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Les Paul Juniors. Is everyone insane?!

tyler5150

New member
Joined
Oct 22, 2017
Messages
6
Hey guys, having some frustration lately. I've been looking for a SB 54-58 (preferable 56) Les Paul Junior and I can't believe how much the prices have skyrocketed during this pandemic, for reference, here is a mint Jr. with original Gator case that sold at Rumble Seat a year or two ago for $6500: https://www.gbase.com/gear/gibson-les-paul-junior-1957-sunburst-6 , a price I used to consider ridiculous. In fact I got offered a player grade one for $4600, a year and a half ago and turned it down, now I can't even find one without a refin for under 6-7k!

The nicest ones I see for $10,995 aren't even as nice as the $6500 one from RS and all the ones I've played and looked at recently for around $6999 play like junk. Not sure what to do, I guess I'll have to keep playing my 58 DC Juniors and 63 Les Paul/SG Junior. Can't believe I'm saying this as a collector, but I cannot wait until the price for these goes down to something like $4k because I'll buy 10 of them at that price.

And yes, I know I could get a custom shop, I already have several but I am borrowing my friends' 56 now and the CS guitars don't even come close. They are great guitars in their own right but completely different. Almost as different as a Strat vs. Les Paul.

I'm about ready to give up my search......
 

mrbeasty

New member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
114
Inflation is looming, and once it goes up, it very rarely comes back down. It seems that ‘70s Les Pauls have exploded too, even the beat-up ones.
Look on Craigslist, look at Pawnshops, look at Facebook adds and Forums ... you may find one at the right price.
 

marshall1987

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Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
3,199
Tyler......so you mentioned that "the nicest ones I see for $10,995 aren't even as nice as the $6500 one from RS and all the ones I've played and looked at recently for around $6999 play like junk."

Is that $10,995 Les Paul Junior a confirmed selling price, or simply the price given in the listing (Gbase)?

Make the seller an offer based on recent history of completed sales of similar guitars. You should do your research in advance so you know what a fair price should be.
 

tyler5150

New member
Joined
Oct 22, 2017
Messages
6
Yea, I have been making offers based on sold listings on reverb and almost every seller has been telling me to go pound sand.

Tyler......so you mentioned that "the nicest ones I see for $10,995 aren't even as nice as the $6500 one from RS and all the ones I've played and looked at recently for around $6999 play like junk."

Is that $10,995 Les Paul Junior a confirmed selling price, or simply the price given in the listing (Gbase)?

Make the seller an offer based on recent history of completed sales of similar guitars. You should do your research in advance so you know what a fair price should be.
 

Bruce R

Active member
Joined
Mar 2, 2007
Messages
951
I have noticed the same thing. I anticipated prices on all instruments would be going down with all this BS happening and musicians would need to sell instruments to survive, but that doesn't appear to be the case so far. In fact, I find that single cut CS Juniors are much harder to find than they were a few years ago. I thought this was quite odd. They used to sell everyday for 1,500 and I haven't seen one for under 2,300 (used).

I have played a few Custom Shop Juniors I have really liked, one being a special Music Zoo release series Junior, and I have played more than one vintage one that I felt was a clunker.

Keep an open mind for a good CS model but it is difficult enough to find one to play without buying it online.
 

corpse

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
4,013
I bought a 2005 in 2007- a CS TV SC- $1100
Sold it in 2018 for $1800- all of a sudden they are well over $2500. TV's are particularly hard to find. it was a great guitar- no scoffing.
 

tyler5150

New member
Joined
Oct 22, 2017
Messages
6
I have a real 58 special and the new reissues of the specials (I'm actually a Gibson Artist so I have most of the 2020 line) and both are their own animal, but I am looking for the vintage one because of the differences I notice between the special and the real one. Both are great, in some ways the new one is way easier to play, but the vintage has its specific uses for recording that I would like to utilize.

I have noticed the same thing. I anticipated prices on all instruments would be going down with all this BS happening and musicians would need to sell instruments to survive, but that doesn't appear to be the case so far. In fact, I find that single cut CS Juniors are much harder to find than they were a few years ago. I thought this was quite odd. They used to sell everyday for 1,500 and I haven't seen one for under 2,300 (used).

