tailstop a tad as the 1st string was touching the bridge... no biggie. Maybe a seasoned player could tell what is missing from this guitar but I sure as heck can't! Service from Sweetwater was great too- loved the candies.

  • from Cormorant, Mn December 26, 2013Music Background:
    25 years of hobby guitar playing,,,,,yea for Southern Rock, REO, Heart, etc, etc.

    I really like this guitar!!

    I have about 25 years of hobby guitar playing. I've been looking to get a American strat, but when I saw the looks, price and financing that Sweetwater offered, I just had to do it. I did have my eye on a 2013 model been when I saw this one with the fireburst satin finish and the zebra pickups I knew this was it. It looks like an older model which appealed to this 50+ older guy. I also have a 2005 epiphone g400 and I'll use it as a comparison. The epiphone is heavier, with a glossy sticky neck and pickups that are kinda dull. The Gibson is about 6 1/2 lbs. has a satin finish that is not sticky on the neck. The tuners are better on the Gibson and the pickups sound better and sustain longer. If you can't hold up very well under a 10 pound les paul anymore, like I can't, you'll really appreciate the weight of this SGJ. The neck and intonation were right on when I got it and required very little tuning. This pickups are not the 490's typical of an SG. There are the all new 61' zebra humbuckers that I learned are alnico V's. I would like to compare this with other gibsons to see how these pickups compare. If you are considering getting the epiphone g400, I would recommend paying the extra $150 for the SGJ. These 2 guitars are NOT that much the same. Matter of fact,,,my epiphone is for sale.

  • from Clear Lake, Wi. March 28, 2014Music Background:


    Nice action. Great sound. Great guitar for the money. Only wish it had a pick guard. Had a hard time with tuning at first. Change of strings made the difference.

  • from Oceana, WV March 27, 2014Music Background:
    20 year hobbyist

    Nice, especially for the money

    This is a great guitar for $500. Plus Sweetwater blew me away with their customer service. I selected the exact SGJ I wanted from the Guitar Gallery tool on the Sweetwater website. I picked one that had no visible wood joints (as this guitar has a 3 piece body). So I ordered it, then, while browsing Guitar Gallery I saw a different one that I preferred. I emailed Sweetwater, and even though the other guitar was ready to be shipped, they swapped it out for my preferred SGJ. Awesome service. The guitar itself is a great value. An American made Gibson with great tone and great feel. The '61 pickups sound like a PAF crossed with a Seymour Duncan JB. (I only use the bridge pickup though). I modified mine with a pickguard, top hat knobs, and nickel pickup covers and it looks great. The Fireburst finish has a nice, understated but beautiful look. All in all, I love this guitar and the price is right. Please disregard the previous review that states that the nut is made of plastic. It is not. (It's a graph-tech nut...just as the specs state). Also, the fact that the Gibson logo is smaller just makes it uniform with all other Gibson logos. The 2013 SGJ has a bigger, gaudy looking logo. The 2014 logo is the same size as all other Gibson models, making it more accurate to historical specs.

  • from NY March 1, 2014Music Background:
    Producer,Recording engineer, Musician, Guitarist

    Great guitar tone

    You would never think this was an "entry level" guitar. Everything on it is superb to the build quality and factory specs to it's playability. It sounds amazing and the guitar tone variations can give you everything to beautiful sounding cleans up to searing leads and chunky rhythm tones all in that 60's era sound. I have been very impressed with this guitar and love the "satin finish" and how smooth it feels when playing. It stays in tune pretty well (after the strings stretch a bit and get settled in of course) and It has become one of my favorite guitars

  • from St. Louis Area March 21, 2014Music Background:
    Recording, Live Sound and semi pro musician

    Gibson SGJ14 - 2014, Fireburst Satin

    Great price on this update of a classic Gibson model. Only negative was sharp fret ends. I purchased a fret end file from Stew-Mac for less than $15 shipped and frets were fixed 20 minutes after I received the file.

    Love the light weight, upper fret access and the finish is thin in a cool way which lets the wood vibrate freely. Just had to do some minor setup - pickup height, action and intonation tweaks and it is now one of my fave tools!

    Service was great and I highly recommend this to players who can do basic new guitar setup - you will easily tweak yours to rock as mine does!

  • from United States February 9, 2014Music Background:
    Ex-gigging guitar player with 40+ years experience.

    One more time...

    OK... This is the last review I'll write on this nice little guitar.

