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GIBSON | SOLID BODIES | L6-S | USERS

Gibson L6-S notable users


The Gibson L6-S was launched in 1972, and had numerous high profile users and endorsers throughout the mid 1970s. These L6-S endorsers include Carlos Santana, jazz guitarist Al DiMeola, and Rich Williams of Kansas - all of whom appeared in official Gibson publicity with this model.

Other early L6-S users include Keith Richards of the Stones who has been pictured with the L6S Custom, and Paul Stanley of Kiss who had a Midnight Special. Both of these musicians were Gibson endorsers at the time, but were more usually associated with Les Pauls.

Carlos Santana - Santana

Carlos Santana endorsing the L6-S. From the cover of the 1975 Gibson solid-body catalogue

Carlos Santana endorsing the L6-S. From the cover of the 1975 Gibson solid-body catalogue

Carlos Santana endorsing the L6-S. From a 1974 music publication
Carlos Santana endorsing the L6-S. From a 1976 music publication

1974 and 1976 Gibson L6-S adverts

Carlos Santana started playing the L6-S in 1974 - he heaped praise upon it in the November '74 issue of Guitar Player magazine, and by 1975 was on the cover of the Gibson solid-body catalogue, and further magazine adverts as an endorsee.

Oh, I just flipped over this Gibson L6-S. It's not like i'm endorsing it, but that axe is beautiful. It's got more accessible frets, and the pickups are just incredible. With the controls, I can make it sound like a Stratocaster, a Telecaster, an SG, or a Les Paul - I get them all. It has a very fast fingerboard, and it's clean sounding.

Within a couple years Santana was endorsing Yamaha guitars. From June 1978's edition of Guitar Player magazine: The reason I left Gibson was because I feel like they're McDonalds now; they just wrap a hamburger and throw it at you... Yamaha to me, is more like my wife at Thanksgiving.

Yamaha came out with a guitar called a Super Combinator, and the body looks like a takeoff on a Stratocaster, but it's got all those phases that the L6-S has. It sounds like a Telecaster, or like a Strat with the switch between the pickup positions. That's why I liked the L6-S - because it was a Gibson, but it sounded almost like a Strat. But i've got to tell you the truth: that guitar was like a General Motors car - within two months, man, something would always go out. I found myself almost bleeding to sustain a note, and I know it wasn't all the amps fault.


Rich Williams and Kerry Livgren - Kansas

1977 Gibson poster featuring Rich Williams of Kansas, with his modified L6-S
1977 Gibson poster featuring Rich Williams of Kansas, with his modified L6-S

Rich Williams used the L6-S widely in the mid 1970s, and was featured in a 1977 Gibson poster, performing live. Both Williams and Livgren talk about the L6-S in their Guitar Player interview from 1978 (the relevant section is reproduced below).

Rich Williams ..shattered the neck on the Les Paul, and so I thought i'd try something different after that. The Gibson L6-S came out around that time, so I bought a couple of those. One of them was a real piece of crap - it didn't sound any good at all. The other one I liked. The L6-S I played is the first one that ever came to Kansas, and it looked a little different than others i've seen. The inlays on the new ones are round and on mine they were square. I liked it a lot, but I got tired of the maple neck - it seemed to play hard. It's amazing - Kerry's had an ebony neck, and we'd both put on the same kinds of strings on our guitars and his was much easier to play.

Kerry Livgren For some reason stretching strings on a maple neck is really hard.

Guitar Player What is it about the L6-S that you like more than the Les Paul?

Rich Williams I like the variety afforded by the six-way switch, and the pickups have a little bit more groan to them. The bottom seems a little tighter. What I don't like about it is that the six-way switch is a little inconvenient; the standard three-way pickup selector on a Les Paul is a lot easier. The main thing I don't like about the L6-S is that the pickups have so much gain on them - it's really hard to get good crisp tones. Basically my L6-S was stock except that I put Grover 16-to-1 heads on it; I also had the neck worked on and the frets filed down a few times to get rid of buzzes.

