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Les Paul Junior Guitars

1961 Gibson Les Paul Junior

Color: Cherry, Rating: 9.25, $8,750.00 (ID# 01679)
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One of the Very Last 'Double-Cut' Les Paul Juniors.

 

1961 Gibson Les Paul Junior.

 

This super light guitar weighs just 7.20 lbs. One-piece 12 3/4 inch wide, 1 5/8 inch thick, double-cutaway solid mahogany body with rounded edges. One-piece mahogany neck with a nice fat nut width of 1 11/16 inches, a very comfortable medium profile and a standard Gibson scale length of 24 3/4 inches. Brazilian rosewood fretboard with 22 original jumbo frets and inlaid pearl dot position markers. Headstock with "Gibson" logo and "Les Paul / Junior" silk-screened in gold. Black plastic bell-shaped truss-rod cover with two screws. Closed-back single-line Kluson Deluxe strip tuners with white plastic oval buttons. Serial number "3052" stamped in blind on the back of the headstock. One really hot black P-90 pickup with an output of 7.98k. Black plastic pickup cover stamped on the underside "UC - 450 - 1 / 1". Single-ply 'tortoiseshell' plastic (0.13 inches thick) pickguard with four screws. Two controls (one volume, one tone) on the lower treble bout. Black plastic bell-shaped "Bell" knobs. The potentiometers are stamped "134 6023" (Centralab, June 1960) and the capacitor is the requisite 'Sprague 160P' type. Combination "wrap-over" bar bridge/stud tailpiece with two intonation screws. The first four original 'jumbo' frets show just a small amount of playing wear, the fretboard shows virtually no wear. This really fine little guitar is in near mint (9.25) condition with no fading whatsoever of the rich cherry finish. Just a few miniscule indentations on the body are all that prevent this one from being like new. One of the best looking and best sounding 'Double-Cut' Les Paul Juniors that we have ever handled. Housed in the original Gibson three-latch, shaped brown 'Aligator' softshell case with brown felt lining (9.25).

This guitar is one of the last of the double-cut Les Paul Juniors. It was registered in March or April of 1961 and has a really comfortable medium neck profile as opposed to the 'Baseball Bat' profile of 1959 or the really 'skinny' profile which Gibson in their infinite wisdom introduced in early 1960. This one is a real joy to play…

"In mid-1958 an extensive body redesign brought about a novel double cutaway shape permitting complete access to the entire fingerboard via a neck-to-body junction at the 22nd fret. Contrary to what appearances might suggest, this redesign did not alter the overall body dimensions. But in the process the standard finish was changed from sunburst to cherry red… " (A.R. Duchossoir, Gibson Electrics. The Classic Years, p. 205-206).

"Ted McCarty explained the re-design as a reaction to player's requests. "They wanted to be able to thumb the sixth string," he said, "but they couldn't do it if the only cutaway was over on the treble side. So we made them with another cutaway, so they could get up there. We did things that the players wanted, as much as anything." The Junior's fresh look was enhanced with a new cherry red finish. (Tony Bacon, 50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul, pp. 33 & 36).

The 'double-cut' Gibson Les Paul Junior was the favorite choice of many great guitarists including (in alphabetical order) Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day); Mick Box (Uriah Heep); Allen Collins (Lynyrd Skynyrd); Mick Jones (The Clash); Mick Ralphs (Bad Company); Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones) and Leslie West (Mountain).

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