Photo Credit: Chicago Music Exchange

Introduced in 1961, the Special slotted above the Junior and below the Standard. It was produced continuously for a decade, before being effectively replaced in mid-1971 by the SG Pro. However, it quickly returned in mid-1972, now featuring mini-humbuckers. It continued production until 1977 and was effectively replaced again, shortly by an unlisted model, the Standard/Special, and then by The "SG" / Firebrand until being reintroduced in 1983, now featuring full-size humbuckers for the first time. In 1992, it was redesigned along with the Standard, and was produced for the next 20 years in that style.

In 2019, the Special Faded was effectively replaced by the new Standard Tribute model.

Related Models:

1961-1965

ca. 1962 SG Special

  • 1961: $195
  • 1962-1963: $210
  • 1964: $225
  • 1965
    • February: $240
    • June: $225

Body:

  • Beveled, solid Honduran Mahogany body
  • Angled heel
  • Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish

ca. 1965 SG Special in Cherry

Neck:

  • 1-pc quartersawn Honduran Mahogany
  • Set-in construction
    • 3 degree angle
    • Hot hide glue
    • Joins body at 22nd fret
  • Brazilian Rosewood fretboard w/ dot inlays
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard (~1965)
    • 12" radius
  • Medium Open Book headstock w/ Holly veneer
    • Inlaid Mother of Pearl Gibson logo
    • 17o pitch
    • 14o pitch (1965)
  • 22 frets
  • 24 5/8" scale
  • 1 11/16" nut width (1961-1965)
  • 1 5/8" nut width (Mid 1965)
  • 1 9/16" nut width (Late 1965)

Binding:

  • Single-ply, neck
  • Fret-edge binding
  • Thinner style

Electronics:

  • Two "Soapbar" P-90s
    • AlNiCo V magnets
    • ~7.5 - 8.5K Ohms DCR
    • Black plastic covers
  • 3-way switch
  • 2 Vol, 2 Tone
    • Sprague ceramic "orange drop" capacitors

Hardware:

  • Nickel hardware
  • Chrome Hardware (1965)
  • Kluson 3-on-a-plate tuning machines
    • White plastic oval buttons
    • Exposed gears
  • 5-ply "Angel Wing" pickguard
    • Wide bevel angle
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover
    • 2-ply, wide bevel angle
    • 2-ply, standard bevel (1965)
  • Black Bell knobs w/ pointers (early 1961)
  • Black Reflector knobs w/ pointers
  • Angled aluminum wraparound bridge/tailpiece (1961-mid 1962)
  • Compensated aluminum wraparound bridge/tailpiece
    • Compensated for wound G string
    • Optional Short Maestro Vibrola (1962-1964)
    • Standard Short Maestro Vibrola (1965)

Finishes:

  • Cherry
  • TV Yellow (1961)
  • Polaris White (1962-1965)
  • Pelham Blue (Custom Order)
  • Cardinal Red (Custom Order)

1966-1971

1970 SG Special in Walnut

The Batwing pickguard design debuted in early-to-mid 1966.

  • 1966-1967: $225
  • 1968: $245
  • 1969: $265
  • 1970: $295
  • 1971: $325

Body:

  • Beveled, solid Honduran Mahogany body
  • Angled heel (1966-1968)
  • Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish

Neck:

  • 1-pc quartersawn Honduran Mahogany
  • 3-pc laminated Honduran Mahogany (mid 1969 - 1971)
  • Set-in construction
    • Titebond glue
    • Joins body at 19th fret
  • Narrow Open Book headstock (1969-1971)
    • Holly veneer (1969)
    • Resin impregnated fiberboard veneer (1970-1971)
    • Inlaid Mother of Pearl Gibson logo
      • Classic font style (1966-1969)
      • Squared font style (1970-1971)
    • "Made in U.S.A." stamp (late 1970 - 1971)
    • 14o pitch
  • 22 frets
  • 24 5/8" scale (1966-1969)
  • 24 9/16" scale (1969-1971)
  • 1 9/16" nut width

Binding:

  • Single-ply, neck
  • Fret-edge binding
  • Thinner style

Electronics:

  • Two "Soapbar" P-90s
    • Short bar AlNiCo V magnets
    • ~7.5 - 8.5K Ohms DCR
    • Black plastic covers
  • 3-way switch
  • 2 Vol, 2 Tone
    • Sprague ceramic "orange drop" capacitors

Hardware:

  • Chrome Hardware
  • Kluson 3-on-a-plate tuning machines
    • 12:1 ratio
    • White plastic oval buttons
    • Chrome oval buttons (alternative)
    • Exposed gears
  • 5-ply "Angel Wing" pickguard
    • Wide bevel angle (Early 1966)
  • 5-ply "Batwing" pickguard
    • Wide bevel angle (1966-mid 1967)
    • Medium bevel angle (Mid 1967-1970)
    • Narrow bevel & sharper points (1971)
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover
    • 2-ply black and white
  • Black Reflector knobs w/ pointers (1966 - mid 1967)
  • Black Witch Hat knobs w/ pointers (mid 1967 - 1971)
  • Compensated aluminum bridge
    • Compensated for wound G string
  • Short Maestro Vibrola

Finishes:

  • Cherry
  • Walnut (1969-1971)
  • Pelham Blue (Custom Order)
  • Cardinal Red (Custom Order)

1972-1977

Mid/Late 1972

Returns mid-way through 1972 as Professional is discontinued.

Dropped from catalogs and price lists in 1975, small numbers shipped until 1977.

