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Les Paul Junior SC: Please tell me what you see.

MacG

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
14
Hi all, Long time reader, first post here.

I have been offered a bucthered Les Paul Junior, but what year can it be ?
I´m confused, as it is single cutaway, but a cherry red that looks original, but maybe oversprayed. The Serialnumber has been removed, it is not visible under the transparent laquer, and the headstock and back of the headstock and the top of the neck has been refinished, but there are no sign of a break.
The neck feels great, not too thick, a hint of V in the lower frets. The bad news is someone tried to turn it into a Strat... There has been a Kähler on it, and there are routes for extra switches and pickups under the homemade scratchplate... It looks like the original P90, but ... Any help would be appreciated, thanks in advance.

Pictures:





 
Joined
Apr 22, 2017
Messages
60
Looks like Frank Zappa's work.

In all seriousness, 1958 would be my best guess. Try different lighting and a pro camera on the back of the headstock to see if there are any faint hints to the serial number. It's amazing what a good camera can catch that the human eye cannot (unless of course it was completely sanded off). Did you remove and measure the studs/bushings?
 

MacG

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
14
Looks like Frank Zappa's work.

In all seriousness, 1958 would be my best guess. Try different lighting and a pro camera on the back of the headstock to see if there are any faint hints to the serial number. It's amazing what a good camera can catch that the human eye cannot (unless of course it was completely sanded off). Did you remove and measure the studs/bushings?

Thanks for your answer. I held it up to bright daylight, and though the laquer is dark, it is tansparent, and there is no trace of a serialnumber that I can see. Even the dark area where the neck joins the headstock where they break, is transparent enough to see that there is no clear signs of a break. The color: Have you ever seen a cherry SC LPJ ? I have not been able to find a picture of an original, they are all reissues, or DC´s from ´58 and onwards. As for the studs: What would I be looking for ?

Thanks again.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2017
Messages
60
Thanks for your answer. I held it up to bright daylight, and though the laquer is dark, it is tansparent, and there is no trace of a serialnumber that I can see. Even the dark area where the neck joins the headstock where they break, is transparent enough to see that there is no clear signs of a break. The color: Have you ever seen a cherry SC LPJ ? I have not been able to find a picture of an original, they are all reissues, or DC´s from ´58 and onwards. As for the studs: What would I be looking for ?

Thanks again.
My conspiracy theory and pure speculation: Someone stole this guitar in the late 70's...and stripped it of all the parts to use on another Junior.

It's hard to tell if there is any original parts on the guitar (the studs look oxidized like they could be original), but the bushings and posts should be 3/4" and would put it around 57/58. Do you see the cherry paint where it's faded differently from the replaced/new pickguard? Someone is not going to fake that or the body checking on this guitar because it's just not worth their time. It's now just a swiss cheese weight relieved Junior. If you love the neck on it, and I love late 50's junior necks, it might be worth a restoration but the tough part is filling that Kahler disaster and getting it to match the rest of the body (if you want to keep the cool finish checking).
 

MacG

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
14
My conspiracy theory and pure speculation: Someone stole this guitar in the late 70's...and stripped it of all the parts to use on another Junior.

It's hard to tell if there is any original parts on the guitar (the studs look oxidized like they could be original), but the bushings and posts should be 3/4" and would put it around 57/58. Do you see the cherry paint where it's faded differently from the replaced/new pickguard? Someone is not going to fake that or the body checking on this guitar because it's just not worth their time. It's now just a swiss cheese weight relieved Junior. If you love the neck on it, and I love late 50's junior necks, it might be worth a restoration but the tough part is filling that Kahler disaster and getting it to match the rest of the body (if you want to keep the cool finish checking).
Hi Train, I think you are right about it being stolen a long time ago, but I just think the parts went missing along the way. The way it is butchered I don´t think the owner really cared about it being a vintage guitar, he just wnated the guitar he had to work better for him. I think the paint is original, but I would like to see a picture of a Cherry SC Junior before I decide... What do you think of the pickup ? Does it look original to you ?
 

MacG

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
14
Sorry, should've been more specific. That P90 cover is not original but the pickup itself might be...can't really see it or blow it up enough to tell.
I did take it out, and the ears may have been broken off. I have no pictures of it.
I have found two 1959 LPJ SC´s but they were sunburst. Does anyone have a picture of a Les Paul Junior SC in cherry red ?
 

zhivago

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
1,365
I've seen photos of a couple of Specials, but never a Jr.

Of course, this doesn't mean they never existed, but it will be hard to prove originality.
 

MacG

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
14
I've seen photos of a couple of Specials, but never a Jr.

Of course, this doesn't mean they never existed, but it will be hard to prove originality.
I looked everywhere in the cavities where the lacquer was still intact, and there were no traces of any other color... I've seen DC´s and Specials too, but never SC Junior in Cherry.
 

sws1

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Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Messages
2,766
Looks like it has sharp edges, unlike most single cuts.
 

brandtkronholm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,473
Looks like it has sharp edges, unlike most single cuts.
Sharp edges on most single cut Jrs. is normal, no? Gibson began to round the edges (to prevent/delay the inevitable chipping there) in later 1958+/-.
I recall that the earliest double cut Jrs. and Specials had the sharper edges.
- please correct me if I’m wrong!
 
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