Gibson Les Paul Junior Solid Body Electric Guitar (1958)

Gibson  Les Paul Junior Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1958)
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Item # 9763
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Gibson Les Paul Junior Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1958), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 8-2653, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This is very nicely original final-year single-cutaway Les Paul Junior, one of the most elegantly simple electric guitars ever designed. It shows some general play wear but remains a superbly unmolested example of this classic '50s Gibson solid body with a fairly lightweight mahogany body and one very lively P-90 pickup. The top sports a vibrant sunburst finish with virtually no fade. The mahogany neck has a lovely feel, round and substantial but with a slightly less chunky profile than some 58-59 Gibsons.

As the name implies, the Les Paul Junior was the most basic of Gibson's 1950s signature line, with a single P-90 pickup at the bridge and simple bar bridge/tailpiece. This was an exercise in superbly effective minimalist design and the Junior's very lack of complexity worked perfectly then and now. Launched in mid-1954, the model was a success right out of the gate. In mid-1958 the design was altered to a double cutaway, cherry finished instrument so this example would be one of the last of the original design made. A total of 2408 Juniors were shipped this year, a good proportion of which would have been the new style model.

While designed as a student guitar, the Junior has become justly renowned as one of the crunchiest and most powerful of all straight rock guitars, with fantastic natural overdrive capabilities when paired with the right amp. The combination of the thick slab mahogany body and neck with the solidly mounted dog-ear P-90 and bar bridge maximizes tonal response. The pickup on this Junior is very close under the strings resulting in a massive singing sound when the amp is cranked.

Since the late 1960's many players have come to prefer this model to all others for both heavy crunch rhythm and searing leads. From Leslie West to Mick Ralphs, 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. This is a very nice original example, a 7.5 Lb. gem of '50s Gibson greatness.
 
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 60+ year old Junior shows normal playing wear but no alterations or repairs. The finish has some very light checking with dings, scratches and dents here and there; the back edges of the body and lower side have the heaviest finish loss. The top is comparatively clean and the rich color in the brown/yellow 'burst has hardly faded at all. The nickel tailpiece and studs are still shiny with typical wear marks from the strings and adjusting screwdrivers over the years. The plastic hardware is complete (even the oft-broken jackplate is intact) with some scuffing to the pickguard and PU cover.

The headstock edges have typical dings and dents back and front; the "Les Paul Junior" silkscreen is nicely intact. The Kluson Deluxe tuners still have their original buttons, which have shrunken up a bit but are fully functional not cracked or crumbling. The original small frets show some minor wear but still play very well even with a very low action. There is one noticeable chip into the finish on the back of the neck behind the 5th fret, down to but not into the wood. Overall this is a great playing and fantastic sounding Junior, ready to rock housed in a recent good grade HSC. Overall Excellent - Condition.