1961 Gibson Les Paul Junior, Double Cut, Cherry

By Gibson

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Killer, skinny neck Gibson Les Paul Junior from 1961, perfect faded cherry with a repaired headstock to keep the price down and a nice recent refret meaning it plays great.

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 the contoured, pointed double cutaway SG/Les Paul Design. Despite these changes the Junior model consistently featured a simply appointed solid Mahogany body and neck with Rosewood fingerboard and a single P-90 pickup.

This guitar is one of the last Double Cut Les Paul Juniors before Gibson introduced the SG shaped Junior in 61, this guitar still has the 50’s style ink stamped, prefixed serial number. It features the pre-requisite Honduran Mahogany double cutaway body, Mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, dot inlays, a single dog-ear P-90 pickup with black cover, simple wrap-over bridge. A single ply tortoise pickguard, gold Gibson block logo and ”Les Paul Junior" silkscreened on the headstock.

Finished in cherry the overall finish condition of this guitar has faded to a softer red thanks to the UV sensitive nature of the red dye famously used by Gibson through this period. The guitar has had the headstock honestly repaired prior to coming in to us. The neck has had some localised finish work as a result of the repair. Tuners have been changed previously and a set of reproduction strip Klusons have been fitted. The nut has been changed and the guitar has had a great refret with medium jumbo wire, and overall it plays very well. The body has been previously routed for a different pickup. The route doesn’t look to fit a Gibson sized humbucker; possibly a FilterTron style pickup. The dogear P-90 fitted covers the route. The P-90 has all the traits of being a period part but the D&G pole pieces are unusually gold, pots and cap are modern replacements. The knobs have been changed for a set of modern reproduction black bonnet style and the nickel tailpiece is an excellent, lightweight Faber reproduction. The neck has a slim profile as expected from guitars from this period with a 43.39mm nut width, a 1st fret depth of 19.65mm.

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 ’61 double-cut is one of the last before the change to SG shape and has a loud, sustaining acoustic ring. It plays great thanks to the recent refret. The neck is on the slimmer side and the profile and feel is very comparable to Fender necks of this period. It does the Junior thing with aplomb - big, bold and punchy but will clean up to an almost acoustic like tone with the incredibly interactive volume and tone controls.

The guitar comes with a modern hard shell case.