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Old 10-30-2012, 07:50 PM   #1
kidfixer
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NGD: 1998 Gibson USA Les Paul Special SL - (pics)



MY NEW (USED) CRAIGSLIST GIBBY | COST = $400


This is the axe I chose out of the three available choices (see thread HERE)




The guitar is truly in excellent condition. No cosmetic damage anywhere on body or neck.



The clear poly finish has some swirl marks and surface scratches (but far less than you would expect on a 14-year-old instrument), as well as this hazy line which looks as though something was dripped on the guitar and left to dry



...however, unless there is a direct reflection, its nearly invisible...and I should be able to buff it out with a rotary pad and a quality automotive polish.







No visible blemishes on the back...and I love that contoured body.








The only true cosmetic damage is a scuff in the paint at the top-rear of the headstock.



A serial number check reports guitar was made Sept 11th, 1998 at the Tennessee plant, production # 73 of (???). The Gibson Vintage Tulip machine heads operate smooth and precise.




Fretboard shows no signs of delamination or shrinkage, but was a bit dry. A quick wipe with "Fret Doctor" brought it right back to life. All frets seated tightly into rosewood with no visible gaps, frets have plently of life left, but showed some flattening of the crowns and some uneven levels.



No buzz, but a few dead spots heard and intonation was slightly sharp...however, this is to be expected with frets in this condition (seller admitted he never had the frets dressed or leveled).




Upon visual inspection, the neck appeared straight with no obvious deflection or tilt, a straightedge inspection confirmed a few uneven frets and showed an acceptable amount of neck warp. The neck joint is tight and flush with body (no overhang or overly visible seam).







Guitar still has factory electronics, and there was no crackle in 1/4" jack or potentiometers.







.................................................. .................................................. ...................................



All-in-all I'm VERY pleased with the deal. Although I'm spending an additional $75 for fret repair, I still think I bought a good guitar at a good price. Dropped it off today to have fretwork and set-up done...can’t wait to play it!!


Comments welcomed.






.

Last edited by kidfixer : 09-25-2013 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:37 PM   #2
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Awesome! HNGD! Great deal on it, too!
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:42 PM   #3
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Nice!

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Old 10-30-2012, 09:16 PM   #4
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Nice score, but it does not have a poly finnish. Gibson only uses Nitro finnishes on their guitars.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:16 AM   #5
kidfixer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
Nice score, but it does not have a poly finnish. Gibson only uses Nitro finnishes on their guitars.


Au contraire, mon frère.

Read the following Gibson press release from Sept 1998...



New traditions born for a new millennium

The velvet, luxurious lacquer finish of Les Paul guitars has been a tradition since the original goldtop in 1952. Now for something different--the new The Paul SL and Les Paul Special SL featuring a millennium-ready "UV-cured" finish. To come straight to the point, the "UV-cured" finish is a soft polyester finish, traditionally considered a no-no for Gibson (though quite common throughout the guitar industry). In reality, Gibson has used poly finishes from time to time. Some of the custom finishes on Firebirds from the '60s were poly, and Gibson Les Paul basses have had poly finishes for the past few years. So the "new" finish is nothing new.

The "SL" finish enables Gibson to make the two new Les Paul models more accessible--that is, less expensive. SL means "sans lacquer" (without lacquer).

"The UV-cured poly finishes are essentially a base coat and clear coat. They are much like automotive finishes designed for wood," project engineer Kevin Brown says "We experimented for months with the mix of solvents to find the finish with the softest, most natural feel, the lowest environmental emissions and best look."

The SL finish also reduces the finishing process from six to eleven days for lacquer down to five hours from white wood to a final dry finish. This significant time savings allows Gibson to price the two models under $1,000. "There are no lacquer guitars produced anywhere in that price range," Brown says. The UV-cured, soft poly finishes also require little or no buffing.

UV means "ultraviolet" light. After the guitars are sprayed with coats of sealer, they are dried and cured in the ultra violet light room. "The UV lights start a chemical reaction in the sealer that quickly dries the instrument without streaking or imperfections," Brown continues.

The fifteen step finishing process includes:

1. Prep white wood guitars removing excess filler and cleaning side dot and nut.
2. Spray vinyl size on guitar and paint peg head face black.
3. Apply "Gibson" and "Les Paul" product decals.
4. Spray UV sealer coat and flash in light booth for 10 minutes.
5. Spray second sealer coat.
6. Cure with UV light.
7. Sand so no grain lines or pits show.
8. Spray color and flash for minimum of 15 minutes
9. Spray sealer coat and flash for 20 minutes
10. Cure with UV light.
11. Scuff sand entire guitar lightly with the grain.
12. Spray top coat and flash.
13. Repeat top coat and flash two times.
14. Cure with UV light.
15. Send for final scuff sanding.

For the player, the poly finish is more durable and requires less care. "Lacquer finishes are pourous," Brown explains. "The poly is virtually impervious. There's no cracking or discoloration over time. Minor repairs are easy."

And the sound? Brown smiles and says, "It's a Les Paul."





My guitar truly is "sans lacquer".


.

Last edited by kidfixer : 10-31-2012 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:36 AM   #6
nickdohle
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Do you live in Louisville? I feel like I saw this guitar on Louisville craigslist for super cheap and wanted to jump on it but moved to Nashville.

Anyway, HNGD! Gotta love a nice Gibby
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:04 PM   #7
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Well if it's poly you're going to find it much more difficult to "buff out" any marks. However, other than that one minor spot, I'd say that guitar is in great shape.
Happy New Guitar Day & Happy Playing.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:34 PM   #8
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Awesome! I remember seeing that thread and suggesting the LP. Glad you like the guitar!
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:06 AM   #9
kidfixer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickdohle
Do you live in Louisville?


No sir. Must be an identical guitar.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:09 AM   #10
kidfixer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenG
Well if it's poly you're going to find it much more difficult to "buff out" any marks.


You're correct, I mentioned the rotary pad but forgot to mention the high-speed drill. I'm going to need a heavy duty corded drill, cordless ones wont produce enough RPMs to get swirls out of poly. However, this is very much like an automotive finish...so I know its possible.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidfixer
You're correct, I mentioned the rotary pad but forgot to mention the high-speed drill. I'm going to need a heavy duty corded drill, cordless ones wont produce enough RPMs to get swirls out of poly. However, this is very much like an automotive finish...so I know its possible.

I removed a scuff from an Ibanez using automotive polish, a sock, and a ton of elbow grease. Although, I may have sanded up to 2000 first.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:26 AM   #12
dannyalcatraz
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HNGD! Now rock that mofo!
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:32 AM   #13
gregs1020
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looks great!

rock the hell out of it.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:03 AM   #14
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Sweetness.

I've never heard about Gibsons using poly finishes before, but it makes sense that it would reduce the cost of the guitar significantly.

Too bad about the frets, but that's normal for a guitar of that age.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:31 AM   #15
kidfixer
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*UPDATE*

Just sold this axe to a young man, whose father purchased it for him as a 15th birthday present. Sad to see it go, but VERY happy to see someone of the next generation rockin a Gibby instead of asking for a PS4!!

Last edited by kidfixer : 10-07-2013 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:57 AM   #16
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To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (KJV)


I thought this appropriate, esp. line 6.

It served you well, but its time with you has passed. Now, it goes to new hands, hopefully to usher in another generation of rock & roll!
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz : 10-07-2013 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:06 AM   #17
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Pretty great price for that puppy! What's your end goal for the sound? I'd be interested in your pickup choice.
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