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Product H93794

Gibson Les Paul Special  

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The Gibson Les Paul Special is great deal on a unique guitar. The body is all-mahogany with a set, single-piece mahogany neck. Playability is perfect...Read More

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OVERVIEW

An affordable Les Paul with a powerful pickup combination and wraparound bridge.

The Gibson Les Paul Special is great deal on a unique guitar. The body is all-mahogany with a set, single-piece mahogany neck. Playability is perfect as you'd expect with its '60s slim taper neck profile, rosewood fingerboard and traditional 24-3/4" scale length. What sets this one apart from the rest is its pickup combination of a 490R neck and 491T bridge pickups. The 491T humbucker is noteworthy as it's crafted in the image of Gibson's acclaimed PAF ("Patent Applied For") humbucker of the late '50s, but updated with a ceramic magnet for great power, clarity and sustain. The result is a a stage-ready guitar with a winning range of tones and an unbeatable price.

FEATURES
  • Lightweight slab single-cutaway mahogany body
  • Nitrocellulose lacquer finish
  • 1-piece mahogany neck
  • 22-fret rosewood fingerboard
  • Dot inlays
  • '60s slim taper neck profile
  • 24-3/4" scale length
  • 1-11/16" nut width
  • 490R neck and 491T ceramic bridge pickups
  • 2 volume and 1 tone controls with 3-way toggle selector
  • White button tuners
  • Wraparound bridge
  • Chrome hardware
  • Includes gig bag

Can you afford not to add this Special Les Paul to your collection? Order today.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
GibsonLes Paul Special
 
4.3

(based on 14 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

86%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good feel (11)
  • Good tone (11)
  • Solid electronics (11)
  • Fun to play (10)
  • Good pick up (10)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming (11)
    • Practicing (11)
    • Recording (9)
    • Small venues (7)
    • School bands (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Experienced (11), Professional musician (3)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Nice guitar from Gibson USA

    I'll be 62 years old this May and sometimes my Gibson LP standard and LP
    Jr. seem a little heavy to me ... Purchased this guitar for my birthday
    with a...Read complete review

    I'll be 62 years old this May and sometimes my Gibson LP standard and LP
    Jr. seem a little heavy to me ... Purchased this guitar for my birthday
    with a cash gift from my girlfriend, children, and music students ...The
    Mahogany slab body in desert burst is flawless ... The action on the neck
    is better than my other single cut guitars(Gibson,PRS,Epiphone) ... and
    the fretwork is second to none(no unlevel or sharp frets) ... Apparently
    Gibson has solved their rosewood "problem" because this is the nicest
    rosewood I have seen on a 2013 guitar ... The electronics and tuners are
    regular Gibson quality ... Guitar is mildly stripped down with 2 volume
    and only one tone control... Guitar is well intonated even though it has a wraparound bridge ...Pickups are Gibson 490R neck and Gibson
    491T ceramic bridge pickup ... The 491T bridge pickup responds well to pick attack
    and seems to have a "little more attitude" than a regular 490T ... The 491T
    will remain on the guitar ... All in all -- this Gibson Les Paul Special
    is a nice feeling, good playing guitar ...

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Overall satisfied

    I was a little let down at first, but am now bonding nicely with this guitar.

    First off, there is no "Les Paul" signature as shown in the...Read complete review

    I was a little let down at first, but am now bonding nicely with this guitar.

    First off, there is no "Les Paul" signature as shown in the photos. Not a deal-breaker, but a little disappointing. Even though some snobs don't think Juniors and Specials should be considered true LPs, I'm of the opinion that they are.

    Secondly, the finish on my Desert Sunburst is much darker than the photos and not nearly as shiny. Not a huge fan of the dull, open-pored finish, but that's not why I bought the guitar. I bought it for the sound, and here it truly delivers! More on that later...

    Third, this is my third lower-end Gibson. My SG Faded had horrendous fret ends. I mean, you could cut a 2x4 with that neck. I then bought an LP Studio 50's Tribute and it again had terrible fret ends, but worse, there was a pronounced ridge running down the length of the neck between the fretboard and the mahogany neck. This guitar has better fret ends, but that ridge is still there and is a nuisance. I've checked other Gibsons in stores and a lot of them have this problem. Gibson QC should have fixed this two years ago.

    Fourth, the literature says it's a rosewood fretboard. I'm not convinced. Whatever it is, it's not bad - it just doesn't look like rosewood. The grain is much tighter and the color is lighter and more uniform than most rosewood fretboards. It looks and plays like a very light-colored ebony. I actually like it!

    Overall, setup was very good, but I spent a lot of time getting the intonation as close to right as I could (considering the type of bridge). Took a lot of tweaking as it was way off from the factory.

    Now for the sound: I already know the 490R well and got exactly what I expected. I had no idea what the newish 491T would be like (with a ceramic magnet). It is actually a very, very good pickup! If you could only have one guitar, this one would do nicely as the 490R does the blues / classic rock thing quite nicely while the 491T really kicks it into high gear for punk and almost-metal tones.

    I typically don't futz around with volume and tone when switching between pickups. But this is where the design of this guitar could be better. The pickups are so different, you really need that second tone knob.

