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Les Paul Guitars

1955 Gibson Les Paul

Color: Sunburst, Rating: 9.00, Sold (ID# 00794)
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A Fine and Original Single-Cut Les Paul Junior - This One Bites!

 

1955 Gibson Les Paul Junior.

This 13-inch-wide electric solid body weighs just 7.00 lbs. and has a wonderful fat neck profile, a nut width of 1 11/16 inches and a standard Gibson scale length of 24 3/4 inches. Solid mahogany body with two-color brown-to-yellow Sunburst finish on top and brown finish on back and sides, mahogany neck, and unbound Brazilian rosewood fretboard with 22 all original frets and inlaid pearl dot markers. Headstock with "Gibson" logo and "Les Paul Junior" silk-screened in gold. Three-in-a-line Kluson Deluxe 'single-line' no-name strip tuners with white plastic buttons. Serial number ("513092") stamped in black on the back of the headstock. One hot P-90 pickup with an output of 7.56k. Single-layer black plastic pickguard with three screws. Two controls (one volume, one tone) on lower treble bout, potentiometers stamped "615 2632 548" (ROC November 1955) and "134 542" (Centralab October 1955). "Bumble-Bee" capacitor. Gold plastic bell-shape "Bell" knobs. Original combination wrap-over bar bridge/tailpiece. There is almost no body checking on this fifty-five year old 'closet-freak' - just three tiny surface marks on the top, a few tiny surface marks on the edges of the body, and some slight wear to the edges of the headstock. The original thin frets show very little wear and this guitar plays and sounds exactly as it should. Overall in 9.00 exceptionally fine condition. Housed in a seventies Gibson brown five-latch hardshell case with purple plush lining (8.50).

This is a very late '55 example with the following transitional features… it has the original placing of the single P-90 right up against the stud-tail which gives that extra "bite" that everyone wants but, it also has the first of the "Bumble-Bee" capacitors and also the beginning of the "Bell" shaped control knobs as opposed to the previously used "Grey Tiger" capacitor and the "Speed" knobs.

Introduced in 1954, the "budget" Les Paul Junior "was designed for and aimed at beginners. It did not pretend to be anything other than a cheaper guitar. The outline shape of its body was the same as the gold-top and Custom, but the most obvious difference to its Les Paul partners was a flat-top solid mahogany body. It had a single P-90 pickup, governed by a volume and tone control, and there were simple dot-shaped position markers along the unbound rosewood fingerboard. It was finished in Gibson's traditional two-colour brown-to-yellow sunburst, and had the wrap-over bar-shape bridge/tailpiece like the one used on the latest gold-top. The September 1954 pricelist showed the Les Paul Custom at $325 and the Les Paul Junior at $99.50. The gold-top meanwhile had sneaked up to $225" (Tony Bacon, 50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul, p. 25).

"At the time they were intended for guitar-teaching schools...but have now become revered for their direct rock'n'roll spirit" (Tony Bacon, 50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul, p. 23). So successful was this model, that an astonishing 9,750 guitars were shipped from the factory during its production run between 1954 and the end of 1957.

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