I bought this one to embrace the fact that a flat top Les Paul is as much a Les Paul as its carved top counterpart. In fact, Les Paul himself preferred a flat top version as the instrument delivers the required tone independent of how the body's top surface was constructed. This Special was a later model that featured a non-rosewood fretboard. Yes, it's that down year when Gibson was having issues with its acquired timber. As such, many instruments at his point in time feature an alternative fretboard material, some were synthetic replacements. I'm just glad this one has real wood in there.