Epiphone SG G-400 Review – 2021 Guide

Craig
| Last Updated: December 18, 2020

The infamous Gibson SG shape is immediately recognizable in this homage by Epiphone, in the form of the Epiphone SG G-400. This double-horned instrument has some great specs and amazing sound for an instrument of this price.

Let’s take a closer look at the aspects that make this model shine.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Locktone tune-o-matic bridge installed on guitar
  • Epiphone deluxe tuners to last much longer
  • Classic 1960 style mahogany body and neck
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Epiphone 1961 G-400 Pro Electric Guitar, Metallic Gold

PROS

  • Great Sound
  • Alnico Pickups
  • Accessibly Priced
  • Comfortable Neck
  • Amazing Aesthetics

CONS

  • Neck Heavy
  • Limited Versatility

Epiphone SG-400 Specs

  • Type of Guitar: Electric

  • Body Type: Solid Body

  • Number Strings: 6

  • Tonewood: Mahogany

  • Orientation: Left or Right Handed

  • Scale Length: 24.75”

  • Color(s): Cherry, Ebony, Metallic Light Blue, Cream, Metallic Gold

  • Pickup Type: Epiphone Alnico Classic PRO; 4-wire

Pros

What makes this model great? Let’s look at the pros:

Amazing Aesthetics

For most people interested in an SG guitar, aesthetics is key. SG’s are known for their iconic, double horned look that adds some cool aesthetics behind the sound.  Epiphone does the SG design justice in the SG-400, with a sturdy, solid built Mahogany guitar.

This solid build is surprisingly lightweight, making this instrument an easy accompaniment on stage. This build also comes in some beautiful color options to suit the look of any player.

Alnico Pickups

Of course, this guitar is more than just a looker. The Epiphone SG G-400 was built to perform, with some impressive hardware to help you get the job done. This model features the Epiphone Alnico Classic 4-wire humbuckers on both the bridge and neck. These give some great sustain and range to this instrument's sound. These pickups are easily adjustable, so you can shift your tone with ease.

Comfortable Neck

You can go for hours on this guitar's comfortably designed neck. Here you’ll find a solid mahogany neck with a 22-fret rosewood fretboard. This fretboard is adorned with trapezoid inlays, further adding to the vintage look.

This neck comes in Epiphone's infamous SlimTaper D profile, providing a comfortable hold that can suit all kinds of players. Newer players can benefit from this slimmer, easier to manage design.

Accessibly Priced

A massive draw for this Epiphone model has got to be the price. Similar SG models on the market will come at a much higher price point than the SG G-400.

Some might assume that a cheaper guitar means a cheaper build, but that’s not the case here. Though this guitar is priced at a discounted rate, it still has a solid build! These guitars can last with proper care and are comparable to their more expensive counterparts on the market.

Great Sound

Though this model is cheaper than other SGs, you’ll still be able to achieve that remarkable sound this instrument is known for. Thanks to the pickups and great electronic build on this guitar, you’ll have some exceptional sound that can handle a good amount of distortion.

If you’re looking to play some muddy rock and achieve some jagged tones, this model can get the job done. Your pickups, paired with individualized tone and volume knobs, will give you even further control of your sound as you play.

Cons

Of course, there are some cons. Here are some things to consider before you buy:

Limited Versatility

Though this guitar is great at achieving that hard rock, grunge sound, this does present some limitations to its musical versatility.

This SG model is best suited for looking to play more specific rock/grunge genres. The same features that make this guitar great at shredding some gritty rock tones don't suit it for other genres. You may not achieve the softer, cleaner tones you’d be looking for in genres like Jazz or Blues with this guitar.

Neck Heavy

Though SGs tend to run lighter than other electric guitars, some buyers have noted that this model tends to be neck heavy. The headstock's heaviness can make it a bit of a challenge for some players, especially those who gig.

This lack of balance can be worrisome, and in some cases, even lead to body issues with the guitar's neck. Reviewers online have noted issues of strain or cracking on the neck joint due to this heaviness issue. Proper care and straps can help to work around this weight issue, but it is something to note.

What Are The Components of the Epiphone SG G-400?

Pickups

As mentioned earlier, this model features some solid pickups that will aid you in hitting the tones you’re looking for from an SG model. Here we’ll find Alnico Classic 4-wire pickups. These are great for a powerful, high-quality sound thanks to a vintage output. Here you’ll get a low-end response and a much quicker attack than other Alnico pickups offered by Epiphone.

Knobs

The Epiphone SG G400 carries a classic SG dial layout. Here, each pickup has an individual tone and volume knob, offering a good level of control over your sound.

The pickup selector switch has one knob for the neck (labeled rhythm), one for the bridge (labeled lead), and a middle position that encompasses both of them.

Bridge & Tuners

The bridge on this model is also a piece of Epiphone hardware. Here you’ll find an Epiphone LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge. This bridge is also paired with a stop bar tailpiece. This bridge also allowed for great customization, offering the ability to change the intonation of individual strings through six saddles. The 14:1 Grover tuners found on the headstock will also aid you in making precise adjustments.

What Types of Music is the Epiphone SG G-400 Best For? 

Rock

If you’re a hard rock player, this guitar can be a match made in heaven! This guitar is capable of the aggression and distortion that makes the SG sound infamous in the hard rock genre. If you want to play some classic hard rock, this model can get the job done.

Other Genres

While this model is definitely best suited for a grungier rock sound, you can still get a clean note out of it when needed. Thanks to the pickups and tuners found here, you can make adjustments for a cleaner note. Though it may not be a guitar of choice for genres like Blues or Jazz, it is a great feature if you want a gig guitar capable of multiple sounds.

