'50s Les Paul Junior modded by Strings n Things

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by sangandongo, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. sangandongo

    sangandongo V.I.P. Member

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    Thought I'd share in the Vintage section what I initially started talking to others about in the Norlin section.

    I came across a guitar on CraigsList advertised as a Strings n Things Les Paul made by Tom Keckler. After showing it to our fellow forum friends, 27Sauce suggested it might be a Junior from the 50s. I soon started doing my own research and came to the same conclusion.

    50s LP Jr. + Strings n Things = Good!

    So, after a few days waiting for responses from the seller, I finally was able to pin down a time to go look at the guitar more directly. During this time I was in contact with Chris Lovell from Strings n Things in Memphis.

    He said "Yes, this looks like our work from the late 70s to early 80s." He asked for more pics, which I sent to him after I got it home today.



    Here are the pics.


    https://picasaweb.google.com/sangandongo/195XStringsNThingsModifiedLesPaulJunior#

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    Nice taper...

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    Nice shape...

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    In person, you can tell on the bridge route where the original P-90 route was.

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    Ah, yeah - that's what I needed to see in order to be sure. The truss nut and the shape of the truss route are right and line up where they should...

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    Good angle.

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    You can see the plug where the original wrap around bridge was. No matter what angle I turned the guitar, I couldn't show the same thing on the bass side, but upon very close inspection I could see the other plug.

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    Note on this one that the top edge of the route is straight, just like that of a Junior would have been, since there would have only been two knobs. The pots date to 1978, fifth week, which gels with what the seller had told me.

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    Sloppy routing for the switch - bid deal though. :)
     
  2. vulture

    vulture Senior Member

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    Nice one off you got. Classy enough to savor but another nick won't break your heart. Gonna' keep it like it is?
     
  3. atheos

    atheos Senior Member

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    good score, what's in store for this guitar?
     
  4. sangandongo

    sangandongo V.I.P. Member

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    Hard to say. Being a Strings n Things mod, it might be worth more than a standard home-brew mod, simply due to their influence with their '70s Burst reissues, but aside from the significantly cleaner routes, it's no much better than a home brewed mod.

    I am rather broke at the moment, so restoring this to its original state is out of the question.

    The guitar plays rather well. The old Duncans sound really nice and growl through my Magnatone 112 unlike any of my other guitars. The neck is fast, though 50s thick, but definitely not a baseball bat like some of the other 50's I've played.

    The scripty logo and inlay are cool, and the all white look is rather unique, though I have to say I'm not a fan of all white Les Pauls. (I have a white Firebird V and a white '62 Jaguar, so it's not the color per se).

    For now I'm going to hold tight and play it. If I find that it has some sort of significant value, I might consider selling it or trading it for something. As it stands, the guitar is rather cool and I'd be hard pressed to find another 50s Les Paul for a similar price.

    What do you all suggest?
     
  5. calvin1

    calvin1 Senior Member

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    it is cool
     
  6. HeeBGB

    HeeBGB Senior Member

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    Nice Score! Just for kicks and giggles....you should call Lays guitar and see what it would cost to restore it. They did mine for what I thought was very inexpensive cost wise but did a great job.
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  7. sangandongo

    sangandongo V.I.P. Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion, I will check them out. The work they did to yours is stunning! I can't believe someone put a kahler or floyd on a Junior! :) There were some seriously silly things done to guitars in the 70s and 80s.

    I am going to keep researching and try to figure out whether it's better to keep it as an SnT mod or take it back to its original state. It's so hard to find specific SnT info though, aside from the direct contact I've had with the owner.
     
  8. Danelectro

    Danelectro V.I.P. Member

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    Cool guitar at a bargain price! I modded my '56 Junior in a similar fashion when I was in high school back in 1977 (don't shudder too much, it had been already been stripped of its finish and chiseled for a humbucker by a prior owner). I think yours would look much better if you swapped out the gold hardware with nickel and the cream plastic with black. I can make a Junior style pickguard for it if you're interested.

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  9. sangandongo

    sangandongo V.I.P. Member

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    DanElectro -

    That's a killer looking axe. I love the way it looks with that pick guard. Cool mods, I am not cringing at all. Typically I'm a purist about guitars and keeping them the way they were made, but once it's done, it's done!

    I agree with you that the all gold hardware is sort of funky looking. I wonder what color the bobbins under the pickup covers are. I'll look into that later.

    I just got back an email from Chris Lovell at Strings n Things after sending him the pics he requested and he gave a final confirmation on the guitar saying that they only ever put this type logo on the flat topped Les Pauls. Here is the email:

    I'm pretty sure he's wrong about it being a Special, simply because it's missing the neck binding and because they wouldn't have had to do special routing in the pickup cavity.

    Edit: Just found this on ebay. S&T sure loved to modify Juniors: http://cgi.ebay.com/Gibson-1970-Str...5?pt=Guitar&hash=item1e625f439b#ht_9166wt_907
     
  10. cryptozoo

    cryptozoo Senior Member

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    Cool score! I definitely don't think you overpaid, especially if it plays well.
     
  11. riffsmachine

    riffsmachine Senior Member

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    Nice thread! Nice guitar! Nice info!:jam:
     
  12. jimi55lp

    jimi55lp Senior Member

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    Nice score! It looks like it would be a very nice player the way it is now, so take your time and price around for the restoration. Lays is a good suggestion.
     
  13. JJ Blair

    JJ Blair Senior Member

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    Never, ever, ever restore a Strings and Things. There are people who collect them, including a friend of mine. I'm emailing you now.
     
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  14. Cookie-boy

    Cookie-boy Senior Member

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    I agree with JJ, same as John Birch stuff. It has moved into it's own orbit and to convert it back would devalue it in my opinion. :thumb:
     
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  15. sangandongo

    sangandongo V.I.P. Member

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    Glad to hear that. That was my gut feeling as well.

    Follow up from Chris Lovell:
     
  16. jimi55lp

    jimi55lp Senior Member

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    See what I meant by take your time, you couldn't get me interested in that guitar in its altered state for anything over what you paid, but post a photo on the net and find theres folks that collect them like it is!! You did good, as long as you want to sell it or like the way it is now. Feel the waters first and be sure what you want to do with it, but it looks like you can't miss either way you go! Great find.
     
  17. sangandongo

    sangandongo V.I.P. Member

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    I have decided to Ebay this thing. I'm going to price it as if it were a modded Junior with a bit of history. I imagine if I start the bidding at $3,200 and put a BIN a couple grand higher, I might get some interest. The guitar plays and sounds amazing, but I'm tight on cash right now and I haven't grown critically attached to it yet. Might as well sell it to someone who'll enjoy it.
     
  18. spiderdeluxe

    spiderdeluxe Member

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    very cool
     
  19. cherrick

    cherrick Senior Member

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    Please put up the Ebay link when you list it.

    I'd like to follow this to see what it eventually sells for.
     
  20. sangandongo

    sangandongo V.I.P. Member

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    Sure thing. Probably won't be until Thursday or Sunday. I wonder if my price is way off base. Guess we'll find out, no? :)
     

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