Cort G280 Select vs Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola

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Cort G280 Select
Playability
73
Sound
68
Build
65
Value
79
Score
69

Reasons to Get
Cort G280 Select vs Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola

Decorative Top
Flamed Maple vs None
Finished with beautiful natural wood patterns
Release Year
2021 vs 2019
From a more recent year
Compound Radius
12" to 15.75" vs 12"
Balanced playability for chords and single-notes
Neck Joint
Bolt-On vs Set
Allows you to detach and swap the neck
Neck Profile
Ergo-V vs Slim Taper
Great if you like to hang your thumb over the fretboard
Switch Positions
5 vs 3
More tone options
Pickups
HSS vs HH
High output with beautiful cleans and tone versatility
Locking Tuners
Yes vs None
Easier to change strings
Nut Width
1.654'' (42mm) vs 1.693'' (43mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Scale Length
25.5'' (647.7mm) vs 24.75'' (628.7mm)
Lower action and brighter natural tone
Value Score
79 vs 62
Better price/quality relationship

Reasons to Get
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola vs Cort G280 Select

Country of Manufacturing
United States vs Indonesia
Built with higher quality standards
Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Neck Profile
Slim Taper vs Ergo-V
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Pickups Quality
Gibson vs Cort
Better pickups
Nut Material
Ivory Tusq vs Plastic
Resistant, good tuning stability and rich tone
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Tone Knobs
2 vs 1
More tone control
Pickups
HH vs HSS
High output without hum
Nut Width
1.693'' (43mm) vs 1.654'' (42mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Scale Length
24.75'' (628.7mm) vs 25.5'' (647.7mm)
Easier bending, shorter fret separation and warmer natural tone

Other Key Differences
Cort G280 Select vs Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola

Bridge Pickup
Cort Voiced Tone VTH-77 vs Gibson Burstbucker 61T
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Cort Voiced Tone VTS-63 vs Gibson Burstbucker 61R
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Alder vs Mahogany
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Maple vs Mahogany
Different Neck Wood
Headstock
6 vs 3-3
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Plastic vs Ivory Tusq
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Cort G280 Select vs Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola

Fretboard Wood
Rosewood
Same Fretboard Wood
Strings
6
Same tuning options
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Number of Frets
22
Same maximum octave
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Bridge
Tremolo
Simple vibratos without too much maintenance
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
Type of Frets
Medium vs Medium Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings

Common Strengths

  • Expensive Wood

Common Weaknesses

  • Pickup Alter Switch/Knob
  • Weight Relief
  • Stays in Tune (Evertune)
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Luminescent Sidedots
  • Strap Lock
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio

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Cort G280 Select vs Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola: Which One is Better?

After going through our comparison algorithm, the results show that the Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola is probably the better product overall with its final score of 72 compared to the Cort G280 Select's 69 score, although not by a lot.

The Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola wins when it comes to sound, build quality. On the other hand, the Cort G280 Select has the upper hand when it comes to value for the money.

If you got small hands, you'll probably feel more comfortable playing the Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola.

Which Guitar is Better for Beginners?

Both guitars meet 6 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players. If you're looking for your first guitar to learn how to play, you can't go wrong with either of them.

Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing a guitar, you should pick the one more compatible with your personal style. Still, below we'll try you to give you our results as objectively as it's possible to help you decide.

Cort G280 Select Overview

  • From Cort's 2021 G series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 15.75" Fretboard Radius
  • Flamed Maple top
  • Alder body
  • Hard Maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Cort Voiced Tone VTH-77 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Cort Voiced Tone VTS-63 (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Cort Voiced Tone VTS-63 (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Cort CFA-III Tremolo bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Ergo-V Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Medium frets
  • Cort Staggered Locking tuners

Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola Overview

  • From Gibson's 2019 Original Collection series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Gibson Burstbucker 61T (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Gibson Burstbucker 61R (Humbucker/Passive)
  • ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic Vibrola bridge
  • 2 volume and 2 tone Bell knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Slim Taper Set neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Vintage Deluxe w/ Keystone Buttons tuners

Build Quality Comparison

When it comes to build quality, we like to take into account everything used to build the guitar. This includes materials, hardware and the quality control expected depending on the country where it was built. Let's see how the Cort G280 Select compares to the Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola.

Country of Origin Comparison

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Cort G280 Select was built in Indonesia while the Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola was made in United States.