Late 1972 / Early 1973

  • 1972:
    • June: $345
    • October: $365
  • 1973: $385
  • 1974-1975: $425

Body:

  • Beveled, solid Honduran Mahogany body
    • Un-beveled cutaways (mid - late 1972)
  • Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish

1974 / 1975

Neck:

  • 3-pc laminated Honduran Mahogany
  • Set-in construction
    • Joins body at 18th fret
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard
    • Dot inlays + 1st fret (Mid 1972 - early / mid 1973)
    • Small block inlays (Mid 1973 - 1975)
    • 12" radius
  • Wide Open Book headstock
    • Resin impregnated fiberboard veneer
    • Inlaid Mother of Pearl Gibson logo
    • "Made in U.S.A." stamp
    • 17o pitch
  • 22 frets
  • 24 9/16" scale
  • 1 9/16" nut width

Binding:

  • Neck (mid 1972 - early / mid 1973)
    • Double-ply, black on outside
    • Fret-edge binding
    • Thinner style
  • None (mid 1973 - 1975)

Electronics:

  • Two "Patent Number" Mini-Humbuckers
    • AlNiCo II magnets
    • ~6.2k Ohms D.C. resistance
    • Black plastic covers
  • 3-way switch
  • 2 Vol, 2 Tone

Hardware:

  • Chrome Hardware
  • Kluson individual tuning machines (1972-1975)
    • 12:1 ratio
    • Metal Keystone buttons
  • Schaller individual tuning machines (1976-1977)
    • 12:1 ratio
    • Kluson-style covers
    • "Gibson" & Flower engraving
  • 5-ply pseudo-"Angel Wing" pickguard (mid - late 1972)
  • "Angel Wing" pickguard, single-ply
  • Single-ply bell shaped truss rod cover
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover (1976-1977)
    • 2-ply black & white
    • "S-G" engraving
  • Black Witch hat knobs (late 1972)
  • Black Speed knobs
  • Schaller "Harmonica" Tune-O-Matic bridge (mid 1972 - late 1973)
  • ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • Aluminum stopbar tailpiece
  • Optional Bigsby vibrola (1972 - late 1973)

Finishes:

  • Cherry
  • Walnut
  • Natural
  • White (Custom order)

1982-1991

1983 SG Special in Ebony

This version of the SG Special was originally designed as an Epiphone model built by Gibson in Kalamazoo as part of their "America Series" in 1982. Due to slow sales, the model was rebranded as a Gibson before the end of that year, and was not actually referred to as an SG, but simply the "Gibson Special". On some early examples, the outline of an Epiphone logo can be seen beneath the Gibson logo. Production was also switched over to Nashville around the same time as the name change. In 1983, the knobs were rearranged for better ergonomics. The one-pickup version was discontinued and the model was renamed as the "SG Special" in 1985. Production ended mid-way through 1991.

  • 1983:
    • $399 MSRP (Special I, Silver)
    • $449 MSRP (Special II, Silver)
    • $484 MSRP (Special I, Optional finishes)
    • $534 MSRP (Special II, Optional finishes)
  • 1984:
    • $499 MSRP (Special I, EB, AW, Red)
    • $549 MSRP (Special II, EB, AW, Red)
    • $584 MSRP (Special I, Optional finishes)
    • $634 MSRP (Special II, Optional finishes)
  • 1985: $549 MSRP
  • 1987
    • $569 MSRP
    • $619 MSRP (Alpine White w/ Gold HW)
    • $709 MSRP (w/ Kahler SuperTune)
    • $759 MSRP (AW w/ GH & Kahler)

Body:

  • Beveled, solid Alder or Poplar body (1982-1985)
  • Beveled, solid Mahogany body (1986-1991)
  • Nitrocellulose lacquer finish

Neck:

  • 3-pc laminated Maple
  • Rounded '50s profile
  • Set-in construction
    • Joins body at 18th fret
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard w/ dot inlays (1982-1985)
  • Ebony fretboard w/ dot inlays (1986-1991)
    • 12" radius
  • Narrow Open Book headstock
    • Gibson logo decal
      • Classic font style
    • "Made in U.S.A." stamp
    • 17o pitch
  • 22 frets
  • 24 9/16" scale
  • 1 11/16" nut width

1988 Special in Ferrari Red

Electronics:

  • Two Shaw Humbuckers (1983 - 1986 Special II)
  • One Shaw Humbucker (1983 - 1984 Special I)
    • AlNiCo V magnets
    • ~7.5 (neck), 8.5k (bridge) Ohms D.C. resistance
  • Two "The Original" humbuckers (1987-1989)
    • AlNiCo V magnets
    • 7-9k (neck), 13-15k (bridge) Ohms D.C. resistance
    • AKA "HB-R/L" & "Circuit Board" pickups
  • Two 490R/490T humbuckers (1990-1991)
    • AlNiCo II magnets
    • ~7.25k Ohms D.C. resistance
  • 3-way switch & 2 Vol, 1 Tone
  • 1 Vol, 1 Tone (Special I)
  • CTS 300k pots

Hardware:

  • Chrome hardware
  • Unbranded Kluson-style tuning machines (1982 - mid 1983)
    • Double ring Keystone buttons
    • Push-in bushings
    • Likely made by Gotoh
  • Schaller "Gibson Deluxe" tuning machines (mid 1983 - 1991)
    • 14:1 ratio
    • Single ring Keystone buttons
    • Screw-in bushings

