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Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

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  • Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

    I know they are different animals. But I was wondering which is better quality. Of course in the viper I would change out the emgs. And I dont really care for 24 frets but on the up side the thicker body seems like a plus. And it looks like the neck joint would be more stable. No one near me has any vipers to try though. I have played and owned several SGs over the years so I know how they play and sound.
    For anyone that had played both which do you prefer?

  • #2
    Re: Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

    The flatter neck and hotter pickups and offset body of the Viper are all more "metal" feeling to me and I don't tend to prefer them.

    I'm kind of biased tho because I think the SG Standard is the perfect guitar for the money. You either get an SG Standard for $1k, a Les Paul for $2k or something custom for $3k.
    green globe burned black by sunn

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    • #3
      Re: Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

      With binding nubs and neckdive, the SG Standard is FAR from "the perfect guitar for the money" (even IF you could get one for only $1k).

      As much as I don't like ESPs, especially the Viper, I'd say it is probably noticably better quality than the Gibson.
      Originally Posted by IanBallard
      Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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      • #4
        Re: Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

        Originally posted by GuitarDoc View Post
        As much as I don't like ESPs, especially the Viper, I'd say it is probably noticably better quality than the Gibson.
        ESP's build quality is definitely more consistent than Gibson. That being said, I can't stand the narrow nut and thin-U profile that ESP insist on; I've owned a couple ESPs and sold them both.
        Originally posted by crusty philtrum
        And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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        • #5
          Re: Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

          ESPs are much higher quality than Gibson. The Viper is more expensive though. For some reason the Viper is even more expensive than the Eclipse, which I've never understood.

          I've owned two Gibsons: an SG standard and a Les Paul Classic. Now I have two Eclipses. Both bought online without playing first, both amazing guitars. I wouldn't buy a Gibson online without playing it first.

          Originally posted by dystrust View Post
          ESP's build quality is definitely more consistent than Gibson. That being said, I can't stand the narrow nut and thin-U profile that ESP insist on; I've owned a couple ESPs and sold them both.
          Wow I never noticed. The ESP nut is 1 mm narrower than the Gibson nut. I had to look it up because I couldn't tell the difference. For the record I hate narrow nuts like on Ernie Ball or Godin.

          I don't find the neck profile all that thin either, although that's highly subjective. To me it feels like a slightly thinner and flatter version of the Gibson 60's neck, but not significantly different. I owned both at the same time.

          Sent from my SM-G970W using Tapatalk

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          • #6
            Re: Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

            Originally posted by bigcupholder View Post
            ESPs are much higher quality than Gibson. The Viper is more expensive though. For some reason the Viper is even more expensive than the Eclipse, which I've never understood.

            I've owned two Gibsons: an SG standard and a Les Paul Classic. Now I have two Eclipses. Both bought online without playing first, both amazing guitars. I wouldn't buy a Gibson online without playing it first.



            Wow I never noticed. The ESP nut is 1 mm narrower than the Gibson nut. I had to look it up because I couldn't tell the difference. For the record I hate narrow nuts like on Ernie Ball or Godin.

            I don't find the neck profile all that thin either, although that's highly subjective. To me it feels like a slightly thinner and flatter version of the Gibson 60's neck, but not significantly different. I owned both at the same time.

            Sent from my SM-G970W using Tapatalk
            I've loved the thin u-necks on ESP and LTD guitars. Possibly because I have smaller hands?
            -=The Dali
            --== Unabashed Alex Lifeson Fan

            Visit My Guitar Building Blog at www.hammersandchords.com

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            • #7
              Re: Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

              Never played a Viper, but I recently bought a Horizon from the E-II line. It is just simply WOW. Even GuitarDoc applauded the attention to deatail and the quality of work on that thing. And to be honest, I'm not a fan ESP either, but it is as close to impeccable as I have ever seen. So if you don't mind the fugly shape (:P), I am almost certain that the Viper won't disappoint quality wise.

              Oh and I agree that their "thin" necks are rather average/bulky, at least compared to my Jacksons.

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              • #8
                Re: Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

                Originally posted by dystrust View Post
                That being said, I can't stand the narrow nut and thin-U profile that ESP insist on; I've owned a couple ESPs and sold them both.
                One player's trash is another's treasure. I love those thin U-necks.

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                • #9
                  Re: Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

                  Thanks everyone I have played some of the ltd’s but that’s about it. I do wish the bottom of the viper was more rounded. The elongated horns aren’t bad to me.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

                    i haven't played a viper, but i have a few gibson les pauls and an E-II eclipse. they are apples and oranges, so it really depends what you want to do with it or get out of it. the les pauls are classic sounding and feeling, the eII feels like a shred stick neck on a les paul style body. the EII is incredibly built, the fretwork is amazing, fit and finish flawless, and plays like a dream. the gibsons have killer tone and vibe, but the build quality isn't like the esp. i can see anyone preferring one over the other; you'd likely prefer the gibson for classic rock and the esp if you play more metal. but to answer which is better quality i gotta go E-II
                    Quality riffs in about a minute...
                    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2B...Y3EewvQ/videos

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                    • #11
                      Re: Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

                      I call BS on everybody saying ESPs are hands-down better quality than Gibsons. I worked in music retail from 2009 until 2019 and was a dealer for both brands the entire time. They are equal build quality and we sent just as many ESPs back home for problems as we did Gibsons. If your local store has ****ty guitars in it it's because the people who work there don't know or care to send the bad ones back.
                      green globe burned black by sunn

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                      • #12
                        Re: Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

                        Well, thats your experience then. Some people just don't like putting lead and other weights in the control cavity, putting braces around the headstock or paying extra for binding nibbles that'll come of at the first refret. Gibson is a legend of rock and roll, but right now -sadly- it looks like the time has flown by them and they cant really seem to keep up or up their game. Calling people BS just beacause they had a different experience than yours is rather shortsighted and just not very smart.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

                          I really want a cheap LTD 256 as my SG substitute!

                          Maybe toss a pair of Whole Lotta's in there....
                          Originally posted by Bad City
                          He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

                            Originally posted by bigcupholder View Post
                            I owned both at the same time.
                            Yes, but did you PLAY both at the same time?

                            I have exactly zero skin in this game. I just can’t let the opportunity to say something ridiculous pass without taking it.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Gibson SG standard vs ESP E-II viper

                              Weights? Nibs? Headstock braces? You spend too much time online man.
                              green globe burned black by sunn

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