Gibson SG Junior Solid Body Electric Guitar (1965)

Gibson  SG Junior Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1965)
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Item # 11459
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Gibson SG Junior Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1965), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 29088*, cherry lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, brown tolex hard shell case.

This is a worn in but great playing SG Junior, a super light and handy instrument that distills the essence of Gibson's 1960's sculpted solidbody aesthetic down to the minimum with a single P-90 pickup and endless neck to play on. While classed originally as a student instrument, SG Juniors have been the choice of many professional players for decades, especially in the hard rock zone.

This transitional cherry SG Junior was almost certainly built in early 1965, although it has a few contradictory clues as to the exact date. Unfortunately both pots have been replaced, so they cannot be used to pinpoint the dating. The serial number appears to be a 5-digit number starting with 290xx, which would technically indicate 1961. We however note it is stamped off center; we believe this was intended to be a SIX digit number, but the machine failed to register the last numeral!

Most other clues point to a 1965 origin; the C-profile neck is the slimmer 1 5/8" style used from this time until the end of the '60's but set into the old squared neck joint. The face shows the small pickguard with the solidly body-mounted pickup, all the old 1964 spec. There is no vibrato, which is unusual for 1965, but not unheard of; "stoptail" Juniors are fairly rare in this post-surf period. The original Kluson tuners have "double line" casings, also an indicator of 1964 or later. Such transitional variations are typical of the 1960s Gibson factory, where nothing went to waste!

This guitar features one very hot "dogear" plastic covered P-90 and the solid stud-mounted bridge, standard Gibson fittings used throughout the '60's. Not long after this example was built all SG's were modified with a large center body rout covered by an expanded pickguard allowing bodies in stock to be assembled into any SG or Melody Maker model. This is a "genuine relic" little screamer of a guitar, and more versatile in operation than many think (Just ask Chris Spedding!)
Overall length is 39 1/2 in. (100.3 cm.), 13 1/4 in. (33.7 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

This is a very solid player's guitar showing a decent amount of wear but no structural damage or repair. The cherry finish has less fade than some and retains a fairly strong color overall. The original finish show numerous dings, dents and chips over the entire instrument. There is finish worn off the body edges, pick marks into the wood above the strings and one deep scrape diagonally across much of the face behind the bridge that has been neatly touched up. All hardware is original except as noted the pots and jack were replaced at some point; the rip-roaring P-90 pickup remains original.

The lower front end of the pickguard shows a popped-off tip, and there is another small shrinkage crack by the screw just below the treble side of the fingerboard. The frets are newer and a bit taller than the originals, excellent for the sort of string bending these SG's are commonly asked to do. The neck angle is better than many and the lack of a vibrato is a definite asset for the more rock-oriented player. This guitar plays great with a bright ringing sound even unplugged; when paired with a lively amp it really comes to life. It is housed in a more recent brown Tolex higher grade Gibson SG HSC. Overall Very Good + Condition.