Question: Special LTD vs 513

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Andrew Paul, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. Andrew Paul

    Andrew Paul New Member

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    I was curious to how the Special LTD compares to the tonal quality of the 513. Anyone out there have both models? Can’t find any Special LTD’s in stock near me to try out.

    I ask this because I love the 513 model sounds but I’m wondering if I’m missing out on anything not having a Special LTD.
     
  2. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

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    The 513, if its like a 509, does give you more of the Stratty/tele tones and you do have the SC in the middle to help. You can run it as an SSS or HSH to help get the Stratty and super-stratty type tones. Whilst the layout of the Special looks like it could be a HSH (or SSS, SSH, HSS), even though the middle in this case is a NF, its really a H,HNF,NFH,H (where H could also be Tapped of course) you do not get the Middle on its own so apart from being in Position 3 with both Humbuckers tapped, you are always paired with a Humbucker as the NF is closer to a HB than a SC.

    The Special is much more a Custom 24-08 with extra options to fine tune the tone how you see fit. If the Separation between the Neck and Bridge position is too wide, you can use the Narrowfield to shorten the separation. If the bridge is a bit too bright with the neck, you can use the Narrowfield with the neck instead. It really is a double humbucker guitar but with different separation options than a regular Double Humbucker. Maybe if you could use the NF and/or if the NF sounded more Single Coil, then maybe it would be more like the 513. As it is, the Special is more a versatile double humbucker guitar which makes it very different to a 513/509

    The abbreviated version is that the 513/509 is more versatile multi-instrument guitar (as it can be a LP, Stratty/tele instrument whilst the Special is more of a versatile Custom 22 with options to fine tune the 'double humbucker' tone. I love my Special but its more a Double Humbucker guitar with a lot of options to fine tune those Double Humbucker tones. Both can easily have a place without too many cross-over tones.
     
    #2 Mozzi, Sep 7, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  3. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Nailed it!
     
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  4. Andrew Paul

    Andrew Paul New Member

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    Wow! Thank you so much for your detailed reply. I’m an owner of several different models most having two humbuckers, all slightly different switching, splits, taps, etc. I have to say, when it comes tone versatility the 513 is incredible. With that being said still my favorite guitar to play are my Santana models and West st. LTD. simple three way toggle and awesome pickups. One of my other favorites for clean to dirty is my Paul’s Brushstroke 24. Very cool focused tone with 408 and 24-08 switching.

    I’d still be happy to hear from others who own or have played both. I believe my PRS Arsenault sounds pretty complete as far as tone versatility. Just need a doubleneck now LOL
     
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  5. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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  6. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

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    As a player, the Special certainly plays well and should feel familiar to a regular Custom 22. It's a shorter scale than the 513 too but the Special is not really trying to be a single instrument to do multiple jobs like the 513/509's are but more like a Custom 22-08+04 thanks to the Narrowfield. Its trying (and succeeding) to be the most versatile Humbucker guitar adding to the 8 you would get from a 22-08 because you can add the Narrowfield to either humbucker for an extra 4 (each Humbucker either full or tapped). All the sounds do have a more 'humbucker' tone so you don't get any of the stratty tones that you get from the split sounds on your 513. Its perhaps a bit more like the Clear and Heavy options and you don't get the SC middle option to add in or use on its own as the Narrowfield is a fatter sound.

    This is why the Special is more of Custom 22 with more options to tweak and find the 'humbcker' tone you want. You can't find a more versatile double humbucker tone that's light (mine is on the heavy side compared to most at 7lb8oz) thanks to being a Semi Hollow and its a completely different instrument to a 513 which is trying to be as many instruments as possible in one instrument. If these guitars were cutlery, the 513 would be a knife, fork and spoon in one where as the Special would be a spoon but could be a teaspoon, desert spoon, soup spoon. In other words, the 513 is multiple types of guitar in one whilst the special is lots of different double humbucker tones if that makes sense.
     
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  7. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

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    @Rider1260 that's a nice pair!! Seems we both have the same colour choice for our Special...

    [​IMG]

    I don't have a 513 but I do have the 509 which is designed to fill a similar role...

    [​IMG]

    The big difference is Position 3 which is either just the middle Single coil (513 & 509) like strat/super strat and both Humbuckers (Special) like a Les Paul or any double Humbucker guitar. The scale length is different too of course but the middle position really says it all and representative of where these guitars sit. The 509/513 is a Super Strat type giving those stratty SC-ish tones inc that middle SC sound on its own or with either the neck or bridge, but the middle of the Special is like a Custom 22, 24, LP etc.

