Les Paul Junior

Vintage Guitar recently profiled a ’53 Gibson Les Paul Junior as part of the publication’s “Classic Instrument” series. After pointing out that Gibson “officially” introduced the Les Paul Junior in 1954, the article goes on to note that the profiled ’53 instrument differs from a typical Junior in several ways.

“The neck is set into the body such that the fingerboard is significantly higher than the level of the top,” says the article. “This neck joint, while obviously original, differs from other Les Pauls. Additionally, the instrument differs from a typical Les Paul Junior with its darker sunburst, with brown (rather than yellow) stain in the middle. This finish is similar to that on the ES-125 of the time. Further, the P-90 pickup is the same type used on the ES-125 and ES-175 of the period, with a black plastic cover different in dimension from those on typical Juniors.”

The author goes on to praise the character and functionality of the Les Paul Junior in general.

“While the Junior featured much less ornamentation than the more expensive Les Paul models, the workmanship and materials conform to Gibson quality standards,” states the article. “With only one pickup, a Les Paul Junior has less versatility of sound than a double-pickup guitar, but the quality of sound produced by one single-coil P-90 is as good as the lead sound on a double-pickup guitar. Just as most jazz players use only the rhythm pickup and have no need for a double-pickup guitar, many rock and blues players find that a single pickup in the lead or bridge position meets all of their requirements.”

To read the full article, and view photos, click here.