1976
1976 Gibson L-6S Custom1978 Guild B-302F1967 Fender Coronado
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1972 Gibson showcase brochures
1972 Gibson showcase brochuresIn 1972 Gibson produced a series of 'Guitar of the Month' brochures, each dedicated to one of their high end models, the Les Paul Recording guitar, L5-CES, ES-175D, Super 400-CES, ES-355TD-SV and Byrdland. Each brochure was a single sheet folded into four panels, with details of the instruments themselves, their features, musical purpose, and a little history behind the development of each guitar. Only the Les Paul Recording was a new model; the others were all well established in the Gibson line. Follow the link to see scans and further information on these leaflets and other Gibson guitar catalogues from the CMI and Norlin periods.
1966 Kalamazoo KB-1 bass
Kalamazoo KB-1 bass Gibson assembled these 30 1/2" scale Kalamazoo KB-1 basses in their electronics plant in Kalamazoo, MI - separate from the main Gibson plant. They used the same components and hardware as on the Gibson EB bass series; but with a pre-painted masonite body and a bolt-on maple neck; a very different construction to Gibson's usual output. Initially the KB bass had a Mustang-shaped body (see the 1966 Kalamazoo KB-1, left), which was soon redesigned with the classic SG shape (see the 1967 Kalamazoo KB-1, right). Have a listen to sound clips of this bass here.
Older updates here

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

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

D'Addario EJ21 (D'Addario Electric Jazz Light)

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

D'Addario EHR360 (D'Addario S/Steel Half Round Electric Guitar Strings Jazz Medium)

D'Addario XLS600 (D'Addario Stainless Steel Electric Guitar Strings Jazz Medium)

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

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

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

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

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US ebay listings

Vintage 1967 Gibson ES 175 Control Harness Pots Caps Barney Kessel 1011PT3

Current price: $275.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 4h 28m
1962 GIBSON BARNEY KESSEL USA GUITAR PART

Current price: $399.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 21h 35m
1968 Barney Kessel plays a Gibson guitar photo print Ad

Current price: $8.45

Time left: 5d 18h 54m
1961 1962 1963 vintage Gibson truss rod cover for Les Paul SG 350 Barney Kessel

Current price: $199.00
buy it now
Time left: 5d 23h 17m
vintage 1960's Gibson thin Switch nut for SG 330 Les Paul es 335 Barney Kessel

Current price: $33.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 22h 46m
vintage 1965 Gibson CUSTOM Truss Rod Cover for SG Firebird 175 Barney Kessel 335

Current price: $95.00
buy it now
Time left: 7d 11h 51m
vintage 1961 Gibson Barney Kessel Pickguard wide bevel for archtop jazz guitar

Current price: $179.00
buy it now
Time left: 9d 21h 59m
1968 Gibson Barney Kessel Std.Jazz Guitar

Current price: $3495.00
buy it now
Time left: 13d 10h 29m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

Vintage 1967 Gibson ES 175 Control Harness Pots Caps Barney Kessel 1011PT3

Current price: £163.60
buy it now
Time left: 2d 4h 28m
1961 1962 1963 vintage Gibson truss rod cover for Les Paul SG 350 Barney Kessel

Current price: £118.39
buy it now
Time left: 5d 23h 17m
GIBSON BARNEY KESSEL HOLLOWBODY JAZZ GUITAR 1968

Current price: £2500.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 10h 14m
vintage 1960's Gibson thin Switch nut for SG 330 Les Paul es 335 Barney Kessel

Current price: £19.63
buy it now
Time left: 6d 22h 46m
vintage 1965 Gibson CUSTOM Truss Rod Cover for SG Firebird 175 Barney Kessel 335

Current price: £56.52
buy it now
Time left: 7d 11h 51m
1960s Selmer Guitar Catalogue Hofner Vionlin Bass Barney Kessel Gibson Les Paul

Current price: £10.50
buy it now
Time left: 7d 15h 31m
vintage 1961 Gibson Barney Kessel Pickguard wide bevel for archtop jazz guitar

Current price: £106.49
buy it now
Time left: 9d 21h 59m
1968 Gibson Barney Kessel Std.Jazz Guitar

Current price: £2079.24
buy it now
Time left: 13d 10h 29m
See more results on eBay here

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