Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

NGD: 2015 Les Paul Special P-90S

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Axis29, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Got it yesterday... Brand new. Sam Ash is blowing them out for ridiculously low dollars.


    Nice and understated.


    A lot of the features others get all hopped up about I really, really like. Some I'm coming to terms with and I think I have one or two small nitpicks.

    • The wider neck is a big plus! Plus, they've rolled the binding edges to make a really nice, soft edge that feels really nice in my hand. The neck is a little thin front to back, but the width makes up for it and makes it something I can live with.
    • Smaller frets are lovely to play on. I have an early 70's SG that has paper thin frets and I owned a '68 ES-340 with the same flat wide frets for 18 years. I know, and like, low frets and these are nice.
    • The signature scrawl logo on the headstock? Sorry, but the minute I saw it I loved it
    • Adjustable nut with zero fret... Yup, huge fan!
    • Tele style single volume, single tone works really well. They are placed just a touch further away than a Tele's controls, but still well within pinky reach
    • Stronger neck joint - Duh - Having never owned a DC Special before, the neck transition is fine... plus, it's way up the dusty end of the fretboard. I ain't used to being able to reach up there anyway!
    • The two piece body is almost a center seam and it took me a few minutes to find it. They matched it up really well. It doesn't have any figure and is very understated. But, I kinda dig that on a 'budget' line guitar. It's also really, really light... Gonna be a great stage guitar, I think
    • The G-Force Tuning system I am unsure about. It seems to work decently... But, I wonder how long it will take to get used to the big black hunk on the back of the headstock. It certainly seems light, and does not make the guitar a neck diver (like my SG!). I do not really like the tulip peghead buttons... the typical Gibson minty greenish hue and wrong for a Special. If I keep the G-Froce, I might have to figure out if I can change to ivory round buttons.
    • I could do without the hologram sticker... Sorry Les.
    • Not sure about the small, smooth knobs. They are a little hard to grab. I have a feeling when i am sweaty on stage, they might really be difficult. They look relatively vintage correct for a Special.
    • PCB control board... Never a fan. Plus, I might go with CTS vintage taper volume pot... Lower tensions will make it easier to deal with the small, smooth knobs. I do kinda like the taper, though
    • Alnico Slug P-90S and ST... The jury is out still. Not sure what Gibson was trying. They claim they are like some of the first P-90s that were used on ES-125s. But, they only put them on Melody Makers in '14 and Juniors and Specials in '15. Brighter P-90s? Might mean they are closer to my Gretsch Dearmond 2000's. That wouldn't be a bad thing. They definitely overdrive the amp hard for such low output pickups (not a bad thing at all)
    • Right now, I still have the stock D'Addario strings, which I absolutely hate! Always have, they tend to be thin and plinky sounding to me. I'm trying to decide if I got straight for Thomastik Flatwounds. I will wager that when I find the right strings for this guitar, the pickups will wake up nicely.
    Fit and finish are excellent. Setup needs some tweaking, but new guitars always do for me... Plekking or no. The tailpiece is low on the bass side, causing a buzz. The nut is a little high, causing G# to be really sharp on a cowboy E chord. And I think there is an issue with the output jack (or my old guitar cord in the practice space, we'll see in a couple hours)

    Overall I love, this guitar.

  2. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Holic

    Oct 15, 2013
    East Texas
    Congrats! She's beautiful. Understated elegance.
    Axis29 likes this.

  3. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    I really wanted to grab one of those up over a year ago. GC had swapped the tuners already on it.

    I love that finish. Congrats!
    Axis29 likes this.

  4. mnutz

    mnutz Tele-Afflicted

    Awesome! Congrats!
    Axis29 likes this.

  5. Crashbelt

    Crashbelt Tele-Meister

    Mar 15, 2017
    Cambridge England
    Very nice especially if the price was good.

    I use my DC Special for bottleneck. P90s are awesome - play the he'll outta that bad boy:D
    Axis29 likes this.

  6. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Changed strings and it was a he-uge improvement in tone. I went with a set of Pyramid Gold 100% nickels that I had sitting around.

