Gibson Les Paul Junior ( 1954-1963 )
In 1954 while gibson was on the verge of perfecting their les paul gold tops with tune o matic bridges they decided to produce an econo line of affordable guitars called the gibson les paul juniors.
The gibson les paul junior guitar along with the GA-5 les paul junior amps ( see 2nd pic ) during the 50s were extremely popular and were very often bought together as combos by guitar players because they were not expensive and considered professional instruments despite their low prices.
This was a strategic and and important cornerstone for gibson which was then under a company called CMI .
Not only were they opening the market for their more expensive electric guitars,
but they also set the stage for future student models and less expensive succesful guitars such as the
les paul junior , les paul tv , and les paul special models .
In 1954 gibson introduced the gibson les paul junior (jr) , it was a single cut mahogany solidbody and neck , It had one p-90 single coil pickup with black covers , a wrapover stop tail piece , 22 fret rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays , 24.75" scale , nickel hardware , tuners with plastic buttons , les paul junior on gold on the peghead, and were made in yellow to brown sunburst finishes .
In mid 1958 gibson changed the body of the les paul junior to a double rounded cutaway slab body ( see pic ), different pickguard shapes and were made in cherry finishes , this guitar is better known as the gibson les paul jr double cutaway ( or double cut ) .
In 1961 the gibson les paul junior featured an sg style body with 2 pointed horns , they had thinner mahogany bodies , were made in cherry red finishes and were discontinued under the name les paul junior in 1963 .
From 1963 to1971 gibson continued production with basicly the same guitars but were renamed the sg junior ( had no les paul logos on peghead ).
In 1986 to 1996 gibson reintroduced various gibson les paul juniors' with double and single cutaways in cherry,tobacco sunburst , and tv yellow colors (were discontinued in 1996) .
During the 90s gibson also introduced several historic reissues and more junior model variations such as the '57 les paul jr. historic collection ( tv yellow finishes ) and the '60 les paul jr. historic collection ( cherry ) .
I also want to mention that in 1956 to 1961 gibson made few short scale les paul Junior models with 3/4 sized bodies and shorter necks on special orders . ( very rare today )
Vintage Price Value For 2009 :
1954 - 1955 > $8 500 to $14 500 ( les paul junior )
1956 - 1958 > $7 000 to $11 000
1958 - 1961 > $5 500 to $7 500 ( double-cut )
1961 - 1963 > $3 400 to $4 800 ( sg-body )
1956 - 1961 > $3 400 to $4 000 ( les paul junior 3/4 )
1954 - 1963 > Avg Upward Trend Of 22% a Year since 2000
1986 - 1996 > 2% 1956 - 1961 ( 3/4 ) > 23%
Note : the prices above are rounded off according to 4 different vintage price guides , be expecting a big spike in price on these guitars by next year as the demand gets higher and supply gets lower especially from 1954 to 1961 , already seen some 50's gibson les paul juniors for sale at $10 000 and sold .
If you want to buy vintage les paul junior guitars , you can find les paul junior guitars for sale on ebay from now and then , if your lucky you can even get them at a real bargain price .
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