The Les Paul Special was designed a model that sat between the regular Les Paul and the entry level Les Paul Junior. First offered in 1955, the initial single cutaway LP Special design was identical to the original Les Paul Junior introduced a year earlier. In fact, the only differences between the Les Paul Junior and Les Paul Special are that the fingerboard is bound, it has two single coil pickups with controls for each one (four total knobs) and a three-way pickup switch.
This is a very nice example of the double-cutaway Les Paul Special, from the last year of production when the “Les Paul” designation had already been removed from this model. In 1960 Gibson catalogued this guitar as an “SG Special” although this body shape was still that of the LP Junior, rather than its pointy-horned successor. This is the last variant of this model, with the neck pickup moved further away from the fingerboard to allow for a stronger neck joint, and the selector switch further forward on the body, near the bridge. Both of these features were changed in the second half of 1959, around the time these guitars lost their “Les Paul” markings.
This is a Gibson SG Special / Les Paul Special model made in 1960 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It has a non-faded cherry lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, and two killer sounding P-90 pickups.
The headstock carries the pearl Gibson logo but no “Les Paul” designation, with strip Kluson deluxe tuners. The neck has the flatter 1960 profile but retains a substantial feel, chunkier than some of that year’s output from Kalamazoo. It sports a multi-ply bevelled-edge black celluloid pickguard and a solid nickel-plated bar bridge/tailpiece assembly.
This is a great all-around guitar, an effortless player suitable for rampaging rock & blues, but also suitable many other genres with some subtle use of the wonderfully sensitive volume and tone controls.
As Gibson solid bodies from the 1950s and early ’60s become ever rarer, the two-pickup Special represents great value for a “Golden Era” Gibson solidbody. It was bought by its current owner direct from a reputable Canadian store in 2008.
This is a very clean and original guitar with NO neck issues at all – no breaks or repairs, and no changes to its original spec. This one is in all original vintage condition, including the P-90 pickups, pots, wiring, tuners and hardware. In fact, respected Sydney luthier Piers Crocker has set up this guitar and verified that everything on it is original and correct.
There is some light finish wear overall, but the lacquer is in excellent condition, still showing a rich cherry colour with little fade. The bound fingerboard has no divots and the frets remain in good shape. Even the sometimes fragile original plastic jackplate is still intact.
This is a great sounding, fine playing 1960 Gibson ready to celebrate its 58th birthday this year, with lots more to come.
Includes a period correct faux alligator case. It is not original to this guitar, but it is likely sourced from another early 60s Gibson. In very good, functional condition.