Help me in my LP Special search...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by rubbersoul, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. rubbersoul

    rubbersoul Member

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    I'm contemplating getting an LP Special.

    If I have around $1500, where should I begin? What years should I look at? How do the new ones compare with older ones? I'm not thinking older like '58's or '59's...but like '80's or '90' models.

    I do think I want to stay with a TOM bridge. I fear the intonation problems of a wraparound...unless someone can educate me otherwise.
     
  2. itstooloudMike

    itstooloudMike Member

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    I've had many Les Paul Specials over the years, and am a big fan. There are a lot of different configurations from different periods, so it sort of depends on what you feel is important. The three big "deal breakers" for me are 1) it must have P-90s, 2) I like a bound fretboard, and 3) it must have a gloss finish. Some will add that it should also have a wrap-tail, which I do like, but I don't consider an absolute necessity. If you did want all 4 of the above mentioned features, you would either be looking at an original 50s version, or a Custom Shop VOS guitar. Either way, not cheap. But I just bought one that I consider a very nice LP Special for the money. It's the 2010 limited Guitar Center version, which has P-90s, a bound neck, gloss finish, and a tune-a-matic. It has a two-piece body, with nice grain in the mahogany. The guitar is very resonant, and has good weight for a Special. The fretwork is good and the rosewood board has nice grain and color. Overall, a great looking, playing, and sounding LP Special. These sold new for $999, and can be bought in the neighborhood of $800 in clean used condition. That's half of what a used VOS will sell for. I like it a lot. One more thing to mention, don't get one of the ones made in the 90s with P-100s. The P-100 pickups may look like P-90s, but they sure don't sound like P-90s. Also, as someone who has owned both Hamer and PRS guitars with P-90s, I can tell you that there is no substitute for an actual Gibson LP Special with Gibson P-90s. The original is still the best.
     
  3. rubbersoul

    rubbersoul Member

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    Man, believe it or not, I was eyeballing a 2010 Special. I like the tulip tuners, the gloss body, bound fretboard, and P90's. Hmmm...now I'm REALLY thinking about that guitar.

    So you find the guitar resonant. Are you happy with the pickups? There is a youtube video the guy from Greg's Guitars plays a 2010 Special and the sound on that just slays me.

    Thanks for the info.

     
  4. goodwater

    goodwater Member

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    90s Specials can be had for around a grand---glossy finish, bound fingerboard (mine had a one piece body), pearl logo--they usually have P100s but that's an easy remedy
     
  5. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    I got this '05 Historic (w/case and COA) used for $1200. Look around your local stores (or go to Nashville) and be prepared to pounce with cash in hand. They started plekking in '06. This one didn't need it.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. rubbersoul

    rubbersoul Member

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    ^^^ Oh...that's nice.
     
  7. itstooloudMike

    itstooloudMike Member

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    The P-90s in my 2010 Special sound great. And I also like the tulip tuners. The headstock "Gibson" is a decal rather than an inlay, but that doesn't bother me at all. I will trade the inlayed headstock emblem for neck binding any day of the week. The GC exclusive model just has all the features I find important, without the Custom Shop price tag.
     
  8. okie

    okie Supporting Member

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    I really dig the '90's models, bound neck, abr-1 bridge, gloss body, only downside is the P-100 pickups, but easily replaceable.

    Here's my '95 with Fralin alnico slug P-90's, , Bigsby B7, sounds great.

    [​IMG]

    Stock:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. saneff

    saneff Gold Supporting Member

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    I like the double cut TV yellows. I am looking to buy one right now if I can find one.
     
  10. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    That's the only color that they currently make my Historic in and they can be had for under $1500 in both single and double cut. Mine is proof of that.
     
  11. 67blackcherry

    67blackcherry Supporting Member

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    Definitely want the wrap tailpiece - those bridges produce a "light" and "airy" tone, which adds to the goodness of a LPS.

    Had a Historic, sold it, thinking I may get one in the future....
     

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