Gibson Les Paul TV 1958
Posted on August 14 2021
This Gibson Les Paul TV Model 1958 came to me earlier this year from the widow of its original owner. The Les Paul TV model, often called a TV Junior, debuted in the Gibson catalog in 1955 as a single cutaway electric guitar with black pickguard and single P-90 pickup. 1958 was a transitional year for the entire Les Paul line but especially as the Junior, TV Model, and Special transitioned to a double cutaway body style. You can check out all the pictures of this guitar here: Gibson Les Paul TV 1958
I'm always a Gibson guitar buyer but I'm especially looking for Gibson Les Paul guitars from the 1950s but especially 1958. If you have a 1958 Gibson Les Paul guitar and are interested in selling your guitar then I'd love to check it out. You can contact me here to sell a Gibson guitar.
How to date a Gibson Les Paul TV
If you're curious about how to date a Gibson Les Paul, here are the steps I take to find out the year it was made: serial number, potentiometer codes, and features. Vintage Gibson serial numbers on Les Paul guitars in the 1950s are ink stamped (not impressed), have a single digit prefix indicating the year, which is followed by either four or five following digits. The serial number on this Gibson Les Paul TV is ink stamped and begins with an "8" prefix.
After the serial number, we can also check the potentiometer codes to date this Gibson Les Paul TV. I wasn't able to get a picture of the codes here, but I believe they were "134 839" indicating the 39th week of 1958. We can then move to what we know about Gibson history and features. The double cut body style began in 1958 and lasted until transitioning to the carved SG body style in 1961.
Using the serial number, potentiometer codes, and features we can easily date this Gibson Les Paul TV model to 1958. For more on Gibson guitar dating, check out How to date a Gibson Les Paul.
Gibson Les Paul Values
Vintage Gibson Les Paul guitar values are based off of the relationship between supply and demand for the exact year, model, features, and condition. In the case of this Gibson Les Paul TV 1958, we can actually find close to the amount of supply at least in 1958. The Gibson Shipment Totals: 1937-1979 book by Larry Meiners tells us that only 429 Gibson Les Paul TV model guitars were shipped in 1958. Many of those guitars are no longer in existence but at least we know that there aren't any more than 429. More importantly, we can search the currently available market for similar guitars from the same time period, model, and condition.
The demand side of the equation for Gibson Les Paul guitar values is a bit more difficult to assess. It's important to compare a Gibson Les Paul to the exact same year, model, features, and condition to know what pricing a collector may be willing to pay. As a Gibson guitar expert, it's my job to be able to help assess a vintage Gibson Les Paul guitar for these categories. If you're curious about Gibson guitar values and pricing then you can contact me here to sell a Gibson guitar.
This Gibson Les Paul TV Model 1958 guitar has a few interesting features that are indicative of the transitional double cut guitars. It has a center mount P-90 pickup like that found underneath the soap bar style covers on a Gibson Les Paul goldtop, but has a dog ear style cover typical of the Junior, TV Model, and Special. Not only that, but it seems that Gibson only drilled the screw between then G and B string, and neglected the hole between the A and D string!
Another interesting feature of this Gibson Les Paul TV Model 1958 is its double depth control plate relief cut. This is a strange feature for it to have since Gibson had been routing guitars for the same depth for years by then so I have no idea why they would do it. The used two plates to fill the extra depth and extra long screws.