SG Special vs G-310

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by liquidsmoke, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. liquidsmoke

    liquidsmoke New Member

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    Greetings. Pardon me if this subject has been discussed to death here but the search function won't respond to 'G-310' or 'SG'.

    At first I thought these two guitars were exactly the same other than the knobs but there are differences.

    SG Special-
    mahogany body
    maple neck
    2 knobs
    made in Indonesia(by Samick?)

    G-310-
    alder body
    mahogany neck
    4 knobs
    made in China by Epiphone(I think)

    I have a new SG Special in black and for the price I think it's a fantastic guitar. Not neck heavy, very slim fast neck, and light.

    Can anyone confirm that the G-310 neck('C'?) is the same size as the special's? I'm not sure that Epiphone neck sizes are always consistent, it seems to depend on which factory makes them.

    I'm also wondering what the tone difference is between mahogany body/maple neck and alder body/mahogany neck.

    I mostly play metal and heavy rock so I like thick heavy tones. None of these guitars have the deep sound of a heavier Gibson LP but they still offer good tone in my experience.

    I'm going to be doing some serious recording coming up and I'm thinking about using my special but I want to upgrade the pickups and upgrade with tuners with perhaps a set of Sperzel locking units.
     
  2. SylenCommando

    SylenCommando Member

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    I like maple necks myself. Every guitar I have had since 1986 has had a maple neck. I just bought a used SG G-400 and the neck is mahogany. I know that maple is harder then mahogany and I can tell the difference since I have used maple neck for so long.
     
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  3. liquidsmoke

    liquidsmoke New Member

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    Less neck flex with maple probably? What difference do you notice?
     
  4. RTH

    RTH Well-Known Member

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    The only SG Special spec'd with a maple neck is the Goth Special. Though, it would not be unheard of to find a maple neck under the paint on earlier models. This happened quite often before Epiphone moved most of its production to China.

    You are correct in asserting that Epiphone neck sizes can be inconsistent. I have a 1994 Korean G-310 with a pretty slim neck Probably the "C" shape. I also have a 2011 Indo SG Junior with a fatter neck. A "D" I would assume. I think that you would have to try them out to see for yourself to be sure.

    As far as the tone, this is always debatable whether or not the woods will have a significant effect on your tone. My opinion is that, with these lower end guitars, not so much. They say a maple neck gives a bright tone, but I feel that something along those lines would really only be noticeable on a clean setting. I think it has much more to do with the pickups and amplification you are using.

    That being said, the G-310 gives you more tone control with the extra knobs. Aside from that, they are basically the same guitar. And since the G-310 is at the high end of the bolt-neck price range, buying a G-400 instead may be a better option all around and for only about $50 more. It would be very much worth the extra investment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
  5. liquidsmoke

    liquidsmoke New Member

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    The Epiphone website lists the Special as having a 'hard maple' neck. Sweetwater lists the G-310 as having an alder body while Epiphone says it's mahogany. I'm having a laugh over this. Yeah it probably doesn't make much difference.

    The G-400 is very neck heavy I assume because the neck is thicker and it doesn't go as far into the body as the ones on the special and G-310. The G-400 necks are also considerably thicker which I don't like. I sold my Gibson SG because of it's fat neck, they did that with the early 'faded' models.
     
  6. liquidsmoke

    liquidsmoke New Member

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    I'd like to find a Gibson SG in burst or black that isn't neck heavy and has a super thin neck like the Epi special does but I don't think such a thing has ever been made.
     
  7. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    Watch for the weight of those tuners. SGs are very sensitive to added weight to the headstock, it tends to aggravate the dreaded neck dive.
     
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  8. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    Howdy Welcome Liquid Smoke.........

    I have a 310 presently----have had specials....G-400's Gibson SG's and all sorts of other crap--- and i LOVE my 310
     
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  9. IGRocker

    IGRocker Well-Known Member

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    I don't think anything has been discussed to death here, except maybe the weather. But that doesn't matter, we all love that thread. It keeps us going.
     
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  10. RTH

    RTH Well-Known Member

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    The G-310 also comes with better tuners than the Special. They have generic die-cast, which, for all intents and purposes, are decent enough and get the job done. They just arent fancy.
     
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  11. liquidsmoke

    liquidsmoke New Member

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    Nice! Does the 310 neck seem the same as the special or is it more like a G-400/Gibson?
     
  12. liquidsmoke

    liquidsmoke New Member

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    Good to know. For recording any tuners are probably fine but the next time I'm in a live band I'm going with lockers. Strings snagging at the nut is enough to worry about.
     
  13. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    310 neck is closer to the Special than the G-400. Actually if I had all three at once to put a measurement on I would say the 310 is in the middle.
    the 400 is thinnest and the Special is thickest.
     
  14. RTH

    RTH Well-Known Member

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    I thought the 400 had the thick neck? My Junior is pretty thick too. Thicker than both my 310 and my '61 Special P90. Those two are pretty much the same.
     
  15. RTH

    RTH Well-Known Member

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    Though, for the G-400, I have a feeling that it depends on the particular model you are getting. Faded, standard, '66, LE Pelham, etc. I think they all vary.
     
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  16. ScottMarlowe

    ScottMarlowe Well-Known Member

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    My 66 G-400 Pro and both of my 50th anniversary SG Special (the ones with P-90s see my avatar <---) have VERY slim D shaped necks. The bolt-neck SG Special I had for all of three or four days had a slightly thicker C shaped neck. And they all pale in comparison to the baseball instpired C shaped fatty neck on my Epi LP Special I. That neck reminds me of my tele clone. In a good way.
     
  17. RTH

    RTH Well-Known Member

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    So much variation between similar models. Its almost impossible to give a definitive answer.
     
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  18. ScottMarlowe

    ScottMarlowe Well-Known Member

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    I think my 1966 G-400 pro neck is a little flatter, but not really thinner, if that makes sense. Like it's got more in the "shoulders" of the neck than either of the set-neck Specials.
     
  19. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    You are right about the Special 1, nice comfy fat neck. My G400 Vintage Faded is thicker and a tad rounder than the '61 P90 Special, which is sooo thin.
     
  20. liquidsmoke

    liquidsmoke New Member

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    Wow yeah, lots of variation. My LP Special II has I think the same neck thickness as my SG Special. My hands aren't 'small' but they aren't large. Played my friend's Ibanez RG yesterday, very thin neck although I think it's a little wider than my Epis.

    I may order a G-310 and just return it if I don't like the neck, need to ponder it some more. I do sometimes like to use both pups and most guitars require one to adjust the volume on one of them to get them to match.

    Thanks for the info folks!
     

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