Gibson SG Junior Solid Body Electric Guitar (1965)

Gibson  SG Junior Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1965)
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Item # 12308
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Gibson SG Junior Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1965), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 356597, cherry lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, original black chipboard case.

This is a great players' SG Junior, a super light and sleek instrument that distills the essence of Gibson's 1960's sculpted solidbody aesthetic down to the minimum. Fittings are no frills in the extreme, with a single P-90 pickup, solid bar bridge and endless neck to play on. While classed originally as a student instrument SG Juniors have been a prime choice for many professional players for decades, especially in the hard rock zone. This one has had some hardware restoration but still retains the original look and feel.

This is a something of a transitional cherry SG Junior; it was built in 1965 so the C-profile neck has the slimmer 1 5/8" nut width that appeared around that time, BUT this is a generous 1 5/8" and the neck feels much chunkier than most '65s, with a much more '64 character. The neck is a set into the older style squared heel joint, something that was phased out this year. We have found the transition of these features to be inexact at best; this guitar has an older feel than many '65s. Later in the '60s many Gibson guitars inexplicably had nuts as thin as 1 1/2" across.

This guitar features one hot "dogear" plastic covered P-90 positioned close to the solid stud-mounted bridge, both standard fittings Gibson used throughout the '60s. The small 3-ply pickguard with the solidly body-mounted pickup are still the 1964 spec. . There is no vibrato, which became increasingly rare in the mid-60s; You needed a whammy to play many hits of the day so "stoptail" Juniors became less popular in this post-surf period than they would be later on. Most '65s are vibrato guitars, as it was a standard feature by that time.

A grand total of 3570 of these were shipped out in 1964 just as the guitar boom was peaking. By the turn of 1965/66 all SG's were built with a large "swimming pool" center body rout covered by an expanded pickguard allowing bodies in stock to be assembled into any SG or Melody Maker model. This Junior is a little screamer of a guitar, a fantastic and super handy rock machine but also 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.)., 6.1 lbs.

This is a superb player's guitar showing some light general wear but no structural damage or major repair. Some hardware has been replaced with modern reproductions keeping the guitar aesthetically and functionally intact. The original cherry finish has less fade than many and retains a very strong deep color overall. The lacquer shows light checking and some rather randomly scattered dings, dents and chips but no really heavy wear. The top and back are mostly pretty clean with a couple of noticeable deeper isolated dings. The back of the neck has some fade and rub wear but only fairly minor dings, with one spot of what looks like curly cord wear behind the 9th fret. The headstock has some dings and chips.

There are no cracks or structural repairs. The hardware is a mixed bag but all in the correct style. The "heart of the guitar" P-90 pickup remains original with some added shielding to the coil, which has a copper sheet wrapping around the outside with an added ground wire soldered to it. The pots are later CTS 500K with a newer tone cap rig; The Switchcraft jack is later as well. The pickguard is a very well done repro in the correct style; many originals have shrunk up noticeably by now with split or popped-off tips. The chrome stoptail bridge is original, the adjustment screws at the ends have been replaced. The tuners are correct style Kluson repros as well; there are small filled holes in the headstock from something else that was there previously.

The guitar was refretted with wire similar to the original; the nut is newer. The neck angle is better than many and the lack of a vibrato is a definite asset for the 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. We would have to say that while no longer all original, from a playing standpoint this is probably the nicest '65 junior we have had. It is still housed in the original black chipboard case, as solid as they will ever be 60 years along. Overall Very Good + Condition.