Modified 1961(?) Les Paul junior (sg) - good buy?

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by yeatzee, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. yeatzee

    yeatzee Senior Member

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    This popped up on my local Craigslist and I'm incredibly intrigued. I've tried researching to see if it's legit based off its serial number but it seems like a cluster during this period to date them off the serial. I haven't been able to find any indication of a 61 with a serial number like its 98320 so I'm giving it up to you smart knowledgeable people to tell me what I'm looking at! The mods looks well done and I'm no collector just a player and I love how unique it is. So what do you guys think?



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  2. yeatzee

    yeatzee Senior Member

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    More pictures. It's got a '72 T top that was installed in 72 apparently. Original frets but they were dressed apparently.

    I'm going to look at it tomorrow anything I should look out for?
     

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  3. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    That's because that is a 1963 SN#...

    Thankfully a repro guard will cover that mess..the Grovers can stay though...
     
  4. yeatzee

    yeatzee Senior Member

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    We'll see what Gibson themselves have to say.

    And screw that, this thing is an awesome one off. Played my first time live with it yesterday and it was amazing. I discovered that the middle position is out of phase so it does that quacky strat-ish Peter Green sound that is just unbelievably cool. Also the neck I found was super useful, the guitar is now more versatile than my other two Gibson's with that really neat single coil vibe in the middle position, rock and role punch from the P90, and smooth warm tones from the humbucker. Im in love with this thing!
     
  5. Nick-O

    Nick-O Senior Member

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    Very cool :cool:
     
  6. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    It's pretty well known that Gibson isn't the best source of info on this era..hell, it's not even the same company as it was then...so as a friendly word of advice, prepare yourself for some misinformation..

    And I am 100% certain that is a '63 SN#.:cool:
    1961 SN#s ended at 42440. Also, the bridge isn't slanted, which ALL '61's were, and should have the compensated "lightning bolt" bridge. (how's intonation..if good, leave what ya got! Otherwise Philadelphia Luthier Tools has a VERY good repro)

    You can also check the pot codes, but Gibson's SN#s were still very reliable at this time. I am VERY confident that this an early '63. Not ANY less as cool as a '61..hell, COOLER because it was one of the last..

    To be honest, you can't get a bad one from '61-'66, and even up to '71..they all rock!
    I have owned my share of hacked up ones too..but they have tons of character, and always sound killer!


    Sound wise, I know it has to sound good, but I would say that aesthetically, it would look better with the chrome cover removed..(you could flip that for some decent $$$, IMO looks bad being upside down..)

    My thought was that most folks might want to restore it, (those mods, good, bad or otherwise are seriously frowned upon in the vintage community..and value takes a devastating hit..however, I am not as critical as some people..), and that was my approach for my first reply..however, this was obviously a very functional tool for someone, and offers many great tones..but I also understand that it works for you, which is cool too!

    Hope the price reflected the mods..these kinds of guitars are often the best way to get into old wood for cheap..:naughty:

    I am a FAN of these 3 legged dogs myself..though I try to bring them back to stock, or at least as close as it can go..I will always leave Grovers though, without refin, the dents left behind look awful..

    Case in point..I scored a early '65 SG Junior for $1099..it had Grovers, a Dimarzio Super 3, a Leo Quan Badass, wrong knobs..missing it's vibrola..it was a mess!
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    So I put a Burstbucker in, the proper knobs, which I had on hand..) Sourced a tailpiece and the missing trem parts...looking better!! (IMO)
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    But I guess the purist in me couldn't stand the fact that it wasn't "right"..so luckily, a dogear cover totally hid the humbucker install..
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    And I more than DOUBLED my money just by doing these simple things..:cool: (but it's NOT about the money to me, it's a passion, ..and the occasional pay-offs are a bonus..)

    I see ones like your new one as a diamond in the rough and enjoy making them 'right" again, but if you enjoy as is, that is cool too!
     
  7. yeatzee

    yeatzee Senior Member

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    Might be worth checking out my ngd-vintage-unique thread with the guitar since this thread is no longer relevant.

    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7870769#post7870769

    I didn't buy it for the year so I don't actually care and as you said '63 just means it was one of the last with the name on the head stock, the only crappy part is that I was sold as it having the original bridge which means im now on the hunt for a lightning bolt style bridge just to keep it a little more accurate.

    Intonation seems fine but I haven't actually checked it since I have no idea how to fiddle with a wraparound. I've just played it and nothings jumped out as off and to be honest I'm afraid to check it now! It does have little allen screws to adjust it a bit but I think I'll leave it for now until I find a replacement.
    The two in the running are the one you pointed out which doesn't say anything about being modified for a modern G string vs wound but the intonation is different than an original:
    http://www.philadelphialuthiertools...zinc-diecast-nickel-without-studs-or-anchors/
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    and the Mojoaxe which was apparently modified for a non-wound G string and looks identical to the above one intonation wise. About $73 vs $28, but the Mojoaxe is aged...hmm

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lightning-B...845229?hash=item27ebfb632d:g:5bEAAOxyg7xSZyK-
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    As for price and the mods, well I got it for $1100 which I think is reasonable even with the new revelations. It sounds great, nothing like my two other Gibson's and it brings a smile to my face every time I even hold the thing so money well spent IMO. Aesthetics are obviously subjective but I think it looks killer as is, the mods were tastefully done (pickguard wasn't hacked somebody took a lot of time cutting out that chunk for the switch) and as a player make it WAY more valuable to me than if it was stock...ESPECIALLY with that middle position which again is the coolest sound I've ever heard. I actually love that the humbucker is the rare '72 stamped t-top and that it was supposedly installed in '72. Whether thats true or not I don't really care but its cool to think and a good conversation starter lol. And for what its worth it sounds pretty good once I dialed back some of the bass-end screws.

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    Anyways theres a picture with it and the rest of my stable (link I posted at the top has the thread with more). Its a weird guitar that has a ton of history no doubt, and I likely wont ever learn any of it but who cares its a keeper! :dude:
     

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