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1955 Gibson Les Paul Junior Vintage Electric Guitar Sunburst w/ Case


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Up for sale, a circa 1955 Gibson Les Paul Junior, honestly played and professionally setup, complete with a modern Lifton-style Gibson case.

The solid Honduran mahogany construction delivers an acoustic voice that is extremely authoritative and clear, and the original P-90 pickup meters at a robust 9.18k ohms. While the pickup winding is nice and hot, there’s an incredible dynamic range and pick sensitivity available with this P-90 (not always the case with a pickup wound this hotly). A hard strum will certainly push your amp with a rich bark and aggressive growl, yet even picking with moderate intensity cleans up the signal dramatically, without even touching the Volume knob. There’s a chewy bite and bounce to the plain strings with a roundness to single notes that’s never strident, and a churning guttural chunk when you lay into the wound strings. Rolling back the Volume knob to taste also cleans up the signal substantially while retaining definition, and the knob has a smooth gradient as you turn it down. The guitar weighs 7lbs 8oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings and easy-playing action.

The one-piece mahogany neck has a round “baseball bat” C-shaped profile carve with plenty of shoulder and rolled fretboard edges, measuring .915" deep at the 1st fret and .995" at the 12th. The dark, tight-grained Brazilian rosewood fretboard has been refretted with medium jumbo fretwire that has plenty of meat and well-rounded crowns, showing only very light wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-3. The instrument plays cleanly up the 24 3/4" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. An upgraded hand-carved bone nut measures a full 1 11/16" in width. On the headstock, the original Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines are intact fitted with modern white buttons. The headstock face retains the silkscreen Gibson logo and faint "Les Paul Junior" script text, while there is humidity-related chipping of the finish on the top back third of the headstock, unfortunately resulting in removal of the inked serial number (the guitar can best be dated by the shorter bridge inserts which had their length changed in '56, and the more prominent wraparound tailpiece angle which was moderated post-1955).

The headstock does exhibit a partial, professionally repaired diagonal split extending from the treble-side edge of the nut to the center of the neck carve behind fret 1, also extending partially to the headstock face along the same side. The repair is very clean and perfectly stable at full string tension.

The simple electronics function as intended, with the stock P-90 wired to modern 500k CTS pots and a premium replica bumblebee tone capacitor. There is some minor routing in the bottom of the pickup cavity, yet no additional mounting holes for a different pickup. The original lightweight aluminum wraparound bridge and tailpiece studs are intact, and while the original shorter bridge inserts are included, a set of proper depth inserts have been installed. The bridge has zero forward lean, and there is wear into the metal beneath the strings, notching the aluminum and actually providing a bit more stability. Plastics include the original single-ply pickguard and pair of ambered speed knobs, with a new plastic jack plate, rear control cavity cover, and aged vintage-spec P-90 cover.

The Sunburst nitro lacquer gloss finish is 100% original with no touchup or overspray, and the reddish aniline dye is visible on top in the grain of the mahogany. Cosmetic wear includes prominent finish checking and edge wear, with a spot of buckle rash at the bass-side waist and various dings and scuffs consistent with honest use. There is wear through much of the gloss on the neck profile behind frets 1-6, both from contact with the palm and due to various other small marks, with wear growing progressively lighter on the profile until behind roughly fret 10.

A modern Gibson Custom Shop Lifton-style hardshell case with brown mottled exterior and pink interior is included, along with the original shallow bridge inserts.