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Les Paul Junior Guitars

1956 Gibson Les Paul Junior

Color: Sunburst, Rating: 9.25, $18,500.00 (ID# 02265)
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A Near Mint 1956 Les Paul Junior

 

1956 Gibson Les Paul Junior

This iconic 13-inch-wide, 1 3/4 inch deep, electric solid body guitar weighs just 7.30 lbs. Solid mahogany body with two-color brown-to-yellow sunburst finish on top and dark brown finish on back and sides. One-piece mahogany neck with a nut width of 1 11/16 inches, a standard Gibson scale length of 24 3/4 inches and a wonderful thick 'baseball-bat' profile rising gently from behind the first fret (0.92 inch); third fret (0.94); 5th fret (0.97); 7th fret (0.98); 9th fret (0.99); 12th fret (1.02 inch). Unbound Brazilian rosewood fretboard with 22 original thin frets and inlaid pearl dot markers. Headstock with "Gibson" logo and "Les Paul Junior" silk-screened in gold. Single-layer black plastic, bell-shaped truss-rod cover with two screws. Three-in-a-line Kluson Deluxe 'single-line' no-name strip tuners with original oval white plastic buttons - shrunken but quite sound. Serial number "613635" inked-on in yellow on the back of the headstock. Single-layer (0.01 inch thick) black plastic pickguard with three screws. One P-90 pickup in the bridge position with a very hot output of 7.57k. Black plastic pickup cover stamped on the underside "UC - 450-1 / 2". Two controls (one volume, one tone) on lower treble bout. The potentiometers are stamped "134 605" (Centralab February 1956). Original "Bumble-Bee" capacitor. Gold plastic bell-shape "Bell" knobs. Original combination wrap-over bar bridge/tailpiece with two intonation screws. The original thin frets show almost no wear and there is no playing wear on the fretboard. There is some fine finish checking on the body and two areas of honest arm/knee wear on the lower edges. There are a few very minor lower edge dings and a couple of tiny dings/indentations on the back of the neck behind the third and twelfth frets. As stated earlier the tuner buttons are the originals but they are somewhat shrunken yet still quite sound. Minimal wear to the original frets and no divots on the fretboard, and some very slight varnish loss to the sides of the neck/fretboard affecting just the first five frets. Overall this all original sixty-six year old Les Paul Junior is in near mint (9.25) condition and is one of the best looking, playing and sounding Les Paul Juniors that we have ever handled. Housed in the original Gibson three-latch softshell 'Aligator' case with purple felt lining (8.75).

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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