Gibson
Gibson SG SpecialEpiphone Rivoli bassHagstrom Coronado bass
Home | Guitar Model Info | Catalogue Scans | Forum | Other Stuff | Search |  









pick a brand

The majority of the instruments profiled on this site were produced by the brands to the left (click for more), although there is also some limited content on the following guitars and amps
Ampeg, Baldwin, Dan Armstrong, Futurama, G&L, Goya, Hayman, Ibanez, Marshall, Musicman, Ovation, Peavey, Rickenbacker, Selmer, Silvertone, Supro and Yamaha, WEM

Or try the site search

Trying to find the value of your guitar?

Gibson Barney Kessel
Electric acoustic guitar

Gibson Barney Kessel
Gibson Barney Kessel - Gibson, the workingman
Gibson Barney Kessel - Gibson, the workingman's guitar (Barney Kessel)
Gibson advert featuring Gibson artist Barney Kessel, playing his signature model, the Barney Kessel Regular

Barney Kessel and Gibson at work for Contemporary records
Gibson Barney Kessel Custom - Three of a Kind
Gibson Barney Kessel Custom - Three of a Kind
Advert for three Gibson Artist Acoustics; each being played by the jazz musician that gave it its name. Johnny Smith, Tal Farlow and Barney Kessel

Each of these famous guitarists served as the inspiration for a special Gibson model - designed by him, for his kind of music, for his guitar technique, for his special sound
Gibson Barney Kessel Custom - Barney Kessel Guitar
Gibson Barney Kessel Custom - Barney Kessel Guitar
This early sixties advert for the new Barney Kessel guitars shows Barney playing the Barney Kessel Custom. That is the maple-necked version of this guitar. The Barney Kessel Regular has a neck made of mahogany.
Jazz strings suitable for this guitar

Dean Markley 2506B (Dean Markley Nickelsteel Electric - Jazz)

D'Addario EXL115 (D'Addario Electric Blues/Jazz Rock)

D'Addario EXL115W (D'Addario Electric Guitar Strings Blues/Jazz Rock Wound 3rd)

Thomastik-Infeld JS110 (flatwound extra light jazz swing electric guitar strings)

D'Addario EJ20 (D'Addario Electric Guitar Strings Jazz Extra-Light)

Thomastik-Infeld JS111 (light flatwound jazz swing electric guitar strings)

D'Addario ECG24 (D'Addario Chrome Flat Wound Electric Guitar Strings Jazz Light)

D'Addario XLS590 (D'Addario Stainless Steel Electric Guitar Strings Jazz Light)

D'Addario EJ22 (D'Addario Electric Guitar Strings Jazz Medium)

D'Addario EHR350 (D'Addario S/Steel Half Round Electric Guitar Strings Jazz Light)

The 1960s saw Gibson produce several full-bodied artist archtop models. The Byrdland had been around since 1955, with the Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel, Trini Lopez and Johnny Smith all debuted in 1961. These were all fine jazz guitars, with price tags to match.

The Barney Kessel came in two variations, the mahogany-necked Regular and the maple-necked Custom, both available from 1961 until 1973. The Custom was a deluxe instrument; ornate inlays and gold plating throughout - it launched at a significantly higher price than the Regular, $560 and $395 respetively (1/9/61 Gibson price list)

The following description is taken from the 1970 Gibson catalogue

BARNEY KESSEL-C - Artist Model Designed for the musician who requires beauty and ultimate performance. A special magnetic field in the bridge pickup emphasizes the treble frequencies and produces unusual tones throughout the entire range.

FEATURES: Carved spruce top. Carved maple back, slim, fast, low -action neck joins body at 15th fret. Five-piece curly maple neck, adjustable truss rod, rosewood fingerboard with "bow-tie" pearl inlays. Gold-plated adjustable Tune-O-Matic bridge. Twin humbucking pickups. Separate tone and volume control. Three-position toggle switch. Gold-plated metal parts. 17" wide, 21" long, 3" deep; 25 " scale, 20 frets.

BK-C - Custom Model - Cherry Sunburst finish
BK-R - Regular Model - Cherry Sunburst finish - Mahogany neck with pearl inlaid peghead, rosewood fingerboard with rectangular pearl inlays, rosewood bridge, chrome-plated metal parts.
607 - Faultless plush-lined case

1117 Regular models, and 740 Customs were produced in the twelve years of production, most in the mid 60s. Sales in the early seventies account for a tiny proportion of the total.

