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Gibson Les Paul Special Desert Burst

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The Gibson Les Paul Special is great deal on a unique guitar. The body is all-mahogany with a set, single-piece mahogany neck. Playability is perfect as you'd expect with its '60s slim taper neck prof... Click To Read More About This Product

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The Gibson Les Paul Special is great deal on a unique guitar. The body is all-mahogany with a set, single-piece mahogany neck. Playability is perfect as you'd expect with its '60s slim taper neck profile, rosewood fingerboard and traditional 24-3/4" scale length. What sets this one apart from the rest is its pickup combination of a 490R neck and 491T bridge pickups. The 491T humbucker is noteworthy as it's crafted in the image of Gibson's acclaimed PAF ("Patent Applied For") humbucker of the late '50s, but updated with a ceramic magnet for great power, clarity and sustain. The result is a a stage-ready guitar with a winning range of tones and an unbeatable price.


  • Lightweight slab single-cutaway mahogany body
  • Nitrocellulose lacquer finish
  • 1-piece mahogany neck
  • 22-fret rosewood fingerboard
  • Dot inlays
  • '60s slim taper neck profile
  • 24-3/4" scale length
  • 1-11/16" nut width
  • 490R neck and 491T ceramic bridge pickups
  • 2 volume and 1 tone controls with 3-way toggle selector
  • White button tuners
  • Wraparound bridge
  • Chrome hardware
  • Includes gig bag
  • Customer Reviews
  • Questions & Answers View All

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
GibsonLes Paul Special

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Reviewed by 8 customers

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(18 of 19 customers found this review helpful)


Simple, Solid, Full of Tone!

By Jordan Lansdowne

from Youngstown Ohio

Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

This isn't a "cheap" guitar, it's a quality, affordable instrument. The pickups are very articulate and respond incredibly well with your pick attack. It's a solid playing, good feeling guitar. It's weight is slightly heavier than a melody maker, making it lighter than a traditional Les Paul. The 2 volume/one tone control option is stripped down as well, but easy to use, so essentially this guitar is it's own thing! Gibson didn't cheap out on a $500 guitar either, it may not be as "pretty" as it's bigger brothers, but the electronics, tuners and quality of build are not sacrificed, and to top it all off it's USA made!

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


Great Gibson

By John Schilstra

from Hawthorne, NJ

Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

Great guitar and great price. I love epiphones, but would rather have a base line gibson instead of a high end epi and have a guitar made in the USA. The setup was good from the factory, but I raised the low E adjustment to get a little fret buzz out. The gig bag is great and great protection, and like it better than a hard case, but have to be careful with storage. I replaced the factory strings with elixir nanoweb 10's, and this guitar plays and sound absolutely great! The tuners are not grovers, but still are great at holding and keeping the strings in tune. The controls are great, and all works well. It didn't come with a pickguard, so I made one out of curly maple - i'm a shop teacher, so it was easy with a cardboard template and double stick tape. To me it is well worth the money, and keeps another American with a job! Enjoy.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Great guitar, great price

By Bobby Mitchell

from Richmond, VA

Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

I love this guitar. The quality is outstanding. I do not believe there is a better guitar value out there. The advice and info from the people at Guitar Center was priceless.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


A Real Les Paul


from Detroit, MIchigan

Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

I could go on and on about this guitar, but is simple my friends...........BUY IT. In this price range you can not get a Made in the USA Les Paul by GIBSON anywhere on the planet. It is a Special that is for guitar Center ONLY and the Gibson rep, even told me its a REAL LES PAUL. The Tone is awesome...........


Good Guitar + a little work = Great Guitar

By Crunchy

from Greensboro, NC

About Me Experienced


  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel


    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

    Bought this Guitar because of its feel, not tone. I can create the tone I want. I installed an adjustable wraparound Bridge, grover tuners and added a pickguard. As for the PIckups: the stock 490T and 490R are okay pickups, but some easy magnet swaps makes them have that familiar Les Paul singing, woody thickness. Put an Alnico 4 in the Bridge PU and a Alnico 3 in the Neck PU and this guitar is one of my favorites. If your not good with doing the work yourself, any tech could do these things in less than an hour.


    Welcome to the Jungle !

    By Eduardo Santana

    from Pucallpa, Per��1/4

    Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

    With all due respect my brother recently bought me this guitar, and although it is a great sounding guitar and very comfortable to play with I wonder why the "Les Paul" signature is missing... this kind of details matter for collectors and even the economical appreciation of the product. I would approach the Guitar Center store personally for an answer regarding this topic, but I live in a remote corner of the South American jungle... Thanks for a great sounding guitar anyway :)


    Unsigned Gibson Les Paul ?

    By steven lunney

    from Pittsburgh

    Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

    The thing that bugs me about this "Les Paul" is that it does not have the Les Paul Signature on the head, It doesn come with the pickgard, and its is a 3 knob operation vs the usual 4 knobs. Which is the reason why I give it three stars... Should you want a real Les Paul your looking at spending 1,000's... That being said, it is a real Gibson, just not listed on their website...

    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


    Nice Build but Tone Must Be Top Priority!

    By FRANK

    from W Michigan

    Comments about Gibson Les Paul Special:

    The build quality on this is very good. The satin finish was quite good, not glossy but consider little or no wood fill was used it is fairly smooth. The neck felt quite comfortable and fast. Fret ends were very good, which seems less consistent on low end Gibsons these days. The bag is of no consequence since anyone with a brain will buy a hard case for any decent set neck guitar. The body was quite light for a solid mahogany guitar which is good for my aching back, but.... I wonder if the wood had much to do with the tone or the bridge pickup was the main culprit. The 490R in the neck is fine, but I play off the bridge a lot. I know that some folks seem to like the ceramic magnet based 491T, but I'm not one of them. I adjusted the height and couldn't get a good tone out of it. Very muddy with no...character I guess you'd say. My main guitar is a Traditional with '57's and the notes ring clear and bloom with the gain cranked. I really wanted to like this guitar, but returned it due to the tone and NOT the build. I bought a 2013 Studio with a 498T and the tone is like night and day compared to this one. If your ear is like mine you may want to buy this guitar and just change the pots and bridge pickup. Best of luck. Ciao...

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