PJD Carey Apprentice review

Why don’t more makers just focus on simplicity, playability and sound? Well, here’s a boutique level Junior-style guitar that does exactly that. Fasten your seat belts, you’re in for a ride!

PJD Apprentice
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Guitar World Verdict

Sound-wise, like its appearance, it’s a real Esquire-meets-Junior hybrid. A very stable working instrument and another great example of the stellar guitar craft in the UK.


  • +

    Simple high-quality build.

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    Light weight; neck shape and feel.

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    Expansive voicing from pickup.

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    Tweakable treble bleed circuit.


  • -

    It’s a limited edition…

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

What is it about Gibson’s Les Paul Junior that – some 68 years on – continues to inspire both guitar makers and guitar players? For that matter, the good ol’ Fender Esquire shares an equally blue-collar appeal and vibe. Pared down with just a single pickup, both designs can be huge tone machines with a very seat-of-your-pants drive.

We’ve seen plenty of contemporary makers focusing on either of these benchmark designs, but combining the two is what’s at play with PJD’s latest electric guitar, the Carey Apprentice – a special run of just 12 pieces in either 3 Tone Tear Drop Burst, as here, or Butterscotch. 

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Dave Burrluck
Gear Reviews Editor, Guitarist

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.