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#1
So I'm curious, my LP Special (in my opinion) feels great, sounds great and looks pretty cool to boot - so considering it's pretty much Gibson's bottom of the range, what do you get on the fancier models like Standards & Customs?

As far as I can see, they have a maple top, cool shaped fretboard inlays and some other minor embelishments, but I'm not sure what else?

What is it that is really worth the (considerable) extra cost?
'93 Gibson Les Paul Special (Heritage Cherry) - modded with SD P90s (Vintage & Hot)
'06 Yamaha RGX520FZ (Translucent Dark Red)
Laney VC15 (Ltd. Edition Old English White)
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#2
Not really, its common knowledge that Gibsons these days are overpriced.
You're paying mostly for the name and the fact that its probably the 2nd most iconic guitar in the world.
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#3
The wood quality and attention to detail are higher,they add features like fancy tops and so on,and they're usually made in limited quantities or come with a COA and what not,which increases their rarity/collectablity.You're also paying for the name and prestige behind the brand,which adds a fair amount to the price tag.

All of those factors drive up the price.There are more reasons of course,but I don't want to type an essay.

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Last edited by Pr0gNut at Sep 4, 2010,
#4
What's worth pointing out is that the LP Special and regular LPs are effectively entirely different guitars. They provide a different kind of tone, a different feel and a different look. You might as well be asking what a Fender Jazzmaster offers over a Ibanez RG.
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#5
Quote by MrFlibble
What's worth pointing out is that the LP Special and regular LPs are effectively entirely different guitars. They provide a different kind of tone, a different feel and a different look. You might as well be asking what a Fender Jazzmaster offers over a Ibanez RG.

A better comparison might be what a Jazzmaster does over, say, a Mustang.
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#6
Not really. A Jazzmaster and a Mustang are closer to each other than an LP Special and an LP Standard or Custom. Jazzmasteras and Mustangs are at least in the same vague ballpark in terms of feel and tone, but the two types of LP really are not. Hell an LP Special sounds closer to a jazzmaster than an LP Standard, come to think of it.
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#7
LP special has more in common with an SG then it does a standard.Carved maple top,binding and depending on when it was made the pickups. There is nothing wrong with your guitar and is not even close to the bottom of the line unless you are confusing Gibson with Epiphone.
Bhaok

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#8
Quote by Bhaok
There is nothing wrong with your guitar and is not even close to the bottom of the line unless you are confusing Gibson with Epiphone.
Don't get me wrong, I definitely don't think there's anything wrong with mine in fact I prefer the feel and tone to a friends custom... I just love that vintage bluesy tone so maybe that's why

I thought the special along with the junior were bottom of the Gibson range? Epiphone and other copies not included of course...

(the special hasn't got a carved maple top by the way, it's just a solid block of mahogany... Unless you are talking about the SG which I know nothing about?)
'93 Gibson Les Paul Special (Heritage Cherry) - modded with SD P90s (Vintage & Hot)
'06 Yamaha RGX520FZ (Translucent Dark Red)
Laney VC15 (Ltd. Edition Old English White)
Jim Dunlop Original Crybaby
Boss DS-1
Last edited by SooTyLaD at Sep 5, 2010,
#9
Another difference between the special and higher quality gibsons:


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#10
Quote by GODhimself37
Another difference between the special and higher quality gibsons:


PICKUPS


Learn what a Les Paul Special is before posting.
Bhaok

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#11
Quote by Bhaok
Learn what a Les Paul Special is before posting.
Out of interest, are you saying that since the Special is a P90 guitar and not comparable to Humbucker models?