      Alpine White w/ Gold hardware

  • Schaller M6 tuning machines (Sporadic use)
    • 12:1 ratio
    • Metal Keystone buttons
    • "Gibson" engraved
  • Grover Rotomatic tuning machines (Sporadic use)
    • 14:1 ratio
    • Metal Keystone buttons
    • Manufactured by Ping
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover, double-ply
    • Silk-screened "Special" script (1983-1985)
      • "Made by Gibson" (late 1982 / early 1983)

        Pro-Tune tremolo

    • Silk-screened "SG" (1986-1991)
  • Black Bell knobs
  • Schaller 455 combination bridge/tailpiece
    • (1983 - late 1985)
  • Zamak ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge
    • (Late 1985 - 1989)
    • Stopbar tailpiece
  • Optional Schaller Pro-Tune tremolo (1984)
    • $99 upcharge
    • GraphTech nut included
  • Optional Kahler Flyer tremolo (1985)
    • Locking nut
  • Optional Floyd Rose tremolo (1986)

    1985 Special in Pewter w/ Kahler Flyer

    • Black chrome hardware
  • Optional Kahler SuperTune tremolo (1983-1991)
    • Locking nut
    • "Gibson" branded
    • Black chrome hardware
    • Grover Rotomatic tuners

Finishes:

  • Ebony
  • Ivory
  • Silver
  • Red
  • Antique Sunburst
  • Vintage Cherry Sunburst
  • Alpine White
  • Alpine White w/ Gold hardware (1987-1991)
  • Ferrari Red
  • TV Yellow
  • Pewter (Often appears greenish)
  • Panther Pink

1991-2012

1993 SG Special in Ferrari Red

In 2002, the SG Special Faded was introduced, featuring an open-pore (no grain filler), stained finish with matte sealer and an Ebony fretboard with Crescent Moon inlays. By 2003, the inlays were changed to dots and by 2004, the fretboard became Rosewood. All other specifications are the same as the Special.

  • 1995: $589 Street (est.)
  • 1996:
    • $670 Street (EB, FR est.)
    • $735 Street (AW est.)
  • 2004-2005: $949 Street
    • $649 Street (Faded)
  • 2006: $949 Street
    • $689 Street (Faded)
    • $579 Street (Faded, sale)
  • 2007: $949 Street
    • $579 Street (Faded)
  • 2008: $1,044 - $1,109 Street
    • $629 Street (Faded)
  • 2009: $999 - $1,249 Street
    • $899 Street (Sam Ash Clearance)
    • $699 Street (Faded)
  • 2010-2012: $999 Street
    • $699 Street (Faded)

Body:

  • Beveled, solid Mahogany body
  • Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish
  • Satin nitrocellulose lacquer over stain (Faded)
    • No grain filler (open pores)

2002 Faded Special in Worn Cherry

Neck:

  • 1-pc quartersawn Mahogany
  • '50s Rounded profile (.830" / .970")
  • Set-in construction
    • Franklin Titebond 50 glue
    • Joins body at 19th fret
  • Ebony fretboard w/ dot inlays (1991-1994)
    • Alpine White only (1995-1997)
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard w/ dot inlays (1995-2011)
  • Ebony fretboard
    • Crescent Moon inlays (2002 Faded)
    • Dot inlays (2003 Faded, 2004 Worn Yellow)
  • Granadillo fretboard w/ dot inlays (2012 Gloss)
  • Baked Maple fretboard w/ dot inlays (2012 Faded)
  • 12" fretboard radius
  • Narrow Open Book headstock
    • Gibson logo decal
    • "Made in U.S.A." stamp
    • 17o pitch
  • 22 frets
  • 24 9/16" scale
  • Corian nut (2009-2012)
  • 1 11/16" nut width

Electronics:

  • Two uncovered 490R/490T humbuckers
    • AlNiCo II magnets
    • ~7.6k (neck) & ~8.1k (bridge) Ohms D.C. resistance
  • 3-way switch
  • 2 Vol, 2 Tone
    • CTS 300k volume, linear
    • CTS 500k tone, audio
    • "Quick-Connect" circuit board (2008-2012)

Blue/Teal "Flip-Flop"

Hardware:

Pewter

  • Chrome Hardware
  • Schaller "Gibson Deluxe" tuning machines (1991-1998)
    • 14:1 ratio
    • Green Keystone buttons
  • Grover "Gibson Deluxe" tuning machines (1998-2012)
    • 14:1 ratio
    • Green Keystone buttons
    • Manufactured by Ping
  • 5-ply "Batwing" pickguard
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover
    • Double-ply b/w (1991-2001)
    • Single-ply black (2002-2012)
  • Black Reflector knobs
  • Zamak ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge (1991-2002)
  • Zamak Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge (2003-2012)
  • Zamak stopbar tailpiece

Worn Yellow

Finishes:

  • Ebony
  • Alpine White (1991-1997)
  • Ferrari Red (1991-2000)
  • Wine Red (2001-2012)
  • Worn Cherry (Faded)
  • Worn Brown (Faded)

Limited Run Finishes:

  • Cream
    • Gold hardware
    • Ebony fretboard
    • 1991-2000
  • TV Yellow (1991-1992, 1997)
  • Walnut (1993)
  • Metallic Teal (1993)
    • Gold hardware
    • Ebony fretboard
    • Pearloid pickguard
    • "Custom Shop Edition" decal

