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Old 09-24-11, 07:05 AM   #1
TorzJohnson
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Les Paul "Jr. Special"

I got one of these from Musician's Friend a week or two ago. Not only is it a fantastic guitar, but I got a great deal on it.

Maybe too good of a deal? MF is acting almost like a gray market dealer. They didn't include a receipt or bill of sale with the guitar, and of course Gibson requires this if you want to make a warranty claim. So I contacted MF and asked for the receipt, which they promptly mailed me, but the receipt only has the item number on it, with no description that says "Gibson Les Paul Special etc. etc."

Kinda fishy? I wonder if they're trying to keep Gibson from ever finding out that they sold a guitar for this particular price. You know how some makers forbid their retailers to sell too low or use coupon codes.

If you bought one of these, I'd be interested to know if your experience was similar.

BTW here's the guitar: (I love it!!!)

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Old 09-24-11, 07:28 AM   #2
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

I bought one of these on eBay from Central City Music in San Diego about 2001; Forrest Green. Great guitar, and maybe the best guitar bargain ever. It sounds awesome, and came with stacked humbuckers, which I think are P-100s. I changed all the black plastic to cream, and replaced that ugly pick guard with one from a Deluxe.
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Old 09-25-11, 05:58 AM   #3
Nihon Jim
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

Love my '93. Swapped the P-100s for a set of SD P-90s. One of my two main players.



BTW - No clue what MF may be up to.
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Old 09-25-11, 07:30 AM   #4
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

That looks really cool with the "zebra" P-90s!
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Old 09-25-11, 08:58 PM   #5
RNELEE
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

If you bought on line through MF as I did just print up the order. Warranty regisration was absolutly no problem. Yes indeed the guitar is just great at the given price point. Last year I sold my LP Special Faded with 490/498 PU's and I have been looking for that guitar ever since. I am no longer looking... With the recent purchase of pretty much the same guitar with P90's and an ebony board in cherry red-close enough. As far as the guitar being some kind of gray market: nope. The guitar is on Gibsons web site.
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Old 09-26-11, 09:03 AM   #6
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

Quote:
Originally Posted by RNELEE View Post
If you bought on line through MF as I did just print up the order. Warranty regisration was absolutly no problem. Yes indeed the guitar is just great at the given price point. Last year I sold my LP Special Faded with 490/498 PU's and I have been looking for that guitar ever since. I am no longer looking... With the recent purchase of pretty much the same guitar with P90's and an ebony board in cherry red-close enough. As far as the guitar being some kind of gray market: nope. The guitar is on Gibsons web site.
Well, "gray market" just means a non-authorized dealer who can get you something for a lower price, but there is no manufacturer's warranty. This of course does not apply to MF since they are an authorized Gibson dealer. They just seemed to be acting kind of "gray-market-like".
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Old 09-26-11, 09:49 AM   #7
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

I bought my Guitar Center LP Jr. Special a couple of months a go. I can't believe how much I'm loving this guitar. My guitar buddies are sick of hearing me talk about it.

I did a few things to tweak it up: Nickel Gibson ABR (no buzzing at all and tight tolerences), Nickel stop bar I had already, spiffier Gibson knobs, beveled the pickguard more to look more vintage, amber switch tip. The stock Kluson tuners were already nickel and the cream colored tulip keys appear identical to the Tonepros I have on another guitar. I also swapped the P-90 pickup plates to some nickel silver ones from Mojo. I do think they kicked the tone up a notch. I have NO desires to replace these stock P-90s, as they could not sound better to my ears. As witness, the bridge PUP sounds scary close to the original one in my vintage '61 LP Jr.

BTW, I left the pots stock as they sound plenty bright and I measured one of the tone pots (I think it was a tone pot) and got close to 500K. Oh, I also shielded the control cavity and replaced the wiring to the switch with vintage style shielded wire. New Switchcraft switch and PIO caps as well. Hum is now very minimal, a definite improvement.

I agree these are an incredible bargain.



Last edited by VMR : 09-27-11 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 09-26-11, 10:43 AM   #8
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

I bought one from MF, you're online receipt is fine for warranty. I liked the tone of the bridge pickup, but my neck was dark and muddy. I put in 500K CTS pots, oil and paper caps, Lollar -5% wind on the neck, and the regular Lollar bridge. I had a pro set up, The guitar plays and sound amazing. I'm going to change the bridge and TP to Nickle, the chrome just sticks out on a red guitar. These guitars are a great deal. I bought mine with a 15% off, I think it ended up being $679.99 with a hard case.
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Old 09-26-11, 10:45 AM   #9
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

Quote:
Originally Posted by VMR View Post
I bought my Guitar Center LP Jr. Special a couple of months a go. I can't believe how much I'm loving this guitar. My guitar buddies are sick of hearing me talk about it.

