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Gibson L6S

Norlin-era solid body series: L6S Custom, L6S Deluxe, Midnight Special

The Gibson L6S (usually Gibson L6-S, or L6 solid) launched in 1973 as the companies first all-maple solid body electric guitar. It also featured a 24 fret two-octave neck. It shipped throughout the 1970s and into the early 1980s, with a little over 18000 instruments produced in total; certainly one of the most successful of Gibson's seventies guitars. The L6-S was the epitome of Norlin-era Gibson output. The use of maple bodies, necks and fretboards, usually with just a simple clear coat finish, made for an instrument quite distinct from earlier guitars, both visually and tonally. A real contrast to the mahogany and rosewood guitars of the fifties and sixties, with their Sunburst, Cherry or Walnut finishes. Around a third of L6-S (Custom) guitars were black with an ebony fretboard, still with a maple body and neck. Other finishes did exist (including a very fetching Cherry Sunburst) but were produced in vastly lower numbers.

Early L6-S examples were built at Gibson's famous Kalamazoo plant, though by the mid 1970s, the L6S was being produced at Gibson's second plant, the newly opened facility at Nashville. Initially the guitar was simply designated L6-S, though with the addition of two new models (1974s Midnight Special and 1975s L6-S Deluxe) the original L6-S became the L6-S Custom.

The Midnight Special and L6-S Deluxe were aimed at a lower price point, using alder as a body wood, slightly simpler electronics and (in the case of the Midnight Special) a bolt-on neck. Neither were anything like as successful (commercially) as the L6-S Custom.

The Gibson L6-S. Above L6-S Custom, below L6-S Deluxe

Two versions of the L6-S guitar, the Custom (top) and the Deluxe (bottom).

Gibson L6-S design and development

The Gibson L6-S was designed in 1972 by then Gibson employee Bill Lawrence. The remit was to create a guitar with as varied an array of sounds as possible, without overly-complicated electronics, and something that could compete with Fenders six string range. Bill Lawrence explains:

In 1972, I was asked to design a multi-sound system for the SG Standard. This didn't make any sense to me, and after several meetings with marketing, I convinced them to introduce a completely new solid-body that offered a wide variety of different sounds. I was given a free hand as long as I observed a set production cost limit. In order to stay within that limit, I had to make use of their existing hardware, including pickup covers, and the champfered body contours I wanted were not in the budget either. Given a mere $25 more to work with, I could have made the guitar to my specs. Also, I had designed a beautiful three post lightweight bridge made of hardened stainless steel that could be converted into a trem and a two 3 position toggle switches for nine different sounds. The first 3 position switch was a pickup selector while the second was a sound selector -- position one was for Les Paul , position two for Strat, and position three for Tele sound.

Well, I had to stay within the budget, and we ended up with a six-position rotary switch, pickups with large humbucker covers, a stock Schaller bridge with a "stop" tailpiece, and a clumsy-looking body. My original prototype had a beautiful, elegantly-shaped pickguard, but somebody changed that too. Even with these changes, the early production L6-S was still an excellent performer. When the new ownership took over, there were even more changes, and by 1976, the L6-S had become just another Les Paul-style Gibson solid-body. All that remained of my original design was the thin, lightweight body with its large cutaway for easy access to all 24 frets.

Read the rest of this article at the Bill Lawrence website

1976 Gibson L6-S Custom

The Gibson L6S and the Gibson L5S

The L6-S (or the L6-S Custom, as it would ultimately be known) was launched in 1973 at the summer NAMM show in Chicago, very much as a more affordable version of the Gibson L-5S. It retained the L-5S body shape, still had maple body / neck (although the L-5S was curly maple, rather than close grain) and an (optional) ebony fingerboard. Solid bodies had traditionally been mahogany up to this point, but for reasons of economics, and fashion, the seventies saw a range of maple Gibsons, and L6-S was one of them.