      Translucent Blue, 1995

  • Cream / Ferrari Red / Translucent Blue
    • 1994-1997
    • Gold hardware
    • Ebony fretboard (Cream only)
    • Pearloid pickguard and truss rod cover
    • "Limited Edition" decal
  • Ivory (1997)
    • Ebony fretboard
  • Ebony Stain (1998-2000)
  • Plum (1998-2000)
  • Metallic Teal (2000)
    • Gold hardware
    • Pearloid pickguard

      Blue Mist

  • Army Green (2001)
  • Pewter (2001-2002)
  • Blue/Teal "Flip-Flop" (2001-2004)
    • Available left-handed
  • Sapphire Blue (2004)
  • Worn Yellow (Faded, 2004-2007)
  • Worn Ebony (Faded, 2004, 2009)
  • Blue Mist
    • Ebony fretboard
    • Small dot inlays at 5th & 12th frets
    • Color-matched headstock
    • 2008-2009

Historic 1961 Les Paul / SG Special Reissue (2000 - 2013)

Faded Cherry

These models are produced in smaller numbers (less than 1,000 per year) by the Custom Shop, to vintage-accurate specs.

Originally, it was offered with aged hardware as an option. In 2006, they introduced the "V.O.S." (Vintage Original Spec) treatment with lightly dulled finish and hardware as the standard finish, with a gloss finish being optional.

Note: most opaque finishes have the sides of the neck binding painted over, with only the marker dots being masked off.

  • 2007-2008:
    • $2,599 Street (Faded Cherry, VOS)
    • $2,699 Street (T.V. Yellow & Classic White, VOS)
  • 2009-2013:
    • $2,799 Street (Faded Cherry, VOS)
    • $2,999 Street (T.V. Yellow & Classic White, VOS)

Body:

  • Solid Honduran Mahogany body
  • One-piece construction
  • Historic deep beveling
  • Angled heel
  • Tapered horn tips
  • Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish
    • Aniline dye (Faded Cherry, 2013)

Neck:

  • 1-pc quartersawn Honduran Mahogany
  • Slim C profile (.810 / .890")
  • Set-in construction
    • Hot hide glue (2013)
    • Unsheathed truss rod (2013)
    • Joins body at 22nd fret
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard
    • Pearloid dot inlays
    • 12" radius

      TV Yellow

  • Medium Open Book headstock
    • Holly veneer
    • Inlaid Mother of Pearl Gibson logo
    • 17o pitch
  • 22 frets
    • Leveled by Plek machine (2006-2013)
  • 24 5/8" scale
  • Nylon nut
    • Cut by Plek machine (2006-2013)
  • 1 11/16" nut width

    Pelham Blue

Binding:

  • Single-ply, neck
  • Fret-edge binding
  • Thinner style
  • Amber tint
  • Painted over sides (Opaque finishes only)

Ebony

Electronics:

  • Two "Soapbar" P-90s
    • AlNiCo V magnets
    • ~8K Ohms DCR
    • Black plastic covers
  • 3-way switch
  • 2 Vol, 2 Tone

Hardware:

  • Nickel hardware
  • Gotoh Kluson-reissue tuning machines
    • 12:1 ratio
    • 3-on-a-plate style
    • White plastic oval buttons
  • 5-ply "Angel Wing" pickguard
    • Wide bevel angle
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover
    • 2-ply, wide bevel angle
  • Black Reflector knobs w/ pointers (Faded Cherry)
  • Black Bell knobs w/ pointers
  • Compensated aluminum wraparound bridge/tailpiece
  • Optional short Maestro vibrola

TV White

Finishes:

  • Faded Cherry
  • TV Yellow
  • Classic White
  • Custom order:

    Cardinal Red w/ Batwing

    • Pelham Blue
    • TV White
    • Silverburst
    • Ebony

Limited Runs:

  • Ebony
    • 2000
    • Short Maestro tremolo
    • Grover Rotomatics
    • Gold hardware
    • $4,159 MSRP
    • $2,495 Street (Est.)
  • Mint Green
    • 2001
    • Batwing pickguard
    • Short Maestro tremolo
  • Cardinal Red
    • 2001
    • Batwing pickguard
    • Short Maestro tremolo
  • Ebony
    • 2006
  • Sparkle Finishes
    • 2008
    • Silver
    • Green
  • Burgundy Crackle Burst
    • 2009
    • "Les Paul" script silkscreen
  • Frost Blue
    • 2010
  • Silver Fox
    • 2013
    • Japanese Market

2014

Butterscotch

  • $979 Street

Body:

  • Beveled, solid Mahogany body
    • Deeper cutaway beveling than previous model
  • Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish
    • "Vintage Gloss" satin sheen

Neck:

  • 1-pc Maple
  • Slim Taper profile
  • Set-in construction
    • Franklin Titebond 50 glue
    • Joins body at 19th fret
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard
    • Acrylic dot inlays
    • 120th Anniversary banner inlay at 12th fret
    • 12" radius
  • Narrow Open Book headstock
    • Gibson logo decal
    • Silkscreened Crown
    • "Made in U.S.A." stamp
    • 17o pitch
  • 24 frets
  • 24 9/16" scale
  • TekToid self-lubricating nut
  • 1 11/16" nut width

Walnut

Electronics:

  • Two 490R/490T humbuckers
    • AlNiCo II magnets
    • 7.4k (neck) & 8.1k (bridge) Ohms D.C.R.
    • Chrome covers
  • 3-way switch
  • 2 Vol, 2 Tone
    • Push/Pull coil tap
    • "Quick-Connect" circuit board

Desert Burst

Hardware:

  • Chrome Hardware
  • Grover "Gibson Deluxe" tuning machines
    • 14:1 ratio
    • Green Keystone buttons
    • Manufactured by Ping
  • TonePros "Kluson Deluxe" tuning machines
    • 15:1 ratio
    • Green Keystone buttons
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover, single-ply
  • Black "notched" Speed knobs
  • Zamak Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece

Finishes:

  • Butterscotch
  • Heritage Cherry
  • Desert Burst
  • Ebony
  • Fireburst
  • Walnut

2015

Translucent Ebony

This model would mark the first time Mother of Pearl was used for the fret marker inlays on an SG Special.