When people ask me about my guitar I just tend to say it's a no-frills model from the early 90s, but would I be more accurate saying it is a reissue of a late 50s no-frills blues oriented guitar? Is that basically what the special is? (i've never found much information on it tbh the special just seems to reference 50s guitars so I just assume mine must be a reissue?)
'93 Gibson Les Paul Special (Heritage Cherry) - modded with SD P90s (Vintage & Hot)
'06 Yamaha RGX520FZ (Translucent Dark Red)
Laney VC15 (Ltd. Edition Old English White)
Jim Dunlop Original Crybaby
Boss DS-1
#12
The Gibson Les Paul Studio is the "no-frills", as you put it, version of the LP. The special is a different guitar in its own right. The LP Junior and Special did indeed start out as budget/student models back in the day, but they very quickly out-grew that status and by the early '70s they became regarded as a different Gibson guitar, not just a cheap Les Paul shape. There are a lot of people who love LP Specials and Juniors but don't like LP Standards and Customs, and vice-versa. People buy a Gibson Studio because they can't afford a Standard (and if you claim otherwise, you're only fooling yourself, if that). People buy Specials and Juniors because they want the different tone, look and feel that the Special and Junior provide.
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#14
Quote by MrFlibble
The Gibson Les Paul Studio is the "no-frills", as you put it, version of the LP. The special is a different guitar in its own right. The LP Junior and Special did indeed start out as budget/student models back in the day, but they very quickly out-grew that status and by the early '70s they became regarded as a different Gibson guitar, not just a cheap Les Paul shape. There are a lot of people who love LP Specials and Juniors but don't like LP Standards and Customs, and vice-versa. People buy a Gibson Studio because they can't afford a Standard (and if you claim otherwise, you're only fooling yourself, if that). People buy Specials and Juniors because they want the different tone, look and feel that the Special and Junior provide.
Ahh right that's interesting to know - so how would you classify the "different" sound of the special and custom? Am i right in what I say about it being a more blues oriented guitar?
'93 Gibson Les Paul Special (Heritage Cherry) - modded with SD P90s (Vintage & Hot)
'06 Yamaha RGX520FZ (Translucent Dark Red)
Laney VC15 (Ltd. Edition Old English White)
Jim Dunlop Original Crybaby
Boss DS-1
#15
Quote by SooTyLaD
Out of interest, are you saying that since the Special is a P90 guitar and not comparable to Humbucker models?

When people ask me about my guitar I just tend to say it's a no-frills model from the early 90s, but would I be more accurate saying it is a reissue of a late 50s no-frills blues oriented guitar? Is that basically what the special is? (i've never found much information on it tbh the special just seems to reference 50s guitars so I just assume mine must be a reissue?)


Yes and no. I have seen specials with humbuckers or P-90s.The basic guitar is the same but the pickups are different. P-90 and humbuckers are two totally different animals.There are Single coil vs double coil.Neither is better then the other. Gibson still makes the things so I am not sure that reissue applies to it. Yes it is no frills but, blues did not have the same image back in the 50's that it does today so I am doubt it was marketed as a blues guitar. More like a intermediate level guitar as opposed to the Melody Maker or Jr which were entry level or student guitars.All of which are great guitars. There is a website that you can look up the serial number of your guitar and date it(Google is your friend).Do some research and you can find a lot of info on the net just be careful. You have to weed out opinion from the facts.
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#16
I've seen a lot more poor paintjobs, dry-as-sand fretboards, badly cut nuts, faulty electronics and badly dressed frets on Gibson's lower-end models than on their LP Standards and comparably priced guitars. Thank goodness it's been getting better recently it seems. It's been some time since I've seen a 2k Gibbo with any of these problems.

The really nice Gibbos are the CS ones... well, most of them, I figure. Even they vary a good bit. I've played very few non-CS Gibsons that even came close.

Specs only tell you so much about a guitar's quality - they don't tell you whether the different pieces of timber have been machined carefully and put together with care and an eye for detail or whether it's all the work of some incompetent hack. Or if the employees in the factory have to work at such a pace that it's sheer luck whether the guitars manufactured are of decent quality.
#17
I did do my research (regarding the serial) when it was first given to me... Was built in Nashville on the 28th July 1993

I then got Gibson to send me the original spec sheet out of interest
'93 Gibson Les Paul Special (Heritage Cherry) - modded with SD P90s (Vintage & Hot)
'06 Yamaha RGX520FZ (Translucent Dark Red)
Laney VC15 (Ltd. Edition Old English White)
Jim Dunlop Original Crybaby
Boss DS-1
#18
the only reason gibsons are so expensive is because for some reason, it takes so much more work to put the word gibson in the headstock instead of epiphone
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#19
Quote by OliOsbourne
the only reason gibsons are so expensive is because for some reason, it takes so much more work to put the word gibson in the headstock instead of epiphone

Dohoho, aren't you cool.

Gibsons get a lot of flak these days for being overpriced, which is fairly true. But idiots like above confuse overpriced with low-quality. If you've ever played a good Gibson you immediately know the difference. Even bad Gibsons are better than all but the best Epiphones.
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#20
Quote by OliOsbourne
the only reason gibsons are so expensive is because for some reason, it takes so much more work to put the word gibson in the headstock instead of epiphone

Says the guy with "Schecters are the best" in his sig. ;P
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#21
Well when desiging the guitars, Les paul wanted to mae a more luxories guitar that looked like a tuxedo. He named it the Les Paul Custom. This is probably the highest quality gibson guitar and includes the mother of peral inlays and gold harware
The standard les paul is well ..standard.