Electrically it differed from the L-5S though, with its six-position phase switch, or "Q System" - two incredibly hot Super Humbucking pickups wired for series, parallel or single performance - with treble roll-off and midrange controls. The idea was to offer new sounds and as much versatility as possible: from country "chicken pickin'" to the most abstract jazz riffs. To this end, the L6-S also had a two octave, 24 fret neck - the first Gibson to have this.

Gibson L6-S specifications

L6-S Custom

Available 1973-81 (possibly later)
Pickups Two chrome-covered super humbuckers (parts 13682, front; 13683, back)
Scale 24 3/4"
Body Maple. 13 1/2" wide (lower bout), 16 1/2" long, 1 1/4" thick
Neck Set maple neck, with maple, rosewood, or ebony fingerboard. 24 frets. Dot markers (a few early examples have block markers)
Width at nut 1 9/16"
Hardware Volume, midrange and 'treble roll-off' controls. 6 position pickup selector switch. Wide-travel tune-o-matic bridge, with stop-bar tailpiece.
Finishes Cherry Sunburst, Natural Maple Gloss, Black, Cherry, Wine Red, Tobacco Sunburst, from 1980 Silverburst
Notes By far the most popular of the series, outselling the Deluxe 4:1, and the Midnight Special 6:1

L6-S Deluxe

Available 1975-81 (possibly later)
Pickups Two black plastic-covered super humbuckers (parts 13654, front; 13655, back)
Scale 24 3/4"
Body Maple. 13 1/2" wide (lower bout), 16 1/2" long, 1 1/4" thick
Neck Set neck, with rosewood fingerboard. 24 frets. Dot markers
Width at nut 1 9/16"
Hardware Volume and 'treble roll-off' controls. Three position pickup-selector switch. Tune-o-matic bridge, strung through body.
Finishes Natural Satin, Wine Red, Tobacco Sunburst

Midnight Special

Available 1974-82
Pickups Two chrome-covered super humbuckers
Scale 24 3/4"
Body Maple. 13 1/2" wide (lower bout), 16 1/2" long, 1 1/4" thick
Neck Bolt-on maple neck, maple fingerboard. 24 frets. Dot markers
Width at nut 1 9/16"
Hardware Volume and tone controls. Three position pickup-selector switch. Tune-o-matic bridge, strung through body.
Finishes Ebony, Maple Gloss, Wine Red, White
Notes This 'secret' guitar was left unadvertised. Unmentioned in price lists, catalogues and other promotional material

L6-S players

Keith Richards (Rolling Stones)
Carlos Santana
Al di Meola
Lady Bo (Bo Diddley)
Rich Williams (Kansas)
Johnny Borrell (Razorlite)

Johnny Borrell (Razorlite)

The guitar shown below was in the 1973 Gibson Look Ahead to Gibson flyer. Unlike the majority of L6-Ss this instrument has a two-piece scratchplate, old-style headstock script, and block inlays. Whether these features were exclusive to the prototype, or used in early production models is unclear. Certainly some early L6-S guitars had the block inlay seen here rather than the more usual dot inlays. Shipping figures do not split by finish in 1973/74, but early examples were often shipped with very attractive burst finishes, often mostly red (Cherry Sunburst) or mostly brown (Tobacco Sunburst). Compare this guitar to a later, 1976 L6-S Custom

1973 Gibson L6-S
1975 promotional sheet for the Gibson L6-S Deluxe

In 1974 a second model was released (the Midnight Special), and in 1975 a third, the Deluxe (see a 1976 L6-S Deluxe) was launched at the '75 Summer NAMM show. The original model was then re-named the L6-S Custom. Both new models were a cheaper instruments with simpler electronics, strung through the body, bolt-on neck for the Midnight Specials and a rosewood fingerboard for the Deluxe. Each had its own unique scratchplate. Some instruments may have been alder-bodied too.

L6-S production started at the Kalamazoo plant in Michigan, however it moved to Nashville, certainly by the end of 1977, perhaps earlier.

The series lasted throughout the 70s, with the deletion of the model announced in dealer newsletter Gibson News in June 1980. Some examples still shipped from the Nashville plant, though, as late as 1981 for the Custom and Deluxe and 1982 for the Midnight Special. The L-6S Custom was finally promoted (as a close out line) in the 1981 Gibson Specials pre owners manual in June 1981. The current owners of Gibson produced a limited reissue in 2011.

