Gibson Original Collection SG Junior
Two Knobs, One Pickup, and a Bad Attitude
When the SG replaced the Les Paul as Gibson's flagship solidbody electric guitar in the early sixties, it brought a nasty little friend with it: the SG Junior. This horned devil replaced the Les Paul Junior as Gibson's budget-friendly student model, but it appealed to a broad swathe of players who desired raw, no-frills, aggressive tone and sharp styling.
Though it sounds similar to the Les Paul Junior, the SG Junior's styling and neck profile set it apart. Its sleek, contoured body and aggressive lines give it an air of rock and roll menace so that when you plug one in, you feel like you're wearing a sweet leather jacket even when you're not. It also features an imminently shreddable Slim Taper neck profile as opposed to the Les Paul Junior's fatter rounded '50s profile. And, it weighs next to nothing, so you can jump around like a rock and roll animal when you're playing one!
Everyone should experience the magic of an SG Junior at some point, so we were quite excited to see that Gibson included one in its Original Collection. Within one strum, it was plain to see that the Original Collection SG Junior has all of the mojo of its vintage counterparts.
The Source of the Sauce
So, what is the source of the Original Collection SG Junior’s incredible power? How does a humble former student model have so much muscle? Well, Wildwoodians, the answer has three key components: wood, wire, and hardware.
The SG Junior's body is made out of high-quality, resonant mahogany. As a general rule, mahogany has a warm, punchy, midrange-forward sound with a natural tendency towards round, musical compression. All in all, mahogany-bodied electric guitars sound warm, clear, and well-mannered when played acoustically.
By contrast, P-90 pickups have a brash, bold personality. Their midrange snarls, bites, and punches, their highs are full of rich bell-like overtones, and their lows are meaty and muscular. The mahogany body rounds off the harsh edges of the P-90 sound ever so slightly, which allows the Junior to sound aggressive yet pleasant no matter how much gain you pile on. Through a clean amp, it sounds lush and full without any ugly spiky frequencies.
Can We Take it To the Bridge?
Sure, the SG Junior might lack a neck pickup, but its single dog-ear P-90 sounds so full and is so versatile that you won’t really miss having a second pickup. It sounds rich enough that single-note lines have plenty of mass and depth, and it is fearsome as a rock rhythm machine. Through a clean amp, it has plenty of jangle, chime, and warmth. And, in a pinch, the P-90 in these puppies will do a pretty good impersonation of a neck pickup if you roll the tone all the way off. It’s the sort of sound that will work in any genre from blues to rock to metal to country.
Part of the reason why the bridge pickup in these SG Juniors sounds so good is the design of the bridge itself. The Original Collection SG Junior features a wraparound tailpiece, a piece of hardware that is utterly genius in its simplicity. Wraparound tailpieces improve sustain and resonance because they are beefy and because there is more contact between string and bridge. Of course, this does make it a little harder to intonate. But, most players are perfectly happy to trade a little bit of precision for bigger sound. And anyway, you can always bend it ‘til it sounds good!
The SG Junior from the Gibson Original Collection is the distilled essence of rock and roll. It’s lean, it’s mean, and it is a tone machine. We invite you to take one of these monstrous guitars for spin and experience their myriad sonic delights. Once you do, we’re sure you’ll be overcome by the urge to put your elbow on all your amp’s knobs, turn them all to ten, and let ‘er rip. We’re proud to showcase such an inspiring instrument, and we have no doubt it will provide you with a lifetime of simple delights and joyous noise.
|Model||Original Collection SG Junior|
|Finish Color||Vintage Cherry|
|Finish Type||Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer|
|Neck Dimensions||.810 1st - .940 12th|
|Neck Profile||Slim Taper|
|Frets||22 Medium Jumbo|
|Scale Length||24 3/4"|
|Width at Nut||1.695"|
|Fingerboard Inlays||Acrylic Dots|
|Pickups||1 Dog-Ear P–90|
|Controls||1 Volume, 1 Tone|
|Tuners||Vintage Deluxe w/ White Buttons|
|Case||Brown Gibson Hardshell|
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