NGD - Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute P90

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Surfysonic
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NGD - Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute P90

Post by Surfysonic » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:01 pm

Arrived this morning - Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute P90 in a Natural Walnut finish. The body is mahogany with a maple neck and rosewood fretboard. Other finishes include Vintage Cherry Satin, Worn White, and Ebony Vintage Gloss. I was initially tempted by the Worn White to offset my black ES-135, but the Natural Walnut with maple neck stole my heart. The necks on the other models match their body finishes.

I was very tempted to get the less expensive Epiphone Les Paul Special in TV Yellow for it's thicker neck and, like the Tribute, it has a compensated wraparound bridge. The Epiphone's TV Yellow finish is fairly opaque from what I've seen on Reverb and YouTube demos. The Epi has an Indian Laurel fretboard. However, I preferred the Tribute with the maple neck and rosewood fretboard.

Interestingly, the stock wraparound bridge on the pricier Gibson Les Paul Special is not compensated. Clearly, that's an easy fix but I'm currently not into the TV Yellow wash finish or Vintage Cherry finish...or the higher price tag.

The Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute is super lightweight. I debated over the mahogany neck vs. the maple neck. I decided on the maple for the aesthetics and how it factors in to the overall lighter weight of the guitar. My guitar weighs in at about 6 lbs.

The P90s sound magnificent - both clear and lush as needed. I must have a fairly quiet electrical household, as I could barely hear the 60 cycle hum while in the neck or bridge position.

I was a little worried how I'd get on with the rounded, slim taper neck. It's comfortable at the first few frets at it's thinnest and gradually thickens up down the neck and is actually quite beefy. Speaking as someone with big hands, don't fear the slim taper neck - I'm loving it!

You know how with some guitars you instantly bond with? I instantly bonded with this guitar. A few years back, I dipped my toe in the Les Paul waters with a Gibson Les Paul '50s Tribute with P90s. It was a very nice guitar but it did weigh a bit more (9 lbs) and I guess I just didn't bond with it. Eventually, I sold it off.

The Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute is clearly a stripped down model compared to the pricier Gibson Les Paul Special and the less expensive Epiphone Les Paul Special. Both of those models are all mahogany (body & neck), have neck binding, and the control switch "poker chip" washer. I never needed a control switch poker chip on my Gretsch and Fender guitars, so it's all good.

Anyhoo, on to the photos!

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Re: NGD - Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute P90

Post by Maggieo » Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:50 pm

Sweet! The maple neck was jarring at first, but it looks cool.
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Re: NGD - Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute P90

Post by Flurko » Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:59 pm

This looks like a great simple guitar ! I've always liked the natural finished Gibsons, especially with unusual wood combinations like a maple neck. The white buttons tuners are always a nice touch.

I'd add a 'poker chip' under the switch, but I'm too used to seeing it on les pauls :D

This reminds me of Bob Marley's Les Paul, I don't recall seeing another one like this.

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Re: NGD - Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute P90

Post by Surfysonic » Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:26 pm

Thanks, all! Another thing I noticed that helped with my decision between the 3 different models (Gibson LP Special, this Tribute, and the Epi LP Special) is that the neck and body appears more aligned at the heel than the Gibson Les Paul Special and the Epiphone Les Paul Special. Huzzah!
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