Original Gibson L6-S advertising

Electric guitar advertisements originally published from 1974 onwards. Click on the images for larger copies. Check out other vintage Gibson advertisements

Gibson L6-S Custom - Its the best damn guitar you ever played

Gibson L6-S Custom - Its the best damn guitar you ever played (1974)
This early advert for the L-6S was printed when the guitar was at it's peak. 1974 was the only year with reasonable sales, despite the high profile endorsement of Carlos Santana, Al DiMeola and oth...

Gibson L6-S Custom - Santana Calls it His Rainbow

Gibson L6-S Custom - Santana Calls it His Rainbow (1974)
Actually, it's the Gibson L6-S. But he's got a point. Because the L6-S lets you color your sound any way you want with tone and mid-range control and a six-position sound switch. From pretty and wa...

Gibson L6-S Custom - Santana Calls It his Rainbow

Gibson L6-S Custom - Santana Calls It his Rainbow (1976)
Mid 70s advertisement for the Gibson L6-S series. The image features Carlos Santana (of latin rock band Santana) playing the L6-S Custom. This model was the first of the series, and was simply know...

Gibson L6-S Custom - L6-S. It

Gibson L6-S Custom - L6-S. It's the Best Two Guitars Al DiMeola's Played (1977)
Jazz guitarist Al DiMeola is pictured playing an ebony-finished L6-S Custom. This advertisement hails from mid-1977; several years after the L6-S initial launch, and following similar adverts for t...

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Tested 70s Gibson L6-S Custom Parts (Comprehensive) pickups, plate, knobs, etc

Tested 70s Gibson L6-S Custom Parts (Comprehensive) pickups, plate, knobs, etc

Shavertown, Pennsylvania, 187**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


This is a fairly comprehensive set of tested 70s Gibson L6-S Custom guitar parts, including pickups, plate, knobs, and more. The brand is Gibson and the type is electric guitar, with the specific model being Custom. assembly inferred.

Gibson L6-S Custom

1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978

Parts List

Control Assembly
Pickup Front
Pickup Back
Knobs (3)
Knob (1)
Control Pot 300 ... more
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Gibson L6-S Natural Wood Finish w /  Bigsby Bridge - Clone

Gibson L6-S Natural Wood Finish w / Bigsby Bridge - Clone



Gibson L6-S Natural Wood Finish w / Bigsby Bridge - Clone.
This is truly a one of a kind guitar, a beautiful clone of the rare and sought after Gibson L6-S made by Arirang in Korea in the 80s.
It's in great condition. Dual Humbuckers and custom Bigsby Bridge with vintage knobs. Sounds incredible, currently strung with flatwound strings.
... more
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Gibson L6-S Deluxe -1974 - Natural Satin w /  OHSC

Gibson L6-S Deluxe -1974 - Natural Satin w / OHSC

Winchester, Virginia, 226**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



For your consideration is a 1974 Gibson L6-S Deluxe with Original Hard Shell Case
The wire harness has been replaced but, the original wire harness is included and is shown in the photos with a visible date code
The guitar plays great, has minimal fret wear, and is in great condition for a 50 year old guitar
The serial number has been wore off. I purchased this from a friend, who is the owner of a local music shop. He took this on trade almost ... more
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Vintage! 1973 Gibson L6-S Natural Electric Guitar + OHSC

Vintage! 1973 Gibson L6-S Natural Electric Guitar + OHSC

Thousand Oaks, California, 913**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage! 1973 Gibson L6-S Natural Electric Guitar + OHSC

Google us! Lovies Guitar Shop
Lovies Guitars is excited to offer up this 1973 Gibson L6-S Natural Electric Guitar! The all maple Gibson L6-S took its inspiration from the L series of hollow-bodies of Gibson's past. The idea was to offer a versatile yet affordable solid-body, which Gibson accomplished by including a six-way rotary pickup selector that gave both phase and series output settings for the pickups. The L6-S ... more
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1976 Gibson L-6S Custom Electric Guitar Natural w / OHSC

