'57 LP Jr Custom Shop w/ unique features... anyone have a clue?

kjazz1958

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
I've had this guitar since about 2005. As I was looking to list it for sale, I found myself very confused trying to ID what exactly it is. It appears to be a '57 Reissue Les Paul Junior, made by the Custom Shop. But... some of the features are unlike any other I've seen (after extensive searches, and wasted calls to Gibson, who are of no help). The serial # is blank ink (not the white ones), like other Les Pauls I've owned, like a Classic Prerium Plus from the 90's. 9 8984 would seem to date the guitar to 1998... which was the 1st year of the Historic Reissue '57 LP Jr. (The new model that costs $3500 is called a VOS). But the front of headstock says, "Les Paul Model", not "Les Paul Junior" like all others. The truss rod cover is not the usual black, but rather, a 2-play black/white. It also has a PEARL Gibson logo, not the typical gold decal/silkscreened logo. And... this one has factory Grover tuners!... I swear they are not replaced-- there are no extra holes (totally different lineup than the usual 3x3 strip tuner Klusons). No routing, either. Most the reissues I've seen have gold knobs... mine are black (easily changed). It resides in the black Historic Custom Art case. No paperwork back then (COA). And I could not read any pot code dates-- Gibson embossed covers, but probably CTS pots.

So, I am lost (and I have 35 years of experience identifying, and selling vintage guitars). My best theory is that this was a very early issue in '98, 1st year of issue, and Gibson quickly made some tweaks for most production to make it more "like" the original 1957... the headstock-related items and tuners. My guitar has all of the other features-- the neck width, P-90, bridge, pickguard.

I would welcome other theories!
 

Attachments

VictorB

Formerly LZF
Super Mod
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
41,020
Reaction score
102,586
Have you checked the pot codes?
 

kjazz1958

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Yes. It took some effort, because it was tough to pry off the knobs (original tape holding them on). I was able to get one Gibson pot visible on the side. It's a 1998 500K pot manufactured for Gibson (Gibson embossed on top): "98-44070500".
 

kjazz1958

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
So.... no one else out there has a Historic/Custom Shop Reissue 1998 LP Jr??
 

mudface

Boo Bee
Premium Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
9,146
Reaction score
28,513
That serial font looks weird to me.... and that format would make this a 58 reissue made in ‘99.... if this serial is correct.

8 9894..... 8 = 58
9 = 1999
894 = production number

Serial looks more like a USA Classic font than a Historic Custom Shop font.

Could be a Custom Shop built USA version of a Junior..... CS Classic Jr of sorts.... I’m just speculating so pay me no mind.
 
Last edited:

ESchmidt

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2015
Messages
715
Reaction score
922

Here is a link to my Reverb ad (sold long ago, just linking for pictures) for what a 1998 ‘57 singlecut custom shop junior would look like. I am quite puzzled on yours, though. The thick inked serial is indicative of the 1990s Classics, but like you said the other features just don’t add up to a production model I have seen. My best guess it may have been a custom order, somebody who sent in a spec list to Gibson of what he wanted.
 

kjazz1958

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Thanks for your replies. Yes, intriguing indeed! I'm savvy enough to know fakes when I see them after owning more than 200 guitars and basically studying them and researching them (it is endless learning and I will still die knowing nada) for over 40 years as a serious player and collector. I just cannot imagine that someone would go to the effort to put together a "parts guitar" here for something like this... now, for a '59 Burst and the like, I never under-estimate the extent that someone might go to do fraud (fake parts, etc). But for this?? I agree that the black-inked font is just like the LP CLassics (I've owned several, and still have a gorgeous '95). THe serial schemes also varied as Mudface hinted-- depending on a "Custom Shop line" (where this serial would be AUG (8), 1989 (9)... as opposed to the LP Classic serials where the 1st digit was the release year. The only other theory is that the guitar was re-necked. But I've emailed the "kids" who do Gibson customer relations (I think average age = 19) and they told me that the serial# is "consistent with a 1998 ’57 Reissue LP Jr, built by the Custom Shop". He also mentioned they now call these "GLOSS" insted of "VOS" (presumably because of the differences in finish sheen). If it was renecked, it was done very professionally-- there is no indication of it (I've have dozens of guitars with reset and repalced necks over the years). But all of the funny features, in reality, are tied to the neck itself.... like you said, it's as if they stuck on (maybe accidently) a different CS LP neck on the Junior! I think my Classics say "Les Paul Classic" on the headstock. Guitars can be mysteries... I just spent hours trying to decipher how this bad boy got to be-- it started as a '76 Thunderbird bass.
 

Attachments



Latest Threads



Top