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Thread: Luke I vs. Luke II

  1. #1

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    Luke I vs. Luke II

    After passively enjoying the forum for quite some time now, I've decided to finally become a little more active.
    So here's my first post, which is aimed at all you Luke users.

    I fell in love with the Luke I in 1994. Unfortunately I couldn't afford it being a student then and in
    Germany they sold for over 4000 DM, a huge sum for an electric guitar back then. By the way, that time you would get a Les Paul Standard for around 2000 DM and an American Standard Strat for a little more than 1000 DM.
    Well, almost 20 years later I have it and a Luke II as well, which leads me to my question:

    Which one do you prefer? And for what reasons?
    And don't give me "I don't like Floyds"...that's far to easy...
    - Luke LE 2005
    - Luke I blue
    - Luke I red No.1
    - Luke I red No.2
    - JP6 LE 2005
    - Axis Super Sport transparent orange
    - Albert Lee SSS transparent orange
    - Sub1 black

  2. #2

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    I had the same issue back in 94 being at University at the time. I now have several Luke 2s but unfortunately no point of reference on the Luke 1. That will change as soon as I find a beauty for sale. I'm sure they're awesome though. Plenty of guys here to help you though. Would love to see pics of your guitars.
    Musicman Luke Dargie Delight 1 (Fing's ex moved to UK)
    Musicman Luke Dargie Delight 2
    Musicman Luke Piezo Luke Blue signed twice by SL
    Musicman Luke PDN True Gold BFR
    Musicman Reissue Luke 1 Pearl Red

    BP - "Maybe we can have luke hand deliver them....Maybe I will make every third one with kryptonite fretboards..."

    DDGO Dargie Delight Guitar Owners
    SLOC Steve Lukather Owners Club
    L1RO Luke 1 Reissue Owners

  3. #3

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    They are both fabulous instruments. Having own 4 Luke I's and 3 different Luke II's, I can say it really depends on what you like.

    Currently I have my true gold Luke II sitting in a guitar stand next to my amp. It's been out of it's case ever since I got it and my Luke I has seen little play time since. But it really is a matter of what you want to play and feel. Each guitar is very different.

    Luke I has a slightly thinner neck profile, the action is also different due to the Floyd Rose. The pickups are hotter so it also sounds different plugged in. For the longest time, I only ♥ the Luke I because that's what I was used to playing all the time. In a way i still do...

    However, I love full rosewood necks so the TG Luke II is a go to guitar now. It also sounds different with the EMG-X pickups. My Dargie II Luke II sounds different too because of the ebony fingerboard, so as you can see, I have way too many choices when it comes to Luke guitars!

    If you want to nail the Los Lobotomy / Candyman era tone, you'll probably get closest with the Luke I.

    To answer the question: I love them all. Wish I had more room to leave them all out and more time so I can play them more often.
    EVH - Blue Quilt
    1995 - Luke I - Pearl Blue
    2009 - 25th Anniversary
    2011 - Luke II - True Gold BFR
    2012 - Axis Tribute - Trans Pink
    2016 - Cutlass - Vintage Sunburst
    2017 - St. Vincent - Stealth Black

    Take a break from playin' guitar and read a webcomic: nemu*nemu!

  4. #4

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    seriously love both mate!! i find the Luke 1 single coils sound a little better than the luke 2
    but the luke 2 has a little more definition.
    BFR Luke is possibly the best guitar ever made
    Endorsed by Ernie Ball Music Man Guitars USA.
    Featured on the music man Artist page: http://www.music-man.com/artists/dean-wells.html
    Custom Reflex (emerald green sparkle burst/ebony roasted neck)
    25th Anniversary Ernie Ball quilt.
    Reflex/GameChanger Maple neck HSH
    BFR LUKE Emerald Burst Flame top
    LUKE pearl blue
    REFLEX- Maple Neck White/Black

    Want list Steve Morse Y2D Blue
    Armada Black burst.

    my band TERAMAZE
    My production page

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwells View Post
    BFR Luke is possibly the best guitar ever made
    Amen to that!!
    Thimmi you should have wait a few more days to start this thread, should have been "Luke I vs Luke II vs Luke III"! Classy, no?

    Have a nice 2011 finish, all!
    EBMM Luke II Luke Blue with M/H # G33688 DOB 11/07/06 SOLD
    EBMM Luke II True Gold (thank you Lee!!!!!!!) #G54582
    EBMM LIII on the way !!
    Mesa Boogie Mark V

  6. #6

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    Sorry to dig up this thread but it seems to be a good place to ask this question. What would be the differences between the Luke I and II? I know there are some Lukes with floyd rose and that would be the Luke I, but I thought there were Luke ones with the current bridge as well, is this correct? How do I know if a certain Luke is 1 or 2?

    Is there any other differences in wood choices or pickups?


  7. #7

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    All differences I know are:

    Luke I
    - EMG SA57 custom single coils
    - Schaller M6 tuning machines
    - Music Man® Floyd Rose licensed locking tremolo with fine tuners
    - countersunk neck plate
    - Blue Pearl and Red Pearl color option only
    - Volume control only*


    Luke II
    - EMG SLV custom single coils
    - Schaller M6-IND locking tuning machines
    - Music Man® floating vintage tremolo (optional: Piezo bridge with solid steel saddles)
    - salient neck plate
    - various color options
    - Volume and tone control*

    Hope this helps

    *ooops, forgot this ...
    Last edited by PinkPanther; 01-21-2016 at 08:13 AM.
    AXIS SUPER SPORT 1x P90 & 2x MM90
    Cutlass SSS
    LUKE I
    Silhouette Special HSS
    Silhouette Special HSS
    Silhouette Special SSS
    SBMM Cutlass CT50 - Olympic White

  8. #8

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    Hi Varjoe, I'm digging up your comment !

    Luke I always had floyds. If you saw one with a vintage style trem, then it's a Luke 2.
    This is the biggest difference between the two. The Luke I has 2 EMG SA pickups meanwhile the Luke 2 has EMG SLV pickups, which are a bit darker and more vintage sounding. Both have an EMG 85 as the bridge humbucker.

    Other meaningless differences are the non-locking tuners on the I (useless because of the floyd's locking nut) and locking ones on the II, helping a floyd-comparable tuning stability and very fast string replacement. Obviously, there is no locking nut on the II. Recent IIs have a white nut, that is a compensated one, compared to the previous one that was black and not compensated.

    There is absolutely no difference in wood, still alder body and birdseye waxed maple neck with rosewood fretboard.

    Early Luke I (my 1994 for example) have no battery dedicated box, latest have. Luke IIs always have this box. Also, the neck plate on early Is are "vintage" ; they have the old logo you can see on the vintage MusicMan amps, and latest and IIs have the regular logo plate.

    According to me, the II is a bit brighter than the I and is obviously warmer thanks to the vintage style trem. Both are fabulous guitars and I'll always prefer the I, which is faster to set up with an amp while playing with your band. Actually, because of the less bassy sound, you can easier penetrate the spectrum. But, the warmer sound of the II is more comfortable to play alone and compose.

    An other interesting point on the II is the strange sound you can get by hitting the back of the trem (like mister Luke likes to !). You even can trigger that trem vibration by hitting the body directly. Sometimes, if you strum too hard, the trem may vibrate and you get that sound at random. Some people will like it.
    1994 Luke 1(Pearl Red)
    2005 Luke 2(Candy Red)
    2015 Luke 3(Bodhi Blue)

    Obviously a Steve Lukather big fan !

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