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1958 Junior ...rides again

toxpert

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Jul 2, 2005
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3,068
This one's a great example of vintage wood on a budget - serial number 6370.

This is a four digit 1958 Junior with the low neck angle. I picked this up on the 'bay as a body/neck including only the tailpiece anchors, the ground wire, nut, 5 of 6 tuner grommets and missing one fret board dot marker.

The seller noted that he was the original owner and that the guitar had been refinished to black (serial number covered)...and has sat unused with no hardware for at least the past 30 years.

The guitar arrived as described and a pleasant find was what appears to be original frets with just a bit of wear for the few couple of frets...still very serviceable.

Kudos to Jon, Dan, Kim and Rick for aftermarket products to restore this instrument to playing condition. The following were the only items needed to complete the package:
tuners - era correct and restored by Dr Vintage
tuner grommet - local find
ThroBak P-90 Dogear MXV (required soapbar plate for low neck angle)
RetroSpec pickguard
RetroSpec vintage length tailpiece studs
RetroSpec dot marker
MojoAxe compensated wrapover tailpiece
MojoAxe backplate
MojoAxe jackplate
Dr Vintage P-90 control kit
Control pointers - my parts box
Strap buttons - local find
Vintage truss rod cover & screws from a '54 parted out ES
1957 control knobs - local find

After about a month, the neck is flat, no warps. The fret board is absolutely smooth as if no one ever played this guitar (no divots or wear marks). The original appearing nut came perfectly cut with one string (G) with a slight buzz when unfretted - this was fixed with a dab of superglue, baking soda and one touch of file. There is still about 2 mm of adjustment on the tailpiece studs. The MojoAxe intonation is spot on, the studs are a perfect match for the tailpiece, the P-90...is ....well...one of Jon's masterpieces.

Overall...the body and neck ring out like a bell, the guitar plays and sounds wonderful. The small frets are teaching me to play with a lighter touch.

Yeah..it's a refin in black, the head stock ears are worn/modified a touch...but it's vintage wood for way less than a reissue model cost.

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what appears to be marks on the frets are reflections of the strings...no marks or wear !!
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Triburst

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Feb 12, 2006
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4,344
Very nice, Toxpert. I heard about another black Junior at the Nashville guitar show, but nobody posted a photo. That is a very good look! :salude
 

Otto 57

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Nov 19, 2009
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Does the original black DC Junior have the yellow serial number font or something else?
 

Kris Ford

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Jan 6, 2007
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Nice! Where you able to get just one dot from Kim? I need one for my SG Junior..
 

toxpert

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Jul 2, 2005
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Nice!!!
Are you gonna refinish back to cherry?

I thought about it for awhile and decided not to.

Gibson made a lot of these guitars and they are not rare.

No matter what I do, the guitar is still a parts guitar...a great player...but still a parts guitar.

If I were to refin back to cherry...I would want to fix the ears. Fixing the ears means that the history of this guitar is partially gone.

I find this unique history makes a great story: stripped of all hardware and sitting more than 30 years unused....now restored to excellent playing condition with the best of contemporary hardware and pickups. Making music now...that's what it's about.
 

toxpert

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Nice! Where you able to get just one dot from Kim? I need one for my SG Junior..

Send a email to the RetroSpec address on their website. I recently ordered parts from them and found the customer service to be timely and exceptional. They were able to provide me with less than a full set of dot markers.

The markers fit just right - easy to glue in, level with a knife edge and then polish. It's hard for my eyes to see any difference between the 1958 dots and the new one...a good thing !
 

toxpert

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Very nice, Toxpert. I heard about another black Junior at the Nashville guitar show, but nobody posted a photo. That is a very good look! :salude

I believe that was the guitar from Killer Vintage. They have a couple of pics on their website.

I also believe that a forum bro posted a pic of a black double cut Junior from that show...
 

Stoj

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Oct 6, 2006
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That sure is a beauty - Well done on bringing this baby back to life :salude
 

J.D.

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May 24, 2006
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Heck yeah that one looks just fine as-is to me :jim
 

frazettafan

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Oct 28, 2006
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If I were to refin back to cherry...I would want to fix the ears. Fixing the ears means that the history of this guitar is partially gone.

What's wrong with the ears - do you mean the 'horns' by that ? Have they been sanded down so much that the shape has changed?
 

toxpert

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What's wrong with the ears - do you mean the 'horns' by that ? Have they been sanded down so much that the shape has changed?

The top outer edges of the headstock are rounded off and well as the outer back edges by the 1st and 6th string tuners. I will post some close ups later tonight.

The horns of the body and the body edges are in great shape. Even the screw holes on this guitar looked very clean...as in it did not look like screws had been in and out several times. :peace2
 

toxpert

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The black was painted over tape on top of the serial number.
The guitar appeared to have been stripped of the original finish except for the pickup cavity and the the area with the serial number. Paint is hard finish; naphthalene does nothing but clean; lacquer thinner dissolves it.

I carefully pulled the tape away when I got the guitar...and there were the serial numbers . I will post pics of that later tonight.
 

toxpert

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additional pics depicting the headstock wear/alteration, Dan's jack plate and wrap around bridge fit, low action at 12th fret...
image5_zps88a2a4b2.jpeg

The divots in the back of the headstock were present upon my receipt...
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Tom Wittrock

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Aug 2, 2001
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42,567
The black was painted over tape on top of the serial number.
The guitar appeared to have been stripped of the original finish except for the pickup cavity and the the area with the serial number. Paint is hard finish; naphthalene does nothing but clean; lacquer thinner dissolves it.

I carefully pulled the tape away when I got the guitar...and there were the serial numbers . I will post pics of that later tonight.

image6_zps1d34b5fe.jpeg

That's great that it was still there! :dude:

Does the pickup cavity show any evidence of it having soapbar mounting screws? :hmm
 

toxpert

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Jul 2, 2005
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The pickup cavity has two holes for P-90 mounting screws.

I had ordered Jon's pickup in the dog ear plate configuration prior to receipt of the guitar. When I started assembling the parts, the dog ear plate and cover were just a bit too high to allow string clearance with the angle of the neck set.

Jon reconfigured the P-90 pickup to a soap bar plate and I purchased an additional dog ear cover. The cover currently on the guitar had to be modified by sanding down the pickup cover until the bottom of the cover was leveled out to right about the molded indentations for the dog ear plate tabs. The pickup is mounted using the steel screw option that Jon sent (Jon includes brass and steel screws).

The soap bar plate and modified cover required to put this guitar in playing order are consistent with the earlier thread here that focused upon revelation of soap bar plates under dog ear covers...for this run of 4 digit serial number guitars.

This guitar's low action for the wrap tailpiece is very comfortable to play. I have this guitar strung with 10s and the neck required almost no truss rod adjust to achieve the flat/no relief setup.

Here's a pic that I captured prior to reassembly of the guitar. At this point, I had carefully removed the black overspray in the bottom of the pickup cavity. The two P-90 screw holes are here in all their glory...revealed after 30+ years of waiting. (disregard the black pickguard...that was a failed purchase that fit screw holes but not guitar. The pick guard I purchased from Kim is what's on there now...)
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