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Les Paul Special Club!

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My newest toy, 04 Faded Special, naturally worn playwear.

 

Welcome veeman, and thanks for the photo. Nice axe lookin about 1960s vintage. Congratulations. How in the world did it get so thoroughly worn since 2004 (or is that "04" really 1904?)

 

BTW, mine's #44 above.

 

Cheers,

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I wanted to replace my old beloved Sonex-180 Custom and jumped when they introduced this version for MF and GC.

 

I replaced the top-hat knobs with speed knobs, did an extensive set up (including pickup bracket correction) added my vintage supple strap and chrome washers. Swapped the TRC for a blank one. I love the torrefied maple fretboard too.

 

6fe8f0da-32d0-4d26-aee0-158a99163373_zpsec6d62a8.jpg

 

20130526_161650_zps1a114fda.jpg

 

20130523_212121_zps44fdc830.jpg

 

Added a logo to an aftermarket case

 

20130603_194215_zps37271b1c.jpg

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Nice, Fazool, and love that fretboard. "Torrefied maple"...wazzat? Or is it the synthetic made with wood powders Gibson has been using these past few years?

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Nice, Fazool, and love that fretboard. "Torrefied maple"...wazzat? Or is it the synthetic made with wood powders Gibson has been using these past few years?

 

 

No, when they got in trouble over importing ebony and rosewood, they experimented with torrefied maple. Strats use a maple fingerboard so its not new. Torrefication is super heating the wood in a vacuum oven (no oxygen so it doesn't burn). It ultra hardens the wood and enhances the grain appearance too. Then they bake it in a pressure oven with moisture to impregnate the wood with moisture.

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Welcome veeman, and thanks for the photo. Nice axe lookin about 1960s vintage. Congratulations. How in the world did it get so thoroughly worn since 2004 (or is that "04" really 1904?)

 

BTW, mine's #44 above.

 

Cheers,

 

I'm guessing it's a good one, cuz thats all natural playwear. Whoever had it before me musta played the heck out of it. I've only had it a few days, it's in town getting a frett dressing and setup. What little I did play it, its sounded real good.

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No, when they got in trouble over importing ebony and rosewood, they experimented with torrefied maple. Strats use a maple fingerboard so its not new. Torrefication is super heating the wood in a vacuum oven (no oxygen so it doesn't burn). It ultra hardens the wood and enhances the grain appearance too. Then they bake it in a pressure oven with moisture to impregnate the wood with moisture.

 

Many guitarists and guitar geeks have been talking about Gibson's new torrefied fretboard wood. I've heard complaints it ain't quality and it ain't fair, and I've heard it's just fine quality and a progressive ecological move.

 

But I, for one, haven't really understood the technology or measurable benefits of torrefaction. And I'm the kinda Deke-geek that wants to know all the details. So, for others who need to know, below is a link that explains more technically what's goin on:

 

http://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/news/woodworking-industry-news/Gibson-Auditions-Torrefied-Maple-for--134531858.html#sthash.MBhSJCHw.dpbs

 

Not sure if Anderton's Music is scientifically objective, but thier analysis is well-written and seems balanced:

 

http://www.andertons.co.uk/blog/guitars/gibson-baked-maple-fingerboard-guidehttp:

 

And for the many [rolleyes] guitarists who happen to be credentialed scientists, google "Torrefaction" and you'll find the companies that perform this process provide specs that may put even your extra-perky intellect to sleep:

 

http://raw-torrefactiontechnology.blogspot.com/

 

Cheers,

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Here's mine... just got her set up and strung up with some .011's... this is a FUN guitar to wail on!!!

 

Congratulations, Bryan! [thumbup] Looks brand new...how'd you decide on 11s?

 

Cheers,

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Congratulations, Bryan! [thumbup] Looks brand new...how'd you decide on 11s?

 

Cheers,

 

I have 11's on my JB Studio and I love the 'beefiness' of the thicker-gauge strings. It was actually 'used' from Musician's Friend... can't find a blemish or flaw with it at all, other than the usual needing a setup...

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I have 11's on my JB Studio and I love the 'beefiness' of the thicker-gauge strings. It was actually 'used' from Musician's Friend... can't find a blemish or flaw with it at all, other than the usual needing a setup...

 

Thanks. "Beefiness". Is that the feel or is it the tone? I've talked with others who seem to get a stronger, louder tone with heavier strings...12s usually.

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Thanks. "Beefiness". Is that the feel or is it the tone? I've talked with others who seem to get a stronger, louder tone with heavier strings...12s usually.

 

I like them for bluesier sounding music, I use .010's on my other LP... just depends on what mood I'm in when I play, what style I am playing, etc.

I used .012's on my strats many moons ago, but they are a bit much for me now.

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I finally understand what all the P90 love is about!

 

I played this instead of my usual HB equipped LP for the last practice the difference was startling. Everything sounded rougher yet more articulate if that's not a contradiction. Less compressed sounding maybe? Anyway, I loved it!