What Ages and Skill Levels is the Epiphone SG-400 Suitable For?

This is a guitar that is suitable for all players. It could be a great first-guitar for electric beginners, with a lower price point and comfortable design that makes it an accessible option. However, even intermediate players can have a great time adding this instrument to their collection.

If you’ve always been a fan of the SG design and want to add one to your arsenal, this instrument would be a great addition. With great pricing, solid sound, and a wide variety of color options, you’re sure to find something you can love.

Where Are Epiphone Sg G-400 Guitars Made?

If you are a lover of rock, then you probably already know that the SG model is widely considered an iconic guitar. It was modeled after the Gibson SG and the Epiphone version is a clone of that in both style and performance.

Epiphone is a subsidiary of Gibson and manufactures the G-400 and other similar budget models at a much lower cost in Asia.

What Makes the Epiphone SG G400 Stand Out From the Competition?

The thing that sets this guitar apart from others is how great it is for the price. Of course, a Gibson guitar can offer you some higher quality components or a more classic “SG” sound, but the Epiphone can still hold its own.

You are still getting an instrument capable of some classic rock sounds, a solid mahogany body, and hardware that can accomplish most players' goals for such a low price point. If you want to explore electric guitars without playing Gibson prices, you can be assured that with the Epiphone SG-400, you are still getting a great instrument despite the savings.

Comparison Overview: Epiphone SG G-400 vs. Epiphone SG G-400 Pro

There is a “Pro” counterpart to Epiphones SG G-400. Let’s take a look at what sets these models apart:

Color Options

The SG G-400 Pro comes in a much wider range of colors. On the G-400, you’ll find the classic Cherry and Ebony colors, and there were limited edition runs of Metallic Light Blue, Cream, and Metallic Gold. The G-400 Pro, in comparison, is only available in Ebony and Cherry.

Though this isn’t a huge deal to most players, if you’re looking for a color option besides bony or Cherry, the SG-400 may be the better choice. 

Different Hardware

There are also some minor hardware differences in these guitars. Both modes feature similar Epiphone nickel hardware and the Tune-o-Matic bridge and stop bar tailpiece.

When it comes to their differences, the SG G-400 PRO has some upgraded gear compared to the SG G-400. The PRO has  Wilkinson 14:1 classic tuners, a step up from the SG G-400s Grover tuners. The PRO model also has a 5-ply pickguard not found on the SG G-400.

The Pro model also comes with the PRO version of the Classic Alnico Humbuckers and has a volume control with a push/pull for Coil-Tap. In comparison, the classic G-400 has the standard Alnico Classic humbuckers and no coil-tap controls.

Conclusion

Players of all kinds can get a lot out of this great Epiphone model! You’re getting a lot of great sound and hardware for a super accessible price point here. If you want to explore the world of SGs without breaking the bank, this model is a great place to start.

People Also Ask

If you’ve still got questions, we’ve got answers! These are some of the most common questions regarding the Epiphone SG G-400:

Is the Epiphone SG G-400 Hard to Play?

The Epiphone SG G-400 is pretty easy to play. New players may need to get the hand of some of the controls to find their tone, but its slim neck design makes it approachable to players of all ages. In fact, there are multiple reviews online that mark this model as their first electric guitar.

How to Care For an Epiphone SG G-400 Guitar

Basic guitar care should be employed to take care of your Epiphone SG G-4oo guitar. It is especially important to maintain the body with a good polish now and then to keep it from looking worn. Additionally, be sure to clean the neck/fretboard and strings periodically. Oiling the fretboard if/when you change the strings is also recommended.

How to Date an Epiphone SG G-400

As is the case with most Epiphones, the key is to look for the serial number. All Epiphone models come with a serial number, located on the headstock, that can reveal the date your guitar was manufactured and provide info on where it was built.

Who Plays an Epiphone SG G-400?

Though it is difficult to identify people who play this Epiphone model specifically, the SG guitar has been well-loved by many rock legends. In fact, many of the most iconic riffs in rock history are thanks to SG guitars.

Players who favor this model include AC/DC’s Angus Young, Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, and the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia. If you want to explore the SG sound, know that you’ll be in good company, playing an instrument favored by some of rock music's greatest players.

Is the Epiphone SG G-400 a Good Guitar?

The Epiphone SG G-400 is a great guitar! It’s a fine instrument with a solid build and great sound. However, it may not be as refined as other SGs on the market. It offers some decent hardware for the price point it comes at. This is a good entry point for beginner SG players or intermediate players who may need an inexpensive instrument to add to their rotation.

How to Adjust the Epiphone SG G-400 Pickups

Adjusting the pickups on your guitar can be intimidating. While it may be easier to just take your guitar in for an adjustment at a reputable guitar or music shop, it is possible to do it yourself. However, the adjustments made will depend on various factors, including your strings, the sound you’re aiming for, and the pickups on your model.

Is the Epiphone SG G-400 Made in Japan?

Epiphone guitars are mainly manufactured across Asia, in countries including Japan, China, and Korea. This is one of the main factors contributing to its lower price point. The easiest way to figure out where your Epiphone was made in a specific country is to look at its serial number.

Craig

Hi there, my name is Craig. I took over Gear Savvy in mid-2019 and have had a blast writing content about music ever since. My role here is to steer the ship and ensure readers have the best information available for learning a thing or two. When I’m not working on content, I’m a husband and a dad. I enjoy spending time with my family, playing guitar, or messing around in my woodshop.