Your right though, the custom and standers are just as good as your guitar.
#22
Quote by SooTyLaD
Ahh right that's interesting to know - so how would you classify the "different" sound of the special and custom? Am i right in what I say about it being a more blues oriented guitar?
To me, the Special is most suitable for straight-up standard rock music, pop-rock, early punk tones, country tones, etc. Think The Rolling Stones and everything similar. Johnny Thunders was a big fan of Specials and Juniors. If I was playing blues I would certainly reach for a Les Paul Standard or Custom instead of a Special.
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#23
Quote by OliOsbourne
the only reason gibsons are so expensive is because for some reason, it takes so much more work to put the word gibson in the headstock instead of epiphone


You would almost be amusing if you had a clue what you are spewing about.
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#24
The world of guitars when it comes to price can be wierd.
If you compare Gibson SG with the Gibson Faded it's only the neck pick(498T instead of 490T), a spot of paint and bindings. From a layman's point of view, it's hard to figure out if they really put in 450 euros worth of extra hardware. Block inlays and bindings are suprisingly expensive.
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#25
Quote by Fender Dane.
The world of guitars when it comes to price can be wierd.
If you compare Gibson SG with the Gibson Faded it's only the neck pick(498T instead of 490T), a spot of paint and bindings. From a layman's point of view, it's hard to figure out if they really put in 450 euros worth of extra hardware. Block inlays and bindings are suprisingly expensive.

i think you're making the common mistake of only comparing the guitars on paper.

sure but the SG standard and SG faded specifications you can read on musicians friend or wherever look practically the same except for a different pickup and some block inlays etc... but the build quality and the wood quality is also better - something that can't be written on paper - you have to play a lot of gibsons to really be able to tell.

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#26
Quote by OliOsbourne
the only reason gibsons are so expensive is because for some reason, it takes so much more work to put the word gibson in the headstock instead of epiphone

that is the most ignorent thing i have seen on this forum, gibsons are meticulously handmade in the USA wheras epiphones are hastily made in china, im pretty sure epiphone doesn't even produce in korea anymore, also gibsons use much higher quality woods, even tho i love my shecter and ive played quite a few high end guitars, the gibson has an amazing feel and tone that ive only seen heritage guitars rival
Eh.
#27
Quote by obeythepenguin
Tell it to the Citation. Contrary to popular belief, Gibson makes other guitars besides solidbodies.

i saw a gibson 59 lefty archtop on ebay for 750 grand and i was crying so much i wanted it
Eh.
#28
Quote by obeythepenguin
Tell it to the Citation. Contrary to popular belief, Gibson makes other guitars besides solidbodies.


Sorry only electric guitars count unless you need a place to stash oat meal or cement.
Bhaok

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#29
Quote by obeythepenguin
Tell it to the Citation. Contrary to popular belief, Gibson makes other guitars besides solidbodies.


just because its expensive does not mean it is the best.
#30
guys I was kiddin

Nobodys that stupid
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Last edited by OliOsbourne at Sep 6, 2010,
#31
Think of Gibson Les Pauls the same as you would buying a new car...

Obviously you have a budget of how much money you want to spend, and you have an idea of what you want.

The more you pay for a Gibson Les Paul, is in essence the same idea as spending more money on a car for those little luxurious details.

That's really all you're getting, just little features and details as you go up in price. You can argue quality, but keep in mind I'm not really talking about the Custom Shop.
#32
Quote by Bhaok
Sorry only electric guitars count unless you need a place to stash oat meal or cement.
That's an electric guitar. God damn, people.
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#33
Quote by MrFlibble
To me, the Special is most suitable for straight-up standard rock music, pop-rock, early punk tones, country tones, etc. Think The Rolling Stones and everything similar. Johnny Thunders was a big fan of Specials and Juniors. If I was playing blues I would certainly reach for a Les Paul Standard or Custom instead of a Special.


pretty spot on, but it also comes down to what people like for what they play. LPs make great guitars for blues or jazz. theyre also equally as great for metal, country, and so on. there is no reason a special cant be used for blues and do a solid job. just like there is no reason a sg cant either. all personal preference in tone and feel.
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#34
Quote by staggguitarhead
just because its expensive does not mean it is the best.



this goes without saying. i wouldnt pay the new price for my sg standard. nor any other guitar out there unless it was custom made to fit my needs. its all subjective. one person will think dropping 1200 on a sg standard is worth it and some wont. hands down my standard is the best guitar i own. its the most comfortable and it sounds ****ing awesome. i dont feel its worth 1200 though. i dont feel that a custom shop guitar is worth 5000 either. realisticly thats just insane, but you do get a high standard of quality for that 5000. is it the best guitar? all depends on if you think that or not.
stay lit


Quote by PeteTLT
Will preamp tubes turn black and melt slightly undernormal conditions and still work?
#35
Quote by obeythepenguin
I got good deals on all my instruments, but frankly, I'd have happily paid twice what I did, maybe more. All of them are exactly what I wanted, and to me having the right instrument is worth every penny. If I wanted to pinch pennies, I wouldn't go guitar shopping in the first place.

