1961 to 1965 juniors

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by fernieite, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. fernieite

    fernieite Senior Member

    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    49
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Hi guys.
    At some point I'd like to get a nice 1961 to 1965 sg junior.
    Is there anything I should look out for?
    Are there any problems associated with any specific years?
    Any other thoughts with this type of guitar?
    Thanks a lot. :cool:
     
  2. Duane_the_tub

    Duane_the_tub Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,052
    Likes Received:
    3,470
    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Juniors from that period were commonly modded, so finding one that hasn't been, say, routed for humbuckers or had a bridge/tailpiece swap can sometimes be a challenge. They are also prone to other typical "old guitar" problems, such as tuner buttons deteriorating and pickguards shrinking. There are also a few design elements that changed over the years and affect desirability of certain years, such as nut width.

    (Full disclosure: I have an all-original '65 SG Junior for sale in the classifieds, link here and pic below. I would be happy to tell you as much about it as you'd like.)

    20171027_111206.jpg
     
  3. bossaddict

    bossaddict @david.beason on IG Premium Member

    Messages:
    6,806
    Likes Received:
    9,174
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2013
    I love these guitars. Like @Duane_the_tub mentioned, '65s can have a narrow nut width, Indian rosewood fretboard, and/or chrome hardware, but not necessarily.

    On the later end of that range, the neck should be nice and chunky.

    Good luck!
     
    Duane_the_tub likes this.
  4. fernieite

    fernieite Senior Member

    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    49
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Thanks guys.
    I've played a couple of these guitars and like the wider neck, but I don't think I'd want wide and chunky. Medium thickness is preferred.
    I wonder if a 63 "Les Paul Junior" would be my thing? I hear in 63 - the neck joint may be stronger and perhaps medium thickness?
     
  5. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    465
    Joined:
    May 6, 2017
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the 61-63 necks can be seriously thin and the later necks are just a bit thicker. I have a '65 where the supposedly thick and wide neck is really less than .8in thick at the first fret. And wide means more like normal width compared to the very narrow late '65 necks.
     
  6. Duane_the_tub

    Duane_the_tub Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,052
    Likes Received:
    3,470
    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Possibly, but in my experience those are significantly harder to find, and more $.
     
  7. Duane_the_tub

    Duane_the_tub Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,052
    Likes Received:
    3,470
    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    I agree with this. The neck profile on my '65 is considered chunky, but in reality it's somewhere between an R0 and R9 profile. Very comfortable.
     
  8. bossaddict

    bossaddict @david.beason on IG Premium Member

    Messages:
    6,806
    Likes Received:
    9,174
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2013
    My '64 that I used to have was chunky, but sort of a '59 type profile. My '65 is a baseball bat.
     
    Kris Ford likes this.
  9. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    465
    Joined:
    May 6, 2017
    How thick is the '65 baseball bat neck? (And is it narrow or wide?)
     
  10. bossaddict

    bossaddict @david.beason on IG Premium Member

    Messages:
    6,806
    Likes Received:
    9,174
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2013
    It's the wide 1 11/16" nut width. I just measured it and the thicknesses are actually a little less than I expected...

    1st fret: 0.824
    7th fret: 0.918"
    12th fret: 0.995"
     
  11. tigger

    tigger Senior Member

    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    465
    Joined:
    May 6, 2017
    Thanks! My early '65 is only ~.75 at the first fret, I'm almost wondering if someone didn't sand it down actually.
     
  12. fernieite

    fernieite Senior Member

    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    49
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Thanks guys!

    Btw, the general consensus seems to be saying that these have a wide neck, but isn't it the same width as a regular Les Paul? (1 11/16" at the nut)

    Also, what was done on the 63's and on that made the necks more stable? And, are the 61 and 62's really all that flimsy? [​IMG]

    Btw, .080 or so at the 1st fret doesn't seem very thick to me. Sounds great actually....:dude:
     
    Duane_the_tub likes this.
  13. fernieite

    fernieite Senior Member

    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    49
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Well, I'm on the hunt for a nice early les Paul junior now (SG)

    I've come across an early 62 that looks nice, but has had a pro headstock repair. I haven't seen it yet, but the guy wants $2400 US. Is all original, with case and (non-zig-zag/lightning bar) wraparound bridge. Setup and plays great with healthy original frets. Faded cherry finish.

    Is a "nearly invisible" pro repaired headstock break a deal breaker for most people? If not, is that price reasonable in your opinion? Thanks.
     
  14. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Senior Member

    Messages:
    573
    Likes Received:
    290
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2014
    Here's the truth about SG neck joints; there is no difference in strength until 1967. The changes made before then were entirely cosmetic. Not only that, but the "weakness" was very much overblown to begin with. The tenon on an early '60s SG spanned the entire width of the neck. Ted McCarty & co. were not idiots, they knew that design would require a substantial mortise/tenon design (also, when they moved to the bulkier late '60s heel design, the tenon shrunk to almost nothing). Better yet, you are looking for a Junior, which has no wood routed out of the tenon for a neck pickup. Those are the strongest SG joints you will find, period.

    But I have to say, if you are buying a guitar based on how strong the neck joint is, you are playing them horribly wrong! SGs are fine instruments and are to be treated as such. You wouldn't call a Stradivarius "flimsy", would you?

    Necks were sanded by hand, so you will find just about any variation imaginable within any given year. Width, however, had a standard specification, which changed to 1 5/8" in 1964 and 1 9/16" in 1965.
     
    fernieite likes this.

Share This Page