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  1. #1

    Les Paul Speedking

    Ok, here's a long shot.

    21 or 23 years ago I recall seeing a Gibson catalog, the type that the store keeps behind the counter (ie doesn't hand out copies). Each page had a guitar with some verbiage. In it was a page on the Les Paul Speedking. The example was black with one pick-up and a Floyd Rose tremolo. I think it had Custom appointments. The catalog was a small book about 8 inches by 3.5 to 4 inches and about 3/8 inch thick.

    Never heard or saw a thing since. It looked cool from a late 80s perspective.

    It would be interesting to see what would surface in the internet age. Anyone have a catalog collection to check?

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBurst View Post
    It would be interesting to see what would surface in the internet age. Anyone have a catalog collection to check?
    Apparently this thread is what surfaces "in the internet age".
    Google search reveals this thread #1.

    I saw nothing about a Gibson guitar by that name.
    Pauls to the walls!

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  3. #3

    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    Yup TW, that's the same thing I got when I googled it. My point on the internet is that maybe someone has come accross i) an actual guitar (proto?) with those appointments but didn't see the term speedking, or ii) literature (catalog, press release) discussing/showing it.

    I do not recall seeing the term Speedking on the actual guitar. Definitely on the page in bold letters though. Could have been on the TRC and subsequently removed by a (puzzled) owner. I doubt Gibson would officially comment on it (not being an offical model). But, if someone knows someone and can inquire...!

    I'm confident none of these made it into production. As I've never heard anything about it ever again. But, I definitely did see the pic and the term.

    It could have been a failed at attempt at jumping in on the 80s super strat craze but pulling back just as Appetite For Destruction started it's ascent up the charts bringing the LP up with it (at least in the eyes of the under 20 crowd).
    Last edited by GreenBurst; 08-18-09 at 05:00 PM.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member audiocheck's Avatar
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    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    GreenBurst,

    Was it a single cut or double cutaway? Are you sure it was a Floyd Rose or maybe a Kahlar Wammy?

    Steve

  5. #5
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    It must have been the U2 or SR71


  6. #6

    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    Quote Originally Posted by audiocheck View Post
    GreenBurst,

    Was it a single cut or double cutaway? Are you sure it was a Floyd Rose or maybe a Kahlar Wammy?

    Steve
    Definitely an LP custom style with only a bridge pick-up. But the whammy could have been a Kahler. I know Gibson had their version of it at that time.

  7. #7

    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilko View Post
    It must have been the U2 or SR71
    NO, definitely not one of those. I've seen many of them over the years, as rare as they may be. This was totally different. I figure someone here may have some type of info on it. Worth a try at the very least.

  8. #8

    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    What the hell, thought I'd try seeing if this yields anything 3 years later.

    Bump for good luck...

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member roadrunner's Avatar
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    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    A Speedking? Hmmm, be careful and make sure it doesn't squeak!
    Achieve the Possible!


  10. #10

    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    OK, three plus years later and getting closer!

    Check out page 116 in the link below. Does anyone have access, or an actual catalog so as to see the verbiage?

    http://www.vintaxe.com/catalogs_page...ibson_1988.php

    Pic doesn't appear to show a pickup or controls.

    Any further help on this would be much appreciated.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member J T's Avatar
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    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    Your quest continues gallant Sir Knight!




    No I have not heard of that one. Must have been a prototype catalog listing to get dealers to generate orders.
    The farther you go, the closer you are.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBurst View Post
    OK, three plus years later and getting closer!

    Check out page 116 in the link below. Does anyone have access, or an actual catalog so as to see the verbiage?

    http://www.vintaxe.com/catalogs_page...ibson_1988.php

    Pic doesn't appear to show a pickup or controls.

    Any further help on this would be much appreciated.
    Link doesn't work ... requires a password to see the page.
    Pauls to the walls!

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  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    Must be this...I think you may have a few wires crossed. ALTHOUGH, I would love it if they did make that!!!!!!!



    Spirit XLP is the only other consideration I can think of.



    Or...Studio Lite or Pro Junior...

    Last edited by abalonevintage; 12-25-15 at 12:29 AM.
    Enjoy that with my compliments. 🤠👍

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    It was a midi digital controller. Saddle transducers. I do not remember the speedking name maybe PHOTON or PROTON?
    The older I get, the better I was.

  15. #15

    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wittrock View Post
    Link doesn't work ... requires a password to see the page.
    Yes. I was referring to the pic on page 116 and whether anyone had a catalog to see the detailed verbiage. The pic is similar to what I saw. I don't expect it to be a model offered as I've never heard of it or seen one since. Plus no one here did either. Was probably just something in the catalog. This was around 1988, so it makes sense they were more willing to experiment since sales were down due to the popularity of super starts and GNR still hadn't risen to fame.

  16. #16

    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    Quote Originally Posted by abalonevintage View Post
    Must be this...I think you may have a few wires crossed. ALTHOUGH, I would love it if they did make that!!!!!!!



    Spirit XLP is the only other consideration I can think of.



    Or...Studio Lite or Pro Junior...

    Yes similar, but it was a single (coverless) pickup at the bridge in standard custom livery (i.e. white multi binding with no aging). The photo I remember was only 3/4 of the body and some of the neck. But it was definitely Custom livery and one pickup with either a Floyd or Kahler.

    Was not a M3, U2, Spirit, etc. I've never seen or heard of the Jr. Pro before (thanks).

    No wires crossed. Still sharp as whistle. : )

    I guess one could order this now as Gibson seems to be open to custom orders now.

  17. #17

    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    It was a midi digital controller. Saddle transducers. I do not remember the speedking name maybe PHOTON or PROTON?
    Not the Phi Technologies stuff.

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    Les Paul Speedking


    Sounds like a Les Paul bass drum pedal.
    Pauls to the walls!

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  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member ultra's Avatar
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    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    It was a midi digital controller. Saddle transducers. I do not remember the speedking name maybe PHOTON or PROTON?
    I have that brochure and it definitely was a midi controller called a Photon. It had a Kahler trem from memory

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    The thing I remember is a Les Paul w/only a bridge, Kahler? No controls and midi jack.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member ultra's Avatar
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    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    The thing I remember is a Les Paul w/only a bridge, Kahler? No controls and midi jack.
    Hmmmm, gotta find that brochure now. Also from memory, it had a black slimline Hex pickup bang up against the bridge

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Les Paul Speedking


    This one?
     photo norlin_logo.jpg

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    That's it.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  24. #24

    Re: Les Paul Speedking

    The pic above is a Les Paul Hyperspeed. A very small quantity were sold in the late 80s. They used the Photon system below.

    https://www.italway.it/morrone/Photon.jpg

    The guitar had no traditional pickups or controls. Just the special hex pickup and a Kahler. This is pictured in the Gibson 1988 catalogue, page 116.

    Based on all of this, the Speedking I remembered was probably the Hyperspeed.


    Mystery solved.

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