1958 Gibson Les Paul Junior, Sunburst

By Gibson


Super cool, incredibly playable, Sunburst Les Paul Junior from 1958. One of the last of the original single-cut away Juniors and this one in particular sounds and feels great with a strong original P-90, an atypical round ’58 neck and a lightweight and resonant Mahogany body.

Introduced in 1954 The Les Paul Junior was the simple, no frills, student model solid-body guitar of the Gibson range, an incredibly popular instrument it would remain in the catalog as the Les Paul Junior until 1963 when it was replaced by the SG Junior model. The design would evolve from the original single cutaway style of 1954 to the new symmetrical Double-Cutaway body design in 1958 through to to its final incarnation in 1961 with the contoured, pointed double cutaway SG/Les Paul design. Despite the designs changes the Junior model would resoundingly feature a simply appointed solid mahogany body and neck with Rosewood fingerboard and a single P-90 pickup.

This guitar is one of the final single cut away Les Paul juniors produced, it is widely excepted that the Junior switched to the new double cut variant by serial 8 49XX. It features the pre-requisite singlecut, slab, Honduras Mahogany body, a Mahogany neck with Rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays, a single dog-ear P-90 pickup with black cover, simple wrap-over bridge. a single ply black pickguard, gold Gibson and ”Les Paul Junior" silkscreened on the headstock. Being a '58 model the guitar has the deeper threaded bridge post inserts and the pickup route has also been moved further towards the neck, Gibson introduced this in ’56 to help counter bridge lean damaging the thin bit of wood between the stud and route. The original finish is in great condition throughout with plenty of expected environmental lacquer checking with bumps, bruises and edge wear. This Junior has survived with no breaks or major repairs, tuners have never been changed and the guitar retains the original Kluson three-on-a-strip tuners with plastic buttons. There has been some slight separation to the bass side headstock wing but it's structurally sound and hardly visible.

Being a ’58, the guitar has the renowned ‘big neck’ 58 profile, it’s instantly comfortable and works perfectly on a Junior. Measuring 22.94mm at the first fret and filling out to 25.61mm at the 12th fret. The dark Rosewood fingerboard has some pleasant figuring and light wear that is a testament to how playable the guitar is. The nut is a replacements but the frets appear to be original. The P-90 is a fine sounding example, measuring a healthy 7.8K at the output. Inside the control cavity there are a pair of Centralab Pots both dating to 1957 and a Bumble-Bee Capacitor. 

It’s no secret that we are big fans of Les Paul Juniors here at V’n’R and with each variant of the model having a sound and character of its own it’s easily justifiable to us to have one of each. This ’58 Single cut has a loud, sustaining acoustic ring and amplified this is one of the more fuller sounding Juniors we have had the pleasure of playing. It’s a big sounding guitar that manages to retain excellent string to string balance whether driven or clean. It does the Junior thing with aplomb, woody, bold and punchy but has the ability to clean up to an almost acoustic like whisper with the extremely interactive controls. The P-90 is pure and open with a fantastic harmonic overtones

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