The controls of many Gibson guitars in the 1970s were less intuitive than their 1960s predecessors. The S-1 was no exception, and although it was an attempt to compete tonally with the Fender Stratocaster, the control layout was somewhat different. This 1978 publicity sheet for the S-1 is primarily an explanation of the controls that are on this guitar.
BYPASS SWITCH. The Bypass Switch is the two position toggle switch. In the center position this switch is inactive and the Transfer Switch is operative. When the Bypass Switch is flipped down, the Transfer Switch circuit is bypassed completely and the rear pickup alone is activated. This gives you a crisp, biting sound that's ideal for leads.
2) FOUR POSITION TRANSFER SWITCH. In Position 1, this switch activates pickups 1 and 2, wired in humbucking fashion for the traditional powerful Gibson sound. Position 2 activates pickups 2 and 3, a good sound for playing lead. Position 3 turns on all three pickups simultaneously, for a full sound that's ideal rhythm. Position 4 activates pickups 1 and 2 out of phase with each other for a hard, funky sound.
3) VOLUME CONTROL. Remember to use it in conjunction with the amplifier's volume control. Set the amps volume at the highest level you'll need, then use the S-1 control while you play.
4) TONE CONTROL. The Tone Control delivers maximum treble at 10 and minimum treble at 0.
Available in solid maple or mahogany body construction. Single cutaway. Shaped, double sided fingerrest. Wide travel, chrome-plated adjustable Tune-o-matic bridge. Chrome-plated stop-bar tailpiece. 3 high frequency Gibson special design adjustable pickups. Four position pickup and phase-selector switch. A unique bypass switch to enter into the circuit the back pickup only.
Shipping data is only available for 1975-79, and although this encompassed the majority of production, small numbers of S-1s were shipped as late as 1981, and possibly later. Only Ebony, Natural Satin and Tobacco Sunburst are listed here; these were the finishes available on the model's launch; other finishes (Walnut, Natural Mahogany and Wine Red) are lumped together as 'unspecified'.
Electric guitar advertisements originally published from 1976 onwards. Click on the images for larger copies. Check out other vintage Gibson advertisements
Gibson S-1 - Before Gibson Designed The S-1, Ron Wood Had His Guitars Customized (1976)
1976 advert for the S-1, featuring Ron Wood and Rod Stewart. A very similar advert was put out in 1977; compositionally identical, though with updated picture of Ron Wood, and without Rod Stewart
Gibson S-1 - Before Gibson Designed The S-1, Ron Wood Had His Guitars Customized (1977)
1977 advert for the S-1, featuring Ron Wood. A very similar advert was put out the previous year; featuring Ron Wood, alongside Rod Stewart
The guitars that Ron Wood has played with Jeff Beck. R...
Gibson S-1 - Gibson Guitars. To the Tune of $399 and Up (1979)
Gibson electric guitars begin with the Marauder at $399. And it begins where most of its competitors leave off—with high power electronics, a full range pan pickup potentiometer and the same craf...