I have played a few Custom Shop Juniors I have really liked, one being a special Music Zoo release series Junior, and I have played more than one vintage one that I felt was a clunker.

Keep an open mind for a good CS model but it is difficult enough to find one to play without buying it online.
 

marshall1987

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
3,199
From all appearances the "price holiday" LP Juniors & Specials have enjoyed since the vintage guitar "crash" of 2008....has ended with a resounding thunk. :dang

I suppose it was inevitable, what with, the exorbitant cost $$ of vintage Gibson guitars; e.g., 1950s & late-'60s Les Pauls, SG/Les Pauls, and any Gibson with PAFs.

However, compared to most '50's & '60s vintage Gibson solid bodies (especially w/ PAFs), I believe the "sleeper" and relative bargain remains with vintage Gibson ES-335s, 345s, and 355s. A "player-grade" '59 ES-335 w/ PAFs & Bigsby holes,.... can still be had for $25K or so, ES-345s & 355s are even less than that. What does a player-grade '59 Les Paul Standard w/ Bigsby holes go for? :hmm

Wide-nut or narrow-nut, Gibson semi-hollow- body ESs' can do just about anything a solid-body can do, and in some cases, much more. :wow
 

Don

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Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Messages
5,676
Guitars appear to be a "comfort item" and have gone up in value. I recently sold an 1980 Hamer Sunburst, a 2014 Les Paul Traditional and a 2017 ES-335 for quite a bit more than I bought them for used within the past couple of years.
 

Guitar Whiskey

Active member
Joined
Aug 10, 2006
Messages
2,732
I had not noticed this change until reading this. I'm not surprised though given the time I have now being home bound so to speak. I wonder how crazy it will get. Do you think to the level before 2008? Glad I got mine back in the early 2000's. A 57 TV and 58 Jr.

722tdSR.jpg
 

thin sissy

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,533
When I bought my 57 sunburst Jr ten years ago, it was barely more expensive than a Custom Shop version of the same guitar. It seemed crazy to me (wasn't complaining though!). It's all original except changed tuners.

I do wonder what the actual selling prices of Jr's today are though? Asking price is one thing I guess :hmm
 

corpse

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
4,013
A friend paid about $10k mor a good condition 57 TV SC. I was aghast but that was the least expensive one around.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
227
People pay quarter of a million plus for a 59 burst, 2 or 3 times that for a 58 V or Explorer.
Is that really any less insane?
 

bern1

Active member
Joined
Nov 23, 2004
Messages
1,123
The calm before the storm. Maybe. Keep your powder dry. Timing uncertain.
 

BSeneca

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
125
I too was floored at the pricing. I sold my 80 Corvette and had what I thought was plenty of money for a clean Junior. WRONG! I did get a fantastic stripped non original example that is AMAZING. At what I was able to get it for, I could bring back to spec and still be ahead. Ive had a 58 headstock repair and a refin 54 that were 3k at the time. Hope they come back down. But doubt it
 

crashbelt

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2016
Messages
69
I paid big money for a very clean 55 last year. But I sold 3 guitars I didn't care for any more for what I thought were pretty insane prices so its all swings and roundabouts if you're both selling and buying in this market.

A good LPJ is still imho one of the greatest sounding guitars ever so its still good value say compared to a refin early 60s Strat with a few unoriginal parts which go for similar prices in the UK.
 

bern1

Active member
Joined
Nov 23, 2004
Messages
1,123
Looks like everything is lifting off again. Reminds me of the .com era. Could be 2008 style coming around again. The money just isn’t worth the same as before lots of funny money showed up.
 

Big Al

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Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,235
Then don't buy one. What's the hubbub Bub? Buy a Custom Shop if you think a real original 50's is more than you want to spend on one. If that's too rich for you grab a USA Core Series.

Original Jrs are massively musical beasts and I've always placed a high premium on them. They are 1950's solidbody Les Pauls and in 2021 that carries a premium. It's why you want one, I'd bet. So how bad you want the guitar?

A Custom Shop will get you there. If it ain't the guitar but some '50's Gibson aura you want, start saving or selling.
 
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