Indonesia is becoming the most popular country for guitar building because they can make good instruments for a low price. Some people think that they're 'the new China' when it comes to build quality. But the truth is that Indonesian guitars are more consistent, although Chinese quality has improved a lot in the last few years.

The United States is considered one of the best electric guitar manufacturers in the world. A guitar made in this country is supposed to have world-class quality control. Nowadays, guitars made in other countries can beat some of the ones made in the US, but most of the time, this country offers the best you can get. Of course, that comes at a price.

Winner: Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola

Woods Used in Both Guitars

Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood

Rosewood is an almost purple-looking wood that is used mainly for fretboards since it's heavy, rare, and expensive. It's sometimes used on acoustic guitar bodies to create stronger warm tones.

Woods Used in the Cort G280 Select

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple
Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder

Maple is one of the most popular necks for good reasons. It is a strong wood that is relatively cheap to make and looks beautiful. The highest quality maple is the hardest that comes from North America.

Alder is the most popular wood that Fender uses in most of their guitars nowadays. Even though they say it's because of its balanced tone with an emphasis in the upper midrange, it probably is because it isn't too expensive, and it's also pretty lightweight—more than Mahogany.

Woods Used in the Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany

Mahogany is a fairly rare wood nowadays. It's used mostly for bodies due to its relatively lightweight. Gibson popularized it with their Les Paul guitars during their golden years, so this wood has a lot of good reputation behind it. The most expensive type comes from South America and it's still used by Gibson even today.

Winner: Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola.

Nut Material

If you want your guitar to stay in tune and sound good, you need a well cut nut. Nut quality can be inconsistent even when comparing two copies of the same guitar model. The best way to make sure you're nut will be well done is by getting a nut made by an expert company like TUSQ or Micarta.

The Cort G280 Select has a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

On the other hand, the Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola comes with a Ivory Tusq nut. Ivory used to be considered the best material for guitar nuts due to its beauty, durability, and the rich harmonics and sustain you could get from a guitar with it. However, the way to obtain it is simply unethical. Enter TUSQ ivory nuts, which are made synthetically to imitate ivory. Technically, it's better than ivory because it is consistent piece-to-piece, while natural materials can vary a lot, even if they're made from the same.

Winner: Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola.

Fret Material

Most guitar fret wire is made of nickel silver. This material eventually wears down after a lot of use and most guitars end up needing a complete fret replacement. However, some expensive guitars come with stainless steel frets. This is what you should aim for if you can afford it.

Unfortunately, none of these guitars come with stainless steel frets.

Winner: Tie.

Bridge

The perfect bridge for you will depend on your playstyle because they all have advantages and disadvantages. However, some bridges are more expensive—like Floyd Roses and Evertunes—and thus add more value to a guitar.

Both guitars come with a similar bridge: Tremolo. Tremolo bridges give you more versatility than fixed bridges. They let you perform the intense vibrato effects that would be impossible with a fixed bridge. However, since the bridge floats and there's less contact with the body, the strings lose sustain slightly faster. They can also be a bit harder to restring and set up correctly than fixed bridges.

Since we need to be objective, the most expensive type of bridge will be the winner of this section. In the end, this doesn't matter if you're not going to use the bridge for its original purpose, so choose the bridge that fits your playing style better.

Winner: Tie.

Tuners

The Cort G280 Select has the best tuners of the two because they are locking tuners. They'll help to keep your guitar in tune because they allow you to tune the guitar without wrapping the strings around the posts. This avoids variations in the tuning due to the strings changing position at the post after a bend. They come at the disadvantage of being slightly heavier than regular tuners. Also, it makes it a lot easier to restring.

Winner: Cort G280 Select.

Neck Joint

Contrary to popular belief, the difference in sustain and tone that some neck joints give to an electric guitar is simply unperceivable—if they're all well built. However, some of them do have advantages over the others.

The Cort G280 Select has a Bolt-On neck joint. This neck is joined to the body by 4 bolts that you can simply unscrew. This allows you to replace the neck or take it off for travel. It's the most common and cheapest way to build a guitar.

On the other hand, the Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola comes with Set neck joint. This neck is tightly glued to the body. They give you the least versatility because you can't swap them for a neck that fits your hand better if you want to, unlike bolt-on necks. Some people think this gives more resonance and sustain, but there's no real difference if the bolt-on joint is well built.

Winner: Cort G280 Select.

