1957 Les Paul Jr.
There’s a reason why vintage Les Paul Jrs. have been played by famous artists like Keith Richards, John Lennon, Billie Joe Armstrong, Johnny Thunders, Leslie West, Lucas Nelson (Willie Nelson’s son) and more… it’s an instrument with character and soul ~ only produced in limited numbers between 1954 and 1958 ~ and despite “reissues,” nothing quite like it has been produced since.
A “Players” Guitar
While this guitar would certainly look nice and be a great “conversation piece,” for a collector, this guitar was meant to be played and it has been tweaked out for that purpose…
Bridge… the original bridge is still in great condition and comes with the guitar (you can see it in the image gallery). The bridge that is on the guitar now, is tunable and has been set up by a professional luthier for intonation and fast playing action.
Pickups… the pickups have enhanced magnets that were produced by Alembic in the 1970s to boost output. If you like, they are easily replaced with the original magnets that will come with guitar.
Tuners… The original Les Paul Jr. tuners weren’t the best to begin with. Add some use and age to them, and they become even less useful. As a player you’ll appreciate the upgraded tuners that are installed on this Les Paul Jr. I sure did. Note that ~ unlike the bridge and pickup magnets ~ the original tuners are not available and won’t be shipped with this guitar.
Fretboard and Frets… The guitar was professionally worked on in the 1980s. Servicing included the fretboard being evened out and the frets replaced. The guitar shop that did the work liked this instrument so much they offered t to buy it, but at the time I wouldn’t have sold it… even at the tempting price they offered!
Case… The guitar will ship in a Reunion Blues Aero Series Electric Guitar Case ($199.95 list price)… this vintage Les Paul Junior deserved an upgrade from the original case. If you would like to have the ~ slightly modified (see the images) ~ original case I can ship that to you as well. Note: the brown Levi sun strap looks great with this guitar, but you will need to acquire your own… it’s being used on another guitar and will not ship with this one.
History, age, and serial number
I purchased this guitar in late 1960s and it has been with me ever since. I am not sure exactly when it was made. A while back, one guitar shop told me it was a 1955 model, however, when looked up the serial number ~ 7 8446 ~ with an online service, it’s most likely a 1957 model. Gibson records from this time are apparently not definitive. If specific age-dating is important to you, I encourage you to do you own research on this.
As you would expect from a guitar this age, it has the endearing wear marks and “battle scars” on the body along with the beautiful finish patterns that take decades to fully mature. Added value like a fine antique.
The electronics work fine, ready to plug it in and crank it it up.
Why I am selling this guitar
Frankly, it is hard to give up an old friend, especially when my wife and my fellow guitar players keep talking me out of it ~ but ~ a few years ago, I had a (not music related) ear accident that left me with some hyperacousis and tinnitus.
That turned me into an acoustic player, and although there is plenty of “sentimental value” in this instrument, it should be with someone who can play it like it should be played… cranked up!
There is still a chance I might “chicken out” and pull this guitar back off the market ~ or someone local who knows the instrument will snatch it up ~ so if this one-of-a-kind Les Paul Jr. interests you, now is the time to act.
Why this particular Les Paul is unique, highly desirable, and value priced
As you can see from the description and images, this is a one of a kind Les Paul Jr. That’s one reason the guitar shop that worked on it wanted to buy it and offered a premium price for it. It plays and sounds like a dream come true.
During the guitar collecting surge, one guitar shop I visited valued this Les Paul model at $11,000, but I was still playing it a lot and not interested in selling.
Prices of all vintage guitars have fallen since then, which is a probably good thing because collectors were putting great vintage instruments out of the reach of players. As you probably know Les Paul Jrs. of similar age and condition to this one are selling for $7-$15,000. I’ve priced this one below that range so it would be reasonably in range for a player, not just a wealthy collector.
- Single cutaway mahogany body, 12.75 in. width, 17.25 length, 1.75 in. depth
- Mahogany neck
- 22-fret rosewood fretboard with dot inlays
- 24.75 in. scale
- Single P-90 coil pickup
- Two knobs… volume and tone
What you get
- Vintage Les Paul Jr. upgraded for playability
- Original bridge and P90 magnets included
- Reunion Blues Aero Guitar Case
- Original Guitar Case (if requested)
- Free shipping in the United States lower 48
Sold as described. No returns.