Guitar Centerfold

SX Les Paul Jr Special
Cherry Natural Finish

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 ML writes: Believe it or not. This guitar was only $99 new at I have to say that this is one great little axe for the money. For a $100 guitar that is. It is not the equivalent to a real Gibson Jr Special which it copies but it can be somewhat close enough to scare Gibson with their over priced goods. The body is pure mahogany and very heavy and husky somewhere in the 10 to 11 pound range.

The tone of the P-90's are sweet and powerful. They do sound good but the shielding is weak so it means the guitar is very very noisy. In a situation where it is straight to the amp it is somewhat tolerable but with effects it is almost unusable. You will need a very strong noise gate to use this live.

It did need a setup but after that it became a top notch player with a great sound. This is very true. It came with extra large jumbo frets which were very nice but it also came with a very cheap plastic nut. I have fret file tools so I did my own work as the frets were not level or polished. After filing, leveling, and re-crowning the frets the neck became very nice indeed with a nice 50's baseball bat feel. Just like a real Jr should feel. The trussrod worked just fine with no problems. The tuners were ok.

A proper nut is the real key to keeping a guitar in tune. I replaced the nut with a pre-slotted Tusq nut which only took a bit of filing underneath the nut itself until it fit just right. A $9 investment that paid off big. This improved the tuning stability to near perfection and gave the whole guitar TONE TONE TONE.

I also had to replace the tune-o-matic bridge as the original was very cheap and all the bridge pieces wobbled and shifted as you played. No good. The replacement bridge made the guitar stable and gave it great Tone.

Another downside was that the neck itself was glued into the body at a slight angle vertically. The neck was straight with the body but the treble side was elevated higher than the bass side as it was glued in crooked. Very cheap Chinese work but I found I could make up the difference by elevating the bridge at an angle to make it playable and pretty much un-noticable.

All in all I spent around $250 in replacement parts and work to make this $100 guitar a real gem. Was it worth it? You be the judge. Around $400 all said and done. Guitar, parts, setup work, case, and shipping. A real Gibson starts around a grand and much more. I would still prefer this axe over most Epiphones I have tried. This beats any Epiphone Jr out there. No contest. But that said... it is no Gibson.

I had always wanted to try out soapbar p-90's and this axe did not disappoint under the circumstance. I could buy this entire guitar with p-90's installed cheaper than just buying a set of pickups and tearing up another guitar to try out p-90's. I was very curious about the whole P-90's experience. In the end, for me, it turns out I am a full humbucker kind of guy after all. P-90's have their place but are not for everybody. They give a thick and dirty single coil type of sound. Slighly stronger than a typical strat.

I bought this as a project guitar and had real fun getting it in tip top shape. In the end it did not compare to the real Gibson(s) in my collection so I ended up selling it. I have to many guitars as it is but otherwise I might have kept it because after fixing it up it played and sounded pretty darn good. If I was just starting out this is hard to beat for the money. After a bit of upgrading anyway. Get that Leslie West tone for pocket change.