Introduced in 1955, the Les Paul Special was released to fill a gap in the Gibson Solid Body range between the already established Goldtop Model and the student oriented Junior. Features on release were the same neck and single-cut slab Mahogany body as the Junior with a simple wraparound tailpiece/bridge. The Special shared the same simple dot inlays as the Junior but gained the fingerboard binding and Pearl Gibson Logo of the Goldtop and Custom. The biggest difference to the junior was the addition of a second P90 in the the neck position with an a three-way switch and secondary volume and tone controls. The Les Paul Junior and Special were revised in 1958 to have double cutaways and more fingerboard access, but these new Specials suffered with a weak neck joint due to the P-90 position. By 1960, the neck pickup position was revised and moved closer to the bridge and the 3-way switch moved from between the treble volume and tone pots, to in front of the treble volume pot. In late 1961 body style changes to the SG shape with symmetrical pointed double cutaways, thin mahogany body with beveled edges, cherry red finish and optional vibrato.
A staple of the Gibson Catalog for years the Custom Shop currently offers two LP Special models, the 1957 Single Cut and this model, the 1960 Double Cut. Featuring a solid Mahogany body finished in a Nitrocellulose TV Yellow VOS finish with a solid Mahogany neck with bound Rosewood fingerboard. Two Gibson Custom Soapbar P-90 pickups with a three-way switch and independent Volume and Tone Controls. Kluson Strip with white buttons, Nickel plated wraparound Bridge with Black multi-ply pickguard, P90 covers and poker chip. The control knobs are Top hat in Black.
The guitar feels great to play with a manageable 60’s Slim taper neck with authentic Medium-Jumbo fret wire. The nut width feels instantly recognisable to Gibson players with a 43.06mm with. The neck measures 21.03 at the 1st fret fattening to 23.63 at the 12th fret. Weighing in at 7.6lbs it feels lightweight yet reassuringly robust. The P-90s are authentically powerful and with readings of 7.83K and 7.78K in the neck and Bridge balance nicely. Acoustically the guitar has a loud, lively ring and plugged in the P-90 help in continuing this theme with the both pickups having a very harmonically rich with a characteristic growl and a surprising amount of natural sustain. Thanks to the revised neck pickup position the two P90s are closer together giving the middle position a different sound to a regular dual P90 guitars.
Dating to 2017, underestimate the Double Cut Les Paul Special at your peril! This great example is in wonderful condition and sounds superb. The guitar comes with its original Gibson Custom Case and Certificate.