Kerry Livgren The thing I like about the L6-S is how high the neck goes; on my Les Paul it's hard to play up around the high A, but on the L6-S it's really easy. It has two full octaves, which means there's two more frets.

Rich Williams' Gibson L6-S - signed by Kansas as a gift to artist Jefferson Wood

Actually Rich Williams' L6-S - has been modified, probably around 1976. Note the extra control knob where the original output jack was situated. Also the non-polepiece L6-S super-humbuckers have been replaced by what are(perhaps) Gibson PAF style pickups. This guitar was signed by Kansas and gifted to artist Jefferson Wood, who produced some concert artwork for them.


Keith Richards - Rolling Stones

Keith Richards was a Gibson endorsing artist in the middle 1970s, most famously appearing on the cover of the 1975 Les Paul catalogue, but he has been pictured with a natural L6-S, which he received on a visit to the Kalamazoo plant in July 1975.


Al DiMeola

Al DiMeola in his 1977 Gibson advertisement for the L6-S Custom

Jazz guitarist Al DiMeola appeared in this 1977 advertisement for the L6-S playing an ebony Custom.


Johnny Borrell - Razorlight

Johnny Borrell of Razorlight playing his Gibson L6-S Custom
Johnny Borrell of Razorlight playing his Gibson L6-S Deluxe

Johnny Borrell of Razorlight plays two L6-S guitars, left: a natural L6-S Deluxe, far left: Tobacco Sunburst L6-S Custom.

I just got a new guitar! And I got a new amp, so I’ve now got two amps onstage and two guitars exactly the same. And they’re very rare – not expensive, but very rare. It’s a Gibson L6S and they were only made for about five years in the ‘70s, and now I have two of them. So my life is fucking great! Hehehe. I’ve got a Marshall stack, a fucking Vox, and two beautiful guitars. Know what I mean? What more could I want?

Photos courtesy of photographer Sophie Jarry, quotation from an interview with Johnny Borrell on drowned in sound website

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Gibson L6-S for sale

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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

$2400

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

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

New York, 100**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2199

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

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

Provo, Utah, 846**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1399

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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Vintage 1970s Gibson L5-S L6-S L5 L6 Electric Guitar Case! RARE!

Vintage 1970s Gibson L5-S L6-S L5 L6 Electric Guitar Case! RARE!

Annapolis, Maryland, 214**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$595

Great condition for 50ish yrs old. All 5 latches work great. Clasp works as well.
... more
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1974 Gibson L6-S Custom Ebony

1974 Gibson L6-S Custom Ebony

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

$2379

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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Gibson Vintage 1972 SG Pickup Ring Screws Springs L6-S 1973 1974 1975

Gibson Vintage 1972 SG Pickup Ring Screws Springs L6-S 1973 1974 1975

Mill Valley, California, 949**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$34

Gibson Vintage 1972 SG Pickup Ring Screws Springs L6-S 1973 1974 1975
*Vintage Gibson SG L6S Pickup Screws Springs **
Very Good Condition
See Photos
Domestic shipping $9 00
We Ship Worldwide
112023... more
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Gibson L6S Custom Vintage Guitar 1973 Natural with Original Hard-Shell Case

Gibson L6S Custom Vintage Guitar 1973 Natural with Original Hard-Shell Case

Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, 190**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2499

This 50-year-old guitar has all the original Bill Lawrence electronics, high output Super Humbucking pickups, 6 position rotary switch etc
Position 1 Both pickups, in series, in phase (wiring in series results in a bit more high-end)
Position 2 Activates the front pickup only
Position 3 Activates both pickups in a parallel, in phase configuration
Position 4 Activates both pickups, parallel out of phase
Position 5 Activates the back pickup only for the maximum in treble ... more
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1980 Gibson L6-S Ebony Guitar w / Dimarzios USA

1980 Gibson L6-S Ebony Guitar w / Dimarzios USA

Marietta, Georgia, 300**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1249

