Gibson Les Paul Junior 1955
Posted on August 29 2022
This 1955 Gibson Les Paul Junior came through my shop recently and is a fine example of the golden era of the Les Paul! The Les Paul Jr was the least expensive of the line in '55 and intended for students, but today it's regarded as professional grade electric guitar. Guitarists have found that sometimes all you need is a single cutaway, one P-90 pickup, and one volume and tone knob each. The shape and function of the LP Jr is great, but holding a vintage guitar from the 1950s is an experience like no other.
As a Gibson guitar collector, I'm always looking for the best examples of 1950s Gibson Les Paul guitars. If you've inherited a vintage Les Paul and are curious about its value then you can learn more about what it's worth here: Les Paul Values. You can check the serial number of an LP here: Les Paul Serial numbers. I am looking for Les Paul guitars from the 1950s as well. You can contact me here to sell a Gibson.
1955 Gibson Les Paul Junior
Gibson's Les Paul Junior model was only one year old by 1995 and not much had changed. The primary features defining a Jr are: solid one piece Mahogany body with single cutaway, Sunburst finish (until 1958), one P-90 pickup, single piece wrap tail bridge with offset positioned posts until 1962, and simple dot marker fretboard. The Jr's features are identical to that of the same year TV Model with the exception of the Sunburst finish instead of the Limed Mahogany finish referred to by collectors as TV Yellow.
The Les Paul Jr's simplicity lends itself to very low average weight. This example weighted 7.7 lbs or 3.55 kg. As is typical for the mid 1950s, the neck profile was quite large measuring 0.91" deep at the first fret and 0.98" deep at the 12th fret. As is common for the first year of the Junior, the neck pitch was just slightly to low to allow for low action. I tasked luthier Jason Burns with a neck reset and bushing replacement to correct the slight post lean. The work was very clean and the resulting guitar was a joy to play.
1955 Gibson Les Paul Junior Price
The 1955 Gibson price list has only four Les Paul listings since the TV Model wasn't listed until later in the year. The last listing in the list is for the
"Les Paul Junior - Guitar, Solid Body Cutaway, with built-in pickup..... $110.00".
If we adjust this number upwards to account for accumulated inflation in 2022 then the equivalent price of the Les Paul Junior today would be about $1,200.
Calculating the equivalent price of a 1950s Gibson Les Paul with an inflation calculator is a fun exercise, but it doesn't have any bearing on the value of a vintage Gibson guitar. The current day pricing for a vintage guitar is calculated based off of the relationship between supply and demand for a certain make, model, and time period. Remember that the Les Paul Custom was more expensive than the Standard in the late 1950s, but the Standard is now worth double that of a comparable Custom. The difference in value if likely a result of the high demand for the Standard and lower demand for the Custom. Production figures indicate that there are more than double the amount of Standards than Customs.
You can check out more on the value of vintage Gibsons here: Les Paul Values.