A very Special '60 Les Paul

Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,273
It took a long time to find that one.
I was looking for a 2x P-90's solid body, found the Specials a bit over-priced to say the least, besides the dangerous neck pickup placement on the first double cut version, the Wilshire appealed to me, except for the goofy switch location, they tried 2 different ones, both equally impractical IMHO.

I found this '60 LPS on Reverb, and the seller accepted my (reasonable) offer.
It needed a bit of work, the usual refret of course, and some Age of Aquarius LSD addled brain glued a hateful peace & love sign on the peghead, gone, but the glue ate a bit of the lacquer.
Parts of the guitar had been brushed pink, and the guard was a one ply rough cut affair. The volumes had been replaced with CTS pots in '73.
It was also Grover-ized, which I usually dislike. FWIW the case I got it in had a V.I.R Larry Cragg label.

Anyway here it is, I found a set of single line Klusons and '61 Centralab pots, ordered a proper replica guard, poker chip and bridge from MojoAxe (I decided to use the original bridge, which intonates fine for me), filled and re-drilled tuner holes, cleaned up and over-sprayed the peghead.
I was able to get the remaining pink paint in the crevices, corners and truss-rod cover off.

It sounds and feels fantastic, the thicker mahogany slab gives it a more authoritative voice than my Coronets, I can't be happier as this is one of my dream guitars.
My main concern also was to find one with an in-between neck profile, not a baseball bat, not a blade neck, it is medium and is very similar to my '61 Coronet.

60LPS - 1.jpeg
60LPS - 2.jpeg
60LPS - 3.jpeg
60LPS - 4.jpeg
60LPS - 5.jpeg


And for comparison, it is here with the '61 Coronet.
Even though the guitars are at max one year apart, built in the same factory probably by the same workers, the red dye on the Special totally faded away for a natural mahogany colour, except under the guard & wraparound, and around the heel. The lacquer looks to be different as well, the Coronet finish is thicker, but it cracked and checked in a totally different manner than the LPS:

60LPS - 6.jpeg
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And in action:

 

murkat

I like sea otters
Messages
1,680
Cool story, Great Job, Well executed, Congrats! (any neck joint warble?)
 

Heinz W

Genuine '66 Relic
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,748
That's awesome.

Still kicking myself for letting one of these get away 8 years ago. My local mom and pop music store had it. Same year, same iteration (#2), but was nearly mint. So was the case, candy, and tags. $6800 at the time. I wanted more of a player and this was a collector's item. :bonk
 

Heinz W

Genuine '66 Relic
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,748
...ordered a proper replica guard, poker chip and bridge from MojoAxe (I decided to use the original bridge, which intonates fine for me)...
Laurent, may I ask why you didn't use the Mojoaxe bridge? Did you even use it, or have previous experience using one? I know you found the intonation okay with the original, but any other reason?

I ordered a Mojoaxe for my '58 Junior soon after acquiring it last year but I found the tone a bit thinner, and not in a good way. Next string change I went back to the original Gibson bridge, which to my ears sounds better. However, I get some slight sitar sound on the b and e strings with it, though if I push them down right next to bridge it goes away for awhile. The tone being better makes it a mild annoyance at best, but wondering what your thoughts are on the matter.
 

Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,273
Laurent, may I ask why you didn't use the Mojoaxe bridge? Did you even use it, or have previous experience using one? I know you found the intonation okay with the original, but any other reason?

I ordered a Mojoaxe for my '58 Junior soon after acquiring it last year but I found the tone a bit thinner, and not in a good way. Next string change I went back to the original Gibson bridge, which to my ears sounds better. However, I get some slight sitar sound on the b and e strings with it, though if I push them down right next to bridge it goes away for awhile. The tone being better makes it a mild annoyance at best, but wondering what your thoughts are on the matter.
Well, the original bridge works well enough, it doesn’t tilt, is pretty tight with the intonation screws not crazy in, I think by this time Gibson had figured out the proper location for the studs.
It also intonates great for me, is original to the guitar and is good enough for a knuckle dragger anyway…

The MojoAxe is really well made, aluminium too, I will try it eventually, or not… Can’t imagine it will sound that different unless it’s a different aluminum grade.

Your issue sounds like the B and E strings dug notches in the plating and soft material of the bridge, on mine I did draw file over the high E with a fret corner file, as I got the same issue, and then buffed the surface.
 

Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,273
And to add, you probably all know this, but save some ball ends from old strings for those bridges.

Some brands will have the wraps for the ball end just at the exit of the wraparound, and a crease there means you’ll never stay in tune, no matter how much you stretch the strings.

Some other brands will have the end of the wrap where your hand rests behind the top of the bridge, which is painful…
 

Anje

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,190
Congrats Laurent, nice work, looks and sounds like a great one.
This particular model was my first “real golden era vintage” guitar years ago, absolutely loved it and it got me hooked forever. Those are fantastic guitars, actually I have the tone of this plugged into a full 67-68 JTM50 Marshall stack very clearly burnt into my brain; still is a reference to me to this day.
 

Jack Daniels

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,381
Very nice! I showed you the pic of the DC Junior I made recently. It’s quickly become one of my favorite guitars. I wasnt expecting the DC to be so damn resonant. Congrats on a great guitar.
 

Gilky

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,506
Man, that sound! That's why one of these is on my bucket list, incredible. Awesome refurb too Laurent, looks as good as it sounds.
 

DaveNJ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,739
Beautiful, @Laurent Brondel ! Did you find a direct drop in set of Klusons? Vintage or new repro? I was wondering if there is a new repro set I could drop into my 59...
 

Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,273
I was wondering if there is a new repro set I could drop into my 59...
Yes, both Kluson and Gotoh make a 3-on-a-plate repro that will fit right in.
The Gotoh is probably better mechanically and more durable, but Kluson has the vintage correct single, double and no line tuners if that matters.

I had real vintage ones for mine, ask on this thread, and I bought another set from a member here for my Coronet in fact. Or look on eBay and Reverb of course.
 

crashbelt

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
584
Great guitar - love your classic P90 LPS tone. I really like these as player rather than collector instruments.

My heel-repaired 59 has done slide duty for every gig I've played since I got it in 1989.
 

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,729
Great looking and sounding guitar! Nice work restoring and always nice to hear you play.
 
Messages
623
I believe that is the same configuration (model & year), meaning neck joint that Mark McEntee used during the Divinyls days. It always struck me as a great sounding guitar and cool looking to boot. Congratulations.

L4IxdxX.jpg
 
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