Thoughts on the Gibson Les Paul Special Faded?

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by chuckymack, May 21, 2008.

  1. chuckymack

    chuckymack Senior Member

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    So, I got a big bonus on my last paycheck and decided to buy an amplifier. Did some research online, found out that a Mom & Pop guitar store in Louisville had the amp I'd been lusting over for the better part of six years(a Fender Hot Rod DeVille 410) on sale.
    Anywho, while I brought my own LP to play through the amp, I stumbled upon a Gibson Les Paul Special Faded while I made the rounds prior to my purchase. It looked okay, I guess, but it's hard to judge a book by its cover. In my rush to chew the salesman down on their already super-low price, I completely forgot to play the sucker!
    I know its got a crummy finish, lackluster appointments and no carved top, but it seemed like a pretty good deal for an American-made axe at $500. However, I'm curious to see if you guys had any input.

    Any and all comments and critiques are appreciated.
     
  2. GuitarGod319

    GuitarGod319 Senior Member

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    what do you have already?
     
  3. dcmey

    dcmey Senior Member

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    I haven't played on one, but I own a Gibson LP Vintage Mahogany, it's also in that worn look mine is worn cherry. It's a great guitar for the money. I think that one would be to. Great bang for the buck guitars.
     
  4. LPClassic07

    LPClassic07 Senior Member

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    Hey Chuckymack,

    The Faded Special was the first Les Paul I owned (assuming you're talking about the humbucker version and not the double cutaway with p-90s). I bought it from a guy on ebay for $500 in 2005 in "as new" condition with a case. It seemed great at the time and I was excited to own an American Made Les Paul. It was the TV Yellow version as opposed to the faded cherry.

    I played it sporadically on and off until last year when I finally got serious about getting better. Here are my thoughts:

    1) After 3 or 4 months of playing it only 2-3 hours per week the pickup switch selector started to malfunction and I had to replace it.
    2) The guitar was so so at staying in tune.
    3) The neck was just ok. I like that it's not as thick as the '59 rounded. However, to aid in the faded look, the guitar purposely does not have as many coats of finish. So the neck is not as smooth as other Les Pauls and moving up and down the neck didn't feel great.
    4) I'm not a huge fan of the stock humbuckers (same as the LP Studio) but that's just my preference.

    I put the Les Paul Faded on Craig's List for $500 and it sold within a week. Was nice to get exactly what I paid for it after owning it for over two years. It helped that the guitar was still in great condition. A good thing about the look of the Faded is that it's harder for it to show signs of wear.

    I bought a Gibson Les Paul Classic a few months ago. I love everything about it. Plays great and it stays in tune forever. I find myself playing twice as much as I did before. Do you love your LP Vintage Mahogany? I would say that the Special Faded is a step down. If you want another Les Paul, go in the other direction. Save up for a used Gibson Les Paul Classic or Les Paul Standard. From your bonus and selling your current LP you can probably come close to doing that now.

    However, if you do buy the Special Faded you will most likely be able to sell it down the line for most of, if not all of, what you pay for it. There will always be demand for USA Les Pauls. Though for the more common faded cherry version I would try to bargain him down. They still sell on Ebay for $400 or $500. Of course, being able to play the darn thing before you buy is always the preferable way to go.
     
  5. dcmey

    dcmey Senior Member

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    I own the VM and love it. I haven't played the other one.
     
  6. chuckymack

    chuckymack Senior Member

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    My main gigging guitars are an '07 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plaintop and a '99 Epiphone 335 Dot Deluxe.
    Both have Duncans in them:
    LP- Invader in bridge, Jazz in neck
    335- '59s in both positions
     
  7. Kuroyama

    Kuroyama V.I.P. Member

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    Chucky

    I own a Les Paul Special Faded. Its my second Les Paul Special. Both had/have P90s in them. As was stated before its hard for the faded to show signs of wear, which is a huge plus for me (oh yeah, my other guitar is a Vintage Mahogany Studio - wholly different animal!)

    Both are great guitars. Ive only had mine a few months, but so far its all good. the P90s put out a little more noise than I would like, but thats just the nature of P90 pickups. You dont buy a Telecaster then say its a little twangier than youd like. Teles are twangy, thats what they do, thats WHY people buy them.

    P90 guitars make noise but the tone is what brings buyers back. Its WHY a guitar with an (intentionally) faded finish can be sold for that amount of money, and will resell years later for close to if not the same amount.