Nice example of later model L-6S with upgrades to make is a little more conventional. Original body, paint, fixed neck, ebony fingerboard, pearloid dots, frets, and strap buttons. Period correct Schaller tuners. Upgrades / replaced parts: Electronics are new CTS with volume, volume, master tone config. DiMarzios with nickel covers added (Air Norton neck / PAF Master bridge). New three position switch with chrome tip. Pickguard, pickup surrounds and truss rod cover are replacements. ... more
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Vintage Gibson L6S Midnight Special. Roadworn Classic. Rare Early 70s. Soft Case

Vintage Gibson L6S Midnight Special. Roadworn Classic. Rare Early 70s. Soft Case

Morrison, Colorado, 804**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1500

Awesome early 70s classic in actual road worn condition. Still looks plays and sounds great. Just had the electronics cleaned. There??s some fret wear as shown but it??s pretty uniform with no buzz. Finish is worn as shown in pics but that??s just cool. Comes with a plush Gibson soft case.
... more
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1975 Gibson L6-S sunburst

1975 Gibson L6-S sunburst

Beckley, West Virginia, 258**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$500

This is a very nice original example of a 1975 Gibson L6-S. The only non original part is the exchange of the bridge pickup to a Dimarzio, which was common on these guitars back in the day. Great condition with only a few minor dings and worming on the back, not through the finish. It has moderate fret wear with plenty of life left. It was designed almost to be a lightweight LP. The rosewood fingerboard and the 6-position switch offer a distinct variety of tones that get you classic Gibson ... more
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1980s Gibson Tarback pickups Corvus L6s Vintage Luthier part restoration project

1980s Gibson Tarback pickups Corvus L6s Vintage Luthier part restoration project

Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, 875**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$579

Early 1980s, possibly late 1970s matched pair of Bill Lawrence Tarback pickups as used on L6-S, Corvus, Futura, Marauder, Challenger and other Gibson models of that era. In perfect working order. The one with the label measures 9 2k (clearly the bridge pickup) and the one with the label missing (neck) is 8 3k both hot for Gibson humbuckers, which is I suppose why they called them "Super Humbucker " . Price is for both.
Please see my other listings for more vintage guitar stuff -- also ... more
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GIBSON L6S DELUXE

GIBSON L6S DELUXE

Giesen, 31***, GERMANY

€2883

Biete hier eine schöne GIBSON L6S DELUXE mit Orginal Koffer Made in USA von 1979 an
... more
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1976 Gibson L6-S Custom With Original Gibson Case

1976 Gibson L6-S Custom With Original Gibson Case

Livingston, EH12***, UNITED KINGDOM

£2100

Here is my 1976 Gibson L6-S Custom in tobacco sunburst. Theguitar is in excellent condition throughout with the original numberedscratchplate, exceedingly rare as most of them have been swapped out. Comeswith the original Gibson fitted hard case with all the latches working. Justhas a pro setup and restrung
... 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

COLOGNE, GERMANY

€1150

nicely worn in
PLENTY of PARTS for SALE
ATTENTION! OVER 1000 more
GUITARS-BASSES-AMPS-PARTS
in our OTHER AUCTIONS !!!
CHECK OUR SHOP OUT -------------->>>>>-------------->>>>>
... 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 $3500

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
Specifications:
- Weight: 8 lbs 9 oz
- Thin neck profile with volume
- 3 piece Maple neck
- 24 frets
- 2 vintage Di ... 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

London, NW11***, UNITED KINGDOM

£1750

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, newer Gibson 490 pickups (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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Find more Gibson L6-S for sale at vintageguitarsforsale.co

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RLSchwinden Comment left 14th September 2016 16:04:18 reply
Paul Stanley of:KISS played a White '74 Midnight Special told to me by Him in Dec'82. Dave Davies: KINKS played a Blonde L6-S in 1975 for "School Boys" LP & Tour. told to me by him in May'02 Barry Goodreau of: BOSTON played a Blonde L6-S in 1977. DEVO: 2 guitar players used Blonde L6-S in 1978 I have played a modified Black L6-S (in KISS Tribute) since 1984 ... Rik (MrZerr0)

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1971 Selmer guitar catalogue

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1968 Selmer guitar catalogue

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1961 Hofner Colorama I

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1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)

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1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog

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

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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.