    In my first review I stated that I was disappointed with the pick-ups. And I was! But I have since discovered that I might have been premature in my evaluation of said "pups". As it turns out, a change of strings made BIG difference!!! This guitar comes with Gibson 9"s, And about a week after my last review I broke a high E string. So I decided to put on the set of Ernie Ball "Regular Slinky COBALTS" I bought during the holiday sale period. BIG DIFFERENCE!!! The string change really made all the difference in how these pups performed! Now I'm very happy with the tone I'm getting from my SGJ14!!! The finish issues are what thet are... But now I really enjoy playing this nice little guitar!!! Just thought you should know...

  • from United States March 13, 2014Music Background:

    Decent Guitar for the Price

    i shouldn't be too critical of this guitar. I mean, its hard to beat an American made anything for less than $600.00. The guitar sounds good. I play a heavier gauge set and there was some issues with intonation but nothing i couldn't correct. There are some spots where the rose wood hasn't filled out the neck but I assume that will settle over time. Overall, this is a solid guitar.

  • from United States December 25, 2013Music Background:
    40 years playing. Ex-weekend warrior...

    A good entry level SG

    As I write this I have my new "Fireburst SGJ14" in my hands... I've had it for about 5 days now, and I have to be honest, I'm a little disappointed. I realize that this is an entry level SG, but I expected a little more. I have no complaints about the craftsmanship or anything physical about the guitar at all! It's exactly what I expected!!! It's pretty and it's made in the USA!!! But I have a couple things that haven't reached my expectation level... First of all to be fare I should say that I'm a Fender guy. I've been since I bought my first Strat back in '89. And this is my first Gibson. I bought it for the tonal differences between between humbuckers and single coils. And there is definitely a difference! But to be honest, I expected a little more "kick ass"!!! Everything about this guitar is great except for the pickups. They just don't match what I was expecting. I know... What do you expect when you pay $499 for a Gibson? Well frankly I expected a little more! I find the pickups to be a little on the weak side.I'll be changing them out with something a little hotter as soon as I can afford them. But with that said this is still a really nice guitar. Definitely entry level. But even with a pickup change it'll still be cheaper than buying a "SG Standard"! Other than this change I'm totally happy with this little axe!!! I don't regret my purchase one little bit!!! It just needs tweaked for my tastes....

  • from Show Low, AZ January 11, 2014Music Background:
    Ex-gigging hobbyist with 40 years playing experience.

    Addition to previous review...

    This is an addition to my previous review.

    The reason I'm writing is because I felt that you should have additional info. DUH...

    The thing I want to inform you about is the finish of this guitar. It looks really nice from the factory, but it doesn't hold up to much wear and tear. When I play my guitar at home I'm usually sittingwith the guitar resting on my lap. I've had the guitar for about 3 weeks now and the finish on the bottom edge of the guitar is wearing through to the bare wood. This doesn't effect the tone of the guitar, and some would argue that it gives the guitar "character". But after weeks I just don't think it's right. Also, I found the satin finish on the neck to be very sticky! No matter how much I cleaned it, after a few minutes of playing it just wasn't slick enough for my tastes. So I ended up removing the finish down to the bare wood. NOW it plays nice and smooth!!! But it looks like crap! I'll be looking into getting some wood dye to take it back to the original black finish without the stickiness. I honestly hated to do that to the neck, but I just couldn't handle the feel!!! I still recommend this guitar for new players. But for those of that have been playing for awhile, you might be disappointed. Just one man's opinion...

  • from olive hill, KY February 26, 2014Music Background:
    30 year guitarist

    nat as good as the 2013 model

    i have reviewed 2 of these SGJ guitars side by side. i have a 2013 model in chocolate and my best friend has the new 2014 model in fireburst. to start with the finish on the new fireburst 2014 model is beautiful! this was a huge improvement from the drab colors that i had to pick from in 2013. also the new model sports the new 61 zebra pickups, alnico 5 and they sound very pleasant and articulate. i still like my alnico 2 490's that mine have but sound is subjective. here is what turns me off about the new model.... for starters the frets! they are very tall, very abrasive! they really are "in your face" and the new model had a terrible cheap feel to it. it was very bad, so bad that you can not even compare it to the smooth polished feel of the 2013 model. also the headstock logo on the new model was much smaller than the 2013 model. it looked very cheap and the paint(?) was already diminishing away. the new model also has a WHITE PLASTIC nut!!!! that is such a shame to put that on there. it really screams "cheap". as for a recap of this review the new model has a nicer finish, thinner neck, and different brighter pickups than the 2013 model. that being said the 2013 still blows away the new 2014 in terms of quality and craftsmanship.

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