Here is the list of features that were considered when choosing the winner in the Features subcategory:

Strengths & Weaknesses
Cort G280 Select
  • Locking Tuners
  • Expensive Wood
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Tremolo
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • High-Quality-Standards Country
  • High-Quality Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • Weight Relief
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Strap Lock
  • Luminescent Inlay
Strengths & Weaknesses
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Ivory Tusq Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Locking Tuners
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • Weight Relief
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Strap Lock
  • Luminescent Inlay

Final Build Quality Scores

Cort G280 Select
Quality of materials 56
Features 75
Quality Control 65
Build Quality 65
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola
Quality of materials 66
Features 55
Quality Control 95
Build Quality 72

Sound Quality Comparison

Determining which guitar sounds better objectively is a difficult task since not everybody will love the same pickups. However, we still can take a look at the instrument specifications to determine how versatile, how much sustain, and the tuning stability it might have. Let's see now how both these guitars compare to each other when it comes to sound quality.

Pickup Configuration

The Cort G280 Select has an HSS configuration while the Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola has HH pickups.

HSS provides a great balance if you like to play with a lot of distortion, but also love to use clean tones. You'll get a lot of output at the bridge position, but you'll be able to play bright clean tones at the other positions.

On the other hand, Double Humbucker (HH) is the choice for people who want a fuller, more round sound with tons of mids and lows. Humbuckers also get rid of the hum noise that plague single-coil pickups. They can work out for almost any genre going from Djent to even Jazz.

Pickups Quality

The Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola pickups from a more specialized brand than the Cort G280 Select. Its pickups should give you a fuller, richer sound, although it all depends on what type of music you're going to play. We recommend these pickups for Hard Rock and similar genres.

Both guitars use Passive pickups. This is what's used for most music genres. They have a regular output and will serve you for both high-gain and clean tones. The alternative (Active pickups) offer a higher output that is mostly used for heavy music.

Winner: Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola.

Versatility Comparison

Some guitars offer you more ways to explore your creativity than others. Below you'll find how both guitars compare when it comes to versatility.

Switch Options

The Cort G280 Select gives you 5 switch options while the Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola gives you 3. This means that the Cort G280 Select gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

None of them come with some kind of coil split or pickup mod option. This makes both lacking in terms of versatility.

Here's the diagram comparing all the pickup combinations you can get with both guitars:

Cort G280 Select pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Cort G280 Select's switch options
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola's switch options

When evaluating versatility, we also take into consideration bridge and neck joint type, number of frets, switch options, amount of pickups and more.

Winner: Cort G280 Select.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Cort G280 Select
Pickups 60
Sustain 70
Versatility 71
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 68
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola
Pickups 90
Sustain 70
Versatility 64
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 72

Playability Comparison

Let's now compare the playability of both guitars. Bear in mind that the guitar will feel different depending on your hand size and play style. That's why you should always test a guitar before buying it. But if you can't or want a second opinion on it, we can still take a look at each of the important measurements of the guitar for you. This way, we can predict how easy a guitar is to play, or how different it will feel compared to the other.

Remember that, even though the difference might seem small, every inch counts when we're comparing guitars. Any variation can completely change how comfortable a guitar feels in your hands.

Nut Width Comparison

Cort G280 Select Nut Width
Cort G280 Select Nut Width
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola Nut Width
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola has the wider nut with 43mm (1.693'') vs 42mm (1.654''). This is a 1mm (0.039'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola, especially closer to the nut. However, it's also easier to play without muting strings accidently. This favors people with big hands.

Scale Length Comparison

Cort G280 Select's Scale Length
Cort G280 Select's Scale Length
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola's Scale Length
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola's Scale Length

The scale length is one of the things that influences playability the most. This is the distance between the nut and the bridge and will affect everything from low action allowance, difficulty to perform bends, fret separation, and even tone.

The Cort G280 Select has the longest scale: 25.5". The Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola is only 24.75" long. This is a 0.75'' (19.1mm) scale length difference.

This longer scale means that the strings need more tension to get in tune. This is good if you want to avoid fret buzz, which can happen when the strings are too loose and touch the frets while vibrating. This is especially important when playing in lower tunings. This will also let you reduce the gap between fretboard and strings (low action) to make them easier to press down. However, this higher tension will also make it harder to perform bends and vibratos as the strings will feel stiffer.

This also means that the frets have a longer separation between each other, so this will make it harder for people with smaller hands when playing some chord positions.

