Junior Experts - Help Buy First Gibson

DAKnox

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I've been gigging Fenders for 20 years! Now I have a Tele as my number 1 and a Strat as a back-up/alternative.

I've been GAS'ing for a Junior but it looks like the 2016 line-up does not include one so I will be looking at used (which I might have done anyway for the right guitar).

I'm not around Gibson forums (spend my time on TDRI!) so I'm not familiar with what to look out for at all.

So would any Junior owners/fans care to offer some buying advice?

Are there any particular years to look out for? I know specs can change over the years.

Thanks.
 

Lloyd_m

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I'm not a really a Junior expert, but I am a fan :thumb:.

I have a 2015 Junior. I like it. It's a littlle bright with the tone all up, but still a rock machine.
About: They're on the cheap right now (I've seen them as low as 500€ new with the case), but they have the 2015 specs (funny headstock scroll, automatic tuners, gold case, larger neck).
I like these specs but It looks like I'm part of the 0,1% who does...


I have a 2012 Billie Joe Armstrong Junior. It's great! Great sounds (not as much range as the 2015, but still good).
About: Slim tapper neck, classic looks (plus the accurate neck talon, and non-compensated wraparound bridge). Comes with an amazing case.
Regarding the price, the used ones usually sell around 1100€. I got mine brand new for 1000€ last year. The white ones came with an ebony board if you care about that kind of stuff.

I had a 2011 Faded Junior. Nice little guitar. Came with a Gig bag. Got it used for 500€.

You could also get a Custom Shop Junior if you have the budget, but I don't know a lot about them. They're a little bit pricier, but you can find them used for around 1400€.

So it's gonna all depend on your tastes:
- What budget?
- Do you want a "period correct" Junior?
- What neck profile?
- What color?
- What type of fingerboard?
- You don't give a penny about all that, and just want the Junior that will feel right for you? (=> You'll have to try as much Juniors as you can)

Hope it helps a little bit.
 

rjshare

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Neck profile is your starting point, there are a heck of a lot more thin necked juniors out there than fat. They come in gloss and satin finishes but there are no hard and fast rules as to what finishes and profiles were made in which years.

I was after a 50s neck Jr for ages and eventually bought a 2009 a couple of months ago. I already have a satin finish 60s necked one which I can't play for more than ten minutes because those slim taper necks just don't work in my hands.

The bottom line is that you will have to be patient and you really need to try before you buy. The good thing is that once you get one that you like then they are THE coolest guitars in the world!
 

LPJNoob

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I have a 2011 Satin White Junior...amazing guitar.
 

Cjsinla

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What is it about Jrs that you like? Tell us what features you like and we can help you. I personally like fat necks and P90 pups. But I also prefer Specials to Jrs because they are more versatile to me. I like wrap-around bridges and I don't care that the intonation is not exact.
 

zendriveseven

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No expert here, but I bought a 2001 Junior that was killer. I should've never sold it. They can be found fairly cheap these days. I paid $799 for it. I've played some of the newer (non custom shop) ones, but they just don't have the same feel, vibe or tone.
 

DAKnox

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What is it about Jrs that you like? Tell us what features you like and we can help you. I personally like fat necks and P90 pups. But I also prefer Specials to Jrs because they are more versatile to me. I like wrap-around bridges and I don't care that the intonation is not exact.
What I like is the simplicity of 1 pick-up and limiting myself to pull all the tones out of that one pick-up. I also fancy a P90 - I like single coils and I think the bite of a P90 will be a great option for me.

I had a Baja tele with a bit of a baseball bat neck which I didn't bond with. My tele now is a 60's style neck so is on the thin side. So I'd probably lean towards the thinner necks.

The obstacle is that they don't seem to be in the 2016 line-up. I don't like what I have seen of the 2015 specs. So I will be going used. I definitely try before I buy so I'm left with Gumtree. In Scotland right now there are only 3 for sale on Gumtree so I think patience will be the key!
 

Cjsinla

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The Jrs they made just a few years ago would probably fit what you are talking about. They have a real P90 and slimmer necks. They also usually have a TOM bridge but some have just a lightning compensated tail piece. The custom shop ones have the fat necks and are much more expensive.
 

DAKnox

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There's a 2011 I might take a look at but I'm finding it hard to find specs for different years. I see satins and gloss ones. Are they all Nitro? Did Gibson ever use Poly like Fender?

I'd quite like a wrap-around bridge - seems more traditional to me?
 

rjshare

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No, there are no poly finish gibson Jr's.

You are lucky in liking thin necks as you will have more to chose from - including the Billy Joe Armstrong (green day) model which although being more expensive does come with a très cool leopard skin lined hard case.
 

Lucidsounds

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The gloss ones from 2011 are great guitars - I have one in Tobacco Sunburst. When I bought it, I first tried the satin (vintage gloss) finish and it just sounded a bit, well, dull. The gloss one was (and is) an absolute tone monster by comparison.
 

endial

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No, there are no poly finish gibson Jr's.

You are lucky in liking thin necks as you will have more to chose from -
^^^This.

Personal opinion? Not to disagree totally with Lucidsounds' post, but I would put
more emphasis on the wraparound bridge than I would the finish. I've heard
a few (okay, a couple) of the satins' and they are perfectly representative of a
decent Junior "sound".

-No offense Lucid.
 


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