NGD - 2020 Les Paul Junior

vibroluxe

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Been wondering about these for a long time. Lots of players love ‘em and say they are very versatile despite the obvious - 1 pickup, 1 volume and 1 tone. Well, one came along at a good price and I jumped on it to play around with it and see what all the talk was about. Guitar and case were immaculate, neck is beefy but not overly so and it’s got the wrap tailpiece that I am appreciating more these days on my specials. It’s an original series instrument, not a custom shop.

Long story short - played it at rehearsal last night and it sounded great. Very sweet sounding when needed but snarled when you cranked the volume. Messed with volume and tone as I expected to get different sounds and stepped on a pedal when I needed something a bit different

However, i was wondering how players on the forum felt about a couple of things. The tone control makes very subtle cuts to the treble. I found myself playing with it at about 2 1/2 - 3 most of the night. At 2, all the treble dropped out for essentially what I’d call “woman tone”. You guys have any success playing with pot values and caps on these? Currently has an orange drop

Also, this has black top hats. Originals had gold bonnets I believe so I’m changing that if I keep it and also the 3 ply truss rod cober. I believe these originally had 1 ply black covers.

Not a big fan of the washers around the tuning bushings but hey, it’s not a custom shop piece and the tuners work fine.

Here’s a pick of it next to my 60‘s Melody Maker. Just wanted to see how the sunbursts compared. Pretty close with the Jr being just a touch darker. And the new guitar’s finish is a bit too shiny. Shouldn’t be a problem, I’ll VOS it myself by playing it out

Very cool and great playing piece - at this point, definitely a keeper

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icantshred

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Nice pair!

I got an SG Junior recently. I keep the tone really low. Maybe around 2 or 3. It gets that vocal Jeff Beck-esque quality without going quite into woman-tone. I keep the volume backed off a bit most of the time. I've tried a couple OD's, but I think they take something away.

It's my first P90 and I've found how and where I play makes all the difference. There's a lot of sensitivity in that little dog ear! I've been using a heavier pick than normal (a 1.5mm D'Andrea 330 as opposed to a M or H celluloid) and using my fingers more too.

Barely touching the strings to really digging in changes things a lot. There's quite a few places on the knobs combined with your touch that give cool sounds.

I haven't had the chance to run it through my Vox yet, but I bet a cranked AC and twiddling the knobs would offer about all the dynamics and tones I could ask for.

I haven't tried pots or caps or anything else yet. I was considering trying '50s wiring, but I've been happy so far. Except for the hum....It seems more significant than on my Fenders. It hasn't been severe enough for me to break out the NS-2 yet though.

Sounds like you're enjoying it! I think the more you experiment, the more it will open to you.
 

johan.b

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Change the tone pot wiring to 50s to get maximum out of it. At least mine came with modern wiring.
I usually prefer modern wiring but on a 1 pickup guitar, this allows for more tonal variations with the interaction of the pots.
I also changed the tone pot on mine to 250k, to match the response of my vintage 1960 dc junior. I don't know why they make a big deal of "handwiring" the controls.. it's two pots and a cap... there is no need to change the tone pot, all the tones are there anyway. But you might find the first half of the rotation does nothing. I want when it "start to happen" to be spread out over the whole rotation for easier finding the sweet spots.

Like you, I don't like the look of the big washers... they're sort of brash and makes the head look bigger. I replaced them with 12x8x1 mm aluminum ones to approach a vintage look. They're really high pressure feul line gaskets, but it works..
there are bushing conversations you can buy. But you won't find them here in Sweden and with shipping, taxes and tolls, they'd be ridiculous expensive for what they are. my way costed less than a 1$/€/£
A bit vain, I know. But it's my guitar.. I'll do what I want to it.. ha ha

They're great guitars and I love mine.
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icantshred

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I want when it "start to happen" to be spread out over the whole rotation for easier finding the sweet spots.
Did changing to '50s wiring make this happen? That's the same effect I'm looking for.
 

johan.b

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Did changing to '50s wiring make this happen? That's the same effect I'm looking for.
No, that's the 250k tone pot. But I still suggest you go with 50s wiring since you only have one pickup on a jr. You'll get more different tones out of it.
J

Ps. My "show-off tonal trick" with jr's is setting my marshall for a good "classic rock" sound. Then turning both volume and tone down to ~3. Then in a band setting, you could fake an acoustic guitar ... gets people attention every time. But that only works with 50s wiring
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