90's LP Specials

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by teddy boy, Feb 16, 2006.


  1. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

    Messages:
    1,747
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Hi,

    I've been drooling all over those vintage jr's and specials in the other thread. Real beauties! Now I've been offered an early 90's LP Special single cut away in cherry. It has two P-90's, tulips and a stop tailpiece.

    Are they any good? That's my main concern. Why on earth did they put tulips and a stop tailpiece on a guitar that looks perfect with buttons and a wrap-around? This bothers me and although I'd like the guitar these features gave me second thoughts.

    Wonder if there's anyway to fit one with a wrap-around or a bad-ass? Anybody fitted one with a bigsby? Pics?

    Cheers!
     
  2. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

    Messages:
    553
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Finland
    +1. I wonder also why they are only available nowadays in the faded series.. Sure you can get the Historic model, but..
     
  3. riffpowers

    riffpowers Member

    Messages:
    545
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    It amazes me how under represented the p90 is in gibsons catalogue.
    Its the best pickup ever IMO and they only (if ever) stick them on the low end models.
    Why can't we have a decent range of specials and juniors??!!!
     
  4. SFK

    SFK Member

    Messages:
    618
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Toledo, OH
  5. BigDoug1053

    BigDoug1053 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,891
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    Pensacola, Florida
    I agree that the mini rhombi caught my eye in a not so pleasant way. Dots or no markers at all are better IMO. But I will generally take inlay over a decal any day! I think those 90's LPS's are currently a good deal, though. I am not that finicky about the relative quality between older models and the current reissues or historic or faded or reliced he hah. I have found almost all Gibbys I have played to be nice instruments - that's part of why they have iconic status.

    I also note that recent LP Specials do not have fretboard binding. After going through several iterations of having frets filed down because of fretboard shrinkage in a dry climate, the smoothness and minimal maintenance of the binding is a plus.

    I started out on a 61 SG special with a wrap bridge and cheap Klusons - and I had to replace them because of tuning and intonation problems - so those vintage aspects do not interest me at all. I am more interested in a simple P90 axe because they sound really good, and they aren't "precious." AND they shouldn't cost around $2K - they are "basic" models, right? For $2K, you should get a guitar that is flamey, ornamented nicely, perfectly set up, and that takes the garbage out and picks up the kids after school!


    :RoCkIn
     
  6. Luke V

    Luke V Member

    Messages:
    1,943
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Toledo
    They changed to a tunomatic and stop tailpiece so you can set the intonation no matter what gage of strings you use. I think they changed the tuners because of tunind=g problems.

    They weren't doing a reissue, just trying to refine a classic.

    Some like them, some don't.

    I think the MF jrs. kick ass.
     
  7. michael patrick

    michael patrick Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,669
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    I like my '97 LP Special...

    [​IMG]
     
  8. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

    Messages:
    1,747
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Hey Michael,

    I like yours! The one I have been offred has a gold decal on the headstock. I think it is more red than cherry, not sure if you can see the grain through. I also don't think it has binding on the fretboard. Any body seen one like this? Seems like a really weird model...
     
  9. jimmyj

    jimmyj Member

    Messages:
    4,983
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Location:
    Brookings, SD
    I think they started doing the Special without fretboard binding and not the vintage cherry finish in '98. It's probably a fine guitar but I definitely prefer my '95 with the binding and in the cherry finish.

    [​IMG]

    Back in the old days a lot of players complained about intonation with the wrap around bridge and "cheap" tuners. Back then, if you liked your old Jr. or Special enough you usually changed the button tuners and either had someone mount a stop tailpiece/TOM bridge or put on a BadAss bridge so you could adjust the intonation. These days, it seems Gibson has been able to make the guitars consistent enough and put the bridge in the right place that intonation doesn't seem to be a problem with the 1 piece wrapover bridge.


    The other guitar player in a band I played in during the '70s had a '56 LP Special that sounded amazing but he did have the hardest time getting it to play in tune. There are some old pictures of Leslie West with one of his LP Jrs with a stop tailpiece installed and Duane Allman's first electric that Delaney Bramlett bought also was converted to stop/TOM from the wrap-over.
     
  10. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

    Messages:
    1,747
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks guys,

    I think I prefer the models as shown in the pics w/binding. I might call the deal off and search for a nice early-mid nineties Special. Jimmyj, yours is fantastic!
     
  11. ES350

    ES350 Member

    Messages:
    571
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    The wraparound 'intonated' tailpiece on these things has never been retooled for plain G strings...I'll take the 'player' with a stop and TOM anyday over a 'vintage correct' box that can't be tuned...
     
  12. SFK

    SFK Member

    Messages:
    618
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Toledo, OH
    The other cool thing that is less mentioned about the pre 98 Specials is that they feature the accurate box neck joint. (with the ledge on the treble side.

    Also cool IMO.

    I used to have a '96 TV. They're very nice guitars.
     
  13. Rich

    Rich Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    900
    Joined:
    May 23, 2002
    I had 2 mid 90s versions. TV and Cherry. Bound necks, mini-Grovers, TOMs. Both had P100s-- not P90s -- so, beware.

    If you want a real P90, look for the Studio Gem. They're on ebay frequently.
     
  14. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

    Messages:
    1,747
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks for the tips.

    I just bought an SG Standard with which I'm really pleased. I was going to sell my Rickenbacker 620/6MB to fund it but then I was offered the exchange for the Special + some cash. Now, incidently, I have tremendous GAS for a junior or special. Particularly the pre-98-models. Anybody wan't to swap a 620 for a special or a junior? Hah! I may just have to sell the Ric anyway...
     
  15. jimmyj

    jimmyj Member

    Messages:
    4,983
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Location:
    Brookings, SD
    Good advice.
    I took out the P-100s and put in Duncan Vintage soapbars. Now it sounds as good as it looks.

    teddy boy, thanks for the compliment. I really like how it looks, too. :AOK

    Hey, I just noticed you're in Finland. I was there last year visiting relatives and friends. I even have a proper Suomalainen last name, Juntunen.
     
  16. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

    Messages:
    553
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Finland
    As someone said earlier the wraparound bridge can be swapped to a BadAss without having to go stop tailpiece... I put a BadAss bridge to my Fender Telesonic, which had a wraparound design that couldnt be intonated and the BadAss really saved that guitar. It's a really quality bridge, although quite pricey..

    Thanks for all the useful info conserning the different models!
     
  17. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

    Messages:
    1,747
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Terve vaan! I hope you enjoyed Finland!

    I'll be looking closely into the jr's now. Hopefully find one I like. I must admit Inoticed the Studio Gem is quite nice too...
     
  18. jimmyj

    jimmyj Member

    Messages:
    4,983
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Location:
    Brookings, SD
    Kiitos, minusta Suomi oli ihana. :D
     

Share This Page