Les Paul Junior Gibson 1958
Posted on December 02 2021
This Les Paul Junior made by Gibson in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1958 is one of the cleanest 1958 Les Paul guitars I've ever had. The Les Paul Junior was the very base model of the 5 model Les Paul line in of its best years: 1958. Gibson made this guitar during the last year of its single cutaway Les Paul Junior, TV Model, and Special section of the line before introducing the double cutaway body style mid to late 1958. Many players and collectors contend that the P-90 pickup in the bridge position and a set of volume and tone knobs is all or at least, most of what one needs.
I am always on the road to collect the vintage Gibson guitars I've always dreamed of, but my favorite year for Gibson guitars in 1958. If you're looking to sell a 1958 Gibson guitar to a passionate collector and expert then I may be the one you're looking for. I travel world wide to purchase the right guitars with a safe and in-person transaction if possible. You can contact me here to Sell a Gibson near me.
Here's a great book for more information on vintage Gibson Les Paul and SG guitars: Gibson Electrics: The Classic Years by Andre Duchossoir. Andre's books on vintage guitars are some of the best ever written. This book has all the information a Gibson guitar collector needs including production figures, specifications, measurements, and a list of all the models made in the 1950s and 1960s.
Best years for the Les Paul Junior?
There isn't an objective answer to what is the best year of the Les Paul Junior, but the years that I prefer the most are 1957 and 1958. Gibson introduced the Les Paul Junior model in 1954 as its budget friendly student level solid body electric guitar with single cutaway body style and single p-90 pickup in the bridge position. There was one design flaw with the model that took two years to resolve: the bridge post bushings were too short! The leverage of the heavy gauge strings popular at the time caused the wrap tail bridge to lean forward towards the neck. This caused problems with intonation as well as decreased body resonance.
Gibson resolved the problem of the too short bridge post bushings in two ways in mid 1956: the began using double length bushings and shifted the cavity of the bridge forward just slightly away from the treble side bridge post. The Les Paul Junior remained cosmetically the same except that the knob style was updated from the large barrel style to the more delicate amber bonnet style knobs used until 1960. Lastly, the Les Paul Junior neck profile from 1954 to 1956 is usually a large C with thinner shoulders which feels almost like a V. By 1957, the profile was a more rounded, and to my hands, comfortable C shape. My experience indicates that the neck profiles measure about 0.90" deep at the first fret until about 1959.
We can feel confident that this Les Paul Junior was made in 1958 because the specifications match those of similar guitars from that year, but we can also use the serial number. Check out this helpful resource: Les Paul Serial Number Lookup. The serial number lookup indicates that an ink stamped serial number with vintage style font has a number digit prefix that indicates the year it was made. The prefix "8" indicates that this guitar was made in 1958.