If you REALLY know your LP Juniors...read on

truckermde

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I’m leaning towards not factory original, but well done mod work by someone competent. Especially in a time when guitars were frequently getting modded with chisels and jigsaws etc...

But yeah, given the era anythings possible.
I think I agree with you :thumb:
 

ARandall

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I have an 85 SG with the switch above the 4 pots (sort of behind the tailpiece). They already had routing patterns and full 1 piece cavity covers for that sort of arrangement at the time of this guitars build date. So it would make no sense for the factory to have done it any other way.
 

kevin_uk

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Here's some more pictures. As I said, it definitely started out as a regular LPJ from that era 1987 and as you can see the control cavity started as stock and then was enlarged. Add to that the extra cavity for the toggle switch. The pots were originally all the same with the same markings but I've changed 2 of them that were scratchy beyond redemption. I'm absolutely convinced the guitar has not been resprayed ever. I've had the guitar for 10 years and the other day I managed to track down the previous owner. He's now 78yo and bought the guitar for his son who ended up going onto drums so they sold the guitar. They had it for around 5 years so I can trace it back 15 years. Whether this thing ever did come out of a Gibson factory like as as an experiment, a custom order, an employee's own work it's hard to say. Do the photos reveal anything more. PS truss rod is perfect, works as it should and looks 'Gibson'. Serial number is also correct.
 

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BADMAN67

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1st picture shows definately not Gibson made. Gibson would of fitted a soapbar there. No way would they dig a dog ear down as shown. I didnt realised it was set down into the body like that till I saw this picture.
Also, 5th picture , routing for pots isn't the way Gibson would of done it. It also looks like there's no finish on the route walls? It's been modded after leaving factory without a doubt.
 
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kevin_uk

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The neck dog ear pick up had no choice but to be set down into the body like that or it would have fouled the strings. There ARE some flecks of yellow and black paint in that triangle neck pickup cavity and I can't see how it could have been routed like that AND not refinished. Hard to see on camera but the edge of the routing has a slight run of rounded paint around the edge. Only answer there is, is that the whole guitar HAS been refinished afte the extra routing but don't see that. I don't know how much paint and finish I expected to see in the control cavity as I've never seen inside another Junior guitar. In general, it seems a lot of work and a lot of money to pay someone to do this kind of aftermarket work just for a neck pickup?
 

BADMAN67

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This is why Gibson would of used a soapbar p90 in the neck position as they are adjustable within the correct route. They wouldn't recess a dog ear p90 like this. Doesn't look to be refinished? Looks exactly like my 87 single cuts burst
Screenshot_2020-09-14-15-53-40.png

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Cjsinla

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The neck dog ear pick up had no choice but to be set down into the body like that or it would have fouled the strings. There ARE some flecks of yellow and black paint in that triangle neck pickup cavity and I can't see how it could have been routed like that AND not refinished. Hard to see on camera but the edge of the routing has a slight run of rounded paint around the edge. Only answer there is, is that the whole guitar HAS been refinished afte the extra routing but don't see that. I don't know how much paint and finish I expected to see in the control cavity as I've never seen inside another Junior guitar. In general, it seems a lot of work and a lot of money to pay someone to do this kind of aftermarket work just for a neck pickup?
Bingo! It’s been routed and refinished. The routing was done after it left the factory, you can tell by the drill bit holes in the control cavity. You seem to be quite invested in believing that your guitar is a rare one-off. Gibson was not doing that in those days. And there’s no money in setting up their jigs for a one-off, they run groups of guitars at a time.
 

kevin_uk

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Bingo! It’s been routed and refinished. The routing was done after it left the factory, you can tell by the drill bit holes in the control cavity. You seem to be quite invested in believing that your guitar is a rare one-off. Gibson was not doing that in those days. And there’s no money in setting up their jigs for a one-off, they run groups of guitars at a time.
No, I really don't want to give the impression I want this to be a rare Gibson one off. However, I am very curious as to how it's current configuration came about and for me there are signs both ways that a) it came out of the factory like this (reasons unknown) or b) the work was done at a later stage. Personally I'm still undecided and I've appreciated everyone's input and comment...which was what I hoped for by posting this thread. The extra routing looks a bit bludgeoned in one place as I mentioned right at the start but I still can't work out how it was done and the guitar NOT refinished. That's one thing I'm convinced of holding the guitar in my hands, it has NOT been refinished. Any ideas?
 

Cjsinla

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No, I really don't want to give the impression I want this to be a rare Gibson one off. However, I am very curious as to how it's current configuration came about and for me there are signs both ways that a) it came out of the factory like this (reasons unknown) or b) the work was done at a later stage. Personally I'm still undecided and I've appreciated everyone's input and comment...which was what I hoped for by posting this thread. The extra routing looks a bit bludgeoned in one place as I mentioned right at the start but I still can't work out how it was done and the guitar NOT refinished. That's one thing I'm convinced of holding the guitar in my hands, it has NOT been refinished. Any ideas?
It has been refinished. That’s the only way you get paint in those areas that were routed after it left the factory. Did you post any pics of the front and back of the headstock?
 

kevin_uk

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It has been refinished. That’s the only way you get paint in those areas that were routed after it left the factory. Did you post any pics of the back of the headstock?
No I didn't. What would I be looking for on a refinished guitar in that area? BTW, whoever did the refinish, if that's true, got the sunburst colour and amount absolutely 100% right. Incredible job. I've compared the finish with another 80's reissue like this and I cannot tell any difference. Still don't understand why anyone would pay for an aftermarket job like this? It's not an expensive or particularly special guitar and it would have been cheaper to just to sell it and buy some sort of Junior with twin pickups. Plenty to choose from. The work must have cost more than the guitar's worth?! Ridiculous.
 

