2018 Gibson SG Elegant Red Tiger

SGs aren’t typically known for being “fancy.” Sure the early 60s ones with the Vibrolas can look quite nice – and you get the occasional rare color but we’re talking “Les Paul” levels of show-off here – such as FLAME TOPS, Exotic Bindings and Abalone Inlays!

Meet the Gibson SG Elegant! This is a little-known model that has been in production off and on since approximately 2003 that took the place of the Les Paul Elegant that ended in 2004. There are two main versions to know about. Let’s call them Series 1 (2003-2012) + Series 2 (2017-2018)

This article will mainly cover series 2, but you can check out a Series 1 Here

“Series 2” SG Elegant Red Tiger

What makes it special? (Series 2)

Maple Top
Colored Headstock (series 2)
Abalone Trapezoid Inlays!

These SGs are constructed quite differently from a regular one. They actually have a MAPLE top! (Two piece top) From a side angle profile, it nearly appears to be a 60/40 split – but viewing from the bottom edge it is very apparent that it is truly 50/50.

Most SGs have a straight up Mahogany body with no “top” to it. Though there have been SGs made in the past that are only made up of maple such as this model or that one.

2-piece Flame maple top on SG Supreme

Next we have a very fancy fretboard! It is a rosewood board that is adorned ABALONE inlays. Gibson reserves abalone usually for high-end art guitars.

However, Gibson liked to play around with black binding in the late 2010s era so series 2 Elegants get this different colored binding. It compliments the rosewood board and allows the multi-colored inlays to steal the show despite not standing out as much as the typical cream binding.

Most SG Elegants have cream binding (series 1)
Series 2 Elegants have Black Binding

Both Series have an extended body that covers the back of the neck’s heel. I’m not entirely sure why these Custom Shop SGs get this, but I’d assume it has something to do with structural integrity.

It is very similar to how Korina Flying Vs have a very similar heel cap formed by the body

(pictured here)

Red Transparent Lacquer on Headstock Colors the Logos!

Next up Series 2 has quite the unusual looking headstock!

It will have a clear color on top of it!

This is where Version 2 gets the “Tiger” nickname since Gibson named these finishes Red Tiger, Blue Tiger, Green Tiger, and Transblack Tiger.

There might be more finish options available that I just haven’t seen, yet!

This is VERY similar to the Widow series – however, the Series 2 Elegants don’t belong in that family since they do not have the colored over binding like a Flying V, Explorer or Les Paul Widow does.

That pretty well covers the SG Elegant series! These are fancy looking SGs with special attributes built to custom shop specs. There is certainly some collector value in these guitars – especially series 2. If you have one you’re looking to sell, but need help evaluating it’s current market value – you can book a private help session with me here

Or if you’re looking to purchase one – you can support my show by clicking these affiliate links that will take you to Reverb or eBay!

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