Another characteristic of a longer scale is that it makes the guitar sound 'snappier' or brighter. This is due to the extra separation between harmonics and overtones produced by the tension. This influences tone more than any other factor (except the pickups).

Lastly, remember that you can also affect the tension of the strings by changing your string gauge. You can use a thicker gauge for more tension and a lighter one for less tension.

Neck Profile Comparison

Cort G280 Select Neck Profile
Cort G280 Select's neck profile
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola Neck Profile
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola's neck profile

No single neck shape is better than others. However, most people tend to prefer a thinner necks because it doesn't get in their way when playing fast and most hand sizes can adapt to it pretty well. However, some people still prefer thicker necks for a better grip, especially if they have big hands.

In this case, both guitars have different neck shapes:

The Cort G280 Select has a V type of neck. This neck shape was more common during Fender's early years. Some people like it because they use their thumb over the edge of the fretboard to press the lower strings. It's rather thicker than most modern necks, so it's not usually used for playing fast solos.

The Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola, on the other hand, has a C neck. This is what you'll find in most modern guitars. Most people feel like the thickness of a C neck is simply the less intrusive one for playing fast, while at the same time allowing you to grab the neck easily for resting if you want to.

Fretboard Radius Comparison

Cort G280 Select Fretboard Compound Radius
Cort G280 Select's Compound Fretboard Radius
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola Fingerboard Radius
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola's Fingerboard radius

Most electric guitar fretboards are not flat; they usually have a curve or arc across their width. A curved fretboard will make it easier to perform chords without muting strings, while a flatter one will make it easier to play single notes, which is good for bending and soloing in general. The best fretboards have a compound radius that varies across the fingerboard, but they're not common since they take a lot more work to build.

In this case, the Cort G280 Select is the only one with a compound radius. This is a huge win because it will give you the best of both worlds: a more curved radius in the first few frets for chords, and flatter as you come closer to the body for soloing.

Hand Size Comfortability

Everyone has a different hand size, and that's why it's recommended to try a guitar before buying, even if others tell you that it's comfortable to play. However, we can know whether a guitar favors small or large hands just by knowing its exact measurements.

And after taking into account the scale length, nut width, neck profile and fretboard radius, we can conclude that the Cort G280 Select favors large hands more than the Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola.

Cort G280 Select:
Big Hands
Balance
Small hands
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola:
Big Hands
Balance
Small hands

Fret Size Comparison

Cort G280 Select Frets Size
Cort G280 Select's Frets Size
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola Frets Size
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola's Frets Size

The Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola has Medium Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Cort G280 Select's Medium frets.

Some people prefer taller frets because they result in more sustain since the strings get pressed cleanly without interference from the fretboard. However, if they're too tall—like Jumbo frets—, you might change the pitch of the strings accidentally if you press too hard because you won't be touching the fretboard with your fingers. This is also why some guitarists with a heavy grip prefer smaller frets. They like to feel the fingerboard to avoid pressing down too hard and getting out of pitch.

Final Playability Scores

Cort G280 Select
Bending & Vibrato Ease 60
Chord Playability 100
Solo Playability 60
Playability 73
Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola
Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 70
Playability 73

Cort G280 Select vs Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola Specs Comparison

General Cort G280 Select Gibson SG Standard 61 Maestro Vibrola
Brand: Cort Gibson
Year: 2021 2019
Configuration: HSS HH
Strings: 6 6
Made in: Indonesia United States
Series: G Original Collection
Colors: Black, Yellow Red
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: Alder Mahogany
Bridge: Cort CFA-III Tremolo ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic Vibrola
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Set
Tuners: Cort Staggered Locking Vintage Deluxe w/ Keystone Buttons
Fretboard: Rosewood Rosewood
Neck Material: Hard Maple Mahogany
Decoration: White Dots Acrylic Trapezoids
Scale Size: 25.5" 24.75"
Shape: Ergo-V Slim Taper
Frets: 22 Medium 22 Medium Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 12" to 15.75" 12"
Nut: Plastic Ivory Tusq
Nut Width: 42mm (1.654'') 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 5 Way 3 Way
Knobs: Dome Bell
Pickup Mods: None None
Volume Controls: 1 2
Tone Controls: 1 2
Bridge Pickup: Cort Voiced Tone VTH-77 (Humbucker / Passive) Gibson Burstbucker 61T (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Cort Voiced Tone VTS-63 (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Cort Voiced Tone VTS-63 (Single Coil / Passive) Gibson Burstbucker 61R (Humbucker / Passive)