SX GG1 Jr Guitar Review

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SX GG1 Jr Guitar Review

NEW NOTE (12/21/2013): I don't see any products like the SX GG1 or SX Castillo currently on the Rondo Music website. Check craigslist or ebay for these. It is NO WONDER they have sold out!

NOTE: Rondo was offering the SX Callisto a while back (2011 I think) - Very similar to the GG1!
The SX GG1 JR is inexpensive and quite surprisingly a really well made guitar! Rondo Music imports them and sells them for $139.95, and the bang for the buck is way better than you will get from an import Epiphone, Dean, Squier, etc in the same price range.

SX GG1 JR Description:

The GG1 sports a solid Mahogany body (3 pieces), set neck in Mahogany, single-cutaway, with twin P-90 pickups. Very much like the late 60’s Gibson ‘Les Paul Junior Special’. The finish is a little different from transparent Cherry, as it’s more brown tinted than that. The neck is very ‘Junior-like’ with a nice chunky heft to it; wide, with a fairly flat fingerboard radius. The guitar is made in China.

SX GG1 JR Features:

  • Two P-90 soapbar style pickups
  • Tune-O-Matic style bridge with stop tailpiece (like Gibson)
  • Sealed tuners, like Schaller
  • Set (glued-in) neck, angled headstock
  • 2 Volume & 2 tone controls
  • Pickup selector switch

    The volume controls, tone controls, and pickup switch feel nice and solid, not cheap at all. The bridge hardware looks much better than what I've found on other guitars in this price range, as do the tuners. The pickup mounting seems a little sloppy and loose, but it’s definitely not a big problem; easily fixed by anyone who works with his guitars even a little.

    SX GG1 JR Fit and Finish:

    As stated above, the finish is a very nice dark-cherry transparent over Mahogany with nice wood grain visible thru the finish.

    The finish is glossy, nicely buffed out, and very consistent. I found two little imperfections. One near the control cover on the back, a tiny little wood chip embedded in the finish and just buffed over. Almost unnoticeable. Another on the front, where the neck joins the body, between the fingerboard end and the neck-pickup cavity, there’s a little strip about 3/16” wide where it’s not really buffed down so smooth. It must be difficult to get that area onto the buffer wheel. And it’s not noticeable unless you’re looking right at it from pretty close.

    The pickups seem loose on their mounting springs and will need something to stabilize them. The bridge was installed backward on this GG1. I simply loosened the strings, turned it around, and re-tuned.

    The neck joint is very good fit and feels quite solid. The finish on this instrument is very smooth, glossy, and beautiful. The fretwork is so much better than my Epiphone Junior, that it isn't funny. I can't find a sharp fret-end, and the frets seem leveled and well dressed. Overall, a very nice-looking guitar.

    SX GG1 JR Playability:

    I happen to like the chunky Junior style neck. It feels perfect to me, although some people find this style of neck too slow. I like the slightly back-angled neck common to this style guitar. It just feels comfortable to play. The shape of the SX GG1 JR electric guitar is the typical Les Paul style single cutaway, and thus feels pretty much like a Les Paul on the lap or strap. Setup wasn’t quite to my liking (action just a tiny bit high for my taste), but I was still able to play this guitar without difficulty. It feels nice, plays nice, looks very nice.

    SX GG1 JR Tone:

    P-90’s…need I say another word?

    Seriously, this type pickup will always be my favorite, in spite of how noisy they are. The tone that comes from them makes any buzzing and humming completely tolerable. The best word I can come up with for the bridge pickup is ‘snarl’, in your face with some crunch applied via tube amp or your favorite overdrive/distortion unit.

    The neck pickup is full and warm, with an airy brightness that you just can't get from dual-coiled pickups. And yet it’s not as bright and chimey as a Fender-style single-coil. It produces tone that’s thick and creamy, yet with that airy, chimey top-end. This pickup is wonderful clean, chorused, or with a bluesy mild overdrive clipping applied.

    I adjusted the bridge pickup height setting a bit closer to the strings, and plenty of grunt suddenly appeared. So, I can get anything from a nearly Tele-like bridge pickup tone, to a mellow, warm (yet still sparkly) neck-pickup tone. And with both pickups on, this is a rhythm-guitar monster. Chunky, yet cutting through nicely.

    SX GG1 JR Value:

    At just under $150, I dare you to put it up against many other guitars at three times the price. Seriously! The SX GG1 Jr is a solid, well built and beautifully finished guitar, worthy of playing any gig anywhere. And with only minor adjustments it will compare very favorably with much more expensive ‘name-brand’ guitars.

    SX GG1 JR Overall Rating:

    Within its price range - Five-Plus Stars
    Measured up against guitars costing three times as much - still, at least, 3-1/2 Stars.

    I’ve had this guitar in my herd for two years now, and have played it quite a lot. I still haven’t found anything at all to warrant a genuine complaint. I love it, and I might just buy another SX GG1 JR Electric Guitar for a spare!

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    For more information please visit Agile AD-201 LP Jr, and SX SJM-62 Guitar