Gibson Les Paul Junior Vintage
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Gibson Les Paul Junior Vintage

Les Paul Junior Vintage, Guitarra de forma Les Paul from Gibson in the Les Paul series.

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content in English
King Loudness 18/03/2011

Gibson Les Paul Junior Vintage : la opinión de King Loudness (content in English)

""Les" is more!"
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The Gibson Les Paul Junior was a guitar that had been on my watchlist for some time. Time and time again I would see many great classic and hard rock musicians using these guitars and I would marvel at the thick and ballsy tone that they got out of slab of mahogany with a since P90. So, when the chance came up to grab one after about ten years of admiring them, I went for it. The details on mine specifically are that is was a 2009 Gibson USA Les Paul Junior Satin in the Worn Cherry finish (It was a matte 'satin' finish that was very soft to the touch.) It had a mahogany body and neck, a rosewood fretboard with 22 frets, Kluson Deluxe "tulip button" tuners, wraparound tailpiece, a single P90 pickup in the bridge position, and it was capped off with just a single set of one volume and one tone control. It certainly isn't the most feature-laden guitar out there, but the versatility that lies within that single pickup and control set is absolutely staggering.

There isn't really much more to be said about the features, so I'll cap if off by saying that a simple guitar will get a simple review of the features! Part of me wished at times that it had a P90 in the neck position as well to maybe add some more versatility, but as stock it sounded really quite good.

UTILIZATION

The design of this guitar is basic Les Paul fare. It's a little bit lighter than the average maple topped Standard (and lacks the binding and some of the other aesthetic accoutrements as well.) As a result of this, the design isn't the most ergonomic in the world. It's a bit more manageable than it's maple topped brethren, but it may still be odd to get used to if you're not normally a Les Paul player. The upper fret access on this guitar was decent. Quite honestly, LP's don't have the greatest upper fret access in the world (not like say, a nice superstrat), but it's not that much of a deal-breaker for me. As a side note, by the time that I sold this guitar, I'd really learned to make it work for me as far as playing it.

I should mention that the whole guitar (not just the body) is finished in a satin/matte lacquer, which makes it very easy to go up and down the neck whether playing rhythm or lead. This factor, combined with the absolutely scorching tone from the P90 pickup made me want to play at warp speed most of the time. That being said, it was extremely easy to get a wide variety of tones from that single pickup. Using my volume and tone controls, I was able to very easily alter the tonal spectrum and go from clean to semi-dirty to full out rock with only the volume control and no channel switching from my amp! A great thing about the P90 pickup is that it combines the dynamics and punch factor of a single coil with the output and balls of a humbucker (in my opinion anyway.) Because of this, I was able to do what I mentioned above. I very rarely had to worry about switching channels or turning effects on or off because I knew I could control the essence of the tones from my guitar... very cool!

SOUNDS

When I had the LP Junior, I was using a whole variety of amps. However, the longest running combination (and one of the best I've had, oddly enough) was that guitar straight into an older Peavey Classic 50 2x12 combo. I was playing in a classic/hard rock band at the time and I found the tones that this rig offered to be exactly what the doctor ordered. It meshed very well in a band mix and provided a great contrast to my main guitar at the time, a Les Paul Traditional Plus. Even as I tried it through different amps (Mesa Studio Preamp, Genz Benz El Diablo 60C, etc), that great raw tone was always there. I found it was best with a nice British voiced high gain tone that would allow me to turn down to about 2-3 to get some semi-clean tones, up to 5-6 for my rhythm tone (think classic Thin Lizzy or Mountain) and then up to 10 for that blast of sheer sonic bliss that served as my lead tone (think classic LA hot rodded Marshall tones... Whitesnake, Ratt, LA Guns, GnR.)

All in all, I felt that the Junior was definitely one of the best sounding guitars that I've owned, and like I stated above, the only thing that I felt would've made it better might have been a neck position P90 pickup just to allow some more tones that might fit the jazzier or smoky blues realm, or even to do some cleaner voiced things... but all in all for being only a one pickup guitar, the amount of tones I was able to from the guitar was pretty respectable.

OVERALL OPINION

The Les Paul Junior is a guitar that most people pass over because of it's low price or lack of serious flashiness as far as its looks go, but I encourage you to try one if you get the chance. They're a great value in the market and if you're a rock, blues, country, or whatever player and want a guitar that will give you a tone that is very raw and pure plus sounds different from your typical Les Paul Standard or Custom, the Junior (or its sister, the dual P90 equipped Special) are worth a serious look. I sold mine to fund another purchase but have regretted it quite a bit since, and I definitely plan to purchase another similar one down the line. The tones are second to none if you're after that specific sound and if it's good enough for players like Montrose or Leslie West... it's gotta be good, right? In this case, the guitar definitely is worthy of the saying "Less is more."