    Hardware is all very good. Some people prefer the keystone tuners, but the button-tipped Klusons look right on this guitar and work as they should. The electronics are solid and hum-free.

    Gibson has increased the padding in their gig bags (very good thing, as the old ones were worthless).

    Overall, I would recommend this guitar to any musician - not just beginners.

    Reviewed by 14 customers

    Sort by

    Displaying reviews 1-10

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    5.0

    Great buy for the money

    By EricK

    from California

    About Me Experienced

    Ask me a question

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Recording
      • Small Venues

      Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

      I have to agree with Paul on the need to replace the bridge. The one it comes with lacks the quality you would find in a Gibson. However, changing the bridge and tuning keys makes this guitar a keeper. The base model is excellent for the money. Changing the bridge (replaced the bridge with a Schaller fully adjustable bridge) and tuning keys (Hipshot 6GLO Grip-Lock Locking Guitar Tuning Machines) makes this guitar every bit worth the name "Les Paul". Plus, it's light weight and easy playability makes this guitar (even with the extra cost of replacing the bridge and tuning keys) a real deal and worth more than you end up paying.

      Comment on this review

       
      4.0

      Amazing LP

      By KP Bandyopadhyay

      from Atlanta, GA

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Pick Up
      • Good Tone
      • Solid Electronics

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Practicing
        • Recording

        Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

        This is an amazing piece, beautifully crafted by Gibson. Arrived today. Near the Amp feedback sweet spot it's really fun to play when playing loud. It growls. Nice tone. The pickups are a bit loose not sure if that is something intended. I played an MIM strat SSS for many years, so it's not something usual to me. Nice guitar anyway ...

        Comment on this review

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Very good guitar after replacing bridge

        By Jim

        from New Mexico

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Fun To Play
        • Good Feel
        • Good Pick Up
        • Good Tone
        • Solid Electronics

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Jamming
          • Practicing
          • Recording

          Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

          This is a very good guitar, plays well and the electronics are solid. The only problem with it is the wraparound bridge does not have intonation adjustments for individual strings. I replaced the bridge with a Schaller fully adjustable bridge and the intonation and playability is now perfect. It was a very easy job and not expensive, so well worth it. Now, this is my favorite electric.

          Comment on this review

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          It is what it is

          By charles mckillip

          from salem indiana

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Solid Electronics

          Cons

          • Ugly Finish

          Best Uses

          • Jamming
          • Practicing
          • Quality Beater
          • Recording

          Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

          This version of the Gibson Les Paul Special should appeal to anyone who wants a great beater guitar.The build quality should not be confused with the finish quality.
          Obviously,at this price point something has to be comprimised to get an U.S.A. made gibson,the great news here is its not the build or materials.Its just ugly as heck for a gibson.
          All mohagany body and neck.No veneer or scarf joints.Great pickups,wiring and tuners.Frets are really good at this price.Not sure what the fret board is made of,dont look like rosewood but, its good enough wood though.
          Heres where you may want to think clearly about what your getting.The edges of the fingerboard are not finished,this leaves a ridge of sealer at the bottom of it.Also,the buffers at gibson overlapped the fingerboard wearing the outside edges down in places.The effect is like years of fingerboard wear at the edges.You may want to sand the edge down with 600 grit sandpaper and a hard sanding block,removing that unsightly ridge.
          But it plays and sounds great after you adjust the action and pickups like you should anyway. It is what it is, a great beater guitar.

          Comment on this review

          (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Beware NO LES PAUL LOGO !?

          By thekingof1976

          from Hartford , CT

          About Me Experienced

          Ask me a question

          Pros

          • Finish Is Superb
          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Solid Electronics

          Cons

          • No Les Paul Logo
          • Poor Quality Craftsmanship

          Best Uses

            Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

            I thought I was buying the guitar in the picture? It is but no LP logo on this one and the one I returned. First guitar had a chip of wood missing from the headstock. Second guitar has the back strap button drilled into the body so it can't slip through a strap hole. These guitars are made by Gibsons new employees who are in training. Guitar still rocks just disappointed.

            Comment on this review

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            A Modern Day Collectible

            By Lombo

            from Tampa FL

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Built Solid
            • Fun To Play
            • Good Button Tuners
            • Good Feel
            • Good Pick Up
            • Good Tone
            • Great Wrap Around Bridge
            • Nice Cherry Color
            • Solid Electronics
            • Vintage Braded Wiring

            Cons

            • None

            Best Uses

            • Better Than The Average
            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • Rock Concerts
            • Small Venues

            Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

            Don't think to hard on this guitar just get it while they last. I don't do many of these rating but I'm so happy to have discovered this guitar. I have many, I have had many, vintage, custom shop you name it. This guitar is sure to please you and just might be a modern day 50's Gibson Les Paul Junior Special that will age and become a player for a life time, a simple flat out working mans tone machine. Good job MF.

