Tell me anout the LP Faded Special Double Cut/ LP Junior Lite

cider

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Hi everyone, the title says it all!

As you might (or might not) know, I've been GASing for a double cutaway lately - especially ones with soapbars.

I've been trying to research them, and I found that I might like the Special DC (with P90s) or the Junior Lite (with P100s) but I could barely find any information on them. I'm not interested in the 2015 model, or the custom shop historic ones (actually that's a lie - I can't afford those).

If you've ever own one, please share your pictures and experience with the guitars! How much should I expect to pay for one?

Thank you!
 

TorzJohnson

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I have a 2000 Junior Lite, although I had no idea what it was when I bought it. I think I paid around $600 for it. Seems to be essentially just a Special double cut with mini traps on the fretboard and no poker chip. Fit and finish is excellent, and the hardware & switch seem more substantial quality than that on the 2011 Junior Special I had for a few years.

It's really light and really lively and the P-100s sound good enough in my bedroom :D. I plan to eventually replace them with P-90s but so far I haven't been motivated because the P-100s turned out to sound better than the internet pundits would have you believe.

The neck is a something like a D shape, a little flat on the back but not super slim. It's quite comfortable and easy to play, but at first it seemed a little weird for me, as I've been playing Fender soft Vs and Cs my whole life.

Anyway It's a sweet guitar and one I'll be keeping.
 

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cider

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I have a 2000 Junior Lite, although I had no idea what it was when I bought it. I think I paid around $600 for it. Seems to be essentially just a Special double cut with mini traps on the fretboard and no poker chip. Fit and finish is excellent, and the hardware & switch seem more substantial quality than that on the 2011 Junior Special I had for a few years.

It's really light and really lively and the P-100s sound good enough in my bedroom :D. I plan to eventually replace them with P-90s but so far I haven't been motivated because the P-100s turned out to sound better than the internet pundits would have you believe.

The neck is a something like a D shape, a little flat on the back but not super slim. It's quite comfortable and easy to play, but at first it seemed a little weird for me, as I've been playing Fender soft Vs and Cs my whole life.

Anyway It's a sweet guitar and one I'll be keeping.
*hyperventilates*

I think it's the exact guitar I've been trying to find. Is the neck a bit slimmer than a 50's baseball bat neck?

I want one so badly now :(



Thank you so much for the link! I hear that there was a run in 2011 as well, with ebony fretboard *drools* How do I use the Wayback machine?
 

LPCustom72

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I have owned 2 LP Specials and 3 LP Juniors in the 1997 - 2001 range. I have played through many of the soap bars up through the faded LP Specials. Here are my thoughts:

1. LP Specials up to about 1997-8 are close to Custom Shop standards: single piece mahogany bodies; binding; high quality parts. I have played and owned ones that came with P-90s and p-100s. I have also modded with p-90s and mini-humbuckers (best guitar ever).

2. LP Specials from about 1999 - 2002 I consider transitional. This includes regular LP Specials and the LP Special Jr. Lites. They are basically the same guitar except for the small block markers vs. the dots. Also, the back on the Lites have a curve on the upper waist. This happened as well with the 2000-2002 Specials. This is considered a negative on resell, especially to a quality used instrument shop. A key characteristic to note is that between 1999 and 2002, the mahogany bodies varied with some being single piece planks and others being 2 pieces. I frankly prefer the solid planks. Maybe it is vanity, but I want a single chunk of wood.

4. Gibson introduced the Faded Specials somewhere in the 2003-2004 range. While they certainly sound good, they are more pared down than the 1990 era Specials. They have no binding; at least 2 and sometimes 3 piece mahogany blanks, and the faded finish which is an less expensive finish. Frankly, I put this downgrading on the rise of the Custom Shop models. The late 80s to mid 90s LP Specials and Juniors were too close to Custom Shop quality, so Gibson started downgrading the quality of the newer models. Still, a Special or a Junior from any era is basically a hunk of mahogany with P-90s, so this may not make as much difference in terms of sound. I have played Faded Specials that were really sweet clean and totally balls out over-driven.

What this means in terms of purchase price is that the late 80s to mid 90s should have a higher price. Prices should then decline as you move forward in time with the Faded Specials being the lowest priced. The highest price I would pay for the various models is $1100 for an 80s-mid 90s Special; $800 for a transitional model (Lite and the various color versions of the Specials with binding such as green, black and chili pepper red) and then $650 - $750 for a Faded Special. People certainly ask more but I wouldn't pay for it. For example, I have seen Faded Specials priced at $1200. You can surf Craigslist and find reasonably priced models if you are patient.
 

