I own 2 different electric guitars (a Fender stratocaster and a Gibson SG) and this question came to mind.

How do the actual differences in sound differ between the two?

And by which components this diversity is influenced?

For example: from the harder and more metallic sound of the Gibson, to a higher and more "jazz" sound of the Fender.


2 Answers 2


The main factor will be the pickups. Standard Strats have single coil, while SGs have humbuckers. There's also the placement of pups - 3 on the Strat, two on the SG.

The strings will probably be different gauges, as the scale lengths are different, so that will add to different sounds.

The SG has a through-neck, compared wth a bolt-on for Strats, and some say that the wood - or more importantly its density - for both body and neck - are contributing factors. As are the differences between vibrato on Strat compared to none on SG - where the strings go straight over the bridge and into the part holding the bullets - although I'm sceptical those factors make much difference, as the strings don't vibrate on that side of the bridge, in either case.

All that, and subtle differences in the circuitry used, add up to a marked difference in sound.

  • thank you @Tim very much for the comprehensive answer. I didn't think so many factors could actually change the sound so much! Have a great day! Apr 26, 2022 at 17:02
  • I tend to agree with Tim here. Notice that all the important factors relate to the electronics, and second-most important (my view) to string type & thickness, which will affect the decay curve of the string's vibration. Apr 27, 2022 at 17:41
  • 1
    @CarlWitthoft - OP asks about the difference in sound, and the strings and their material will have a marked difference to that effect. Notwithstanding the gauge may well be different due to the scale lengths. Don't think the decay curve influences the sound, though.
    – Tim
    Apr 27, 2022 at 21:52

If we ignore things like EQ the major influence on the tone comes from the pickup position, pickup height/action. You get some influence from the pickup design and things like the scale length, and then a minor influence from the strings, and the materials the instrument is made of (unless it is a very bad instrument, in which cases this might have a big negative effect).

Also the probably biggest influence is how the player plays the instrument. Different designs will lead to different comfortable playing positions.

  • 2
    I daresay OP will play both guitars similarly.
    – Tim
    Apr 26, 2022 at 17:22
  • 1
    @Tim Wouldn’t think so. The shape of the instrument has an effect on how you hold it, and this may lead to differences in playing position
    – Lazy
    Apr 26, 2022 at 20:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.