  • $1,079 Street
  • $971 Street (July Price Drop)
  • $849 Street (Clearance: Firebirst, Heritage Cherry)
  • $799-$917 Street (Clearance: Trans Ebony)

Body:

  • Beveled, solid Mahogany body
    • Shallower cutaway beveling returns
  • Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish

Neck:

  • 1-pc quartersawn Mahogany
  • Slim taper profile
  • Set-in construction
    • 3.5 degree angle
    • Franklin Titebond 50 glue
    • Joins body at 19th fret
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard
    • Mother of Pearl dot inlays
    • Increased fretboard thickness
    • Buffed and oiled fretboard
    • 12" radius
  • Narrow Open Book headstock
    • Gibson logo decal
    • Silkscreened "Les Paul 100" signature
    • Les Paul hologram
    • "Made in U.S.A." stamp
    • 17o pitch
  • 24 frets
    • Lower fret height
  • 24 9/16" scale
  • Adjustable brass zero-fret nut
  • 1 13/16" nut width

Heritage Cherry

Electronics:

  • Two '61 Zebra Humbuckers
    • AlNiCo V magnets
    • 7.74k ohms D.C.R.
  • 3-way switch
  • 2 Vol, 2 Tone
    • 500k non-linear
    • "Quick-Connect" circuit board

Hardware:

  • Satin Nickel Hardware
  • G-Force automatic tuning system
    • 40:1 ratio
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover, double-ply
  • Black Bell knobs
  • Poly-carbonate control cover
    • Prevents electrostatic discharge
  • Zamak Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • Zamak stopbar tailpiece

Finishes:

  • Translucent Ebony
  • Heritage Cherry
  • Fireburst

2016-2017 Special T

2016

  • 2016: $739
  • 2017: $999

Body:

  • Beveled, solid Mahogany body
  • Satin nitrocellulose lacquer finish
    • No grain filler (open pores)

Neck:

  • 1-pc Maple (2016)
  • 1-pc quartersawn Mahogany (2017)
  • 70's profile w/ volute (2016)
    • .800" / .960"
  • 1961 Slim Taper D profile (2017)
    • .800" / .885"
  • Set-in construction
    • Franklin Titebond 50 glue
    • Joins body at 19th fret
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard
    • Acrylic small block inlays
    • Increased fretboard thickness
    • 12" radius
  • Open Book headstock
    • Wide (2016)
    • Narrow (2017)
    • Gibson logo decal
    • Silkscreened Crown (2017)
    • "Made in U.S.A." stamp
    • 17o pitch
  • 22 frets (2016)
  • 24 frets (2017)
  • 24 9/16" scale
  • TekToid self-lubricating nut
  • 1 11/16" nut width

2017

Electronics:

  • Two 495R/495T "Tribute" Mini-Humbuckers (2016)
    • AlNiCo II magnets
    • 17k (neck), 26k (bridge) Ohms D.C. resistance
    • Chrome covers
  • Two 490R/490T humbuckers (2017)
    • AlNiCo II magnets
    • 7.8k Ohms D.C. resistance
    • Nickel covers
  • 3-way switch
  • 2 Vol, 2 Tone
    • 500K audio taper
    • "Quick-Connect" circuit board

Hardware:

  • Chrome Hardware (2016)
  • Nickel hardware (2017)
  • TonePros "Kluson Deluxe" tuning machines (2016, sporadic)
    • 15:1 ratio
    • Green Keystone buttons
  • Grover "Gibson Deluxe" tuning machines (2016-2017)
    • 14:1 ratio
    • Green Keystone buttons
    • Manufactured by Ping
  • 1-ply "Angel Wing" pickguard
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover
    • Double-ply b/w
    • "Special" stamping (2017)
  • Gold Reflector knobs
  • Black Reflector knobs (Cherry finish)
  • Switch ring delete (2017)
  • SS-infused poly-carbonate control cover
    • Prevents electrostatic discharge
  • Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge
    • Zamak (2016)
    • Aluminum (2017)
  • Stopbar tailpiece
    • Zamak (2016)
    • Aluminum (2017)

Finishes:

  • Satin Ebony (2016 only)
  • Satin Cherry
  • Satin Vintage Sunburst

2016-2017 Special HP

Satin Ebony (2016)

This model uses the beveling and control placement from the '61 Reissue.