    However, I have found fault with the output jack. It's one of the new fangled ones with two contacts for the tip. But, there is no contact for the sleeve (other than the hole it goes in, I guess). If I move and put pressure on the cord, it creates an awful, loud ground buzz. Trying to decide if I make Gibson deal with it, or I do the expedient thing and just pop in a new jack myself. I'm leaning towards doing the ten minute repair myself.

    Still, very happy with the guitar, especially at the price I got it for! It is a lot of guitar for the money!

  7. TimothyC

    TimothyC Tele-Afflicted

    May 12, 2016
    Happy ngd! Make sure to email Gibson about the titanium nut replacement. Strings dug deep grooves into the brass in 6 months of me owning it. They'll ship it for free if you provide them the serial number. Lovely guitar!
    Axis29 and Believer like this.

  8. Believer

    Believer TDPRI Member

    Jun 8, 2012
    I got the Cherry version, and I agree with most of your points. I really like the P90s, they really woke up my DSL 401 (maybe just easier to tweak:confused:). I don't particularly like the scrawled signature on the headstock, but the G-Force tuning system is a surprise. I really like it; it's very smooth in operation, and the tuner buttons seem very "Gibson-y" to me. The included hard case is very nice. All this for $579 delivered. In spite of the low price, it doesn't feel at all like a "budget" guitar. Not bad...not bad at all.
    Route67 and Axis29 like this.

  9. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Congrats, really nice.:cool:
    Always wanted one of these in Cherry. When I had the money, they were impossible to find.:mad: Now that I don't have any money, they turn up.:(
    Believer and Axis29 like this.

  10. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 4, 2017
    ooo - that's lovely, that is!
    Axis29 likes this.

  11. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

    May 24, 2010
    I'm with Crashbelt on this......has the makings of a great slide guitar. :)
    Axis29 likes this.

  12. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Yes, the adjustable nut and the G-Force tuning system should get me to Open G without any thought!!

    Been playing it a good bit today. I really like it a lot.

    (But, I did swing by and pick up a Switchcraft output jack... Gonna take care of that tomorrow or Monday)
    Believer likes this.

  13. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Yummy. Congrats. Always wanted a double cut with P90s. Love the finish. Enjoy.
    Axis29 likes this.

  14. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    That's a cool guitar. Love the double cut and wood grain. I love it. Congratulations!
    Axis29 likes this.

  15. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

    Aug 6, 2012
    That's a good looking guitar, and they do have them priced right for sure. I'm pretty sure you can contact Gibson and they'll send you a titanium nut to replace the brass one. I think that was a downfall, the strings cutting the brass down, and added friction causing issues with the G-Force tuner. Thanks man. Now you have me GASing!
    Axis29 and Believer like this.

  16. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    So, ran by my old office and threw it on the postal scale... it comes in at a whopping 7 lbs, 1.2 oz. Might be my lightest current electric.

  17. Syrinx

    Syrinx Tele-Meister

    Aug 7, 2016
    Champaign illinois
    Sweet guitar! Love mine! I never notice the visual things people are cheesed by- sig- holo etc. As far as the neck I love it-and cant believe how people whined about it. Gforce still good after 2 years-not my dealio either-but why not have a open mind i thought- or was lazy! Hate to do anything to potentially alter the sound as it is killer! Enjoy yours!
    Darkness and Axis29 like this.

  18. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

    Sep 20, 2011
    Killer guitar. I just got a Junior from Sam Ash. These have some really nice features and you can't beat the price.
    Axis29 likes this.

  19. callasabra

    callasabra Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 11, 2016
    Nice guitar, I would love a lefty.

    Can you manually tune the strings or must you use the gforce thing?

  20. Kerberos

    Kerberos Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Nov 27, 2016
    Long Island
    Wow! Great Find, at a Great Price! (Just checked Sam Ash's price on this) I have two Sam Ash Local here in Nassau County on Long Island. Zero advertising! I get hammered everyday with emails for GC, MF, and Sweetwater...Nothing from Ash.
    Axis29 likes this.

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