    I know both could seem to have a similar 3 pick-up style but only one works like a 3 Pick-up guitar...
     
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  8. Andrew Paul

    Andrew Paul New Member

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    Great explanation. The joy with playing my 513 is the availability to achieve stratty tones and the two types humbuckers clear and modern with the available single coil in the center. It really is a Swiss Army knife guitar as Paul describes. Not sure if I would really gain much owning a Special, but in time I’m sure I’ll be curious and pick one up. First I’m going to try to find one to play in a store in NYC. It is good to hear they are totally different guitars though. Thanks for taking the time sharing your experience in such detail with us.

    One more question do you find the Special with its semi hollow F hole resonates notes to feedback sustain easier than its solid body cousins....Cu22/24 etc?
     
  9. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

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    To be honest, I don't find Feedback to be any different BUT I am only playing at home with low volume and mostly not much gain - enough but not extreme levels so feedback isn't something that I play with. It doesn't affect my Hollowbody either and I play with gain on that too without problems.

    The 513 is a Swiss Army Knife if you want a guitar to be many different instruments in one where as the Special would be like having a Swiss Army knife with different blades for cutting. I don't want to say its like having a variety of different Humbucker guitars as such but it really is a Custom 22 with much more options to tweak and fine tune the tones you can get from a regular Custom 22. Its not trying to be a Strat, a tele, a Les Paul etc in one instrument, its more like its a Custom 22 but expanded to add more tonal variations than the standard 5 or even 8 that a Custom 22-08 would offer. You don't think of the Custom 24-08 as being more than 1 instrument - just a Custom 24 with a few more options and really, that's the same with the Special.

    If you are looking for an instrument that a cover band would love so you don't have to keep swapping instruments because you need a LP, a Strat etc, them you go for the 509/513 but if you want a Custom 22 with a lot more tonal nuances, tonal options then the Special will be that. Another analogy would be that the Special is like Screwdriver that you have lots of different bits to fit different screws so you can find the best fit for different screws but its still a screwdriver albeit the most versatile screwdriver you can find whilst the 513 is a screwdriver with just a couple of different bits but also can be a hammer and pliers too to be a few different tools in one. Both are superb instruments and both can exist in the same collection just like those tools can fit in the same toolbox.

    I am sure if you get to try one, you will see what I mean....
     
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  10. Andrew Paul

    Andrew Paul New Member

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    Awesome, thanks again!
     
  11. Andrew Paul

    Andrew Paul New Member

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    Just ordered one. Brand new at an extended Labor Day sale price I couldn’t turn down. Not the river blue or 10 top I wanted but I think it’s a beauty. Thank Rider1260 for reply. Special thanks to Mozzi for your detailed description, you helped me decide to add this beast to my tone arsenal.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #11 Andrew Paul, Sep 8, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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  12. InTooDeep

    InTooDeep Out Lobstering...

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    Man, I stumbled into a special at guitar center... I asked to play the 594 semi they had and the handed me the special and said it's the same guitar. Really impressive guitar! I ended up showing my wife Ewalds video of the special, which she calls the "semi-special" we were pretty blown away by the sound!
     
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  13. Andrew Paul

    Andrew Paul New Member

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    Thanks for reply. I never had a chance to actually play one so I’m going off videos and the forum reviews. I’m really excited.
     
  14. InTooDeep

    InTooDeep Out Lobstering...

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    @Andrew Paul that guitar looks awesome by the way! I think you're going to love it!
     
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  15. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Good decision! I love that top. I have nothing to add to what Mozzi and Rider have already said. They nailed it. Love my SSH, the triplet to Mozzi’s and Rider’s. I have a 509 and it’s different enough to justify having both.
     
  16. Andrew Paul

    Andrew Paul New Member

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    Thanks brother, looking forward playing it.... and of course a new NGD post! :D
     
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  17. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

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    @Andrew Paul That's a BEAUTY!!!

    I hope you get a LOT of enjoyment from it!!! Personally, I think its aptly named 'Special' as this is a special instrument and almost a shame that its a Limited Edition. At least I had the opportunity to add one to my collection and now so will you....

    CONGRATULATIONS and I look forward to the NGD post and hearing what you think of it too...
     
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  18. Andrew Paul

    Andrew Paul New Member

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    Thanks again!
     
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