November 10

Epiphone SG Special Review


Epiphone SG Special Review

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Aiming to make true the fantasies of countless music-lovers who’d love to begin their musical journey with a real SG, but don’t quite have the budget, the Epiphone SG-Special Electric Guitar is indeed a dream come true. A beautiful, sassy instrument that sounds incredible and also lets you dabble in the realm of sound effects with the high quality killpot, you really couldn’t have asked for more in the given price! Be it the suave, slim cutaway design of the gleaming Mahogany Body, or the superb, hum-free Humbucker Pickups (650R Neck Position and 700T Bridge Position), this Epiphone marvel will surely churn out your inner musical genius to the fullest.

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A word of applause is due for the authentic SG feel and sound, both of which you can rarely find in a budget guitar. But the Epiphone SG Special Guitar, with several premium features such as its patented LockTone Tune-o-matic bridge as well as the Stopbar Tail Piece makes it pretty easy to recreate the experience for you. Yet another fantastic feature is the dual-purpose Tone Control knob that also doubles up as the ‘Kill Switch’ for mind-blowing distortions once you push it, by muting all output alternately. All credit to the master 500K potentiometers adjoining the volume and tone controls, as well as the superior nickel hardware to ensure durable controls. So take your pick from the bright cherry or elegant ebony color, and get your very own affordable SG now!

Epiphone SG Special with Chrome Hardware and KillPot,...
  • Body & Neck: Mahogany; Color: Cherry Red
  • Neck Profile: SlimTaper “D”; Scale length: 24.75 Inch
  • Fingerboard: “dot” inlays; Tuners: Premium 14:1

Review and Experience

As the greatest guitarists of all times sported their best Les Paul electric guitars to woo onlookers, it was Epiphone that took the lead in manufacturing various pocket-friendly Les Paul models closely resembling the aura and features of the much-coveted instrument. Once the Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitars started selling like hot cakes, there was a strong market need identified for a slimmer version with the same powerful features. And in came the SG Electric Guitar with Les Paul-like features but a much lighter and attractive slim cutaway body, much to the delight of young learners! Please note that my review of the Epiphone SG-Special Electric Guitar in no way compares it as equivalent to the SG Classic, but analyzes the offerings in lieu of the cost.

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Beginning with the construction, the solid mahogany body has a glossy maple laminate which looks pretty good (I opted for the Ebony color). As a matter of fact, with this particular Epiphone SG Electric Guitar, you will also find an Amp Bundle and Case Bundle being sold on Amazon for about a hundred bucks more. But as compared to the packs, the sole guitar has surprisingly been selling much more. I believe the reason is that many intermediate players who already have the necessary accessories, find it quite easy to buy this inexpensive basic guitar, and spend a couple of bucks more to upgrade it by changing the pickups, strings etc. So despite the fact that this is not an exclusive ‘Made in America’ electric guitar, but one that has been mass-produced in China, it remains a popular choice for discerning buyers in terms of providing complete value for money!

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For once, I would like to admit that I’m not a fan of the hum, which is why I always prefer Les Pauls in comparison to Stratocasters. With this model, I was delighted to experience how well the 650R and 700T Humbucker Pickups worked in sync, alone and the drastic effects that you can achieve by pushing the pickup toggle switch to work as a smashing killpot. If you are a fan of heavy metal and loud, crazy distortions that are warm and well-rounded tones nevertheless, then this baby is just right for you!

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As an expert of sorts, the first thing that comes your way to scream ‘cheap knockoff’ is the quality of the die-cast tuners on the headstock. Honesty, I wasn’t expecting much with the Epiphone SG-Special, given the price and make. But to my surprise, each tuner, each knob and each switch was turning around absolutely smooth. Only when you look at the wood carefully, you will find a difference between its grains and that of higher-priced models. This does affect the sound a wee bit, by increasing the bass response. But on the whole, the intonation is great and more than what you could have asked for, in this price range.

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Finally, in the realm of overall playability, there are a lot of advantages that this SG Special model from Epiphone offers. Especially for the novice players who would like to up the ante with authentic, gritty and growly rock tones, this model is best-suited to get started with. It feels incredibly comfortable to wrap your fingers around the slim tapering neck and fingerboard. Thankfully the string tension is not too much (owing to the 24.75” scale length), so it is much easier for newcomers to grasp their basics better. Also I’d suggest you wait for a couple of weeks and pay heed to the fundamental lessons, prior to going all whacko with the KillPot. Good things come to those who wait!

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  • Simple, lightweight, portable and cost-effective electric guitar that’s highly recommended for beginners
  • KillPot Switch eases out the process of emanating special sound effects, shredding, machine gun sound effects etc without unnecessary wear and tear of the pickups or toggle switch
  • Attractive SG Design (a slimmer version of Les Paul) with glossy finish and easy playability encourages children and teens to learn better
  • Perpetually stays in tune (despite being under drop D or Standard D) with wide playability options and range such as rock, jazz, metal and distortions
  • Bolt-on neck makes it very easy to replace/repair and even pickups and strings can be changed or upgraded very easily
  • Decent Pick-guard with responsive electronics and smooth knobs for volume and intonation, along with Lifetime Limited Warranty from Epiphone


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  •  Does not include any accessories; amplifier, cable and other accessories as required, need to be bought separately
  • As opposed to more expensive Epiphone models that are manufactured in the US, this electric guitar is ‘Made in China’
  • Given the ‘budget factor’, manufacturing material like wood and metal are very basic in terms of quality
  • Not suitable for experienced, intermediate or professional guitarists


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  •  Double cutaway, solid Mahogany Body with Bolt-on Maple Neck (Slim Taper) and overall glossy finish
  • Premium Rosewood Fingerboard with 22 Frets, Dot Inlays, Scale Length of 24.75” and KillPot Switch for producing staccato effects
  • 700T Tune-o-matic bridge coupled with deluxe-sealed tuning machines and 1.68” nut width
  • Twin Open-Coil 650R Humbucker Pickups with 3-way Pickup Switch along with 1 Master Volume and 1 Master Tone with KillPot
  • Weighs 7.2 lb with estimated dimensions of 44 x 16 x 4 inches
  • Classic SG Design and Sound Features for authentic rock tones and shredding, combined with the Kill Switch for amazing effects


Considering the host of features provided vis-à-vis the total pricing, the Epiphone SG-Special stands out as a strong competitor in the zone of budget guitars. And the best part is that as you go ahead and scale the learning curve, it is fairly easy to upgrade the pickup and strings. Despite the apparent use of cost-effective construction material, the overall finish and ergonomics is fantastic. Adding all of this with the Epiphone Lifetime Warranty, this instrument is all out to sweep you off your feet!

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About the Author

Glen Campbell

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