Advice buying Vintage SG Junior

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by jlott, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. jlott

    jlott New Member

    Mar 1, 2021
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    Hello and greetings from Michigan. First post on this forum. In 2019 I kind of stumbled across a great1965 Epiphone Coronet. It is a wonderful guitar. It has a slim neck and even though I'm a huge guy is actually comfy. My 17 year old son has been playing a few years and loves the Coronet. I'm gonna give the Coronet to him and get myself another "junior"I have been saving for awhile, and I'm definitely looking at an SG Junior. Definitely vintage too. The pickups on my Coronet are unlike any modern P90 I've ever heard. Hopefully the SG Junior sounds about the same. I really love the look of SG's. Figured I'd ask the experts if there's anything I should know or look out for or a particular year or years that are better. Got a few more weeks to decide. Pretty excited and I know my son will love the Coronet. Thanks
    Chuteboxehero likes this.
  2. beerbelly

    beerbelly Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2015
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    Beervana, OR
    I'm a big fan of vintage Juniors; they're featherweight, resonant, acoustically loud, and they have that great P90 growl. My '64 has a 1-11/16" wide nut; if you like slimmer necks, '65 and newer are about 1-9/16".

    edselman, jlott and Chuteboxehero like this.
  3. Stella

    Stella Member

    Sep 19, 2020
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    The most desirable years are from 1961 to early 1965. The neck changes from 1 11/16” nut width at the beginning of 65 to 1 9/16” by the end of 65. There are also some transitional 1 5/8” examples in mid 65. Also the control cavity becomes larger (small is more desirable), and the pickguard becomes larger (again, small is more desirable) by the end of 65.

    If the collectibility isn’t as big of a factor, and you are okay with a narrower neck, I’d still recommend aiming for pre 1970 models, as the quality begins to decline after that. There will still be well made later examples, but you will want to touch anything later before purchasing. If you get a clean 61-65, and likely until 69, the odds are that it will be a good guitar.

    Look for headstock repairs, heel repairs, and control cavity repairs, as these are all common. If they are well done, they can be fine, but it is something to look for. Also, of course, make sure the P-90 is original, as well as the tone and volume pot.

    Some examples can be as light a just over 5 lbs, if that matters to you.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
  4. crashbelt

    crashbelt Member

    May 9, 2015
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    I agree with the advice given so far - these are great no frills tone machines. The earlier ones, up to late 63 carry the Les Paul designation. You can see on the headstock of my 63 the silk-screened Les Paul logo. Collectors tend to value these a bit more highly, so you can decide whether that's worth paying a bit more for or not.

    Do be careful about neck breaks at either end - these can disguised by a skilfull repair if not too severe, but will hurt resale value massively. On the other hand you can save a lot buying a well repaired guitar if you buy with yours eyes open. Same goes for a refin.

    Good luck and hope you get a good one.
  5. Herbie74w

    Herbie74w Active Member

    May 24, 2013
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    A72B3D3E-C817-43C8-B8E9-43A16B35BB44.jpeg Breaks are fine if they are repaired well and you get a discount over non break guitars. F08F5B09-1418-468C-BA73-3F844D16ABE3.jpeg

    this one plays great and was a good price for a white one.
  6. Larry8016

    Larry8016 New Member

    Feb 4, 2021
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    Take all above advice and go for it - I absolutely love my '63!

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