Early 1961 Gibson Les Paul Junior and Gibson Skylark Tremolo GA-5T Amp
Posted on December 07 2020
This clean vintage 1961 Gibson Les Paul Junior electric guitar with matching 1961 Gibson Skylark amplifier pair cruised through the shop a few years ago. It's a really nice example of a transitional Les Paul Junior that still features the Les Paul signature on the headstock but now has the SG body style. Other cool features include the offset stud uncompensated wrap tail bridge and bonnet style knobs.
The Gibson Les Paul Jr was introduced in 1954 as an entry level student model electric guitar. It wasn't until the 1970s that the Jr kicked the student model image in favor of the bare bones rock and roll screamer that it's known to be today. With a solid Mahogany body, one P-90 pickup and wrap tail piece the Jr does it all from clean to dirty. The Jr is known for superior resonance and sustain because of its simple design and lack of magnetism from a neck pickup to slow the vibration of the string. It went through a few different design changes until it was renamed the SG Junior in 1963. The Les Paul Jr has been been played professionally by: Leslie West, Johnny Two Bags, John Lennon, Mick Jones, Peter Frampton, Billie Joe Armstrong and many more. Every Gibson collector and player should have a Junior in their arsenal.
This 1961 Gibson Les Paul Junior is in perfect original condition with no issues or repairs. Jimmy received this guitar and amp as a gift in 1961 but never got around to playing the pair. Jimmy saw Richard's motorcycle some years later and decided to trade. Richard never learned how to play either so the guitar and amp went into the closet for about 25 years. Jimmy's old guitar happens to be one of the very earliest Les Paul Juniors to receive the new SG body style but still retains the older style black non-reflector knobs. The finish is nice and soft without any checking from temperature change and almost 0% fading. All electronics and hardware are original and untouched from repairs or maintenance. The action is medium low and the neck is dead straight. The P-90 pickup is very high output and sounds divine. The original case is in fair condition with one broken latch and a missing handle. The 1961 Gibson Skylark GA-5T is also in very good shape and functions just as it should. This little guy screams with warm tube saturation and breakup similar to a Champ. It's had a proper cap job and a few solder joints touched up but other than that it is just as it came from the factory. It will likely need a three prong power supply before being used in a live or studio session. Ask me if you would like to have that done.
This uncirculated 1961 Les Paul Jr is likely the earliest and finest examples on the market today. The playability and tone is everything that one could hope for from a vintage Gibson electric guitar.