Starting in 1954, Gibson offered players a simple, affordable take on the Les Paul dubbed the Les Paul Junior. This bare-bones solidbody featured one dog-eared P-90 pickup, a stud-mounted stop tailpiece / bridge, an unbound rosewood fingerboard, and slab mahogany body.
Other features were –
- set mahogany neck
- 16/22-fret rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays
- black headstock overlay with gold Gibson logo and “Les Paul Junior” silkscreened
- three-per-side tuners with white oval plastic buttons
- combination bar bridge/tailpiece
- black pickguard
- single P-90 coil pickup
- two controls (vol, tone)
- nickel hardware
- Original Cherry finish faded to vintage brown
Because of its lower-end production quality, many early Les Paul Juniors have been the subject of major repairs, neck breaks etc. This one has suffered none of that.
In fact it is in remarkable, almost original condition. It features an excellent pro frefret with a newer bone nut, but apart from that we can see no other changes. Electronics are unchanged and the original tuners are working fine.
It has a fast, smooth action, with the fretwork shows no wear. This Junior can really bark when needed – it has a big, meaty sound. The neck profile is a full and quite deep C shape. It is not a slim neck by any means, just not as chunky as the “baseball bat” profile necks of some built in the mid to late 50s. And is super comfortable to play.
Weighs in at 7.2 lbs – a light and lively guitar.
This is a lean mean rock machine that can also do the straight jazz thing with a little attention to the incredibly graduated tone and volume pots. The way these old P90’s clean up is quite unique. They retain their sparkle when you roll the volume off, but at full volume, it’s light blue touch paper and stand back. Sounds huge.
These old Juniors are, for all their apparent simplicity, amongst the most versatile electrics ever made.
Here is a classic single pickup workhorse with stories to tell, and more to do.
Comes in a later hard shell Gibson case in good condition.