The body of each Angus Young guitar is crafted from solid clear mahogany with an offset center seam and follows the classic lines of the SG Standard. Short for “solid guitar,” Gibson’s SGs feature a much thinner body made from solid mahogany, with pointed horns, beveled edges, no body binding and distinctive twin cutaways that offered easier access to the guitar’s higher frets. The total average weight of an Angus Young SG body and neck together, before pickups and hardware are added, is 5.65 lb., which is par for the course for excellent examples of the Gibson SG Standard, which are known for their lightness.
Mahogany is a medium-dense wood with excellent resonance and superior sustain, and it offers a rich, round, warm tone, but with plenty of high-end sheen and good midrange presence. The mahogany of the Gibson Angus Young SG also lends a percussive snap and some added clarity to the tone of the guitar. This simple but effective tone wood has yielded some of the most classic tones in the history of rock.
Neck and headstock
The neck on the Angus Young SG guitar is carved to Angus’s own requirements and models the super-slim, yet extremely comfortable profile of his own original ’68 SG Standard. It is constructed from three pieces of top-grade maple, cut using the superior “quarter sawn” orientation for improved strength and resonance, and glued to the body at a 2.5-degree angle (pitch). Maple is among the strongest woods used for electric guitar necks, and has the strength required for a thin carve as applied to this Gibson guitar.
The headstock is carefully angled at Gibson’s traditional 17 degrees, which increases pressure on the strings and helps them stay in the nut slots. An increase in string pressure also means there is no loss of string vibration between the nut and the tuners, which equals better sustain.
The Gibson Angus Young SG is equipped with an ebony fingerboard, which enhances note attack and articulation. Ebony is a very popular up-market fingerboard material, known for its strong, clear tone and is a hard, dense, dark-black exotic wood that is extremely hardwearing, and more resistant to humidity and climate and weather changes than many other fingerboard woods. This fingerboard carries a single-ply white plastic binding and sports 22 frets, all immaculately dressed and polished. A 12-inch radius offers smooth note bending capabilities and eliminates “dead” or “choked out” notes, common occurrences on fingerboards with lesser radiuses. Pearl “lightning bolt” position-marker inlays are a custom appointment requested by Angus himself.
The Angus Young SG is finished in Gibson’s custom-designed Angus Cherry finish. This fabulous signature SG has a gloss nitrocellulose finish, but is given a pre-worn look that enhances this artist’s model, and offers a smooth, comfortable playing feel. Of the full run of 250 guitars, 50 are hand-aged in-house, and 200 will receive Gibson’s proprietary VOS treatment.
The Angus Young Gibson guitar is equipped with a pair of Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates pickups, which includes a standard unit in the neck position and a bridge-position unit that has been modified for higher output. Between them, the two pickups offer outstanding output balance. Seymour Duncan’s Pearly Gates pickup were designed after close study of the original Gibson PAF pickups in Billy Gibbons’ 1959 Les Paul Standard, which are known to be slightly hotter than the average PAFs of the day, and provides an authentic vintage-humbucker tone that Angus Young seeks in his guitars. Pearly Gates are a moderate-output humbucking pickup that feature alnico II magnets, and provide a sweet, rich, warm, vocal tone in the neck position of the Angus Young SG, with more midrange punch and plenty of cutting power for leads in the bridge position. The coils of these pickups are wax potted to enable them to withstand high volume levels without succumbing to annoying feedback.
The headstock of this Angus Young Gibson SG is equipped with chromed Schaller tuners with a 12:1 gear ratio. Schallers are recognized as a leading tuner in the industry, and were frequently added as an upgrade to guitars in the ’60s and ’70s. Included on this Gibson SG guitar, the ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic provides a firm seating for the strings, allowing the player to adjust and fine-tune the intonation and string height in a matter of minutes. The Angus Young SG features nylon saddles which yield excellent coupling between strings and body. This bridge is made from zinc then plated with nickel. Every Tune-O-Matic bridge is combined with a separate “stopbar” tailpiece, which is essentially a modified version of the earlier wraparound bridge that’s designed to further enhance the connection between the strings and the body. The Angus Young SG’s stopbar tailpiece is made from Zamak then plated with chrome. All hardware on the Angus Young SG is pre-aged, either by hand (50 guitars) or by Gibson’s proprietary VOS process (200 guitars).
Each Angus Young Gibson SG comes protected in black, red-fur-lined Gibson Custom Shop hardshell case, silkscreened with the Gibson logo and the Angus Young model name.
Each Angus Young SG electric guitar comes with a leather-bound Certificate of Authenticity, which carries an Angus Young photo insert and the details of your guitar. Fifty will be signed by Angus Young himself.