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Gibson Les Paul Recording

Low impedance electric solid body

Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar
Model: Les Paul Recording
Pickups: Two low impedance humbuckers
Scale: 24 3/4"
Body: British Honduras mahogany, 17 7/8" long, 13 1/2" wide, 1 3/4" deep at the rim.
Neck: Three piece laminate mahogany, rosewood fretboard. 22 frets. Width at nut 1 11/16"
Hardware: Tune-o-matic bridge. Schaller M6 or Grover 102 tuning keys
Finishes: Natural Mahogany, White (from mid-1975), Cherry Sunburst (from mid-1976), Ebony and Walnut (from 1978)

The Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar evolved from a couple other models, first produced in the late sixties. These were pivotal times for the world guitar markets. Mass production was becoming the norm, and American guitar companies were struggling to compete with their cheaper Japanese rivals. Gibson did not stop experimenting, however, and guitars such as the Les Paul Personal, and Les Paul Professional (with a matching Les Paul Bass) appeared, sporting novel electronics combined with the quality of materials and craftsmanship that Gibson was famous for. These were low impedance instruments designed specifically for recording; 'a guitar that can virtually produce any sound that you would want'. Les Paul describes the thinking behind this series

For years i've worked to produce a multitude of distinctive guitar sounds. The hang-up was to obtain everything in one guitar, now i'm not talking about gimmickry, i'm talking about the real McCoy; authentic guitar sounds, the type of highs that can rip your ears off, the type of bass response that's clean and clear. Every note must be balanced and offer maximum sustain.

1971 Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar owners manual - front cover

Gibson changed hands in December 1969, and number of models changed significantly over the next few years; the Les Paul Bass and Professional guitar were redesigned to become the Les Paul Recording guitar and Les Paul Triumph bass respectively. Gone was the dark Walnut finish, in favour of a much lighter Natural Mahogany, and the weight was also reduced somewhat. Functionally the instruments were unchanged though - with one important caveat - the original low impedance instruments required a transformer cable to produce a suitable signal for normal (high impedance) amplifiers. These new guitars had the transformer built into the guitar - activated via the hi/lo impedance switch. The controls are a little complicated and a new owners manual was also printed in 1971.

To produce a truly fine instrument like the new Les Paul Recording guitar, you need more than just fine materials. You need expert innovators, skilled craftsmen and knowledgeable engineers inside and out.
You also need a man who is an expert in the guitar field to advise and recommend features and specifications that will cause the finished product to be unique and distinctive.
Gibson long recognized as the world's leading guitar manufacturer, met these requirements when they combined their talents with the knowledgeable recommendations of a man who has come to be known to millions of music lovers as "Mr. Guitar" ...Les Paul

Les Paul Recording guitar: Low Impedance for High Performance

The Les Paul Recording was launched in 1971, first appearing in Gibson price lists in June of that year. The launch price of $625 was higher than that of the Les Paul Custom ($595), but in between the previous prices for the Personal and Professional that it replaced ($690 and $525 respectively, Sept 1970). According to published shipping statistics, 236 guitars left the Gibson Kalamazoo plant.

1971 Gibson Les Paul low impedance catalogue

The 1971 brochure produced to accompany the launch was entitled Low Impedance for High Performance included an interesting flexi-disc demonstration of some of the many sounds possible. The disc was narrated by Les Paul himself, and guitars were played by Bruce Bolen. Side one featured the Les Paul Recording guitar, whilst side 2 featured a track named Tomorrow, today recorded by Bruce Bolen using both instruments. Have a listen

Tomorrow, today

The rest of the clips can be heard here.

1971/72 Gibson Les Paul Recording promotional material

March & April are Les Paul months!

Sales in 1972 were moderate - 1314 guitars shipped. Far better than 1971, but by comparison the Les Paul Custom, Deluxe and Standard shipped 4062, 5194 and 1046 units respectively.

There was big drive for the new models in early 1972, with a Gibson dealer letter declaring March & April are Les Paul months!. Gibson distributed the brochures with flexi-disc to all it's dealers, as well as including it in a special centerfold in Guitar Player magazine - the letter to dealers read...

How would you like to hear these instruments? We have made it possible for you to hear the Les Paul Recording guitar and Les Paul Triumph bass by simply turning on your record player. Attached you will find a beautiful brochure illustrating each instrument in vivid color. In the brochure you will find a record narrated by the creator himself, Mr. Les Paul!

1972 Gibson LP recording guitar

To aid you in selling these "versatile" new instruments, the widely circulated Guitar Player magazine will feature each of these instruments in the April issue, which is now being mailed to 70,000 readers. During the months of March and April, literally thousands of readers will be reading about these fantastic instruments, and better yet, listening to the Les Paul record which will be attached to the centerfold ad.

