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NGD: Cheapest Gibson in the UK?


Active member
Sep 14, 2018
Here's some backstory (photos come later). I have 3x Gibson Les Pauls (2x Standards and a '72 Custom) as well as an ES-335 and handful of other brands. I've formed an opinion that the satin, thin finished Les Pauls sound better to me - more vibrant and brighter sounding acoustically. I don't have a P90 guitar, I like wraptail bridges (my PRS McCarty has one) and the idea of a stripped down basic setup is very appealing. I'm also a bargain hunter who likes to mod guitars.

So for a while I'd been keeping an eye on Special Tribute P90s - saved searches on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, etc. I do this for tons of guitars at a time on the hunt for a good deal and one came up a few weeks ago. The prices had been rising on these so I was kicking myself for not pulling the trigger last year on one, then this one showed up and I made a deal under £600 - by my reckoning making it the cheapest actual Gibson that's undamaged in the UK. My drummer collected it for me and as I had a gig this weekend I took possession of it. I'm very impressed!

So it's a bog standard 2020 LP Special Tribute in cherry. The neck is a very comfortable rounded profile (smaller than my 2002 Standard 50s neck but bigger than my 1989 Standard). The maple neck is surprising as it's much more smooth feeling than on faded finished mahogany necks - I know why, I was just surprised at how obvious it is to feel. The pickups are a bit unbalanced right now (bridge is weaker than neck) but I will adjust and see if I can compensate. I do have a set of mini-humbuckers I could drop into either slot as an experiment. I'm also going to investigate the electronics and potentially drop in a spare 'traditional' loom in. Playability is decent and build quality is pretty good. There's a few bits of finish that could be tidied up (around the fretboard edge) and a couple of slightly sharp fret ends I'll dress but on the whole not bad for a 'budget' guitar. The fretboard could also be a bit darker and at least seems dry so I will treat that.




Long-term I am also considering a refinish in TV yellow - but time will tell if I decide to go down that route! For now I'm going to see how I get on with it and whether it's a long-term keeper.