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 aforementioned 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 example dates from early 1965, its serial number #267336 sits early within the range given for ’65 instruments. The body is in excellent condition with minimal fading to its vibrant Cherry red finish, with both neck and body only showing the slightest signs of wear. The neck/body joint is consistent with the type used by Gibson between ’64 and early ’65 and there are no signs of repair to this sometimes problem area for SG’s. Being an early ’65 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 8.75K with the CTS pots sharing a 48th week of ’64 source code. The wiring appears undisturbed with no signs of solder joints being broken. The guitar has been refretted and had a new nut. The thin 3-ply ‘angel wing’ is in great shape with no cracks or breaks. The original compensated wraparound tail piece is with the guitar but it currently has a compensated Mojo Axe example fitted. The tuners are a set of modern 3-a-side reproduction tuners.
We are big fans of Juniors here at V’n’R and this guitar is no exception. 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 5.8 lbs 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 the correct, red lined, black soft shell case.