I did a few things to tweak it up: Nickel Gibson ABR (no buzzing at all and tight tolerences), Nickel stop bar I had already, spiffier Gibson knobs, beveled the pickguard more to look more vintage, amber switch tip. The stock Kluson tuners were already nickel and the cream colored tulip keys appear identical to the Tonepros I have on another guitar. I also swapped the P-90 pickup plates to some nickel silver ones from Mojo. I do think they kicked the tone up a notch. I have NO desires to replace these stock P-90s, as they could not sound better to my ears. As witness, the bridge PUP sounds scary close to the original one in my vintage '61 LP Jr.

BTW, I left the pots stock as they sound plenty bright and I measured one of the tone pots (I think it was a tone pot) and got close to 500K. Oh, I also shielded the control cavity and replaced the wiring to the switch with vintage style shielded wire. New Switchcraft switch and PIO caps as well. Hum is now very minimal, a definite improvement.

I agree these are in incredible bargain.


What bridge did you use? Did you replace the studs?
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Old 09-26-11, 02:55 PM   #10
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

I got some nickel Nashville studs and simply used a needle file to enlarge the holes in the new nickel Gibson ABR-1 (with wire). Didn't take much filing at all. Now it fits perfect and the tops of the studs are flush with the top of the bridge.
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Old 09-26-11, 03:01 PM   #11
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

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I got some nickel Nashville studs and simply used a needle file to enlarge the holes in the new nickel Gibson ABR-1 (with wire). Didn't take much filing at all. Now it fits perfect and the tops of the studs are flush with the top of the bridge.
Great idea, thank you.
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Old 09-27-11, 12:03 AM   #12
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

I am going to leave mine alone (stock). The guitar is pretty quiet for single coils and sounds better than I expected the guitar to sound. From polite to a grind this guitar is a blast to play and hear. I even got permission from my wife for this one-actually except for my Baby Taylor (which was relatively cheap, and I didn't ask) my wife gave me permission for the other 5 guitars, perhaps with the standard comments of why do I need another one. She thought it was pretty compared with my Faded Special of old. The new guitar was a hit all the way around. Now that I think about it she asked me at the time of selling my Faded Special why I was selling a guitar that I played so much, nearly every day? I didn't have an answer then, still dont.

And, no I am not knocking anyone that does a mod on their guitars. Some of the above mods make perfect sense, but for me on this guitar-no. My Melody Maker, now that is another story. I swapped the single coil for a SD JB, jr. No routing necessary and it was an improvement to my ears on this guitar. Sorry for the vociferous post, blame it on the meds.
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Old 09-27-11, 02:38 PM   #13
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

RNELEE, I'm with you. I have modded guitars plenty of times but I am so happy with this one that I'm going to leave it just the way it is. I did find the neck pickup a bit muddy but I don't mind twisting a few knobs on my amp to sweeten it up. The bridge pickup is a beast, it just blows away anything else I have.

After all of the Gibson QC horror stories out there, I was pleased that this guitar was pretty much flawless. It's easily the equal to my Custom Shop Tele as far as fit and finish - and it cost way less than half as much.
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Old 09-27-11, 04:53 PM   #14
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

I agree that my guitar didn't really need to be modded. It was excellent completely stock - which is why I bought it. But I enjoy doing the mods and perfecting my guitars.

And I agree about the quality comment above. I would say these LP Specials are very competitively priced and give you more guitar for the money than a comparably or higher priced Fender. My LPjrS has neck binding, more electronic parts, more complex hardware (particularly the bridge), a set neck, and a thin skin nitro gloss finish. That is more than you find in, say, a basic 52RI Tele. Yet My LPJrS actually costs less. Can you tell I love my LPJrS? (of course I love my Fenders, too)
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Old 09-28-11, 11:39 AM   #15
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

No, they don't really need anything but a good set up. But I wanted to try the Lollar P-90s. They're quite reasonable at $200.00 the set. They give it a wonderful warm vintage tone. The Gibsons are hotter. And the chrome hardware just kind of jumps out. All my other Gibsons have Nickel and ABRs. So I'd like it to have a more vintage look, to match the sound.
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Old 09-30-11, 05:53 AM   #16
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

TorzJohnson- Do you have any additional pics of the yellow finish that you can post? Or can you describe it more at least? Is it transparent in any way and can you see some of the grain? I'm considering one in the same finish as yours. Thanks!
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Old 09-30-11, 04:44 PM   #17
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

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TorzJohnson- Do you have any additional pics of the yellow finish that you can post? Or can you describe it more at least? Is it transparent in any way and can you see some of the grain? I'm considering one in the same finish as yours. Thanks!
Kutt, the only other picture I have right now is another bad cell phone pic, and the color is way off. The picture at the top of the page is pretty close to the real color though. It's "gloss yellow" so it's completely opaque, but it's a real thin nitro finish and you can see the texture of the wood grain. But it's not translucent in the way that a blonde tele is. Here's the other pic - the guitar looks cool as hell but the color shows up as a lot less yellow:

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Old 09-30-11, 08:44 PM   #18
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Re: Les Paul "Jr. Special"

Thanks brother. I love your axe and there may be one in my future as well! Congrats on yours.
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