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Thread: What are the differences between Luke I,II & III?Finish clarification also needed

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    Question What are the differences between Luke I,II & III?Finish clarification also needed

    What are the differences between Luke I,II & III? Is the Luke II now discontinued?
    I have just acquired a Luke II with matching headstock finish.Would this have been a special order?
    Or did they introduce the M/H at some point during its production?
    Any ideas on what actual factory finish this is.I would say its more blue than grey/silver in normal light.See 2nd photos.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What are the differences between Luke I,II & III?Finish clarification also needed-img_0094-jpg  
    Last edited by Lawrence; 10-23-2018 at 07:28 AM.

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    Color is more like these 2 photos.Courtesy of google photos.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What are the differences between Luke I,II & III?Finish clarification also needed-hpim0738a-jpg   What are the differences between Luke I,II & III?Finish clarification also needed-mine-jpg  

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    I think I can clarify a bit - if not someone will jump in and correct me.

    First off - the color you have is what they called "Luke blue" and as far as I can remember was only available on the Luke II.

    Second - matching headstocks was an option on the Luke II for a number of years. I think the progression with the Luke II was limited colors/no matching headstock, then opened up to all colors available in a given year and you could add a matching headstock as an option, then toward the end of its run back to limited colors and I think no matching headstock (but I could be wrong about the matching headstock option).

    Third - yes, the Luke II is discontinued. I think as of the end of 2017, but maybe earlier. It went to the limited colors at the end of 2015.

    Fourth - the Luke III vs. the Luke II: The Luke 3 has passive pickups from DiMarzio - signature pickups for Steve - combined with an active circuit. There are 2 versions of the Luke III - one is HSS, the other is HH. Both have an on-board boost circuit activated by a push/push volume pot, plus they have a buffer preamp in the circuit that raises the output level of the single coils (HSS model) or the split-coil settings (on the HH model) to the same output level as the full humbuckers. The Luke II of course has active EMG pickups.

    The Luke III body is slightly larger than the Luke II body - still not as large as say a Cutlass or a Fender Stratocaster, but slightly larger.

    The Luke III originally came with the solid rosewood neck; that changed to a roasted maple neck with rosewood fingerboard in 2014 or 2015 - which was also the first year for the current "Bodhi blue" color.

    Both were available in regular and Ball Family Reserve versions.

    Hope this helps.

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    Thanks John
    That is very helpful and saved me a lot of time searching around the net.
    Am I correct to assume the Luke II body shape is the same as the silhouette?

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    No; it's not quite the same but similar. The Silhouette has more "sculpting" to it - it's beveled around the horns while the Luke I/Luke II are rounded. Plus the Silhouette has 24 frets to the Luke's 22 frets. I think the Luke I came out before the Silhouette Special (the 22-fret version of the Silhouette) but the dimensions of the 2 are similar.

    Sorry, I forgot to discuss the Luke I - while the body and neck are the same as the Luke II the Luke I had the recessed Floyd Rose bridge, no tone control, and a different set of EMGs. Sorry, I don't recall what the Luke I EMG set was, but it was before Steve had a signature EMG pickup model (but it was his original "signature" EMG set).

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    Many thanks yet again John Lawrence

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    You're welcome. While I never really owned a Luke (either I, II or III) I have owned several Silhouette Specials and have tried out more than a few Lukes - the bodies are close, but just not quite the same. I briefly had a Luke III (the HH version - early model in Olive Gold with the solid rosewood neck) but it essentially came in as a straight-up trade for an Albert Lee that I owned and it went out within 5 days to someone who put up a "want to buy" specifically for a Luke III in that color/configuration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
    Thanks John
    That is very helpful and saved me a lot of time searching around the net.
    Am I correct to assume the Luke II body shape is the same as the silhouette?
    Hi Lawrence,

    The Luke III body is 3% larger than previous Luke models.
    "he played like he was in jail- behind a few bars & couldn't find the key"

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    Is there a photo anywhere on here comparing the II & III bodies side by side.I wonder why there was a need to have a larger body?

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    It's an artist model, so the reason would be "Steve Lukather wanted it".
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple fretboard / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood Fretboard/ 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Signature Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

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    These are not perfect but just to give you an idea:

    Here's an overlay of L3 on L2
    What are the differences between Luke I,II & III?Finish clarification also needed-l3vsl2-jpg

    and the reverse
    What are the differences between Luke I,II & III?Finish clarification also needed-l2vsl3-jpg
    EVH - Blue Quilt
    1995 - Luke I - Pearl Blue
    2009 - 25th Anniversary
    2011 - Luke II - True Gold BFR
    2012 - Axis Tribute - Trans Pink
    2014 - Axis Super Sport Semi-Hollow (Reflex mod) - Black Cherry Burst
    2016 - Cutlass - Vintage Sunburst
    2017 - St. Vincent - Stealth Black

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by John C View Post

    Sorry, I forgot to discuss the Luke I - while the body and neck are the same as the Luke II the Luke I had the recessed Floyd Rose bridge, no tone control, and a different set of EMGs. Sorry, I don't recall what the Luke I EMG set was, but it was before Steve had a signature EMG pickup model (but it was his original "signature" EMG set).
    The Luke 1 still has an 85 humbucker, but the single coils ae SA57's, which are a somewhat beefier sounding version of the SA.
    1993 LUKE I Pearl Blue DOB: 15/12/93
    1998 LUKE II Luke Blue DOB: 05/10/98 Signed by Lucious
    2012 LUKE II PDN Classic Honey Burst DOB: 31/08/12
    2013 LIII HH Bodhi Blue DOB: 17/09/13


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    Always liked the original EMG set in the Luke I, but Luke’s tastes changed and it was reflected in the instrument. Anyone know if he still breaks out any of the Luke IIs anymore? He did during the initial release of the LIII.
    EVH - Blue Quilt
    1995 - Luke I - Pearl Blue
    2009 - 25th Anniversary
    2011 - Luke II - True Gold BFR
    2012 - Axis Tribute - Trans Pink
    2014 - Axis Super Sport Semi-Hollow (Reflex mod) - Black Cherry Burst
    2016 - Cutlass - Vintage Sunburst
    2017 - St. Vincent - Stealth Black

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

  14. #14
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    I did not see him use any Luke II's when I saw him with the Ringo All-Star Band. He's got a fleet of custom finish LIII's apparently. His tastes have moved on I guess.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple fretboard / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood Fretboard/ 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Signature Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimonostereo View Post
    These are not perfect but just to give you an idea:

    Here's an overlay of L3 on L2
    What are the differences between Luke I,II & III?Finish clarification also needed-l3vsl2-jpg

    and the reverse
    What are the differences between Luke I,II & III?Finish clarification also needed-l2vsl3-jpg
    Thats very interesting!Thanks.
    Personally I prefer the smaller lighter body.

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