Gibson Les Paul Junior Solid Body Electric Guitar (1954)

Gibson  Les Paul Junior Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1954)
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Item # 9003
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Gibson Les Paul Junior Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1954), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 4-4425, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, original brown alligator chipboard case.

This is a great-sounding, original first-year Les Paul Junior; a well-worn but nice player's example of this classic '50s solid body with a fairly lightweight body and one very lively P-90 pickup. The top sports a great vibrant sunburst finish with minimal fade, while the neck has a lovely feel that is not as chunky as some '50s Juniors.

As the name implies, the Les Paul Junior was the most basic of Gibson's 1950s signature line, with a single P-90 pickup and simple bar bridge/tailpiece. This very lack of complexity stood it well then and now. Launched in 1954, the model was a success right from the start. Still, only 823 were sold in the first production year, making this one something of a rarity, at least compared to later '50s examples that sold in the thousands.

While designed as a student guitar, the Junior has become justly renowned as one of the crunchiest and most powerful of straight rock guitars, with fantastic natural overdrive capabilities when paired with the right amp. The combination of the solid, thick mahogany body and neck with the single dog-ear mounted P-90 and bar bridge maximizes tonal response. Many prefer this model to all others for both crunch rhythm and searing lead. From Leslie West to Mick Ralphs, and Johnny Thunders to Paul Westerberg to Billie Joe Armstrong, Gibson's original 1950s Les Paul Junior has proven itself over and over to be the most basic of rock machines, as simple and effective as they come.
Overall length is 39 in. (99.1 cm.), 13 in. (33 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 11/16 in. (4.3 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This is a well-worn but original guitar, with some old repair work, but NOT the dreaded (and all-too-common) headstock break. This first-year Junior has had a grain crack on the treble side of the neck pocket, which is pretty unusual for this model. Everything is solid and well-repaired, but visible with no heavy overspray, just light touch-up. The pickup and wiring are original; the tone pot may have been changed long ago, and the knobs are nice correct repros. Amazingly the fragile plastic jackplate is still intact.

There is a lot of finish wear to the edges of the body and headstock, but the face is comparatively clean. The back of the neck has many small dings and scrapes but no deep gouges. The original frets are intact but have been crowned down somewhat; for heavy rock bending a refret would help, but for general use the guitar plays well as is. It SOUNDS fantastic, with the growl and crunch Juniors are famous for and is fairly light and handy at just under 7 lbs. A cool and vibey Junior; not the cleanest, but one of the meanest! Includes the original alligator grain chipboard case. Very Good + Condition.