1976 Gibson L-6S Custom Electric Guitar Natural w / OHSC

San Diego, California, 921**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1976 Gibson L-6S Custom Electric Guitar Natural w / OHSC
This Guitar Is In Very Good Condition w / Moderate Play Wear Visible Throughout, Frets In Good Condition With Plenty Of Play Left, Truss Cover Has Broken But Included In Case (Please See All Photos)
Located At IVG Orange
Maple Body And Neck
24-Fret Maple Board With Dot Inlays, Minimal Fretboard Peeling (Doesn't Effect Play)
Tar Back Super Humbuckers
Gibson Tuners
Stoptail Tailpiece
6 Saddle... more
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Vintage! 1975 Gibson L6-S RARE Cherry Burst

Vintage! 1975 Gibson L6-S RARE Cherry Burst

Wood Dale, Illinois, 601**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage 1975 Gibson L6-S in a RARE Cherry burst finish
Ebony fretboard with a 6 position rotary switch being replaced with a toggle switch. The treble pickup has been replaced with a humbucker as well.
Plays like butter with a very slim profile neck. Super comfortable up and down the neck with low action
There is a small chip in the pickguard, and some light checking on the guitar as seen on the photos as well.
Shipping will be free in the lower 48

... more
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1977 Gibson L6-S Electric Solidbody Guitar Natural With Original Hardshell Case

1977 Gibson L6-S Electric Solidbody Guitar Natural With Original Hardshell Case



Vintage original 1977 Gibson L6-S in original Natural finish
A real nice example, nice and light and resonant. Beautiful flamed wood
Original Bill Lawrence pickups are warm and thick with classic vintage tones
Neck is straight and plays great all the way up and down. Real easy to get around on
Comes with original case, a few broken latches
Position 1 Both pickups, in series, in phase (wiring in series results in a bit more high end bite) Position 2 Activates the front ... more
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1980 Gibson L6-S Custom Vintage Electric Guitar Natural 100% Original w /  Case

1980 Gibson L6-S Custom Vintage Electric Guitar Natural 100% Original w / Case

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale, a 1980 Gibson L6-S Custom in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. The L6-S is often credited as one of the most underrated solid body guitars in Gibson's history and was the very first collaboration between Gibson and Bill Lawrence, who designed the ceramic magnet pickups used in this model. Weighing 8lbs 2oz, the L6-S has a contoured maple body that closely resembles a wider, thinner Les Paul, with a more ... more
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1975 Gibson L6-S Vintage Electric Guitar Ebony 100% Original w /  Case

1975 Gibson L6-S Vintage Electric Guitar Ebony 100% Original w / Case

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale, a 1975 Gibson L6-S in 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. The L6-S is often credited as one of the most underrated solid body guitars in Gibson's history and was the very first collaboration between Gibson and Bill Lawrence, who designed the ceramic magnet pickups used in this model. Weighing 8lbs 6oz, the L6-S has a contoured maple body that closely resembles a wider, thinner Les Paul, with a more generous Florentine ... more
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1974 Gibson L6-S Custom Ebony

1974 Gibson L6-S Custom Ebony

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale is a 1974 Gibson L6-S Custom in its original ebony finish. This instrument came out of a collection of guitars that came from an ex Kalamazoo Gibson employee. This is the first and only time this guitar has been on the market and it is in just about excellent condition less some very faint handling wear / faint finish wear, finish checking, hardware tarnish (likely from sitting) and a paint ding on the face of the body. Pro setup in house and comes complete with a modern non ... more
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Haunted Gibson USA ? 76 L6-S Electric Guitar with Original Case

