1958 Gibson Les Paul Junior, Cherry

By Gibson

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Superb example of a late 1958 Gibson Les Paul Junior in stunning, vibrant and unfaded Cherry Red. Featuring a no prefix, 4-digit serial number, sharp edge Body with soap-bar P-90 and is in as close to mint condition as we have seen.

1958 was the year that Gibson revamped the Les Paul Junior design alongside the Special with a new Double-Cut body shape arriving mid-year and replacing the previous Single Cut shape. Dating to the later part of the year this guitar is one of the well documented non-prefix 4-digit serial number Juniors. In an exception to Gibsons standardised method of dating solid body instruments through the 1950s there were some 4-digit serial number Juniors produced all with 6000 and 7000 serial numbers without the preceding digit released in 1958. These guitars often have a sharper edge radii to the Mahogany body than earlier and later examples and soap bar P-90 under the Dog ear cover.

The guitar finish shows no colour fade and is uniform throughout, incredibly rare on Cherry Gibson guitars from this period due to the highly photosensitive nature of the Red Aniline Dye used by Gibson. The finish is especially clean showing the lightest of swirls and the odd mark but is as clean as you are likely to find. Condition is exemplary throughout, the headstock still has sharp edges! The guitar has a large, comfortable C profile neck with equally uniform finish. It’s often the back of the neck where the colour fades first. Frets show next to no wear and the Tortoise pickguard has only the faintest of marks. Given the condition of the finish the hardware is unsurprisingly in equally excellent condition with single line, three-on-a-strip Klusons, Nickel wrap-around bridge, Black bonnet knobs and black 3-ply input plate all present and correct. The Soap-bar P-90 is housed under a Dog-ear cover (an unusual feature, but one that seems consistent with other Juniors with this combination of traits) and measures a healthy 8.59K. The Centralab pots date to late ’58 and the capacitor is a Sprague BumbleBee.

Weighing 7.6lbs the guitar has a loud, sustaining acoustic ring and amplified this is one of the more powerful Juniors we have had the pleasure of playing. That is not to say the guitar is without all the the wonderful nuances that make Juniors such an intuitive guitar to play. It does the classic Junior thing with aplomb, big, bold and punchy but can clean up to an almost acoustic like whisper with the extremely interactive volume and tone controls. The P-90 is pure, open and balanced with a amazing harmonic overtones. Plugged into our Tweed Princeton sat just at the edge of break up the guitar sounds as righteous as any good Junior will but this one has a little extra something special. It has had a nod and grin from everyone to have played the guitar so far!

Juniors are for good reason a very popular Golden-era Gibson model, as a student instrument they were produced in larger quantities than the other professional and semi professional instruments which makes it all the more special to find an example is such excellent condition. This has to be one of the best Double Cut Junior on the market and would make an excellent choice for any player or collector. The guitar ships in a secure modern case.