The 2018 Gibson Les Paul Junior mystery

zappaDPJ

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http://www.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2018/USA/Les-Paul-Junior-2018.aspx

I won't bore you too much with the details but I'd like to buy one or possibly three of these guitars. The problem is despite placing a multitude of orders, no E.U. outlet has been able to supply me with one let alone three. I can't even find an on-line review.

Some U.S. outlets claim to have had them in stock for months until you try to make a purchase, others claim to have had stock and sold out but I'm dubious about that. I'm starting to wonder if they actually exist.

If you happen to see one for sale anywhere please let me know :)
 

zappaDPJ

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Thanks, I've tried more of those than I can count and they range between being not very good to totally unplayable. The quality control at that level is abysmal plus I would have to change the pickups, all the internal electronics and tuners and have it properly setup which would put the total cost somewhere in the region of $1,500.

From the research I've done some effort has been put into to making the guitar I've linked to something similar in construction to the original guitar. If, and with Gibson it's a huge if, the guitars have been well made they could be rather good. Keeping in mind that the Junior was designed to be a budget end, stripped down Les Paul, these guitars should be comparable with a current top end Les Paul in terms of build and tone.
 

Tracy Perry

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On a somewhat unrelated note... I'm glad I got my 2016 LP. The new 2018's look like they've gone up around $600 for the same (very few differences) guitar.

Sweetwater does have a Demo model of the LP Jr. in stock for $1286. It is described with the following damage
The neck has a small indentation near the first fret.
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LPJRH18VSNHd
Their online inventory is pretty much correct. As soon as a guitar is sold, it gets pulled from their online listing.
 

zappaDPJ

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On a somewhat unrelated note... I'm glad I got my 2016 LP. The new 2018's look like they've gone up around $600 for the same (very few differences) guitar.

Sweetwater does have a Demo model of the LP Jr. in stock for $1286. It is described with the following damage
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LPJRH18VSNHd
Their online inventory is pretty much correct. As soon as a guitar is sold, it gets pulled from their online listing.
At least it proves they exist in the U.S. There are also a couple of believable reviews. Unfortunately nobody will ship single guitars here anymore because of CITES so I'll just have to sit tight and hope for a bulk shipment.

Thanks for checking :)
 

Tracy Perry

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Guitar Player
I'm doing some serious jonesing about the Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus right now. Of all my current electrics, I really like my Gibson LP the most. Something about the Epi is calling my name. It doesn't hurt that it's one of the top line Epi's and has locking Grover tuners, actual Gibson USA '57 humbuckers, U.S. Switchcraft 3-way toggle, Mallory-150 tone capacitors and comes with a hard case.

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 6.54.28 AM.png


My hardest decision is which color. I really like the Midnight Ebony, but the other available colors aren't bad either.

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I've got a buyer lined up for my Fender special edition Telecasater which would go a long ways on offsetting the cost. I already have a really nice American Professional Telecaster and since I like the LP style better it seems to make more sense to go with another flavor of it.
 

zappaDPJ

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That particular model is well specified and should provide excellent value for money. However I've tried a few and I have some reservations about the necks, fret finishing and quality control in general. A high action plus fret buzz might be an indication of an unsolvable issue on a fixed neck guitar and that's what I found on more than half that I tried. It could have been a bad batch I guess. In addition they all need some work on the frets which had some very rough and/or protruding fret ends. A number also had some really wobbly control knobs.

They are seriously heavy, I'd take a guess there's no weight relief which is probably good for sound and terrible for aging shoulders and backs :giggle: The binding isn't binding, it's painted on.

My recommendation would be to try before you buy. The issue with rough fret ends can be easily fixed, the neck buzz I'm not so sure about. Midnight Sapphire certainly caught my attention in the shop.

Just to add; looking at customer reviews, fret buzz and quality control is a regular complaint so I really would try before you buy.
 

Tracy Perry

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They are seriously heavy, I'd take a guess there's no weight relief
Nope... they weigh in about 9-10lbs. That is the one thing I'm most concerned with.
My current LP weighs in about 5 1/2 pounds.

I really would try before you buy.
Problem is nearest shop(s) that would carry something like this is 2 hours 1 way. Easier to order online and if an issue simply ship back within the 45 day return period that most of the online distributors I use have.

I've spent several hours reading on these, and the general consensus is they are a fairly good guitar. From what I have read, the Tribute Plus has actual binding on the newer ones. The Chappers video is what many refer back to about the painted binding.
Go to about 5:10 in the video.


One thing I do read often is their knobs tend to be loose/come off easily. That's simple to fix with a flathead screwdriver though. :p
Another issue is they require more setup to get "right" than the Gibsons tend to.
I'm still leaning towards getting one to just try though.
 

Tracy Perry

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If you’re interested in that model you should check the GX model out, Gibson pickups though not the 57’s but sound wonderful, 490-498
I looked at them also, but I kind of like the sound of the '57's.
 

zappaDPJ

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I've spent several hours reading on these, and the general consensus is they are a fairly good guitar.
I'd say they are potentially a very good guitar for the money if you get a good one and pay a tech to set it up.

From what I have read, the Tribute Plus has actual binding on the newer ones.
It's possible. They have been around for a while so they might have added real binding to the current models.

Another issue is they require more setup to get "right" than the Gibsons tend to.
I guess it depends what's meant by 'more setup'. I've recently spent the equivalent of about $300 having my Gibson Les Paul set up but that included a new nut and complete fret dress. In my view all guitars should be reasonably playable out of the box. One shop I buy from in the UK spends an hour or more ensuring that every guitar is properly setup before the customer gets it. That said the majority including Andertons do nothing at all.

At about 11.30 in the Andertons video you'll hear one of the benefits of all that extra wood. I'm surprised they didn't work that one out.
 

Tracy Perry

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guess it depends what's meant by 'more setup'.
More tweaking as in replacing the plastic nut, checking all control knobs for tightness, tweaking the action, fret work and a few other sundry tweaks.

It's possible. They have been around for a while so they might have added real binding to the current models.
From reading I've seen people saying their painted and then others coming back that they have real binding. Don't know as I haven't had the pleasure of holding one.

At about 11.30 in the Andertons video you'll hear one of the benefits of all that extra wood. I'm surprised they didn't work that one out.
You talking about where the Gibson had a few seconds of sustain and the Epi went for a noticeably longer time?
 

zappaDPJ

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You talking about where the Gibson had a few seconds of sustain and the Epi went for a noticeably longer time?
Yeah. There are many factors that contribute to sustain but a having a lot of wood is definitely one of them. I had the Fender Custom Shop build me two Telecasters (technically Nocasters) with very thick necks and they both have a huge amount of sustain.
 

zappaDPJ

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It's impossible to say for sure without handle them, taking them apart and even then you can still get it wrong but everything looks to be in order including the price.
 

zappaDPJ

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It does, it falls into exactly the same camp as the first guitar I linked. It's a 'budget' guitar being sold at a high price point which should in theory make it a very good guitar. The inclusion of a hard case supports that. Unfortunately, just like the Les Paul Junior, they don't seem to want to ship them out of the U.S. https://www.andertons.co.uk/gibson-usa-2018-sg-junior-2018-in-vintage-cherry-sgjrh18venh1?LGWCODE=SGJRH18VENH1;56375;6335&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzYLurYzQ2QIVK7HtCh21GA1IEAQYAiABEgJ2M_D_BwE
 
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