Haunted Gibson USA ? '76 L6-S Electric Guitar with Original Case

Toms River, New Jersey, 087**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Haunted Gibson '76 L6-S Electric Guitar with Original Case.
I am the 2nd owner of this guitar and it's beautiful. The first time I played it was strange .I own a bunch of guitars and have never experienced anything like it. It becomes part of your soul and the things you hear inbetween notes are like the guitar telling you what to play. It does this every time its played. It's a sad, beautiful soul. I feel like weird shit keeps happening so I've gotta cut ties here.
There's a small ... more
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1974 GIBSON L 6 S MAPLE NECK - made in USA

1974 GIBSON L 6 S MAPLE NECK - made in USA



nicely worn in
CHECK OUR SHOP OUT -------------->>>>>-------------->>>>>
... more
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1976 Gibson L6-S Deluxe in Tobacco Sunburst 7 3lbs

1976 Gibson L6-S Deluxe in Tobacco Sunburst 7 3lbs



Here for sale 1976 Gibson L6-S Deluxe in Tobacco Sunburst. One of them unusual Gibson from the 70s! A nice and easy player that features 24 frets, a slimmer body, DiMarzio DP 190 Air Classic neck pickup and Seymour Duncan CCJ Custom Custom, MJ wound bridge (I don't have originals), and the rotary switch was replaced with a 3-way toggle. The condition is very good for the age with some usual playing wear. Comes with a hard case
... more
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1976 Gibson L6-S Custom paint  /  Relic  /  Di Marzio Super Distortion

1976 Gibson L6-S Custom paint / Relic / Di Marzio Super Distortion

New Brunswick, CANADA

C $2200

Guitar comes with non original theme matching case in very good condition
Overall condition:
- Neck is straight and all electronics work as they should
- Truss rod works fine in both directions
- Frets are the original ones and in good condition
- Lots of scratches, dings, finish checking, edge wear .
- No structural damage
- No break
- Weight: 8 lbs 9 oz
- Thin neck profile with volume
- 3 piece Maple neck
- 24 frets
- 2 vintage Di ... more
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Giesen, 31***, GERMANY


Biete hier eine schöne GIBSON L6S DELUXE mit Orginal Koffer Made in USA von 1979 an
... more
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There are 4 comments on this article so far. Add your comment

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Robert White Comment left 12th March 2013 16:04:56 reply
How can I tell what year my L6S was made?
Vintage Guitar and Bass Comment left 7th January 2014 06:06:09 reply
Hi Robert, dating an L-6S is not too different from any other seventies Gibson. The serial number and potentiometer codes will give you a ballpark figure. The period of production spans years covered by three different serial number styles (6 digit stamped, 73-75; 8 digit decal, 75-77; 8 digit stamped, 77-onwards) with the last two having a year embedded into the sn itself - see
John Oppenheimer Comment left 13th November 2012 08:08:17 reply
May l know if L6-S Custom electric guitar ebony was selling in December 1983, l mean in Gibson store as new thanks for your answer Good day
Vintage Guitar and Bass Comment left 13th November 2012 08:08:06 reply
They had really stopped making them (in any number at least) by 1980 - but some were completed and shipped beyond that date. It is quite possible that one was still in a guitar shop window somewhere at that time. Whether one would leave the factory at that time is another matter... certainly not impossible, and Gibson did ship very small numbers of older guitars, long after they had been deleted from the range: presumably using up parts. So yes, quite possible.


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1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin CareCatalog scan. The 1969 Fender Lovin' Care catalog consisted of 48 pages of electric guitars, basses, amplifiers, steel guitars, acoustic guitars, banjos and keyboards. Like the previous catalog, this featured the company's guitars in a variety of interesting settings around California, from the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, to the Hollywood Bowl. Several instruments were making their first appearance amongst it's pages: the Telecaster bass, Montego and LTD jazz guitars, and the Redondo acoustic. It was the final catalog appearance, however, of the Electric XII, Bass V, Duo-Sonic, Coronado I and Coronado Bass I.

1973 Eko Ranger Folk

1973 Eko Ranger FolkThe Eko Ranger series of guitars was incredibly popular in the second half of the 1960s and through the 1970s, selling in very large numbers. The Ranger Folk was 1 1/4" smaller, and 1" shallower than the Ranger VI and XII - and with a narrower waist. Not a bad guitar; a little quiet, but pretty playable. These were great value in 1973, and because they sold so many, they are easy to find and excellent value today.

