what to do with a modded 61 double cut?

pumpkinbread

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
9
I've got a 61 les paul jr double cut, originally tv yellow, now black. The p90 was removed, and a pair of humbuckers from an es-335, I beleive were installed in it around 1974. I bought it in 1975 and have owned and played it since. Now I'm wondering if I should return it to stock single p90 or leave it as is and just refet and return paint to the tv yellow? It has the original color in the control cavity, so I can color match that.

picture shows, when i tried an lp jr pickguard on it to see if the screw holes matched up, which they did, which helped me to figure out it was an
lp jr before surgery. note the pickguard is covering the neck pickup which is the same style humbucker as the bridge.

The frets are pretty worn, so I'm going to have replace them and it has some buckle rash thats worn off the paint on the back in spots, so I might as well get it repainted. I kinda like the humbuckers, they have a bell like tone when played clean. I'll probably sell it in a few years when I retire and thin the herd. So I'd like to keep some resale value on it, but I'd prefer to leave the pickups as they are. The wraparound tail piece was removed, the holes plugged and it was replaced with the 60's style tunomatic bridge and tail stop, bridge has the wire and nylon saddles.

when the neck pup was added the controls were modded to add 2nd volume and tone, and 3 way blade switch. so kind heavily modded, basically they took a lp jr double cut and made an lp double cut out of it. They added Grover tuners, it was the early 70's and Kluson wasn't happening for the rockers then. one Piece mahogany body, original neck and headstock never broken. But electronics completely changed. Paid 400$ with case - a purple lined hardshell gibson case, not the cardboard alligator case.

so restore it? or just touch it up and keep on playing it?
photo.JPG
 

BadPenguin

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2015
Messages
1,460
Reaction score
1,495
Just touch it up. you've been playing since when? 75? Longer then most of the people here have been alive. So why do such a radical change to a guitar you already love?
 

pumpkinbread

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
9
Yeah its got beautiful grain, I'm tempted to strip it and just put a couple coats of clear on it. I was just gonna refret it, but started trying to figure out what it was, could never find another les paul with switch and knob layout like this one, finally realized it was a jr with mods. I've got a couple guitars with p90's and I like them, but I think I prefer the humbuckers on this guitar.. so maybe just dress the lady up a bit and leave her as an example of a 70's custom of a not particularly desirable les paul at the time.
 

dmac in SC

Platinum Supporting Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
241
Reaction score
513
I would just retire the guitar
 

crashbelt

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
29
Reaction score
68
I'd leave it as the product of its history - it'll have some value when you sell it as it is.

Restoration would be a very big job and unlikely to payback economically.
 

jeggz

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2008
Messages
3,899
Reaction score
3,861
If it were mine, I’d plug the extra holes, add some more black and play it as is.
 

Deftone

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Messages
14,895
Reaction score
16,074
I like it. I'd leave be. Get a fret job and wear it out.

I have a '67 (my birth year) that's similar. Routed for humbuckers, stop tailpiece, painted and re-painted, etc... Already had a nice fret job when I got it. I routed the neck pickup cavity a little bit larger for a P-90, put some anchors in for the T.O.M., bought a new pickguard and some Wolfetone P-90's and replaced the cheapo hardware. It's a sweet little player and sounds mean as hell. I love it.

IMG_1947a.JPG
 

mdubya

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
21,683
Reaction score
37,334
Play it and be happy. There is little to no value in doing anything more to it. JMHO.
 

58 special

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
478
Reaction score
251
Take a look at the humbuckers . if they've been in there since 74. from a 335 they may be PAF's.
Then your junior is suddenly tripled in value.
 

none2low

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
692
Reaction score
748
I don't know if it's just the angle, but the horns and neck transition look strange to me. Again, maybe it's just the angle, but they appear either modified or heavily over sanded to my eye.

As for restoration. Given that it has no original parts to speak of, I would lean towards leaving it as is and continue to enjoy it for what it is. I genuinely don't see much being gained in the value to cost equation returning it to almost stock appearance.
 

pumpkinbread

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
9
it has one original pot. the remainder is all late 60's early 70's. The trim plates on the humbuckers are angled indicating they came off of an archtop guitar. They have the pat# pickups with the sticker style like the PAF. The wiring is the plastic covered as used in the archtops, not the shielded groundwire covered style used in les pauls.

I'm sure it has been sanded a little, the original color was tv yellow, then it was painted cherry red, then black. by the colors in the control cavity..
lp.dc.fret.neck_cavity_rsz.jpg
 

none2low

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
692
Reaction score
748
I may be mistaken, but I don't believe the insulated leads showed up until 1970/71ish? Perhaps somebody can confirm that. Your pickup ring looks like it could be an M8, but I can't make out any numbers in the pic.

Does the neck pickup have any feedback/squealing issues? I'd be surprised if it doesn't given the missing bobbin screws.
 

pumpkinbread

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
9
you probably know more than I on the leads, my working theory was someone worked in a music store and had a damaged gibson archtop or one somebody wanted upgraded, and they used the pickups, 3 pots and the 3 way switch along with the bridge from the archtop to "upgrade" the les paul jr double cut, into a more (for that time) contemporary Les paul. All the parts are either genuine gibson or components from suppliers they used (ie the pots) I think the newer pots date code 73 or 74, so I would think the pups are that vintage, I don' know when they started stamping the patent numbers on them and stopped using the labels.

It doesn't feedback terribly, it must have had some grounding issues (hum), they added a wire from the cavity to the tailstop. Course I haven't run it through a tube amp in around 30 years, mostly use a roland micro cube modded for recording with some switches.
 

pumpkinbread

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
9
well I got to thinkin about the Es-335 pups, and pots and decided to check out the wiring diagrams and looked at a 73 vintage harness, and sure enough, mine is wired just like the es-335 diagram with the same pots and caps and switch. minus the one vintage 1961 pot. Anybody know if they used black cloth covered wire for the output jack on the 60's les pauls? Thats what mine is..

Here's a 1973 harness with week 25 pots (so june 1973) - mine are week 35 , so august 1973 for the harness in my les paul double cut. The AB1 bridge and the stop were also common to the es335, so I think somebody gutted an es-335 and loaded it all on board this double cut.

1973_week25.es335.harness.jpg
1973_sg_es335.harness.ebay.jpg
 


Latest Threads



Top