Marvin Berry

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Over the past couple years, I went on a serious search for a DC special that sounded as good as my 1996 SC special (with Fralin P90s in place of the P100s--heavenly!)

I started with an SG Classic. Fantastic fit and finish, and easiest playing guitar I ever owned. But the P90s were just too aggressive sounding, and it couldn't come anywhere near my SC.

Then I picked up one of the faded DC specials. First, be aware that the finish is almost non existant. Felt like the color would rub off just by wiping my hand over it. Also, same problem with the aggressiveness. I rewired it with quality wire, pots, switch, jack, and caps--still no luck. Then I realized that the body was much thinner than my 90's SC Special, and it hit me that that was most likely the issue.

I finally lucked into a 90's DC special. Fit, finish and quality was right there with the SG Classic and my SC.

IT came to me with Throbak P90s. Too aggressive. Tried Gibson P90s. Same. Then installed Wolfetone Mean and Meaner set. Helped quite a bit, but still didn't match the sweet clean sound of the Fralins in my SC.

Then, I bought an Edward Goldtop with SD P90s. Oh my sweet lord, that's the sound. Put the Gibson DC away and never played it again until I recently traded it. It was a nice guitar, and sounded really good, but something about the single cuts just sound sooooo much sweeter, with the maple topped Edwards even better sounding than the Gibson SC special.

I will admit, though, that the look of the (old style--hate the new Gibson DCs) double cut specials is pure rock and roll.
 

cider

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I have owned 2 LP Specials and 3 LP Juniors in the 1997 - 2001 range. I have played through many of the soap bars up through the faded LP Specials. Here are my thoughts:

1. LP Specials up to about 1997-8 are close to Custom Shop standards: single piece mahogany bodies; binding; high quality parts. I have played and owned ones that came with P-90s and p-100s. I have also modded with p-90s and mini-humbuckers (best guitar ever).

2. LP Specials from about 1999 - 2002 I consider transitional. This includes regular LP Specials and the LP Special Jr. Lites. They are basically the same guitar except for the small block markers vs. the dots. Also, the back on the Lites have a curve on the upper waist. This happened as well with the 2000-2002 Specials. This is considered a negative on resell, especially to a quality used instrument shop. A key characteristic to note is that between 1999 and 2002, the mahogany bodies varied with some being single piece planks and others being 2 pieces. I frankly prefer the solid planks. Maybe it is vanity, but I want a single chunk of wood.

4. Gibson introduced the Faded Specials somewhere in the 2003-2004 range. While they certainly sound good, they are more pared down than the 1990 era Specials. They have no binding; at least 2 and sometimes 3 piece mahogany blanks, and the faded finish which is an less expensive finish. Frankly, I put this downgrading on the rise of the Custom Shop models. The late 80s to mid 90s LP Specials and Juniors were too close to Custom Shop quality, so Gibson started downgrading the quality of the newer models. Still, a Special or a Junior from any era is basically a hunk of mahogany with P-90s, so this may not make as much difference in terms of sound. I have played Faded Specials that were really sweet clean and totally balls out over-driven.

What this means in terms of purchase price is that the late 80s to mid 90s should have a higher price. Prices should then decline as you move forward in time with the Faded Specials being the lowest priced. The highest price I would pay for the various models is $1100 for an 80s-mid 90s Special; $800 for a transitional model (Lite and the various color versions of the Specials with binding such as green, black and chili pepper red) and then $650 - $750 for a Faded Special. People certainly ask more but I wouldn't pay for it. For example, I have seen Faded Specials priced at $1200. You can surf Craigslist and find reasonably priced models if you are patient.


Woah, thank you so so much for the reply! I have seen a few that go for a price as high as ones you listed, thankfully I used my better judgement and didn't take the plunge.

I'm actually not a fan of the fancy binding - I just want something simple - so I suppose my best option would be a Faded? Have you heard of the 2011 ones with ebony fretboard?

I honestly have no idea how to surf craigslist. Is there a site to search craigslists nationwide? I live in the Bay Area, and there's almost NEVER any good used guitar - anything half decent gets scooped up really quickly.

I will admit, though, that the look of the (old style--hate the new Gibson DCs) double cut specials is pure rock and roll.
Very true. I love the slab body with just the soapbars and pickguard. I can just imagine how light and wonderful the guitar can be :shock:. Can't stand the new curve top DC though.