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitar

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitarThe Symphonic bass was built in the UK, by Vox parent company JMI. It was the Vox equivalent to the Fender Precision bass, and was one of the most expensive Vox guitars produced. It was actually a great playing bass, rather similar to the Precision in feel and sound, but was probably just too expensive compared to an actual Fender and consequently sold poorly. When Vox hit financial problems in 1968, unsold guitars and basses were passed on to Dallas Arbiter, who briefly sold the excess Symphonic bass stock as model 4537. This bass, although with a neck date of February 1966, was most likely one of the unsold Vox guitars sold on by Dallas Arbiter. Check out the bass, and the two video demos through 1960s Ampeg and WEM amplifiers.

1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog

1968 Shaftesbury catalogThe 1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog was just four pages long, and contained four guitar models: the six string Barney Kessel-style 3264; and three Rickenbacker-styled semi-acoustic models: the six-string 3261, the twelve string 3262 and the 3263 bass. Shaftesbury was the house-brand of major UK distributor Rose-Morris, and seems to have been launched as a response to the company's loss of it's distribution deal with Rickenbacker. The guitars were mid-priced, and built in (initially) Japan, and later Italy, by Eko

1970 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns Celebrated Classics' catalog

1970 Rose_Morris catalog1970 Rose-Morris catalog, dated April 1970. It featured 6 electric guitars, 32 acoustic guitars, 3 basses and 1 steel guitar. It contains the following instruments, over 20 pages: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3262, 3264, 3265, 3400; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Colorado, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12; Aria 1674, 1675, 1676, 1679, 1680, 1695, 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk; Rose-Morris 15-11, Kansas, Georgian, Florida; Suzuki 1663, 1664, 1665, 3054, 3055, 3060; Tatay 1713, 1714, 1715; Peerless 3052; Steel guitar: Aria 3425

1971 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns' catalog

1971 Rose_Morris catalogThe sixteen-page 1971 Rose-Morris catalog featured electric guitars by Rose-Morris' own brand, Shaftesbury, and budget brand Top Twenty; aswell as acoustics by Eko, Aria, and for the first time Ovation. The catalog contains the following instruments: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3264, 3265, 3400, 3402; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Ovation: Balladeer, 12 String, Glen Campbell, Glen Campbell 12 string; Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12, Colorado, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Studio 'L'; Rose-Morris Florida; Aria 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk

1972 Fender Precision bass

1972 Fender PrecisionA detailed look at an early 1970s Fender Precision bass guitar in custom black finish, with rosewood fretboard. 1972 list price, $307.50. The Fender Precision had been shipping since at least very early 1952 - with just one re-design circa 1957. This example, then, shows a model already two decades old, but barely changed since the '57 revamp. Fender got it right first time around, and although there are numerous minor cosmetic differences, the essence of this bass is effectively the same as it was in '52: a simple, single pickup instrument with a GREAT sound. Check out the demo video through an old Ampeg B15. It's no wonder this is the bass that everybody wants!

1967 Vox Stroller

1967 Vox StrollerThe Vox Stroller was the brand's entry level electric solid body guitar, fitted with just one pickup and a fixed tailpiece. Although aimed at student guitarists, it wasn't a terrible instrument, but did lack somewhat in adjustability, having no accessible truss rod and only a floating rosewood bridge. But this example is actually quite an improvement on earlier versions, with a standard 1/4" jack and a solid mahogany body. 1967 price £18 2s. JMI ceased UK guitar production in late '67, and combined with decreasing demand for the Stroller, this surely must be one of the last examples shipped.