 

Where can I find information on this model? Wood, pickups, etc. The serial number indicates it's from 2007 and I believe it's the Special Faded Doublecut but I can't find it on Gibson's site. (There is a Custom Shop 60's VOS model that looks really close, but I'm pretty sure that's not what this is) :-)

 

IMG_0264_zps16a75bd2.jpg

 

IMG_0267_zps9f07fc97.jpg

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It's all mahogany (body and neck), rosewood fingerboard...Gibson P-90's, unless changed

by you, or previous owner (if there was one). Your's appears to have a bit nicer finish,

than mine...which is the same color, but more "distressed," or relic'd, even when it was

new. Mine is a 2006 model.

 

Enjoy! [thumbup]

 

CB

 

Thanks for the info. The pictures make the finish look more uniform than it really is. The grain shows through quite a bit in person.

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Thanks for the info. The pictures make the finish look more uniform than it really is. The grain shows through quite a bit in person.

 

I enjoyed reading your enjoyment of this LPSpecial and its P90s, Innocent.

 

I'm three years new to electric guitars so my judgement is still kinda newbie, but I love P90s...five of my guitars have em and my must-play favorite happens to be a 1998 LPSpecial single-cut in TV Yellow. :rolleyes:

 

I hear that roughness-with-articulation too...good way to describe it.

 

Cheers,

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I've been a dedicated fender guy for decades and every gibson or gibson style guitar i buy always gets sold quick and i just cannot bond with them. Then this changed that to a degree i never would have imagined. It's all i wanna play now.

 

LPspecial_zps2d9c8dba.jpg

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I've been a dedicated fender guy for decades and every gibson or gibson style guitar i buy always gets sold quick and i just cannot bond with them. Then this changed that to a degree i never would have imagined. It's all i wanna play now.

 

As a serious fan of the Les Paul Special, I'm glad to hear your discovery, Hawk. There's another Gibson you might be surprised by. The BluesHawk is like a semi-hollow-body Les Paul, lightweight, with a Fender-scale neck. [thumbup]

 

Enjoy yer Special!

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Thanks. Yeah, i know about the hawk line. I have a epi nighthawk custom reissue thats basically a copy of one of the gibson models in that series. I was quite enamored at first but eventually i felt that fender scale length and bridge on such a light guitar thats a gibson style build just doesn't quite work right to me. Getting the special REALLY made me realize just how much that was the case so i'm selling it. A friend has the blues hawk he bought in the early 90's. Neither of us like it but he keeps it because he figures it's b worth something one day. I dunno. The special is really just that....special ! Besides the perfect tone, the neck is a thing of beauty. May just be THE best playing/feeling neck of any guitar i've owned. Certainly right there with the best at the very least.

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Thanks. Yeah, i know about the hawk line. I have a epi nighthawk custom reissue that's basically a copy of one of the Gibson models in that series. I was quite enamored at first but eventually i felt that fender scale length and bridge on such a light guitar that's a Gibson style build just doesn't quite work right to me. Getting the special REALLY made me realize just how much that was the case so I'm selling (the NightHawk). A friend has the BluesHawk he bought in the early 90's. Neither of us like it but he keeps it because he figures it's worth something one day...The special is really just that....special! Besides the perfect tone, the neck is a thing of beauty. May just be THE best playing/feeling neck of any guitar I've owned. Certainly right there with the best at the very least.

 

Yeah, I'm with you 100% on the LPSpecial. Perfect axe, in every way. [thumbup] But I love the BluesHawk too. And have two of those...cherry, and ebony, now need blue!

 

Cheers,

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Hello all,

 

I hope someone will be able to provide me with some information regarding a 1977 Gibson Les Paul Special 1955 reissue guitar that I'm considering on purchasing. I was doing some research on the original1950s Les Paul Specials and came across an article regarding the changes of the Les Paul Special during the 1950s. I have some concerns about a couple structural issues. The issues were addressed in the next year (or few years later) but I don't know if they would have been addressed in the 1977 reissue of the early 1950s Specials or not. Anyway, here is what I found out that is causing my inquiry:

 

1) "1956 Gibson Les Paul Special guitar specs Threaded inserts sunk in the wood for the studs on the wrap around stud tailpiece increased in length. This modification stops the studs from "leaning forward". This was a common problem on 1954 and 1955 Les Pauls."

 

2) "late-1959/1960 Gibson Les Paul Special guitar specs:"Les Paul Special" removed from peghead and left blank, but still often called

a "Les Paul Special" due to the thick slab body style associated with the LP Special. Neck pickup moved towards bridge 1/2" to make neck joint stronger (a *much* needed and desirable change, as the neck joint on prior LP Specials is very weak).

 

So my question is does anyone know if the 1977 Les Paul Special 1955 reissue would have replicated the 1955 Special exactly including the issues stated above or would they have been corrected in the 1977 reissue? Or is that what a reissue is, an exact replication of an earlier guitar model?

