Gibson Guitar Board: 2016 ES Les Paul Special vs 2015 Memphis ES Les Paul Historic Burst - Gibson Guitar Board

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2016 ES Les Paul Special vs 2015 Memphis ES Les Paul Historic Burst

#1 User is offline   Big Arm 

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 09:31 PM

Looking at these 2 models (along with Epiphone Florentine). What can you tell me about them? The 2016 Special is plainer. How do they compare quality wise? I can get a used Special for less than $1300 and supposedly a mint Historic Burst for $1800. Quite a difference in price and both are much lower cost than other models. I don't really want a real expensive one, but rather one that I don't mind taking out of the house. However, a good guitar would be nice.

#2 User is offline   JimB1 

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 03:42 AM

I looked at several of the ES Les Paul specials mainly because they are affordable but I found the finish to be lacking, especially around the neck on most. I also wasn't thrilled with the overall look of the specials. Played nice though, all the basics are covered in that model if you can get around the finishing job which is where they saved money. The standard ES Les Paul's seem so much better finished to me so I just ordered a NOS 2015 ES Les Paul in bourbon burst, probably be here early next week. I am going to be waiting impatiently for the FedEx truck all week Posted Image
I think the Epiphone florantine is a different beast. It's a routed back mated to a laminated top sort of like a wildcat in a Les Paul shape. I liked that one too but I think it's a little heavier and sounds more like a solid body to me.

  • 2015 Gibson J-45
  • 2012 Epiphone Joe Bonamassa Ltd Les Paul Goldtop
  • 2015 Gibson ES Les Paul Bourbon Burst

#3 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 01:41 PM

Aside from being quite different models, in 2015 Gibson made the fingerboards a little wider. Some people liked it and said it kept them from slipping off the board, other people didn't care for it at all.

If possible I would advise you play them both and see which one feels better in your hand as the necks will be different even though they are both Les Pauls. [blink]

Personally I think the ES is worth a lot more than $500 more than the special, but that is just me, but if it were me I'd grab the ES assuming the neck width didn't bother me.
2017 Custom Shop 356 Mahogany/Maple Antique Natural
2017 Les Paul Standard T Honeyburst
2013 L5-CES Natural (Maple/Spruce)
2013 Les Paul Custom Lite (Mahogany/Maple) Ebony
2007 Taylor Solid Body Custom (Sapele/Walnut)
2010 Fender Telecaster (Ash)
2006 Taylor Grand Symphony (Rosewood/Spruce)
1981 Ovation Balladeer
1963 Walthari Mittenwald Classical
Rivera Venus 6 (1 X 12)Combo
Blackstar HT-5R (1 X 10) Combo
AER Compact 60-2

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