So Very Special Ever since its birth in 1955, the Les Paul Special has inspired love and devotion from every sector of the guitar-pickin’ community. Punk rockers, blues devotees, reggae rhythm specialists, and classic rock riffsmiths alike have all fallen in love with its versatile voice and simple, elegant design. Now, Wildwood is proud to present the Original Collection Les Paul Junior, a guitar that continues the Special’s legacy with great verve and gusto. Let’s take a deeper dive and examine the sonic characteristics that have helped the Les Paul Special inspire everyone from Bob Marley to Carlos Santana to Keith Richards.
The Special Sauce So, what is the source of the Original Collection Les Paul Special’s incredible power? How does a humble former student model have so much muscle? Well, Wildwoodians, the answer has three key components: wood, wire, and hardware.
The Les Paul Special’s body is made out of high-quality, resonant mahogany. As a general rule, mahogany has a warm, punchy, midrange-forward sound with a natural tendency towards round, musical compression. All in all, mahogany-bodied electric guitars sound warm, clear, and well-mannered when played acoustically.
By contrast, P-90 pickups have a brash, bold personality. Their midrange snarls, bites, and punches, their highs are full of rich bell-like overtones, and their lows are meaty and muscular. The mahogany body rounds off the harsh edges of the P-90 sound ever so slightly, which allows the Special to sound aggressive yet pleasant no matter how much gain you pile on. And, through a clean amp, it sounds lush and full without any ugly spiky frequencies.
Two Pickups with Tons of Tones The bridge pickup in the Les Paul Special is killer for cutting lead lines, and it is fearsome as a rock rhythm machine. Through a clean amp, it has plenty of jangle, chime, and warmth. Crank it up into overdrive, and it will carry you all the way to Valhalla with its perfect combination of punch and sparkle (Thor probably won’t let you in, though, because he will be intimidated by your sick-sounding guitar).
The neck pickup can still have a mean disposition, but it’s a bit smoother and more erudite. The midrange is broader and throatier and the low-end is deeper, but the highs still have plenty of sizzle. Single-note lines have lots of weight and girth, and chords sound thick and rich. Through a clean amp, the neck pickup gives you a one-way ticket to Jazz City, and it is lovely for all things mellow and warm. If you turn up the gain, you can cop everything from Sabbathian heaviness to wailing blues tones.
Can We Take it To the Bridge? Part of the reason why the pickups in these Specials sounds so good is the design of the bridge itself. The Original Collection Les Paul Special features a wraparound tailpiece, a piece of hardware that is utterly genius in its simplicity. Wraparound tailpieces improve sustain and resonance because they are beefy and because there is more contact between string and bridge. Of course, this does make it a little harder to intonate. But, most players are perfectly happy to trade a little bit of precision for bigger sound. And anyway, you can always bend it ‘til it sounds good!
Express Yourself Though the Les Paul Special is the perfect tool for engaging in rock and roll gnarliness, it has a sophisticated side, and it is remarkably versatile. It excels at punk, jazz, rock, blues, metal, country, and everything in between, and it gives you a wide sonic palette so you can express yourself to your fullest capability. Best of all, it provides all of this in a stripped-down, frills-free package at an incredible value. We’re proud to showcase such an awesome instrument, and we know the Les Paul Special from the Original Collection will help you make lots of joyous noise.
- Model: Original Collection Les Paul Special
- Finish Color: TV Yellow
- Weight: 7.73 lbs.
- Body Wood: Mahogany
- Neck Wood: Mahogany
- Neck Shape: Vintage ’50s
- Neck Dimensions: .850 1st – .960 12th
- Fingerboard: Rosewood
- Inlays: Acrylic Dots
- Scale Length: 24.75″
- Width at Nut: 1.695″
- Nut Material: GraphTech
- Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo
- Pickups: 2 P-90s
- Controls: 2 Volume, 2 Tone, 3-Way Toggle
- Hardware: Nickel
- Tailpiece: Wraparound
- Tuners: Vintage Deluxe w/ White Buttons
- Case: Hardshell Case