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Guitar Watching


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The Gibson Les Paul Special Double Cut 2015

I’ve been curious about these ever since finding the Hagstrom Deuce. This is the model the Deuce is based on. The more expensive 2014 Special had the full arch-top shaped body cap and trim. The 2015 version is half the price with a slab body and minimal features. It looks basic & cheap, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It has a rugged visual appeal.

I handled one a short while ago. It didn’t seem too bad.

I played one at Nevada Music yesterday. I couldn’t get on with it at all. I felt clumsy. It’s as if my technique was applied to the wrong instrument. I was catching adjacent strings with my fingers and so had to try to palm mute pretty much everything. The sound from the P90s pickups & the Marshal amp didn’t help. Everything sounded nasty.

If the experience had been positive, I might have followed it up with bringing my own amp along to try it with. It wasn’t even worth it though.

I also tried the Epiphone ES-339*. (they didn’t have a Gibson one) If anything, the fingerboard on this was even smaller, but it felt better. It was playable and I managed to coax some nice sounds from it.

These Epis actually have one advantage over the Gibsons. The pickups (the humbucker versions) are coil split. A useful feature.

*The ES-339 is a Gibson Hollowbody based on the ES-335 (Chuck Berry, Alvin Lee, BB King etc). The body is scaled down and so less bulky.

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