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Review of the Gibson Les Paul signature guitar, Gary Moore Special model.

Updated on May 18, 2015
tonymead60 profile image

Tony worked as a musician for 20 years and entertained on cruise ships and hotels around the world. Russia was fav, from Moscow to St Peters

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A great combination of pickups.

 P90 and Burstbucker an unusual mix for a Les Paul
P90 and Burstbucker an unusual mix for a Les Paul

Gary Moore Special Les Paul

I recently purchased a Gibson Les Paul Gary Moore special, which is the first six string guitar I’ve bought since 1970 and that was a Les Paul too. This one is very different from the last; I don’t just mean the colour. This model is described as a BFG, or barely finished guitar and because of that, it does not have the high polished finish that other Gibson guitars tend to have. It has a raw look to it that is very attractive, and it only comes in one colour, lemon burst.

Heavy Rock or Blues

One of the most striking features is the pickup setup, most Les Pauls come with matching Humbuckers but not this one; the neck pickup is the P90, that produces a tried and loved sound reminiscent of so many early Gibsons. The bridge pickup is a new one to me the Burstbucker3, a raunchier pickup with a fantastic range of sounds that compliments the P90 perfectly. Staying with the hardware a moment, bizarrely there are clear plastic covers on the access holes to the pickup wires, I’m not sure why I need to see them. There is also a kill switch positioned where the pickup selector switch usually is, it has its uses. The two pickups share a common treble switch, another feature I like.

Cool Body and unique neck

The balance is nice, with the body slightly lighter than my other Les Paul, mostly due to it having a chambered body and not just solid mahogany, which makes it sit well on your neck. The neck is slightly wide and chunky, officially described as the 50’s style, but each of these has a hand-finished neck so that no two have exactly the same profile.

The unusual switch layout
The unusual switch layout

Grover Machine Heads

Gibson Les Paul… Gary Moore special.

It does have all the usual things, the Grover machine heads and Tune-o-Matic bridge, the neck is plain without the usual pearl inlets, I think it is a shame not to have added those, but there are dots to indicate the fret position.

Street Cred by the bundle

If you are just looking for a great sound then this is a great guitar, but if you are looking for pretty then I think you would be disappointed. To be honest I have a couple of well gigged and traveled guitars that look smarter.

I think it has a lot of street cred. and if you want to impress then this is your baby…rock on.

The case is very well made and should withstand the roughest roadie, and it has lots of nice fluffy stuff inside.

I was very sad to hear of Gary' death this week. He was very underrated as a guitarist but he was appreciated by every guitarist and he will be missed by his many fans.

I would like to send my sympathy to his family and those who held him dear.

I willl- instrumental

By the same author


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    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 5 years ago from Yorkshire


      many thanks for your visit. The P90 has a terrific sound anything from BBKing to chuckBerry, its only slight drawback is that because it is not a humbucker, on certain effects it is a bit noisy. Its other pickup makes up for it, and the tone knob creates a really wide range of sound, Free, Cream, Bad Co type sounds. It ain't pretty though but it is powerful.

      regards Tony.

    • samislam profile image

      Sam Islam 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA

      Nice...I bet that p90 on the neck sounds really awesome. It's a shame Gibson doesn't offer this pick-up combination on their lower-end studio line (which is more inline with my budget). Regardless, great review! Gary Moore was a killer guitarist and his signature Les Paul seems to have more character than other artist's singnature lines.

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 5 years ago from Yorkshire

      Derdriu, I enjoy the world of music at many different levels, but playing it is so good. The Les Paul is such an Icon of an instrument. I think Gary Moore was under appreciated, I have most of his albums. I saw him with Thin LIzzie at the St. Georges hall Bradford, my words the place rocked that night.



    • profile image

      Derdriu 5 years ago

      Tony, What a thoughtful, touching, tremendous tribute to Les Paul (and Gary Moore)! In particular, I appreciate your description of the two models as well as the cultural information in the article and through your comments about the guitar's namesakes.

      Respectfully, and with many thanks for sharing, Derdriu

      P.S. I voted for "Parisienne walkways," but I appreciate the "Still got the blues" live.

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 6 years ago from Yorkshire

      Hi Wesman

      thanks for the comment and dropping in. Sure are heavy after a couple of hours gig you feel to have a dislocated neck.


    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Hey man - great hub! I do lots of acoustic guitar reviews here, I'll leave the electric guitar reviews to you. I remember the first time I picked up a Les Paul. . .those things are heavy!

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley 6 years ago from California

      I knew I had heard something about Thin Lizzy in the news recently. Dude! I hate to be a bummer but Gary Moore just died! Anyway, I listened to "Still Got the Blues," which is stellar - I love his picking. I'm sorry he's gone. Later!

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 6 years ago from Yorkshire

      Hi Kosmo

      thanks for calling by.

      Gary Moore was guitarist with Thin Lizzy amongst other bands. If you don't know his playing, check out songs such as Parisienne Walkways and Still got the blues, to give you a real flavour of his music

      cheers Tony

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley 6 years ago from California

      I haven't heard of Gary Moore, other than the comedian from way back. As for electric guitars, my favorite is a Gibson SG Les Paul. Only about 6,000 were made back in the early 1960s. I saw one on EBay that was priced at $25,000! I own a 1967 Gibson SG standard. Gotta love guitars! Later!