1963 Vox Clubman Bass (left handed)

1963 Vox Clubman Bass left handedA nice example of the Vox Clubman II bass, built by JMI in Dartford, Kent in 1963. This is a lightweight bass, short (30") scale and very easy to play. It is an early example, and as such has a thin black scratchplate and side mounted, coaxial output jack. JMI offered left handed examples of their solid body Vox guitars and basses at 10% premium. Production numbers are unclear, but left-handed examples rarely come up for sale

1977 Gibson ES Artist 'prototype'

1977 Gibson ES Artist prototypeNot to be confused with the Gibson ES Artist launched by Gibson in 1979; this ES Artist was an early model designed by the Gibson research and development team in Kalamazoo in 1977, the instruments themselves constructed by Gibson artist Chuck Burge. It was planned for launch as a high end semi acoustic with 335-style construction (central maple block) and innovative circuitry - but was pulled at the last minute, being deemed too expensive. Apparently, several examples were produced with varying specifications, though exactly how many actually left the Kalamazoo plant is unclear. Certainly two guitars were sold to LaVonne Music by Gibson in around 1980. Read more about the development of this guitar, with details from Chuck Burge and the story of it's sale to LaVonne music

1959 Hofner Committee

1959 Hofner CommitteeThe Hofner Committee was a truly beautiful guitar produced in Germany, primarily for the UK market. It was a large bodied (initially 17 1/2") guitar with a carved spruce top, available as an acoustic or electric guitar. By the early sixties the carved top was replaced with a laminate, and although still a very fine guitar, the earlier carved top examples, with frondose headstock (like the example shown here) are far more highly prized amongst musicians and vintage guitar collectors.

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins TennesseanThe Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean, or model 6119 was Gretsch's best selling hollow body of the 1960s. This wonderfully faded example from 1965 was originally Dark Cherry Red, but has turned a mid-orange brown. The original color, however, can be seen underneath the pickup surrounds. 1965 specs: maple body, two-piece neck, Brazilian rosewood fretboard and Hi-Lo 'Tron single coil pickups. Nickel plated Gretsch Bigsby tailpiece.

1965 Gretsch 'For the Spectacular Sound of the Times' guitar and amp catalog

1965 Gretsch catalogThe 1965 Gretsch catalog, or catalog #32, featured 10 hollow body electric guitars, including the newly launched Gretsch Viking; four solid body electrics, including the Astro Jet - making it's only catalog appearance; just one bass, the single pickup PX6070; nine acoustics and 12 tube amplifiers. Pride of place went to the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman that adorned both the front and back covers. 24 pages, six of which are in full color.

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret ends

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret endsLoose frets are especially problematic in certain old guitars, but are generally very easy to fix. You'll be amazed at the difference you can make with just a few tools, a bit of knowledge, and a little time. Fixing loose frets can eliminate fret buzz, remove sharp fret ends, and greatly improve the tone of any guitar. If your luthier bill will be greater than the value of your guitar, definitely time to have a go yourself!

1966 Hagstrom 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog (Merson USA)

1966 Hagstrom guitar catalogHagstrom guitars were distributed in the mid-1960s United States by Merson of USA. This eight page 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog, printed in two-colors contained six solid body electrics, three solid body basses, two electric acoustic guitars, two electric acoustic basses and five acoustics.

1965 Hofner President

1965 Hofner PresidentThe President was produced by Hofner in Bubenreuth, Germany, specifically for Selmer, who distributed the brand in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other commonwealth nations. The President was a hollow body electric acoustic, available as a full body or thinline, and with blonde or brunette finish. It was a great playing guitar that sold fairly well in the second half of the 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the very early 1970s. The example shown here is a full-body depth guitar in blonde - and as a 1965 guitar, one of the last to feature the rounded Venetian cutaway. From late 1965 until 1972, the President sported a sharp Florentine cut. Naturally, such an electric acoustic suggests jazz and blues, but many of the original British Hofner President players were part of the rock 'n roll, skiffle and beat scenes of the late 50s and early 60s.

1963 1964 Fender catalog

Fender 1963 catalogue"The Choice of Professional and Student Musicians Everywhere" This eight page catalogue was included as an insert in the 1963 annual "school music" issue of Downbeat magazine (September 1963). As well as keyboards and pedal steels, this catalog contains seven guitars, three basses and ten amplifiers - from student guitars such as the Musicmaster and Duotone to professional models like the new Jaguar.