It's an SG. First word that comes to mind is "mojo". Plenty of dark, warm, murky twang. Quite a difference from my Fender '57 RI Strat. Generally a warmer and thicker tone while the Strat remains a subtle, thin instrument. I usually use the bridge pickup to get a high end sparkle; add some contemporary chorus and you've got INSTANT Andy Summers (The Police) tone. The neck pickup is a little muffled, but not too bad. It's nothing the tone controls can't fix.
Picking this instrument up a few days ago, I've realized that I really do like the Gibson tone. I was such a Fender snob for awhile, still am, but I really do like the sound of this instrument. While the pickups are not the best in the world (on high gain they will squeal and make your ears bleed), they are easily replaceable I'm sure, and the instrument will take them like a gift.
One important issue I always concern with instruments is how they sound when they're NOT plugged in. Take a pick and strum the instrument when it's in your hands...no cords, no amps, nothing. If it's loud and warm, you've got some good tonewood. The tone wood in my opinion is more important than the pickups on most instruments, this guitar being no exception. This is LOUD unplugged, and LOUD plugged in.
Overall? Excellent tone.
seems like it would hold up during a gig. it holds up fine during bedroom playing, and my dad gigged it for 10 years, so why not?
I can't see anything going terribly wrong with this instrument during a gig.
I have been playing for almost two years, and I currently own a Fender Stratocaster, a Ventura SG, a Yamaha FG412-S, an Austin AU341S, and a Goodlin Classical. I play through a Behringer GM110, and in my fx chain I have a Boss SD-1, Boss CE-5, EH Small Stone, Danelectro Corned Beef, DOD Classic Fuzz, Arion SAD-3, and an Arion HU-30.
This instrument holds up well during the most shredalicious licks and in jazzy blues at the neck. If you're lucky to find one of these instruments, I'd suggest giving it a try. It may be your cup of tea, or it may be your worst enemy. Instruments are like women; everybody has their own taste.