  • 2016: $1089 Street
  • 2017: $1169 Street

Body:

  • Beveled, solid Mahogany body
    • '61 Reissue beveling
  • Angled heel
  • Satin nitrocellulose lacquer finish

2016 "Fast Access" Heel

Neck:

  • 1-pc Maple (2016)
  • 1-pc quartersawn Mahogany (2017)
  • 70's profile w/ volute (2016)
    • .800" / .960"
  • 1961 Slim Taper D profile (2017)
    • .800" / .885"
  • Set-in construction
    • Franklin Titebond 50 glue
    • Smaller "Fast Access" heel
    • Joins body at 22nd fret
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard
    • Mother of Pearl small block inlays
    • Increased fretboard thickness
    • 12" radius
  • Open Book headstock
    • Wide (2016)
    • Narrow (2017)
    • Gibson logo decal
    • Silkscreened Crown (2017)
    • "Made in U.S.A." stamp
    • 17o pitch
  • 22 frets (2016)
  • 24 frets (2017)
    • Leveled by Plek machine
  • 24 9/16" scale
  • Titanium zero-fret adjustable nut
  • 1 12/16" nut width

Satin Vintage Sunburst (2017)

Electronics:

  • Two 495R/495T "Tribute" Mini-Humbuckers (2016)
    • AlNiCo II magnets
    • 17k (neck), 26k (bridge) Ohms D.C. resistance
    • Chrome covers
  • Two 490R/498T humbuckers (2017)
    • AlNiCo II (neck), V (bridge) magnets
    • 7.8k (neck), 8.5k (bridge) Ohms D.C. resistance
    • Chrome covers & mounting rings
  • 3-way switch
  • 2 Vol, 2 Tone
    • 500K audio taper
    • "Quick-Connect" circuit board
  • Multi-contact output jack

Hardware:

  • Chrome Hardware
  • 2nd generation G-Force tuning system
    • 40:1 ratio
    • Chrome "Keystone" buttons
  • 1-ply "Angel Wing" pickguard
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover (2016)
    • Double-ply b/w
  • Chrome plated bell shaped truss rod cover (2017)
    • "Special / High Performance" stamping
  • Gold "notched" Speed knobs (2016)
  • Black "notched" Speed knobs (2016 Cherry finish)
  • Chrome plated, knurled "UFO" knobs (2017)
  • Switch ring delete (2017)
  • SS-infused poly-carbonate control cover
    • Prevents electrostatic discharge
  • Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge
    • Titanium saddles
    • Locking thumbwheels (2017)
    • Zamak (2016)
    • Aluminum (2017)
  • Zamak stopbar tailpiece (2016)
  • Locking Aluminum stopbar tailpiece (2017)

Finishes:

  • Satin Ebony (2016)
  • Satin Cherry
  • Satin Vintage Sunburst

2016-2017 Faded T

Worn Cherry

  • 2016: $739 Street
  • 2017: $899 Street

Body:

  • Beveled, solid Mahogany body
  • Satin nitrocellulose lacquer over stain
    • No grain filler (open pores)

Neck:

  • 1-pc quartersawn Mahogany
  • '50s Rounded profile (2016)
    • .810" / .970"
  • 1961 Slim Taper D profile (2017)
    • .800" / .875"
  • Set-in construction
    • Franklin Titebond 50 glue
    • 4.25 degree pitch
    • Joins body at 19th fret
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard
    • Acrylic dot inlays
    • Increased fretboard thickness
    • 12" radius
  • Narrow Open Book headstock
    • Gibson logo decal
    • "Made in U.S.A." stamp
    • 17o pitch
  • 22 frets
  • 24 9/16" scale
  • TekToid self-lubricating nut
  • 1 11/16" nut width

Worn Brown (2016)

Electronics:

  • Two uncovered 490R/490T humbuckers
    • AlNiCo II magnets
    • 7.4k (neck) & 8.1k (bridge) Ohms D.C. resistance
  • 3-way switch
  • 2 Vol, 2 Tone
    • 500K audio taper

2017 Finishes

Hardware:

  • Chrome Hardware (2016)
  • Nickel hardware (2017)
  • Grover "Gibson Deluxe" tuning machines
    • 14:1 ratio
    • Green Keystone buttons
    • Manufactured by Ping
  • 5-ply "Batwing" pickguard
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover
    • Double-ply b/w (2016)
    • Single-ply black (2017)
  • Black Bell knobs
  • Switch ring un-mounted (2017)
  • SS-infused poly-carbonate control cover
    • Prevents electrostatic discharge
  • Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge
    • Zamak (2016)
    • Aluminum (2017)
  • Stopbar tailpiece
    • Zamak (2016)
    • Aluminum (2017)

Finishes:

  • Worn Cherry
  • Worn Brown

2016-2017 Faded HP

Worn Brown (2017)

This model uses the beveling and control placement from the '61 Reissue.

  • 2016: $1089 Street
  • 2017: $1079 Street

Body:

  • Beveled, solid Mahogany body
    • '61 Reissue beveling
  • Angled heel
  • Satin nitrocellulose lacquer over stain
    • No grain filler (open pores)

Neck:

  • 1-pc quartersawn Mahogany
  • Rounded '50s profile (2016)
  • Slim taper profile (2017)
  • Set-in construction
    • Franklin Titebond 50 glue
    • Smaller "Fast Access" heel
    • Joins body at 22nd fret
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard
    • Mother of Pearl dot inlays
    • Increased fretboard thickness
    • 12" radius
  • Narrow Open Book headstock
    • Gibson logo decal
    • "Made in U.S.A." stamp
    • 17o pitch
  • 22 frets
    • Leveled by Plek machine
  • 24 9/16" scale
  • Titanium zero-fret adjustable nut
  • 1 12/16" nut width

2017 "Fast Access" Heel

Electronics:

Worn Cherry (2017)

  • Two 490R/490T humbuckers
    • AlNiCo II magnets
    • 7.4k (neck) & 8.1k (bridge) Ohms D.C. resistance
    • Uncovered (2016)
    • Chrome covers (2017)
  • 3-way switch
  • 2 Vol, 2 Tone
  • Multi-contact output jack

