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Les Paul Junior Guitars

1958 Gibson Les Paul Junior

Color: Cherry, Rating: 8.75, $6,850.00 (ID# 01708)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113


 

One of the Very First 'Double-Cut' Les Paul Juniors With 'Jumbo' Frets.

 

1958 Gibson Les Paul Junior.

 

This super light guitar weighs just 6.60 lbs. and has a nice, fat nut width of 1 11/16 inches and a standard Gibson scale length of 24 3/4 inches. Solid mahogany 'slab' body, one-piece mahogany neck with a typical '58 wonderful thick profile. 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 "6638" inked-on in black on the back of the headstock. One super-hot black P-90 pickup with an output of 9.01k. Black plastic pickup cover stamped on the underside "UC-450 - 1 / 1". Single-ply tortoiseshell plastic (0.08 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 "134 841" (Centralab October 1958) and the capacitor is the requisite 'Bumble-Bee' type. Combination "wrap-over" bar bridge/stud tailpiece. The top and the edges of the body and the back of the neck are slightly and uniformly faded and there is some fine finish checking. There are a few small surface marks and indentations on the body and also on the back of the neck behind the 3rd to the 6th frets. There is some slight edge wear to the headstock. There is very little playing wear on the jumbo frets and we believe that this guitar has been expertly re-fretted with the correct gauge fretwire. The jack-plate also appears to be slightly later. With all that said this screaming little Junior plays and sounds just like it should and we will safely give it an excellent plus (8.75) rating. This is only the second example of an all original 'first generation' double-cut '58 Les Paul Junior with the noticeably sharper body edge (just like the edges on the '54-'58 single-cut Juniors) that we have handled. All of the electronics are original and untouched and there are no repairs or modification (except for the black plastic jack-plate). We calculate the month of production to be either November or December 1958 - as from the Gibson records we know that in late '58 there were some 4-digit serial numbers like 6234 and 7234 with no "8" or "9" as the leading digit and also that it was in very late '58 that Gibson changed the fret size from .070" wide frets to .100" wide frets (jumbo's). Housed in the original Gibson three-latch brown 'Alligator' softshell case with brown felt lining (8.75).

"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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