            Comment on this review

            (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Excellent Guitar for the money

            By Rocker 58

            from Salem OR

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Build quality

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

                For the price you will not find a better Gibson anywhere. Beats out the Asian copies because of the solid neck construction not the cheap scarf joint necks you see on the competitors. Pickups are excellent I can even get a tele bridge tone out of these. Great rock n roll guitar. Built simply but beautiful. Just a beautiful simple guitar that can't be beat for the price. I played this at GC and was sold immediately because of the roc tones it produces.

                Comment on this review

                (3 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great Value Guitar

                By JC

                from San Diego, CA

                About Me Experienced

                Ask me a question

                Pros

                • Fun To Play
                • Good Feel
                • Good Pick Up
                • Good Tone
                • Solid Electronics

                Cons

                • Cheap tuners
                • Dot Fret Inlays
                • Single Tone Pot

                Best Uses

                • Jamming
                • Practicing
                • Recording
                • Small Venues

                Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

                Bear in mind that Gibson USA protects their brands and simply will not produce and distribute less than quality products from their factory with their name on the headstock. I had no reservations buying this axe, especially as a Stupid Deal. The lack of a Les Paul signature on the guitar is not an issue for me or anyone who is buying a guitar and not a hood ornament. It came out of the box well set up. I usually change the strings on new guitars, but like these. The single tone knob reduces the flexibility a little, but I honestly rarely get married to four-knob configurations and can always make it sound nice with what it's got. Yeah, there are sexier format LPs out there, but this is much more than adequate for the price. Without a doubt, this one has the highest QPR of the Les Pauls I have had. The price is more than right for it; it's a steal.

                Comment on this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Good Value Basic Starter LP

                By Lunk

                from Colorado Springs, CO

                About Me Experienced

                Ask me a question

                Pros

                • Fun To Play
                • Good Feel
                • Good Fingerboard
                • Good Fret Build
                • Good Pick Up
                • Good Tone
                • Nice In Cherry Finish
                • Solid Electronics

                Cons

                • No Lp Headstock Signature
                • One Tone Control

                Best Uses

                • Jamming
                • Practicing
                • School Bands
                • Small Venues

                Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

                I was very pleased with everything about this guitar except the cons I listed. The pups are hot enough for blues and classic rock, which is what I play. Decent sustain and tonal qualities. Setup was adequate, but you may want to tweak it to your taste and style. I think I would go for the other one in heritage cherry slightly over this level, if I were to do it all over again. Still, this is a worth ax in most ways that count!

                Comment on this review

                (16 of 18 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                3.0

                Overall satisfied

                By Groovedoggie1

                from Baton Rouge, LA

                About Me Experienced

                Pros

                • Better Fret Ends
                • Good Hardware
                • Good Size Neck
                • Good String Height Action
                • Good Tone
                • Great Pickups
                • Great Tone
                • Solid Electronics

                Cons

                • Different Finish
                • Lack Of 2nd Tone Knob
                • Needed Intonation Work
                • No "les Paul" On Headstoc
                • Not Sure Of Fretboard
                • Prominent Ridge On Neck

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

                  I was a little let down at first, but am now bonding nicely with this guitar.

                  First off, there is no "Les Paul" signature as shown in the photos. Not a deal-breaker, but a little disappointing. Even though some snobs don't think Juniors and Specials should be considered true LPs, I'm of the opinion that they are.

                  Secondly, the finish on my Desert Sunburst is much darker than the photos and not nearly as shiny. Not a huge fan of the dull, open-pored finish, but that's not why I bought the guitar. I bought it for the sound, and here it truly delivers! More on that later...

                  Third, this is my third lower-end Gibson. My SG Faded had horrendous fret ends. I mean, you could cut a 2x4 with that neck. I then bought an LP Studio 50's Tribute and it again had terrible fret ends, but worse, there was a pronounced ridge running down the length of the neck between the fretboard and the mahogany neck. This guitar has better fret ends, but that ridge is still there and is a nuisance. I've checked other Gibsons in stores and a lot of them have this problem. Gibson QC should have fixed this two years ago.

                  Fourth, the literature says it's a rosewood fretboard. I'm not convinced. Whatever it is, it's not bad - it just doesn't look like rosewood. The grain is much tighter and the color is lighter and more uniform than most rosewood fretboards. It looks and plays like a very light-colored ebony. I actually like it!

                  Overall, setup was very good, but I spent a lot of time getting the intonation as close to right as I could (considering the type of bridge). Took a lot of tweaking as it was way off from the factory.

                  Now for the sound: I already know the 490R well and got exactly what I expected. I had no idea what the newish 491T would be like (with a ceramic magnet). It is actually a very, very good pickup! If you could only have one guitar, this one would do nicely as the 490R does the blues / classic rock thing quite nicely while the 491T really kicks it into high gear for punk and almost-metal tones.

                  I typically don't futz around with volume and tone when switching between pickups. But this is where the design of this guitar could be better. The pickups are so different, you really need that second tone knob.

                  Hardware is all very good. Some people prefer the keystone tuners, but the button-tipped Klusons look right on this guitar and work as they should. The electronics are solid and hum-free.

                  Gibson has increased the padding in their gig bags (very good thing, as the old ones were worthless).

                  Overall, I would recommend this guitar to any musician - not just beginners.

                  Comment on this review

                  Displaying reviews 1-10

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