BADMAN67

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I think its just been touched up rather than refinished. Its a distinctive finish which i think would be hard to replicate. Someone will have just touched up the dark paint in the fresh route.If Gibson has installed the second p90 at point of manufacture, it would have the same 87 flatter squared texture cover like the bridge cover,not the smooth rounded more vintage one the neck cover appears to be.They would, however, fitted a soapbar p90 rather than recess a dogear. The rear would of been routed like a special with correct cover. Why would they go to the trouble of making standard pot and switch covers 'fit' when special cover and route would be easier and more appropriate The route is messy in places and missing finish. Gibson would have finished the cavity.Definitely modded after leaving factory. Could be owner or luthier done but absolutely not factory. I would of thought a luthier would of refinished the routes ,which makes me think owner modded. If in doubt email Gibson pics and specs and see what they say. Be interesting to see what's happening under the scratchplate?
 
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flatrockmobile

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"Someone will have just touched up the dark paint in the fresh route. "

Agreed. So around the edges of the covers, you wouldn't see bare wood.
Unique and well done though.
 

BADMAN67

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Can we see it with the scratchplate off? I'm proper curious to see if there's anything modded under there? It's an interesting guitar for sure
 

kevin_uk

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I think its just been touched up rather than refinished. Its a distinctive finish which i think would be hard to replicate. Someone will have just touched up the dark paint in the fresh route.If Gibson has installed the second p90 at point of manufacture, it would have the same 87 flatter squared texture cover like the bridge cover,not the smooth rounded more vintage one the neck cover appears to be.They would, however, fitted a soapbar p90 rather than recess a dogear. The rear would of been routed like a special with correct cover. Why would they go to the trouble of making standard pot and switch covers 'fit' when special cover and route would be easier and more appropriate The route is messy in places and missing finish. Gibson would have finished the cavity.Definitely modded after leaving factory. Could be owner or luthier done but absolutely not factory. I would of thought a luthier would of refinished the routes ,which makes me think owner modded. If in doubt email Gibson pics and specs and see what they say. Be interesting to see what's happening under the scratchplate?
I'll get under the scratchplate ASAP and see what's happening. I think we need the full info here. Thanks.
 

kevin_uk

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Can we see it with the scratchplate off? I'm proper curious to see if there's anything modded under there? It's an interesting guitar for sure
Definitely. I'll get it pulled apart soon and see what's revealed. It does make me laugh though why someone would go to these lengths to add an extra pickup to THIS guitar. More trouble than it's worth...however, it's one of the best sounding neck pickups in my bunch of guitars. I use this pickup on THIS guitar more than any other and without it I would have ditched this Junior long ago. Still a great sounding guitar but not for me with just one pickup.
 

bum

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The routing in the control cavity seems to have been done with a series of circular drill bits, you can see the centre punch hole and surrounding circular pattern, I don't think Gibson uses this method.
I think overall it's a great job and beautiful guitar but that stuck out to me, reminds me of when I tried fixing our kitchen drawers and had to drill multiple holes, because I am an idiot.
 

bum

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it seems a lot of work and a lot of money to pay someone to do this kind of aftermarket work just for a neck pickup?
If I found a Junior I really loved I absolutely would go to these lengths to make it a more rounded guitar, the thought of a neck P90 like this filling my soul with rich warm tones just thinking about it.
My local luthier would charge maybe £100 to do this
 

endial

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The routing in the control cavity seems to have been done with a series of circular drill bits, you can see the centre punch hole and surrounding circular pattern, I don't think Gibson uses this method.
I think overall it's a great job and beautiful guitar but that stuck out to me, reminds me of when I tried fixing our kitchen drawers and had to drill multiple holes, because I am an idiot.
Forstner bit.

1600845989185.png
 

kevin_uk

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If I found a Junior I really loved I absolutely would go to these lengths to make it a more rounded guitar, the thought of a neck P90 like this filling my soul with rich warm tones just thinking about it.
My local luthier would charge maybe £100 to do this
It costs £150-200 in the UK just for a re-fret!
 

kevin_uk

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Right....it's an after market job as almost everyone has said but done remarkably well when you look at all the detail. I've had the guitar for 10 years and just thought it was a regular model until a couple of years ago. Attached are some under scratch plate photos and it looks like after the neck pickup routing it had some hand work to feed the pickup cable through. Looking under an ultra violet light reveals a little more as you can see touch up witness marks with paint around the routing edges but it looks the exact paint. I couldn't photograph this. When you take it all in with the control cavity routing, the back plates and everything else it's great work in my opinion and a fabulous sounding guitar. Personally...I wonder if it was done by anyone connected to Gibson and there are several reasons I think that. I recently managed to go back 2 previous owners another 10 years and neither knows anything about the mods and thought the guitar was stock as I did. It was never sold as anything other than a regular Junior so I'm not sure the work was ever done in my home country UK. Thanks to you all for your learned contributions...although I still thinks there's something else to know regarding how this guitar came to be.
 

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