    Its a hot guitar, and you dont have to go far to find people that are nuts about them BECAUSE they dont have a figured top.

    Keep playing, and enjoy. BTW... where are the PICS SON??? (lest ye be judged...I post mine)

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  8. marc1kim

    marc1kim Senior Member

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    Although my specials are the humbucker SL with clear poly, and Faded DC. Of the two I play the SL more, and it's a helluva bar-band axe. Done me good for over 6 years both live, rehearsal, and in the studio. Hardware is the same as the big boys (the same pups were used in the Customs for a while). Tuning problems were fixed by putting graphite (pencil lead) on the nut slots. Overall great guitar, just not as pretty as a standard or custom. The faded finish is good,IMO, since it lets the guitar resonate better.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. gabrielnoel

    gabrielnoel Senior Member

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    I had a Les Paul Special with humbukers a couple of years ago...its ok for 500 bucks, mine came with the same hardware of a Standard, felt great, the only complains are the plain top, no binding on it, and the inlays, if you can live with that you´ll be happy... I´ll say is a truly players guitar
     
  10. chuckymack

    chuckymack Senior Member

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    Groovy! I could care less about looks. I'm just worried about how it sounds, feels and plays!
     
  11. Wuchak

    Wuchak Senior Member

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    Sorry to revive an old thread but I'm curious to know what you thought of the guitar and amp once you got them home.
     
  12. Wyleway

    Wyleway Senior Member

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    sorry quick question why didnt you just buy like a standard instead of buying 4 lower end gibsons? no offence just a simple question
     
  13. marc1kim

    marc1kim Senior Member

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    To answer Wyleway's post above

    I've owned more expensive Lesters, Two customs, two standards, and just recently sold my 01 classic last week. I just feel more at home with the "lower end" Gibsons. IMO, ornamental plastic and a figured top don't make a good guitar. My faded Standard was a complete dog tonewise.

    My Special SL can play circles around all the 11 lesters I've had the priveledge of owning. and at $600 it didn't break the bank. At my last gig it fell face flat out of a guitar stand onto the concrete and came out without a scratch. Tuned it back up and played 45 minutes to end the night. And for some reason the VM brings out the monster in me at gigs. Sometimes the mutts are just better. I'd hate to drop, or thrash about with a 2k+ standard around my neck. Especially in the dives I play at (drunk band members, drunk bar patrons that make their way onstage,etc.) are no places for high end guitars. I have no use for a "pretty" guitar that I'd be afraid to take out and play.

    I'll be adding the new "satin" junior to the collection after the tax refund check comes around.
     
  14. zontar

    zontar Senior Member

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    That was my first thought when I first saw one--and they cost enough the finish shouldn't look like someone just splashed some paint on them, and a sloppy job of it at that.

    I picked one up & didn't like the feel of the finish on the neck--so I barely played it.

    But if you like it--and it's your sound-then that's okay.
     
  15. Kuroyama

    Kuroyama V.I.P. Member

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    Ive had one of those Specials. I sold it, but only because Im bigger than the average bear and when I held that TV Yellow Special, it took on a bit of a Tonka look to it

    [ame=http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=EIvyY9PrhnA&feature=channel_page]YouTube - Gibson Les Paul Special Faded Fly Away[/ame]

    But aside from that look, I liked it. If it didnt look like a scale model when I held it, Id still own it. To replace it, I got an Epiphone Dot. No more wisecracks about holding a toy now when I play.
     
  16. moff40

    moff40 Senior Member

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    I've got 2 faded DCs (in my sig). Except for them having Stoptail/TOM instead of a topwrap bridge, I have no idea why Gibson didn't call these "Specials".

    I bought them both within days of each other - the cherry was used on eBay, the TV Yellow was new. The TV immediately became my #1. After playing it constantly since June, skin oils and\or friction have made the neck nice and smooth, and I love the thin taper. The bark of the P-90s is icing on the cake.

    These are great guitars - nice and light, with great feel and tone. And the reach at the top of the neck is a godsend.
     
  17. Doc Music

    Doc Music Member

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    I have a cherry Special from 2003, compared with my VM, its a little brighter (from the pickups) and is solid, and is not chambered like the VM. Too heavy for more than a few hours but sounds as good as a studio with the same pickups despite its lack of a cap.
     

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