Introduced by Gibson in 1961, the newly redesigned Les Paul Junior would feature a new thin, double cutaway body in line with the entire new Les Paul range. The new Les Paul Junior would feature a beveled, solid Honduran Mahogany body with the afore mentioned double cutaway body. a one piece Honduran Mahogany set neck with dot inlayed rosewood fingerboard, silkscreened ‘Les Paul Model’ and Gibson Headstock logo, a single dog ear P-90 with single volume and tone controls, a simple wrap over bridge and 3-a-side Kluson tuners. The Junior would sit between the Melody Maker and the Les Paul Special in Gibson’s solid guitar lineup. The new Junior Model would go through a few changes throughout its 10 years in the catalog. Notably in mid-1963 the Junior would lose its Les Paul designation and was renamed the SG Junior.
This guitar dates from the later half of ’64, its serial number #221223 sits within the range given for 1964 instruments. The body is in great condition, there is a little fading to the Cherry red finish and lacquer checking throughout but nothing to take away from the overall appearance. Being a later ’64, the guitar retains the all important 1 11/16” nut width, the neck has a comfortable rounded ‘C’ profile that fattens towards the 12th fret. The P-90 measures 8.18K, CTS pots are present but although majority of the codes are obscured by solder it is possible to see a 38 for the week code. The wiring appears undisturbed with no signs of solder joints being broken. The guitar has a new nut fitted. Frets are in good shape and the guitar plays well. The original 8 hole ‘Angel Wing’ pickguard is included but has broken on the upper horn. The 7 hole, 3-ply currently fitted is a replacement but looks great and fits well. The original compensated wraparound tail piece is with the guitar but it currently has a compensated Mojo Axe example fitted for intonation
Guitars don’t get much simpler than this, a featherweight Honduran Mahogany body and neck, single P90 pickup in the bridge, a volume and tone control and a wraparound bridge and tailpiece. Despite the simplicity, a good Junior can be one of the most versatile and intuitive guitars out there. Through an amp that’s breaking up nicely they sound big, bold and punchy but will clean up to an almost acoustic like whisper. Picked close to the bridge they have an almost tele like twang. Weighing a featherweight 5.7lbs it feels lively and resonant acoustically, plugged in the P-90 will go from a roar to a whisper with a turn of the volume control.
The guitar comes with a highly desirable Gibson ‘Chainsaw’ Protector case.