(And personally, while I might have a hell of an ego, I'm not arrogant enough to say "this guitar's beautiful, it's absolutely perfect for me, but I don't think it's really worth that much". Even if it's a big faceless corporation you're metaphorically speaking to, that's just rude.)



i hear what youre saying. im more than happy with my sg standard. it fits me pretty spot on. there are some things id like to change but nothing major. i just cant see spending thousands on a guitar that isnt built to every spec of my liking. hence why i plan on getting a custom or 2 done for me.
stay lit


Quote by PeteTLT
Will preamp tubes turn black and melt slightly undernormal conditions and still work?
#36
So what sort of stuff can be customised on these CS models? People must be (or be kidding themselves that they are) truly outstanding to warrant such a cost don't you think? Or at least be in a band that pays the bills...
'93 Gibson Les Paul Special (Heritage Cherry) - modded with SD P90s (Vintage & Hot)
'06 Yamaha RGX520FZ (Translucent Dark Red)
Laney VC15 (Ltd. Edition Old English White)
Jim Dunlop Original Crybaby
Boss DS-1
#37
I think its funny when people on this site complain about the prices of les pauls and simply dismiss them as being overpriced.

I must have missed the memo where top of the line guitars were made for kids on message boards to buy. If you want the guitar and don't like how much it costs, then don't buy it, simple as that, no one is making you fork over money.

edit: ^LOL are you serious? I was never aware that one had to be of a certain level to "warrant" a certain guitar. I'm not in a band that pays my bills, I'm a band that I play in for fun because I enjoy it. I'm not buying a les paul because I feel like I deserve it based on how outstanding my playing is (and it isn't), I'm buying one because I have been playing for over a decade, have showed enough commitment to guitar that I know I will stick with it and I feel like I deserve it based on major accomplishments of mine that are far more important than playing guitar will ever be to me. Do you find an inherent problem with that?
Last edited by al112987 at Sep 7, 2010,
#38
Bottom line is that you should buy the instrument that feels and sounds right no matter the name on the headstock(as long it's in your price range of course). It could both be a 1000 euro Gibson or a 500 euro Epiphone. I know a couple of guys who would go with the Gibson just because of the prestige connected with the name on the headstock which I think is a very stupid buying strategy.
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#39
Quote by al112987
^LOL are you serious? I was never aware that one had to be of a certain level to "warrant" a certain guitar. I'm not in a band that pays my bills, I'm a band that I play in for fun because I enjoy it. I'm not buying a les paul because I feel like I deserve it based on how outstanding my playing is (and it isn't), I'm buying one because I have been playing for over a decade, have showed enough commitment to guitar that I know I will stick with it and I feel like I deserve it based on major accomplishments of mine that are far more important than playing guitar will ever be to me. Do you find an inherent problem with that?
You're right, I take it back.
'93 Gibson Les Paul Special (Heritage Cherry) - modded with SD P90s (Vintage & Hot)
'06 Yamaha RGX520FZ (Translucent Dark Red)
Laney VC15 (Ltd. Edition Old English White)
Jim Dunlop Original Crybaby
Boss DS-1
#40
Quote by MrFlibble
Quote by Bhaok
Sorry only electric guitars count unless you need a place to stash oat meal or cement.
That's an electric guitar. God damn, people.

This made me laugh quite a bit.
Quote by SooTyLaD
So what sort of stuff can be customised on these CS models? People must be (or be kidding themselves that they are) truly outstanding to warrant such a cost don't you think? Or at least be in a band that pays the bills...

Ignoring the bit about warranting which was already shot down... I've never dealt with Gibson's Custom Shop as far as building genuine custom jobs goes. I doubt they'd do the genuine custom thing, where you tell them the measurements of an original body style with possibly original electronics and whatnot. But I'd imagine that they'd be fairly flexible.

You're probably not going to convince them to build a Tele, but if you wanted an Explorer or a Les Paul with three humbuckers, a reversed headstock, a particular finish, and a Floyd Rose you could probably get it. Finishes, bindings, electronics, hardware, wood type, some construction oddities (i.e. contoured neck joints)... probably on whatever Gibson body style you want. Wait times are hella long and the guitars are reportedly dream-crushingly expensive.
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