Does anyone have any idea what is underneath the pickguard?
 

Lucidsounds

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I can highly recommend these, if you can find one. Late 1990's DC Special, with neck binding, ABR bridge as standard and P90's.
 

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TorzJohnson

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2. LP Specials from about 1999 - 2002 I consider transitional. This includes regular LP Specials and the LP Special Jr. Lites. They are basically the same guitar except for the small block markers vs. the dots. Also, the back on the Lites have a curve on the upper waist. This happened as well with the 2000-2002 Specials. This is considered a negative on resell, especially to a quality used instrument shop.
The 2000 Junior Lite I have does not have a tummy cut, although I can't speak for the post-Y2K versions.
 

cider

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The 2000 Junior Lite I have does not have a tummy cut, although I can't speak for the post-Y2K versions.
Hm, I actually really like the tummy cut on my Cort :hmm: Although it's less "tummy cut" and more "waist bone cut" for me :p
 

LPCustom72

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The 2000 Junior Lite I have does not have a tummy cut, although I can't speak for the post-Y2K versions.[

The tummy cut issue is one of those that underscores how many of the pricing issues with used instruments is purely about preference not function or sound. I actually confronted this issue when trading in a 2001 LP Special at a local shop for other gear. Great guitar but it had a tummy cut. Dropped the trade-in price about $100. This was a very good, reputable dealer I have known for years. On the other hand, if things like tummy cuts or lack of binding is fine for you, then you get the benefit of a lower price.

As for your question about a faded, as I noted, the features vary from the 1990s up to the present with faded's being a more stripped down version. I have played many models. Seems that a slab of mahogany and P-90s sound pretty damn good with any configuration.

As for Craigslist, just go to craigslist.com. You typically meet the seller in a public place. Purchase is with cash typically. Unlike eBay, the stock is limited to your geographic area, so you might not seem something specific for a month or two. Prices are usually lower. I bought a 89 LP Junior for $500 a few years ago, when eBay or a shop would have been $750. That was a little unusual but not all that much.

If you are into Juniors, an inexpensive alternative that really smokes are the 2003-2005 Melody Makers with a single P-90. I still see them going for $300-$500. They are as simple as a guitar can be but sound absolutely awesome.
 

cider

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Update: My boyfriend just bought me a sweet 2003 Faded Cherry from Reverb yesterday. Guitar got shipped today, should be here next week. I cannot wait OMG.

I had a few other options - one made in the 90s and one in 2008 (with the ebony fretboard). After some careful consideration, I figured that (knowing me) I would probably mod the crap out of the guitar, so I went with the cheapest option :D

Thank you everyone for all your guidance, will definitely post pics when it gets here.

Here's a picture from the seller. Anyone could tell me how many mahogany pieces are there? :D


Code:
 

endial

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GHASP!

Pretty freakin' awesome boyfriend you got there Cider.


Excellent choice. I see one piece only in this pic. Will have to see the back (pics) when it arrives.

CONGRATS!
 

cider

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GHASP!

Pretty freakin' awesome boyfriend you got there Cider.


Excellent choice. I see one piece only in this pic. Will have to see the back (pics) when it arrives.

CONGRATS!
Thank you! He's great (or I'm just a spoiled brat) :laugh2::laugh2::laugh2::laugh2:

Here is the listing for it. Has pictures of the back too - please tell me if it looks like multiple pieces to ya. The pictures here look really washed out, so I asked the seller for that other pic. Much better :wow:

How are Gibson's stock P90's?
 

endial

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"How are Gibson's stock P90's?", you ask.

Well, they are just fine. I have them in
my Junior/Special. Once you dial them in (raise/lower/tweak) they sound
rather like nice quality Gibson P-90 pickups should. You will hear other opinions
shortly, I'm sure, but that one's mine.

-The body-
Well I gotta say- I looked, and I looked and I couldn't convince myself of any
signs of any seams in that body. I'll have to see more/better pics to be sure.

Sometimes (actually often) those Gibson slaves pride themselves on matching
up those mahogany boards to hide the seams, and so far as I can tell they
did a bang-up job on this fella. If I thought I saw a seam on the backside, it
wouldn't match up on the front, which is why I was not so convinced.
The occasional one piece does happen!


Edit: For what it's worth, I wouldn't sweat the multi-piece body dealio.
That guitar's gonna sweeten the air around you with P-90 bliss and rock your world simultaneously.
 


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