Mansfield Gisbon SG Copy Reviews 5

I bought this guitar brand new in 1973, when I was just 16 years old, for $173 Canadian at the Cariboo Shopping Centre music store in Coquitlam, BC, Canada. Mansfield produced a series of clones that year, including a Les Paul, a Telecaster and an SG, all around that price range. The guy at the music store swore that Mansfield, a Japanese company, used EXACTLY the same gear as Gibson to make their version, only they can put them together more cheaply, so it's just like having a real SG. It was a good line of BS, but I was sold. My buddy bought the Les Paul and loved it, so I traded in my Sears special (I paid $29 for it in 1970) with tremeloe bar and peace stickers, for the SG. I picked the SG because not only was it the prettiest, but Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown played one. I can still remember paying for it in cash and pulling the new black case across the counter.

It's a beauty - dark burgundy body, teak neck with what is probably fake inlaid mother-of-pearl, and a glossy ebony head. The play on the neck is smooth and fast, and it still sounds good after three decades. It holds it tune very well for an older guitar. All the details are pretty faithful to a real SG.

Nothing at all.

For an inexpensive guitar, this one is extremly well-made. The only repairs needed in 30 years are two new pickup screws. The body and frame are still tight and solid - nothing is moving that shouldn't be. The hardware seems to be quite high-quality stuff, and I've never had any problems with it.

I have many fond memories of jamming for hours with my buddy and his Mansfield - I wonder where he is, and whether he hung on to it. My wife recently hooked me up with a small Fender amp, complete with a distortion switch, and lately I've been jamming with my 13-year-old daughter, the drummer. Now, she's picked it up and is learning AC/DC and Led Zep from her dad. Because she finds it extremely easy to play she's getting fast results and having lots of fun. That's the kind of guitar to keep both an experienced and novice player interested for years. I've never had an interest in buying any other guitar, and I expect that my daughter will be showing her own kids the riff to "Thunderstruck" one day on the same instrument. All in all, a great guitar. If you happen to see a Mansfield in a music store or pawn shop, and it's in good shape, pick it up. I would love to know any history about this company, if anybody out there can help me.

Jeff B rated this unit 5 on 2003-11-27.

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