Worn Brown (2016)

Hardware:

  • Chrome Hardware
  • 2nd generation G-Force tuning system
    • 40:1 ratio
    • Chrome "Keystone" buttons
  • 5-ply "Batwing" pickguard
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover (2016)
    • Single-ply black
  • Chrome plated bell shaped truss rod cover (2017)
    • "High Performance" stamping
  • Black "notched" speed knobs (2016)
  • Chrome plated, knurled "UFO" knobs (2017)
  • Switch ring delete (2017)
  • SS-infused poly-carbonate control cover
    • Prevents electrostatic discharge
  • Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge
    • Titanium saddles
    • Locking thumbwheels (2017)
    • Zamak (2016)
    • Aluminum (2017)
  • Zamak stopbar tailpiece (2016)
  • Locking Aluminum stopbar tailpiece (2017)

Finishes:

  • Worn Cherry
  • Worn Brown

2018

Natural Satin

  • $1,099 Street
  • $699 Street (2019 Guitar Center blowout)
  • $549 Street (Musician's Friend Stupid Deal of the Day, 2019)

Body:

  • Beveled, solid Mahogany body
  • Satin nitrocellulose lacquer finish

Neck:

  • 1-pc quartersawn Mahogany
  • Slim taper profile
  • Set-in construction
    • Franklin Titebond 50 glue
    • Joins body at 19th fret
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard
    • Acrylic small block inlays
    • 12" radius
  • Narrow Open Book headstock
    • Gibson logo decal
    • Silkscreened Crown
    • "Made in U.S.A." stamp
    • 17o pitch
  • 24 medium frets
  • 24 9/16" scale
  • TekToid self-lubricating nut
  • 1 11/16" nut width

Electronics:

  • Two 495R/495T Mini-Humbuckers
    • Ceramic magnets
    • 17k (neck), 26k (bridge) Ohms D.C. resistance
    • Nickel covers
  • 3-way switch
  • 2 Vol, 2 Tone

Satin Cherry

Hardware:

  • Nickel hardware
  • Grover "Gibson Deluxe" tuning machines
    • 14:1 ratio
    • Green Keystone buttons
    • Manufactured by Ping
  • 1-ply "Angel Wing" pickguard
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover
    • Double-ply b/w
    • "Special" stamping
  • Black Reflector knobs
  • Switch ring delete
  • Aluminum Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • Aluminum stopbar tailpiece

Finishes:

  • Natural Satin
  • Satin Cherry

2018 Faded

2018 faded.jpg

  • $989 Street
  • $799 Street (2019 clearance)

Body:

  • Beveled, solid Mahogany body
  • Satin nitrocellulose lacquer over stain
    • No grain filler (open pores)

Neck:

  • 1-pc Maple
  • Slim taper profile
  • Set-in construction
    • Franklin Titebond 50 glue
    • Joins body at 19th fret
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard
    • Acrylic dot inlays
    • 12" radius
  • Narrow Open Book headstock
    • Gibson logo decal
    • "Made in U.S.A." stamp
    • 17o pitch
  • 22 medium frets
  • 24 9/16" scale
  • TekToid self-lubricating nut
  • 1 11/16" nut width

Electronics:

  • Two uncovered 490R/490T humbuckers
    • AlNiCo II magnets
    • 7.4k (neck) & 8.1k (bridge) Ohms D.C. resistance
  • 3-way switch
  • 2 Vol, 2 Tone
    • "Quick Connect" circuit board

2018 faded 2.jpg

Hardware:

  • Nickel hardware
  • Grover "Gibson Deluxe" tuning machines
    • 14:1 ratio
    • Green Keystone buttons
    • Manufactured by Ping
  • 4-ply "Batwing" pickguard
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover
    • Single-ply black
  • Black Bell knobs
  • Switch ring delete
  • Aluminum Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • Aluminum stopbar tailpiece

Finishes:

  • Worn Bourbon

2019 - Present

Pelham Blue

This model uses the beveling and control placement from the '61 Reissue.

  • $1,499 Street
  • $1,199 Street (Gibson demo model)

Body:

  • Beveled, solid Honduran Mahogany body
    • '61 Reissue beveling
  • Angled heel
  • Nitrocellulose lacquer finish

Neck:

  • 1-pc quartersawn Honduran Mahogany
  • Slim Taper profile
  • Set-in construction
    • '61 style heel
    • Joins body at 22nd fret
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard
    • Acrylic dot inlays
    • 12" radius
    • Grade A Rosewood
  • Narrow Open Book headstock
    • Gibson logo decal
    • 17o pitch
  • 22 medium-jumbo frets
    • Leveled by Plek machine
  • Vintage Sparkling Burgundy

    24 5/8" scale
  • Graph Tech nut
  • 1 11/16" nut width
  • Dual-action trussrod

Binding:

  • Single-ply, neck
  • Thicker style
  • Cream color
  • Fret-edge binding
  • Rolled edges

Electronics:

  • Two "Soapbar" P-90s
    • AlNiCo V magnets
    • ~7-8K Ohms DCR
    • Black plastic covers
    • Bridge pickup closer to bridge than Historic
  • 3-way switch
  • 2 Vol, 2 Tone
    • Orange Drop caps

Hardware:

