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
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.
We believe this one is in original vintage condition. We cannot see any changes or modifications on this one. Electronics are untouched, the original tuners are working fine and the original cherry finish is in amazing unfaded condition.
The body is ONE beautiful piece of solid mahogany, matched to a full-feeling one piece mahogany neck. Most original Juniors finished in cherry have faded somewhat or even changed colour to something approaching walnut. But this one has retained its original deep cherry glow – fabulous.
It has a fast, smooth action, with the fretwork showing almost 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 it is super comfortable to play.
Weighs in at 7.5 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.
This one has a four digit serial number which dates to very early 1961, before Gibson changed the body shape to that of the SG later that year, and also before they started impressing the serial numbers rather than ink stamping them.
These old Juniors are, for all their apparent simplicity, amongst the most versatile electric guitars ever made. This is a classic single pickup workhorse with stories to tell, and more to do.
They don’t get much cleaner than this one. This one was bought from Guitar Center Vintage in Los Angeles in 2008, and kept in exactly the same condition as when it was bought … which is pretty much exactly the same condition as when it was new, apart from the beautiful naturally aged original lacquer and mild tarnishing of the metal parts.
It would be an admirable addition to any vintage collection.
Comes in a new SBK hard shell case along with its original alligator case in good condition.
Video demo 1961 LP Jr - https://youtu.be/l74Fc_pF300