Other Guitars

Any Intel on this Gibson Special model?


In the spirit of objectivity (which I tend to lack when commenting on Gretsch stuff) I've received one of these Gibson Specials and have been playing it for a day or two. Honestly, I don't know crap about Gibson models, so I really don't have any opinion on the guitars vintage accuracy. I've never even touched an actual LP Junior or Special from the 50s so all that stuff is lost on me.

The fit and finish on this one is great. I'm the second owner, but the first guy who recently bought it new had to flip it almost immediately, so I doubt he had a chance to do much set-up or tweaking. I like the weight, something I guess is a negative characteristic with the standard LP models, but this LP Special is nice and light. The feel of the neck heel is another area I've noticed I like. Just seems a little more comfortable for high fretboard access, not that I do too much of that. The neck profile isn't overly thin, which was something I was warned about. Tone... I'm still goofing around with that. Sounds good to me when I hack through my bar chord tune portfolio, and blues scale stuff. But clearly some experimentation and A/B comps with my Tele's and Jet's is in the cards at some point soon. I'm very interested in adding a Bigsby B7 at some point also. I have a nice '58/59 vintage unit that needs a mate, so perhaps that will be an addition.

So after a couple of decades of messing with Tele's and Grestch models, I've finally expanded my horizons, and am satisfying a little curiosity about Gibson. So far the experiment has been successful, and I don't have any regrets. For $1100 it was worth the risk, and I'm enjoying the process. Don't worry folks... I'm still a hard-core Gretsch nerd! But since diversity is the spice of life...


If you like it, thats all that counts! Dont let the internet guitar police tell you what you have to play for a given style of music. Gibsons are not bad, I just think we only read the horror stories because the majority that are getting good ones are busy playing them and not typing about them. Having said that, I did offload my 2018 Goldtop for a 53 VS Jet, but it had nothing to do with Gibson's quality, which was top notch on the one I got!


I suspect it's because the double cuts basically routed the tenon in half on '59s:

To fix it, they moved the pickup out of the sweet spot on the '60s:

This new one solves the problem. I suspect THATS why they did it.

– ....

It would seem that these 2007 Gibson LP Special model (depicted) are truer to the 1960s spec as it relate the neck/body joint, than the 2018 model originally presented in this thread. The other obvious difference is the bridge/tailpiece arrangement. Which is more vintage correct for the '60s vintage spec?


A vintage one would have the wraparound tail and a bound fretboard


Gibson made a „faded“ version for some time. No clear finish. That makes them age quickly but in a nice way. They are very good guitars. I’d look around for one of those again if I were in the market. Here’s mine:


I had the Historic double cut Special for a hot minute about a decade ago:

I got sucked in to the popular opinion that P-90s are God's gift to guitarists. Despite having virtually no firsthand experience with them, I decided this model would be the ideal platform and sunk a couple thousand dollars or so into one only to learn that P-90s are definitely not for me. I tried one other time with a less pricey model, but got the same result. Too round sounding for my taste. Not as much bite as I was hoping for.


I traded my 1996 Gibson for a White Penguin because I just didn't like the neck! Neither could my brother and he was a pro player. The White Penguin neck is supurb in my opinion, probably not worth as much, then again I LIKE IT!


While I'm here, can anyone ID this for me? I was gonna let the guy know about it when he posted he was looking for a short scale bolt on neck but I cannot seem to be able to start a NEW thread?? Thanks for looking!


1960's Japanese Department Store Cheapie

– charlie chitlins

Thanks, I believe he was just looking for a neck that was the size he needed. I also believe the pickup was called a "soapbar"? It just sits in a corner, I was gonna experiment with it once upon a time! Grin.


The first time this revised dc shape came up here, I think I joined the get-off-my-lawn chorus of outrage that Gibson would have the unmitigated gall to fix something I didn’t think was broke and ruin one of my favorite guitar shapes (though I generously allowed as how it’s not inherently ugly when taken on its own merits).

I didn’t think Henry was trying to force me to a more expensive model by changing the standard model; I was just mystified why they’d mess with it after all these years. I didn’t feel the Henry’s-an-asshole bile rise, just had a WTH, Henry? chuckle.

If a buyer is so married to a recreation of vintage specs that he really feels coerced by a cynical marketing choice into spending more money, he can easily find a recent excellent used example to suit both taste and judgment.

(But even accepting the premise, I don’t see any supportable comparison to the Electromatic line; if anything, Gretsch has evolved it to be so close to the pro line in appearance, quality, and sometimes spec that in some cases it can be hard to them apart.)

I find some merit in the argument that the Special was changed to strengthen a notoriously vulnerable point of construction. And seeing the design again now, I find I like it fine. It’s not the Special as I’m accustomed to it, but it’s nice enough on its own terms. If I wasn’t saturated by 50 years of Gibson traditionism, I’d try it alongside the conventional shape and choose the one that sounded and felt best.

Ed, I’m glad you came in with no preconceptions and have been able to accept the guitar for what it is (though surely you can also see an example in that of how guys who aren’t steeped in vintage Gretsch lore readily embrace features and models of new Gretschs which vintage guys find appalling). Really glad you’re enjoying this exploratory venture!

I’m not surprised you find the Special to be special. I’ve never really had a bad experience with a flat Gibson mahogany slab. It’s kinda the Gibson Tele - no frills, no gimmicks, just the basics and thank you very much. Such simpler, less dressy instruments are something Gibson has always done very well, and even as Henry has gone wacky and quality has been uneven, I think the company has continued to do this class of instruments well. I respect them for that.

The Fadeds in particular were (are?), I think, a great value. I thoroughly enjoy my red Faded Special, about 10 years old (and bought used for well under 1k). Characterful guitar with a great blend of body, snap, snarl, twang, and bite. Also throat. It has throat.

And yes, modest to light weight is generally a characteristic of the model.


(But even accepting the premise, I don’t see any supportable comparison to the Electromatic line; if anything, Gretsch has evolved it to be so close to the pro line in appearance, quality, and sometimes spec that in some cases it can be hard to them apart.)

Next to the classic pre-baldwin 16" single cutaway Gretsch hollowbody silhouette, the Electromatics are a little off. And the lead pickup is in an odd spot too. I can see how it wouldn't bother you specifically, as you're not the geeky/anal "vintage spec!!" type at all, other folks see it right away.


Sure - but it's clearly not as egregious an error as the wholesale-redesign-to-force-bait-and-switch strategy of which Henry stands accused.

Each generation of the Electromatic hollowbody has become more similar to the flagship line, not less.


Sure - but it's clearly not as egregious an error as the wholesale-redesign-to-force-bait-and-switch strategy of which Henry stands accused.

Oh, well, I thought that idea was a bridge too far anyway. I don't think that was the case, in fact, I wouldn't assume Henry knows/knew all too much about what exactly was happening in the guitar division except for the $$ reports he gets from the beancounters.

Gibson has a long history of being a little out of touch with their customer base, and launching the odd "WTF?!?" model. Most guitar companies actually come to think of it.


That's the truth - though a surprising number of those models are vindicated years later when re-appraised in different contexts.

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