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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member Nihon Jim's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
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    Fairfax County
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    510

    LP Special? LP Junior Special?

    Bought what I thought was a 1993 P90 loaded LP Special about a year ago. While trolling the Forum a few months later it became apparent that the P90s were really P100s. I pulled the neck pup out and sure enough, a P100. Markings in the cavity indicated a 1993 date. Put the pup back in, re-strung her, and got on with life.

    Flash forward to last week. I bought a set of SD P90s (Vintage SP90-1 in the neck and Hot Soapbar SP90-2 in the bridge). When I pulled out the bridge pup I found "LP JR SPC" marked in the cavity. Photo below.



    So...what is the difference between an LP Special and an LP Junior Special? Is it the P100s?

    A few more photos.

    Before pup change



    After pup change (shop only had a cream cover for the bridge P90 - figured I just use the P100 cover - however, that cover is just a bit too tall - left the cream cover for the time being - "Zebra P90s" - kinda' growing on me...). BTW - sounds friggin' awesome!



    Back to the Special vs Junior Special question. In the photo just above, notice that the cutaway side does not fair into the neck (see area around 17th fret - body is visible on both sides of the neck). However, on some of the "Specials" I have seen, the cutaway fairs into the neck. See photo (randomly copied from internet) below (body fairs into neck at about the 19th fret).



    So...what gives?

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member tele00's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
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    Mass.
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    2,352

    Re: LP Special? LP Junior Special?

    From an internet review . :

    Gibson originally introduced the Les Paul Junior with one P-90 pickup in 1954 as an entry level student guitar. The original Les Paul Junior was a very high quality guitar, sold at a remarkably affordable price of $49.50. Because of its great sound, excellent construction, high quality, and very reasonable price, the Les Paul Junior very quickly became a very popular guitar. In an effort to follow up on the success of the Les Paul Junior, the following year, Gibson introduced the Les Paul Special with two P-90 pickups in 1955. The Les Paul Special was in most respects a Les Paul Junior with two P-90 pickups. Gibson hoped that this guitar would appeal to young musicians who were a bit more than at the beginner level, but who also could not afford a Les Paul Goldtop or a Les Paul Custom. But enough of the history lesson. Recently, Gibson introduced a hybrid of these two guitars, but with some modern innovations added into the mix. The guitar that I will be discussing in this review is the Les Paul Jr. Special with P-100 pickups.


    Although the Les Paul Jr. Special may at first glance appear to be similar to a Les Paul Special with P-90 pickups, there is actually a great deal of different between the two in sound, and therefore they are actually very different guitars. The Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, is not a Custom Shop Reissue guitar, and therefore it is not a faithful reproduction of either a Les Paul Junior or a Les Paul Special from the 1950’s. However, it is a great sounding guitar in its own right, and there are actually characteristics about this guitar that some players would actually prefer over either an original Les Paul Junior or an original Les Paul Special, such as a Tune-O-Matic Bridge and Stopbar Tailpiece, as compared to the Wraparound Bridge/Tailpiece found on the originals or on a Custom Shop Reissue of the originals. This guitar is available in Natural, Ebony, and Cinnamon finishes. I prefer the Natural finish, as the grain on the Mahogany body is quite beautiful.
    " to either cut down on beer ,or the kids new gear....its a big decision in a town called malice .. "

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member reswot's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    IN
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    3,243

    Re: LP Special? LP Junior Special?

    BTW, the vintage Specials and Historic singlecut Specials also have the body "lip" beside of the neck.

  4. #4
    All Access/Backstage Pass Black58's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    In the bathroom, fixing my guitar.
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    Re: LP Special? LP Junior Special?

    Keep the "zebra" setup, looks pretty damn cool!

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    252

    Re: LP Special? LP Junior Special?

    I am a big proponent of the early to mid 90's Specials. I agree they are the best of all worlds. Vintage style, bound necks, real Gibson inlay, newer style bridge set up, and if all are like mine, nice one piece body. Some do like the P100's, not me, so the required change was P90's. It was a whole nuther guitar then. I will have to photo mine again, now has creme PU covers which at first I thought I'd change back to black, but I do like them and have kept them. I put on red tourtoise PG and same deal, thought I'd change back, have all black stuff so I always can. I confess I dipsty dumpstered the P100's


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