I'm looking at getting a guitar with P90(s) and have come across the Gibson LPJ '58 reissue (one P90) and the Gibson LPJ Special (two P90s)

I'm going to try and test them both out but I just wondered if anyone on here has any experience with them or would they buy one over the other and why?

Videos on Youtube are helping but they both seem really good which makes this a bit of a tough choice.
I had the 58 reissue double cut. It was nicely built, sounded great and all but just felt lifeless for me. So I don't have it any more. But, it may have just been mine that was lifeless.
It's really just a matter of versatility. Personally, despite the one p90, I prefer the '58 reissue...it still has the ability to cover a lot of ground if you work the tone/volume properly
I love my standard Gibby LP Jr. Despite the comments that they are "cheapening out" with it, the baked maple fretboard is awesome. (I actually prefer it to rosewood....) The F&F is better than expected as well.

When I was looking to buy mine I looked at the '58 reissue, and apart from the pickup and pots I don't think there is much to justify the higher price of the '58 (and the electronics don't justify the insane price disparity).

Overall, my advice:
Look at the standard LP Jr. and Special, find one you like, have the electronics replaced by some nice boutique ones (or custom wound) and you've got a better guitar for at least 1/2 the price.
'11 Gibson LP Jr.
'07 Gretsch 5120
'69 Tele
'10 Godin 5th Ave. Kingpin
'03 Blueridge Dreadnought
'02 Custom Martin D-28
Premier Twin-8
Fender Hot Rod Dlx
Boss SD-1
I'll look at a standard but the ones I've seen don't come with P90s so I might give them a miss.

I've heard a lot about the '58 being a great guitar if you use the volume/ tone controls.

The fret board on the '58 is Ebony and the Special is Baked Maple so will there be a big difference? I know most companies put Ebony on the higher end stuff.
The Standard model LP Jr's and Specials should have P90s (although I do believe they have a couple special models with HBs).

The same thing could be said about the standard models, I like the sound of mine, but from what I've noticed the '57 and '58 Jr. Reissues are a bit darker and muddier sounding. (I've heard this is due to more accurately spec'd pots and tone caps.)

The best way I can describe Baked Maple is the look of Ebony, the feel of Maple, and the sound of Rosewood. I'd recommend going to your local Guitar Center and checking one out. I managed to snag mine for $600 on sale, that's a far cry from the $3k a CS reissue model costs. (I could buy an actual '58 Jr for the cost of a RI model...)
'11 Gibson LP Jr.
'07 Gretsch 5120
'69 Tele
'10 Godin 5th Ave. Kingpin
'03 Blueridge Dreadnought
'02 Custom Martin D-28
Premier Twin-8
Fender Hot Rod Dlx
Boss SD-1
Honestly, I'd buy non-Gibson here. This is such a basic, simple guitar that you can pretty much do anything from $200 on up and you'll have the same results.

The Specials and Juniors were student/beginner guitars from Gibson, and they didn't waste a lot of time on anything like design or great materials. At the time, mahogany and rosewood were the least expensive materials Gibson used. The body is flat, there's no binding, dot inlays and the cheapest tuners Gibson had in their parts bin. The P90's were the same throughout the entire Gibson line, and it cost them nearly nothing to wind.

At the bottom end of things, I'd look at the Agile AD-201 singlecut (around $225) or, if you really want to get fancy, the doublecut AD-2300, which has a bound rosewood (real rosewood) fretboard with trap inlays and a graphite nut, decent Grover tuners and surprisingly accurate repros of the original Gibson P90's. It's got a three-piece body, but it's only $299. Amazingly good.

If you feel the need to spend $2500 or so, pick up the Collings 290. It's a better-crafted guitar than the Gibson reissue, but I'd prefer the original Gibson P90's to the too-refined Lollars.

And if you really want heresy, take any of these and put in a set of Kinman P90 Noiseless pickups. Kinman's managed to keep the true nature of the Gibsons intact, but has managed to eliminate the hum and noise. Pricey, but IMHO, worth it.

Last edited by dspellman at Sep 18, 2013,
The price of a set of those pick ups over here is £200+ so that and a guitar will probably cost me more than a Gibson (The special is coming around £550 and the Junior at around £500).

I like the Gibson to be honest and after hearing the Special and Juniors it's definitely what I'm after. I've bought cheaper Les Paul clones before and they just didn't cut it.
Good ol dspellman and his huge Agile hard-on
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
Tokai, Bacchus, Orville, Greco, Burny, and the list goes on.

plenty of quality MIJ juniors out there cheap.
Quote by Robbgnarly
Good ol dspellman and his huge Agile hard-on

He also has a nice Collings hard-on, a pretty good-sized Gibson hard-on, a noticeable Carvin hard-on, a serious Variax hard-on (I pick up the JTV-89F today!), a recurring Moonstone hard-on, the inevitable Suhr hard-on, a solid steel Trussart hard-on, a smallish PRS hard-on, a pricey Taylor hard-on and an itsy-bitsy Samick hard-on.

But thank you for noticing.

And my eyes are up here.
I take it back about having to buy Gibson. I tried a Hofner Colorama II yesterday and it was really impressive. At just under half the price of the Gibson LPJ it's a no brainer.

I did get a chance to play a Gibson and a PRS and to be honest they didn't feel that much better if any better at all than the Hofner. So I don't see the point in spending £550+ when I could spend £200.