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 - Les Paul Special - First Impressions

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Peckhammer, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Peckhammer

    Peckhammer Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Dec 1, 2014
    Just got a 2012 LP special, heritage cherry, with P90s. The non-gloss open pore finish looks kind of cool, and kind of cheap-- especially with light pink color binding which I assume is from heritage cherry dye has bleading into it. Or maybe it happened when polishing.

    The guitar has a somewhat cheap feel until you hear it. Wow, these P90s are really good. The odd thing is that the neck is angled, but the body is a slab. The pickups sit parallel to the flat body as the string pass a somewhat steep angle over them as the make their way to the bridge. I think they are set too low.

    The neck has an interesting feeling because of the open pores of the mahogany neck. Not sure if I like that or not. The neck appears to have a bow (concave), but there is almost no fret buzz at all. That’s actually amazing because the guitar has lower action than any guitar I own. 2/32" on the bass side, less than 3/64" on the treble side. I've heard that Gibson uses a curved truss rod that applies relief between the nut and the 12th fret. Not sure if that is true, but it might account for what I am seeing, in comparison to the way my Fenders look. Despite feeling a little cheap, I played it for 3 hours last night and it is a pretty amazing sounding guitar.

    Anyone have one? What do you think of them?


    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017

  2. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    I've played a Gibson with that kind of satin finish/lack of finish or whatever you call it, and have an Epiphone with a similar type of thing.

    The Gibson felt much better when I played it, and I hated how my Epiphone's neck felt, but after a couple of years the neck feels much better. That kind of finish smooths out after you play it a lot, if that makes sense.

  3. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    I have a Walnut 2012 Special (P90) and a TV Yellow 2012 Special (Humbuckers). Your special has the Faded style finish that was occasionally done for Guitar Center when then would have big sales. I remember the Brookfield store selling LP Studio Faded models in your red or brown for $600 with hard case and they sold a pallet of Les Pauls that weekend. I like the Faded guitars. I have an SG Standard and an SG Faded that I gigged. I love the feel of the woodgrain (I love mahogany). I feel the same way when I play my Martin 15's.....the woodgrain against my hands makes that guitar feel like an "honest" wooden guitar. I think your guitar looks great. I'm, assuming that you have neck binding?? That's a nice looking guitar.

    My 2012's....

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I hope that you enjoy it. I love Gibson Specials. When they're new they are a lot of "Made in the USA" guitar for under $1000. The used deals can be fantastic to search for and find. Congratulations.
    Flaneur and markjames like this.

  4. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

    Nov 28, 2006
    I had a 2012 Jr. Special in black that I got from GC during their blowout sale for 499. Had to try 8-10 of them, but the one I got was amazing.

    As a rule, all Gibsons have a neck angle which varies from model to model, with this model being one of the flattest.

    I only sold mine because I picked up a 2016 SG Standard p90, that side by side, was better sounding. More clarity, depth and high end. I can't afford to have two of the 'same' style guitar sitting around, so I sold the 2012. If I come across a good deal when I have a bit more coin, I would re-buy in a second.

  5. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 5, 2012
    South Louisiana
    I had a Gibson Les Paul special Double cutaway in Faded TV yellow.Bought it used. It was a bit beat up, but I got it cheap. It sounded great and I loved it off and on for a few years.
    However, I never could get along with the tactile feel of the faded finish. I eventually sanded the finish from the back of the neck with OOO steel wool and then re-finished the bare wood with a dozen coats of Tru Oil. That made it slick as glass.
    I sold it after a while, but no discredit to the guitar... One day I'd like to have a Jr.
    Peckhammer likes this.

  6. Guran

    Guran Friend of Leo's

    Mar 20, 2007
    I have a 2012 Jr in satin white. In some ways it feels cheap, in others it's just great. The fret ends were very poorly dressed and the finish is cheap. Besides that, playability is great and the the tone... If you want a snarling, biting guitar for dirty rock'n'roll, it will be hard to find anything better.

    Despite the cheap feel it's my number one (shared duty).
    Peckhammer likes this.

  7. Big tuna

    Big tuna Tele-Holic

    Oct 28, 2012
    east side
    I have a 2011 HC special with glossy finish. It's has a nice playing neck one of my favorite Gibson guitars. But i don't play any of them that much Fender has always been my favorite pick me up and play me.

  8. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 24, 2014
    Congrats and enjoy. It reminds me of an SG Special with, of course, the Les Paul body shape.


    I'll bet you can get some great Carlos at Woodstock sounds/tones with it.


  9. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx

  10. Peckhammer

    Peckhammer Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Dec 1, 2014
    I am considering shooting the neck and head stock with gloss nitro. That mat finish headstock is a crime. And yeah, it a great sounding rock guitar.

    I have wanted a Jr. forever. I found a great substitute in the Reverend Sensei Jr. — the bass roll-off pot gives even more tonal options to a one pickup guitar.

  11. Peckhammer

    Peckhammer Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Dec 1, 2014
    I’ve been playing mine every night since getting it. I do wish it was properly finished, but in some ways that cheap gritty finish is liberating. I absolutely do not care what happens to it as long as it continues to sound good.

    I bought this one with the intension to take the Lollar Goldfoils out of my Reverend Daredevil and stick them in the LP. Once I heard those P90s, that plan faded quick.

  12. chemobrain

    chemobrain Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Nov 5, 2016
    oakland ca.
    eeeeew! sweet! congratulations.

  13. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

    May 24, 2010
    A fat necked Junior is a force of nature. A Special is cut from the same cloth- but more versatile. One of the great used bargains- and worth the search. :cool:;)

  14. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    Those jrs were my main axe for years. I think yours looks great. Mine hardly had any finish left on it.
    Woman tone in spades. I actually had a hard time coaxing anything but that out of it, thou...
    Basically I went from Les Paul special, to jr, to tele.

  15. Peckhammer

    Peckhammer Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Dec 1, 2014
    There’s more to this story, so I might as well provide an update. I ended up returning the original single cutaway that was pictured. It had a lot of dents/depressions not disclosed by the seller. It sounded so good that I had to find another one, though. And that one was also not in the condition described. It needed to be refretted, so back it went.

    I then landed two LP standards in good shape. The ‘03 double cutaway is a well cared for players guitar, and the ‘11 single cut is in like-new shape. Both sound great.


    The doublecut seems to weigh about 6 lbs, but sounds huge. The other feels like it’s about 8 pounds. I installed goldfoils in the singlecut and it sounds amazing too. I love these guitars.


    I’ve always wanted a Jr., and i’ve had a couple types, but they were limited in tonal variance. The Specials are just more versitle. Then I bought a Supro Jamesport and it is by far the best single pickup guitar I’ve played. Got it for $265, brand new.

    Zepfan likes this.

  16. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    My 50s Tribute had the full satin thing.
    The neck felt OK, but just not...proper.
    I couldn't get used to it feeling like lumber.
    It turned out there was a LOT more finish on it than I had thought, and it had just sunk into the grain.
    There was enough there to sand it dead smooth.
    I also polished/buffed the body and headstock.
    Satin headstock?
    That's just weird.
    I can see skipping the buffing of the paint to save dough, but you'd think the headstock overlays are MADE shiny.

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