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Thinking about Gibson Les Paul Special...

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Mulevaline, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. Mulevaline

    Mulevaline TDPRI Member

    18
    Nov 4, 2011
    rougemont, n.c.
    Are there any particular good/bad years of Specials? can't go early vintage, but from 1990 on, which are the best? years to avoid. Thanks!
     

  2. jondanger

    jondanger Friend of Leo's

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD
    I have a 96 double cut special. The double cuts have P90s and the single cuts have p100s, at least for the 90s models AFAIK. The early/mid 90s ones also have bound fretboards and regular size instead of tiny inlays, which is my preference. I'm not 100% sure when that changed, but at some point they went to more budget features on the specials. I think it's between 97 and 98.
     

  3. Mulevaline

    Mulevaline TDPRI Member

    18
    Nov 4, 2011
    rougemont, n.c.
    Thanks! helps alot.
     
    lineboat likes this.

  4. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Holic

    926
    May 23, 2011
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes jondanger is right on there. Most of us Special types want the P90s. The Single Cuts in the nineties will often have P100s installed at the factory, which are a 'milk-toast' stacked humbucker. Easy to switch over however, but also easy to check before you buy. Slacken off the strings and lift the p'up. Two layers and it's a P100. Many will already have been changed to P90s.
    My 1995 had P100s, but I had a spare pair of CS P90s....an easy switch over.

    Great guitars btw.
     
    lineboat likes this.

  5. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

    Aug 6, 2012
    They are great guitars. There seems to be variations in the neck profiles as well. Some have that huge baseball bat, and some the Slim Taper. I don't know how to tell, but if that matters to you it might be something to watch for.
     
    Indian Joe, Brian Wright and tonyj like this.

  6. jondanger

    jondanger Friend of Leo's

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD
    My 96 double cut has a pretty large neck profile FWIW.
     
    Brian Wright likes this.

  7. Marc Muller

    Marc Muller Tele-Meister

    Age:
    57
    218
    Oct 10, 2006
    NJ
    Love it. I use mine for swampy slide. Mine is 2007 Custom shop. I have 2006 SG and SJ - 200 and those mid 2000's seem to be great.

    soundchecknewguitar(4).JPG
     
    Brian Wright, lineboat and jondanger like this.

  8. jondanger

    jondanger Friend of Leo's

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD
    I like those custom shop models with the wraparound tailpiece. Gonna hurt me with that TV yellow.

    Don't get me started on those tuners!
     

  9. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Tele-Afflicted

    I've got a 2003 that was a mess when I got it. Someone attempted a TV Yellow finish and it ended up looking like Schoobus Yellow. I stripped it and did a quick finish on it since it was bought to be a beater and I was in a hurry to play it.

    Very comfortable guitar, chunky neck and nice balance. The body on this one is thinner than a lot of DCs I've played, and it's really small and lightweight. Neck dive is minimal. I tend to rotate through guitars, and every time I pick mine up I end up wondering why I stopped playing it.

    [​IMG]

    - D
     

  10. jondanger

    jondanger Friend of Leo's

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD
    ^ That reminds me: they moved the strap button to the upper horn around 98 I think. Before that they were in the body right by the neck heel, like an SG. I like the balance with the button there.
     

  11. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    54
    Feb 16, 2014
    Auburn, California
    Yeah, avoid those P100s from the '90s like the plague. Nothing like a good P90. Thin sounding humbuckers in a P90 package.
     
    Brian Wright likes this.

  12. bo

    bo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    I had a dbl cut '93 Special Run (1 of 300) that had a too thin neck. The strap button was where the neck met the body and thus everything hung forward on a strap. When I pulled the guitar up to playing position it would pull the guitar sharp.
     
    MatchlessMan likes this.

  13. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Friend of Leo's

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    I have a 2006 DC TV yellow. It's a feather weight and a great player. The only issue I had was (and there is a back story*) the frets were crubs. I had them rounded out by my tech and all is good.

    *Back story:
    I got this guitar from a friend who passed. He got it through a Gibson dealer who supposedly had a line on some special run that was part of a Keith/Ron request for an upcoming Stones tour. They ended up passing on the guitar and according to the story, this caught Gibson off guard. They apparently had already started getting production ready on this model (some sort of Keith/Ron Spec) before it got canned. This is suppose to be from this "Lot".

    I never could figure what was different from the regular off the rack LP DC (this isn't a custom shop guitar) until I took it in for a fret dress (also, the guy I got it from was a pro from the late 60's till he died in 2013--he RARELY ever bought guitars new--this one he did for some reason--supposedly because he knew about this specific example and the back story). When I picked it up from my tech he said that this guitar was something different. The frets ate up his fret tools. That it took him 3 days to round out the frets because his tools were dulling and his arms were burning. He couldn't say what the frets were made of, but that they were definitely different than what Gibson normally uses--and he's a very well trusted tech who does consulting for for Gibson and Fender. He joked about them being titanium or something like that--that he'd never in his 40 years of being a tech seen frets that abused his tools like that.

    I haven't weighed it (suppose I should), but it's easily the lightest solid body I've ever pickup. I also have an original '57 Les Paul Special and the DC feels like it's a few pounds lighter; the '57 is fairly heavy for a slab solid body in my opinion.
     
    Indian Joe likes this.

  14. bsman

    bsman Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 8, 2003
    Santa Clara
    [​IMG]

    I have a 2013 "Junior Special P90" (not sure what the "junior" denotes on this. It has the dreaded torrified maple fretboard, which plays very nicely, thank you. This particular guitar is amazing in one particular attribute: It doesn't care what amp you're using or what the setting is -- it sounds great pretty much every time I plug it in...
     
    Mulevaline likes this.

  15. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    Mine is a 2010. The 2010 pickups sound amazing.......whatever they are.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

  16. RyCo1983

    RyCo1983 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 15, 2012
    Central PA
    I have a 2010 Special Run Jr. Special with 2 P90s, a tune o matic, and an ebony fretboard. I DIG IT.
     

  17. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Friend of Leo's

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    What do your guys modern single cuts weigh in at? I'll weigh my DC (which I think is really light) and post.
     

  18. Mulevaline

    Mulevaline TDPRI Member

    18
    Nov 4, 2011
    rougemont, n.c.
    I know I definitely want P90's and a chunky neck....am looking at a 2012, but not sure about the neck thickness of that year....Does anyone know?
     

  19. fugazi39

    fugazi39 Tele-Meister

    111
    Aug 5, 2016
    West Michigan
    I have a 2012 Special. It's the thinner neck size. I do wish it was a baseball bat neck, but the guitar plays great.

    It also has the baked maple fretboard. I used a little lemon oil to darken it up and I must say it plays flawlessly. And P-90's rock.
     

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