  • Chrome hardware
  • Grover "Gibson Deluxe" tuning machines
    • 14:1 ratio
    • White plastic oval buttons
    • Manufactured by Ping
  • 5-ply "Angel Wing" pickguard
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover
    • 2-ply b/w

      Inverness Green

  • Black Reflector knobs
  • Compensated wraparound bridge/tailpiece

Finishes:

  • Faded Pelham Blue 
  • Vintage Sparkling Burgundy 

Limited Runs:

  • Inverness Green (2019)
    • AMS/Zzounds exclusive
    • $1,399 Street

Historic 1963 SG Special Reissue (2020 - Present)

20 spc hist.png

  • $3,299 Street
  • $4,499 Street (Murphy Lab Ultra Light Aged, Classic White)

Body:

  • Solid Honduran Mahogany body
  • One-piece construction
  • Historic deep beveling
  • Angled heel
  • Tapered horn tips
  • Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish
    • VOS patina
    • Aniline dye

Neck:

  • 1-pc quartersawn Honduran Mahogany
  • Medium C profile (.845"/.930")
  • Set-in construction
    • Hot hide glue
    • Unsheathed truss rod
    • Joins body at 22nd fret
  • Indian Rosewood fretboard
    • Pearloid dot inlays
    • 12" radius
  • Medium Open Book headstock
    • Holly veneer
    • Inlaid Mother of Pearl Gibson logo
    • 17o pitch
  • 22 medium-jumbo frets
    • Leveled by Plek machine
  • 24 5/8" scale
  • Nylon nut
    • Cut by Plek machine
  • 1 11/16" nut width

Murphy Lab Ultra Light Aged Classic White

Binding:

  • Single-ply, neck
  • Amber tint
  • Fret-edge binding
  • Thinner style

Electronics:

  • Two "Soapbar" P-90s
    • AlNiCo V magnets
    • ~8K Ohms DCR
    • Black plastic covers
  • 3-way Switchcraft switch
  • 2 Vol, 2 Tone
    • CTS 500k pots
    • Hand-wired

Hardware:

  • Nickel hardware
    • VOS patina
  • Gotoh Kluson-reissue 3-on-a-plate tuning machines
    • 12:1 ratio
    • White plastic oval buttons
    • Single line
  • 5-ply "Angel Wing" pickguard
    • Wide bevel angle
      20 spc pelham.jpg
  • Bell shaped truss rod cover
    • 2-ply, wide bevel angle
  • Black Reflector knobs w/ pointers
  • Compensated Aluminum wraparound bridge/tailpiece

Finishes:

  • Cherry Red
  • Classic White

Limited Runs:

  • Bright TV Yellow
    • 2020
    • Japanese market exclusive "Pilot Run"
    • Bolivian Rosewood fretboard
    • Hand-written serial
    • $4,499 Street

 Made 2 Measure (2020 - Present)

Photo Credit: MusicZoo

Since 2020, as a part of Gibson's "Made 2 Measure" program, the Special can now be special ordered with almost any option desired (even with a Batwing pickguard) and different levels of aging.

Dealers can also order one-offs through this program.

Basic specs remain the same as the standard production 1963 SG Special Reissue, except of course where changes are dictated by the purchaser.

Note: Satin and Fog finishes tend to have binding and inlays painted over with a translucent coat of the body color. Opaque finishes tend to have the neck binding painted over.

  • $4,499 Street (Pelham Blue)
  • $4,999 Street (Pictured TV Yellow / 3 P-90s)
  • $5,199 Street (Pictured Cherry / 3 HBs / Grovers)
  • $6,399 Street (Shell Pink / Heavy Aged)

Finishes:

  • Cherry Red
  • Faded Cherry
  • Ebony
  • Alpine White
  • Vintage Sunburst
  • Cardinal Red
  • Wine Red
  • Natural
  • Antique Gold
  • Candy Apple Red
  • Candy Apple Blue
  • Verdoro Green
  • Kerry Green
  • Pelham Blue
  • Inverness Green
  • Heather Poly
  • Silverburst
  • Gold Mist Poly
  • Red Mist Satin
  • Sparkle
  • Satin Gray Fog
  • Satin Blue Burst Mist
  • Frost Blue
  • Coral Pink
  • Shell Pink
  • Brunswick Blue
  • Oxblood

Other Variants

Click a model name for a link to its page:

Standard/Special (1978)

77 std special 2 2.jpg

Special 400 (1985-1987)

1986 sgspecial400 2.jpg

Generation Swine Special (1997)

97 swine special-0.jpg

Special Voodoo (2002-2005, 2019)

2004 voodoo 3.jpg

Special Platinum (2003-2005)

2003 platinum2.jpg

Special II EMG (2006)

Special emg 4.png

Special Swamp Ash (2006)

2006 swamp ash.png

Special New Century (2006-2008)

2008 new century 3.jpg

'67 Special Reissue (2007)

67 special reissue 5.jpg

Faded 3-Pickup (2007)

Faded 3pu 2.jpg

Special White Jazz Pickguard (2007)

Jazz.png

Special 3 (2007)

07 sg 3 FB-0.png

Special EMG (2007)

Special emg.png

Robot Special (2008)

Robot purp 2.jpg

Special Raw Power (2009)

Raw power.jpg

Special '60s Tribute (2011)

60s tribute.jpg

Special '70s Tribute (2012)

70s trib.jpg

Special HH (2012)

Special HH.jpg

Special Limited (2012)

Special limited.jpg

Special Single Coil Limited (2016)

Single coil limited.jpg

Special Limited Edition (2019)

19 spc 4-0.jpg

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