The Gibson Les Paul Junior has been the great underdog of the Gibson range, and whilst marketed as a ‘student’ model packs a huge punch both tonally and value wise, as it boasts the same legendary fit and finish and ‘Old Growth’ Honduran Mahogany and Brazilian Rosewood as the top of the range Standard. The single P90 pickup, wrap-around tailpiece and slab body makes for a remarkably responsive and powerful instrument, with a deceptively wide range of tones, and has been a constant staple in the canny vintage enthusiasts arsenal.
The sunburst Les Paul Standard did not sell well at its introduction in ’58 and was duly dropped from the range in mid 1960, and Lester Polsfuss’ endorsement deal lapsed two years later apparently after the controversy around his divorce from wife and musical partner Mary Ford.
These influences lead Gibson to introduce the Solid Guitar (SG) across the whole range previously occupied by the Les Paul (Junior, Special, Standard and Custom respectively) which featured a streamlined and futuristic new body shape as its’ foundation.
While echoing the post ’57 double cut Les Paul Jnr in silhouette, the SG Jnr was slightly thinner across the body with contoured edges throughout and a nearly symmetrical dual cutaway design, which offered excellent upper fret access and playing comfort.
The single black bobbin ‘dog ear’ P-90 remained, as did the single Volume/Tone controls and the necks tend to be much fatter than comparable Gibson models of the era, and make for great feeling, incredibly resonant guitars.
The early examples still bear Les Paul’s name silk screened on the headstock face, and are referred to as LP/SG Juniors, and also tend to have the ’50s style smooth wrap around tailpiece set at an angle which is familiar to us from the 50′s Junior/Special. The horizontal ‘Compensated’ wraptail (sometimes referred to as the ‘Firebird’ bridge) was introduced in ’63 as well as a range of Gibson out-sourced tremolo options.
We have an excellent selection of SG Juniors in stock at the moment. Call us in store for more information!