I have hated every Gibson SG guitar that I've ever handled since the late 1960s. The ever increasing neck heel and huge batwing pickguards made the SG ugly and harder to play compared to the original versions. I'd been interested in the 2020 Epiphone 1961 SG Custom after seeing a number of very good reviews, but I wasn't going to buy one without putting my hands on one first. There none in my area, so I called Sam Ash and drove 100 miles to their store in Sarasota to see a SG Standard 1961. I absolutely loved it, but I also wanted the Custom. I had previously owned a genuine original Les Paul Custom 1961 SG for 35 years, and the neck is very similar. I've always felt that the 1961 was the best playing guitar I'd ever touched. My SA salesperson found me a Custom in minutes and had it shipped that same day. It arrived two days later in perfect shape and, after adding just a bit of neck relief, new strings, and a quick bridge and intonation setup, it plays like a dream. The ebony fretboard and fretwork is flawless. Can you tell that it was built to a budget? Yes, of course you can. But those are very minor details. It plays better than any SG that I have touched since I sold mine 15 years ago. You could buy 50 of these for what an original 1961 Les Paul SG Custom could cost you today.