In this Epiphone SG Modern review we discuss one of the Inspired by Epiphone modern SG series guitars. The SG Modern respects the classic SG style but introduces some more modern features. Sitting in the mid-price range how does the SG Modern measure up?
Overview of Epiphone SG Modern
The SG Modern features a mahogany body in classic SG style. However it also has a AAA flame maple top with a gloss finish. There are currently only three finishes available but I do quite like the flame top finish. The neck, which is glued in, is also mahogany. That gives the SG the familiar weight that SG devotees will be familiar with.
The fingerboard that sits on top is made from Ebony. It fits well with the finish of the guitar and is also super smooth. Some say Ebony provides a little more punch to the tone. Even if that’s not the case it looks and feels beautiful.
The neck has white binding, with dots on the top side to mark out the key frets. The fretboard markers themselves are the classic pearloid trapezoid inaly that we are familiar with in Epiphone guitars. In terms of balance, you get the classic SG neck dive. That can be annoying for some people, but if you love SGs you’d be surprised if the neck dive wasn’t there!
The neck profile is asymmetrical slim taper and has a contoured heel in a nod to making playing more comfortable. There are 24 frets medium jumbo frets, a modern feature, but not unwelcome. The fingerboard radius is 12″, so reasonably flat.
The nut is made from GraphTech NuBone. That’s a synthetic material meant to mimic the qualities of bone. Of course, it’s not the same as bone but it suits the price range of the SG Modern. The headstock features Grover Rotomatic locking tuners. It’s great to have locking tuners, it makes restringing so much easier! There’s an adjustable truss rod, hidden in the usual spot by a bell shaped truss rod cover.
At the other end of the guitar we find a pretty standard LockTone bridge and stopbar tail piece. You’ll find pretty much the same bridge set up on most Epiphone SGs. It can be adjusted using a flat-head screwdriver if you need to tinker with it.
The SG Modern has a pair of Epiphone ProBucker humbucker pickups. They’re fairly middle of the road, which is to be expected for a mid-ranged guitar. However, as with the SG Muse they have coil-splitting functionality. The middle position can also be set out of phase for a quackier tone. There are 4 clear top hat control knobs that allow you to control the tone for each pickup and also allow you to access coil splitting with a push or pull of the control knob.
The 3-way pickup controller switch is in the classic position. There’s also treble bleed circuitry, so the tone doesn’t degrade when playing at lower volume levels. The tonal possibilities for this guitar are pretty huge, before you even introduce effects.
Let’s talk about some of the tones this guitar is capable of producing. The bridge as a humbucker is capable of producing crisp and clean tones, breaking up for a little classic Beatles style at higher levels. Feed in some distortion and it can get pretty raucous. Perhaps not quite to super high gain styles, but plenty of power and push.
Split the bridge and you get a lovely snappy tone, that still holds some weight you’d expect from a bridge pickup. The middle position gives a little more control over the tone, but with plenty of push if you want it. Playing out of phase produces a qucky tone, great for funk styles. When played “in phase” you can expect a mellow clean tone that’s great for indie styles with a bit of overdrive.
The neck gives you a thicker tone as you’d expect. When split it’s super clean and snappier with some overdrive, great for lead work and chilled out solos. Overall, excluding high gain styles, I don’t think there’s a style the SG Modern can’t handle!
Part of the reason the price can be kept to a reasonable level is because the SG Modern is produced on reasonably large scale in China. The quality control is always a little hit and miss, but it seems to have got better in recent years. It’s always advisable to have the guitar looked over by your local guitar store if you’re not confident doing it yourself. You might want to watch out for sharper frets at the higher register.
The SG Modern comes with a set of .10’s on board. You will probably want to swap these out for your favored gauge and brand. As previously mentioned, the SG Modern comes in three finishes. Here’s a preview of each.
If you’ve seen my review on the SG Muse, you’ll see similarities in the SG Modern. Other than the finishes on the SG Modern being more palatable (ok that’s personal preference) you get better pickups and locking tuners. Sure it’s over a $100 more than the Muse. but actually I think the Modern is overall a better guitar.
The SG Modern is probably going to be more attractive to SG enthusiasts. For those who are looking to buy their first SG, I’d encourage you to try out dozens of models at a music store first. Some people just don’t get on with the SG. If that’s the case, the SG Modern is never going to suit you.
If you want to play heavier styles you’re better off with another guitar too. But if you want to play anything else, the SG Modern is definitely capable. It’s probably on the more expensive side for a mid-ranged guitar, check out reviews and you’ll see it’s pretty popular.
Maybe the SG Modern isn’t for you. That’s ok, check out other Electric Guitars. I hope you’ve found this post useful. Feel free to leave comments below. Alternatively you can get in touch using my Contact Page.
Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn a commission from qualifying purchases, which helps to keep the site going. When you click a link on this page it may go to a supplier with whom I have an affiliate relationship. This won’t increase the price you pay. I don’t recommend any product that I haven’t used myself or thoroughly researched.