Fifty years ago, the new SG arrived to temporarily replace the Les Paul—as such, it was originally called the "Les Paul/SG"—but rather than taking the place of the legendary single-cut electric, this sleek, double-horned guitar established an iconic new design that would earn a lasting reputation for a look, voice and feel that was all its own. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the SG, Gibson USA decided it was the perfect time to produce the 50th Anniversary SG 12-String. A classic looking Heritage Cherry finish in high-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer is complemented by traditional trapezoid inlays, a mother-of-pearl Gibson logo, and a "50th SG" silkscreen on the headstock. Combining top-flight renditions of the classic woods and components that helped to make this a new standard in performance and playability right from the start, this is a great SG from whichever angle you approach it, and it offers a sweet and beefy breed of 12-string jangle—a new sonic twist for a wide range of musical genres.
A time-tested tonewood, mahogany is beloved of luthiers as perhaps the single most versatile timber for use in electric guitars. It has always formed the basis of the SG model, and it returns in fine form here in the 50th Anniversary SG 12-String’s Grade-A mahogany body, carved in the traditional asymmetrical double-cutaway style with beveled edges for improved playing comfort. On this model, however, the glued-in neck is crafted from ultra hard maple, which has plenty of strength to maintain stability against the added string tension posed by a 12-string design, while also offering outstanding tonal clarity. It is topped with a North American rosewood fingerboard and, in a clever piece of design work, carries a Corian nut with a traditional 1-11/16” width, so this rounded, comfortable neck is as easy to play as that of a standard 6-string. The familiarity extends to the Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, renditions of the classic components that have been redesigned for the 12-string electric, as well as the 12 high-quality Mini-Grover™ tuners that adorn the headstock.
To pump all this shimmer and chime to your amp of choice with a warmth and breadth rarely heard in a 12-string electric, Gibson USA equips the 50th Anniversary SG 12-String with a pair of pickups from its popular Modern Classics series. The 490R in the neck position is made with an Alnico II magnet and wound to the specs of original PAF humbuckers for smooth tones with outstanding note definition. The 498T in the bridge position carries an Alnico V magnet for added punch and lightly overwound coils for more bight and bluster from the "lead" setting. Together, governed by the traditional independent volume and tone controls and a three-way toggle switch, they provide all the sonic versatility that players have come to expect from the SG range.