 

I like the guitar but I'm just starting to get interested in Gibson and don't know if those issues are a real concern or not. I'm also thinking that if there aren't any issues with this particular guitar after 36 years then maybe there should not be a concern, but I don't know if those issues can develop even after that length of time.

 

Thanks in advance for any responses.

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So my question is does anyone know if the 1977 Les Paul Special 1955 reissue would have replicated the 1955 Special exactly including the issues stated above or would they have been corrected in the 1977 reissue?

In Ian C. Bishop's book 'The Gibson Guitar from 1950 Vol II" (published in 1979) there is an illustration the 1977 re-issues of both the '55 single-cut and '59-'60 D-C re-issues accompanied with the following text;

"As can be seen from the illustrations, both styles now are equipped with tunamatic bridges for more accurate intonation."

 

The instruments both have separate tail-pieces and bridges and, from this, it is clear that the '77 R-I's will not suffer from the problems you mention regarding the bridge posts.

 

There was never a structural problem with the '55 neck design.

As stated in your text the original 1958 - early-'59 D-C examples had issues with weak neck-joints but the late-'59 - '60 versions were somewhat better.

The '77 R-I '59-'60 Double-Cut had the neck set-in even deeper than these later original models which, in turn, allowed for an even stronger neck-joint.

 

P.

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Thanks pippy for your reply but just so I understand correctly only the 1958 double cut Special had the weak neck joint which was addressed in 1959. Was there still a 1958 single cut Special or did it change to the double cut in 1958 which is why the neck joint wasn't as strong as the single cut Special (regardless of year)?

And just to confirm, the 1977 reissue of the 1955 Special would not have that weak joint issue. Correct?

 

Thanks.

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Yes, boscobound. Correct on all points.

 

AFAIK there was never a problem with the original single-cut necks.

The 1955-'57 single-cut (to state the obvious) had wood on the bass-side of the upper-body-bout as per a regular LP and therefore had a stronger neck socket/tenon joint.

FWIW I've played an original '57 quite recently and it was still as solid as the proverbial rock. The '77 should be just as solid!

The single-cut was replaced by the double-cut design for 1958.

 

\if you look at the guitars in, say posts #21 and #22 you can imagine why the single-cut was considered a more sturdy design.

 

The early d-c instruments, visually, had the base/end of the fret-board pretty much level with the edge of the body and there must have been problems pretty much from the outset as it was subject to a hasty re-designed during 1959 to strengthen the joint.

Looking at these later d-c instruments it's clear the neck is set deeper into the body and the body-edge is now visually roughly half-way up the 20th fret. Or, to put it another way, the fret-board now lies partially on top of the body.

In Ian C. Bishop's earlier book on the marque (T G G from 1950 Vol. I) there is a picture of two d-c's from '59. Their serial numbers are only a few hundred apart. One is the earlier design and the other the later so a direct comparison is possible.

 

For the '77 d-c R-I the neck is set in even deeper to further strengthen the design.

 

But there should never have been any worries as regards the single-cuts in the first place.

 

Hope that clarifies matters somewhat.

 

P.

 

EDIT : I've just run through all the d-c's in the thread and all of them - without exception - have the late '59 style neck join and control placement.

This suggests (although it's hardly proof) that Gibson has not reproduced a version of the earlier - weak - design double-cut.

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Great! thanks for clarifying pippy. Was 1977 a high quality year for this particular Gibson model? I love the P90 sound and looking for a quality classic era guitar. The guitar that I may purchase has the tobacco burst and its naturally "reliced". Not too much wear just mainly on the upper body where the paint has worn off. Assuming the guitar is structurally sound would $1000.00 be a good price for the guitar?

 

Thanks.

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Hmm....tricky.

 

The quality-control of Gibson during the early seventies has been the subject of much discussion. Even the books I mentioned earlier by Ian C. Bishop discussed the poor q-c evident at this time and as these books were written in '77 and '79 he was talking about very recent events at the Kalamazoo plant so his opinions would seem to have some basis in fact and not just mis-placed prejudice acquired through the mists of time.

If what we read is to be believed there were probably more 'duff' guitars produced in the first half of that decade than at any time either before or since...

BUT! I'd also say by 1977 the q-c was almost certainly better than it had been earlier and I certainly wouldn't let the rumours and hearsay put me off buying a guitar. I had a duff '76 LP Custom but most of the guitars I've played from this era have been good and a few have been stellar examples. You really do have to try them out personally to know.

 

I'd also guess that if the LP you are interested in has been played for the last 36 years it's probably perfectly fine. Good instruments tend to get played. Bad instruments tend to sit in cases...

 

The current asking rate (on ebay) for a mid-'70s single-cut seems to be roughly double what you mention so, even if the ebay prices are 'optimistic', the one which interests you would appear to be offered at a very good price.

 

YMMV is, I believe, the appropriate four-letter-acronym......

 

P.

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