The table below compares prices (in October 1966) of the Barney Kessel models with other archtops, and representative thinlines and solid-bodies.

Artist acoustics
Johnny Smith D$1025
S-400CES$1000
L-5CES$875
Trini Lopez Deluxe$695
Barney Kessel Custom$675
Tal Farlow$650
Barney Kessel Regular$525
ES-175D$450
ES-125DC$275
Thinline acoustics
Byrdland$775
ES-335TD$365
ES-125TC$265
Solid bodies
SG Custom$455
Firebird VII$379.50
Melody Maker$149.50

Catalogue appearances

1962 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue
The 1962 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue

1963 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue
The 1963 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue

1966 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue
The 1966 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue

1970 Gibson Electric Acoustics catalogue
The 1970 Gibson Electric Acoustics catalogue

A Gibson guitar designed by the great jazz guitarist himself, with musical capability to match his tremendous technique, and vital inventive playing. It offers the purest tone over the entire range, with a special magnetic field in the bridge pickup to emphasize the highs

Back to the GIBSON INDEX | comment




US ebay listings

Gibson Barney Kessel - 1968

Current price: $3300.00
buy it now
Time left: 4d 17h 37m
1966 Gibson Barney Kessel Archtop Guitar Vintage Sunburst Bigsby

Current price: $3195.00
buy it now
Time left: 20d 23h 51m
Vintage 1967 Gibson Barney Kessel Electric Archtop Hollowbody Guitar Rare Black

Current price: $4350.00
buy it now
Time left: 28d 56m
1966 Gibson Barney Kessel Custom Cherry Sunburst Guitar Flamed Maple

Current price: $4999.00
buy it now
Time left: 14d 17h 47m
Gibson 1966 Barney Kessel Guitar

Current price: $5995.99
buy it now
Time left: 12d 20h 35m
1968 Gibson Barney Kessel Custom (#GAT0247)

Current price: $5995.00
buy it now
Time left: 13d 20h 39m
vintage 1962 Gibson Barney Kessel Pickguard wide bevel for archtop jazz guitar

Current price: $184.00
buy it now
Time left: 29d 16h 1m
Vintage 1961 Gibson Barney Kessel Pickguard 1962 1963 Standard Custom 1964 1965

Current price: $195.00
buy it now
Time left: 26d 6h 2m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

Gibson Barney Kessel

Current price: £3399.00
buy it now
Time left: 21d 12h 58m
vintage 1962 Gibson Barney Kessel Pickguard wide bevel for archtop jazz guitar

Current price: £107.83
buy it now
Time left: 29d 16h 1m
Vintage 1960's Gibson Barney Kessel Tailpiece Rosewood Insert 1961 1962 1963 64

Current price: £202.17
buy it now
Time left: 27d 17h 23m
Gibson 1966 Barney Kessel Guitar

Current price: £3513.72
buy it now
Time left: 12d 20h 35m
HARD SHELL GUITAR CASE FITS Gibson BARNEY KESSEL CUSTOM & REGULAR Guitar

Current price: £41.01
buy it now
Time left: 2d 22h 41m
1966 Gibson Barney Kessel Archtop Guitar Vintage Sunburst Bigsby

Current price: £1872.31
buy it now
Time left: 20d 23h 51m
Vintage 1967 Gibson Barney Kessel Electric Archtop Hollowbody Guitar Rare Black

Current price: £2549.15
buy it now
Time left: 28d 56m
vintage Gibson archtop Barney Kessel Custom Tailpiece 1961 1963 1964 PAF 1962

Current price: £315.27
buy it now
Time left: 20d 4h 48m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

BARNEY KESSEL STANDARD CASE -- FITS GIBSON

Current price: €189.00
buy it now
Time left: 22d 23h 14m
1968 Gibson Barney Kessel Custom, cherry Sunburst OHC, EC

Current price: €5250.00
buy it now
Time left: 17d 16h 2m
1967 Gibson Barney Kessel Custom - Cherry Sunburst

Current price: €5050.00
buy it now
Time left: 26d 13h 14m
See more results on eBay here

Comment on this article

All comments are moderated. Name and email details are required.

Name
Email address
Your comments

Anti-spam question - just to prove you are a real person

How many legs does a spider have?