In 1972 Gibson also included the Recording as part of it's Guitar of the Month series - The Gibson Les Paul Recording Showcase - mostly alongside fine electric acoustic models. See the rest of the showcase series flyers here.

Controls for the Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar

Les Paul Recording Controls

Bass, Treble and Volume Self explanatory. The bass and treble have a very wide range, but most importantly work independently from each other, dialing in more treble does not affect the level of bass, and vice versa

Decade Control This eleven position switch tunes or alters the treble harmonics. Produce "biting" or "silky" highs with simplicity.

Phase Control Only works when both pickups are selected.

Impedance Selector Hi for live use or Low for studio use (or live use with a Low-Impedance amplifier).

Tone Selector Three settings: 1, 2, and 3. This switch does not actually change the tone produced by the instrument per se.. it acts as a bypass, inactivating certain controls - hence allowing quick and reversible changes between settings that would otherwise be impossible particular in a live setting. In position 2 (middle), nothing is bypassed. All controls function as described above. In position 1 the pickup selector switch and treble and bass controls are inactive - both pickups are selected by default. In position 3 only the treble and bass controls are bypassed. These controls are explained in detail on pages 2 and 3 of the Les Paul Recording owners manual.

1978 Gibson Les Paul Recording description of controls - image and key

Around 1976, the control layout of the Les Paul Recording changed. It was somewhat tidier with the four control pots in a row, and with the hi/lo impedance switch removed in favour of two separate output jacks, one for high, one for low impedance - and both situated on the guitar edge rather than mounted into the front of the guitar on the control plate. What's more, the pickup selector switch was moved from the control plate to the top edge of the guitar's body - the typical location of this switch in other Les Paul models. The 1978 control description flyer (reproduced here) details the later period Recording guitar controls. Note that although functionally identical, the tone switch positions are numbered in reverse order to the previous version.

1975 Gibson Les Paul catalogue
Gibson 1978 full line catalogue

Left: Keith Richards on the cover of the 1975 Gibson Les Paul brochure. Right: the 1978 Gibson Quality / Prestige / Innovation catalogue

The Les Paul Recording was shipped from 1971, with the strongest sales in 1973. Unfortunately they dropped of throughout the 1970s; the model was last included in the 1978 Gibson catalogue, but only remained in price lists until January 1979. The Les Paul Recording was still shipped, however, at least until 1980, in very small numbers - possibly even later.

Les Paul Recording Shipping Totals

A total of 5380 Recording guitars were shipped between 1971 and 1979.

1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
236 1314 1759 915 204 332 362 180 78

Les Paul Recording Guitar Advertising

Electric guitar advertisements originally published from 1972 onwards. Click on the images for larger copies. Check out other vintage Gibson advertisements

Gibson Les Paul Recording - Say it All With the New Les Paul

Gibson Les Paul Recording - Say it All With the New Les Paul (1972)
Early seventies advertisement for the Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar

Gibson's new Les Paul Recording turns on more guitar sounds than there are guitars! It's the first computer-like guitar...

Gibson Les Paul Recording - If You Ever Lost a Les Paul, You

Gibson Les Paul Recording - If You Ever Lost a Les Paul, You'd Just Have to Buy Another (1972)
Early seventies British advert for the Les Paul Recording guitar, by Selmer, UK Gibson distributors at the time.

A Gibson Les Paul electric guitar is unique. And when you've played it nothin...

Gibson Les Paul Recording - Show us a man whos too good for a Gibson Les Paul

Gibson Les Paul Recording - Show us a man whos too good for a Gibson Les Paul (1974)
UK ad for the Triumph bass and Les Paul Recording guitar. The add was produced by Selmer who were the British distributors of Gibson Instruments.
...he's flipped. Because the world's greates...

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c. 1972 Gibson Les Paul Recording Walnut w / OHSC

c. 1972 Gibson Les Paul Recording Walnut w / OHSC

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


Circa 1972 Gibson Les Paul Recording Model In Walnut Finish
This Guitar Is Located At our Brick'n'Mortar Store In San Diego, CA
In Very Good Overall Condition (Please See Photos)
Light Cosmetic Playwear Throughout Including Some Marks And Small Scratches
Finish Cracks On Top As Shown
Added Bigsby Tailpiece
Otherwise Original
All Mahogany Body With Belly Contour
3-Piece Mahogany Neck With Bound Rosewood Fingerboard And Block Inlay
Dual Low Impedance Pickups
... more
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RARE Vintage 1968 / 1969 Gibson Les Paul "Recording" Bass Electric Guitar

RARE Vintage 1968 / 1969 Gibson Les Paul "Recording" Bass Electric Guitar

Palos Hills, Illinois, 604**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


AS-IS sale only
Guitar stand NOT included inthe sale
(forpicture display purposes only)
IncludesGibson Les Paul "Recording" Bass Electric GuitarRoad Runner Hard case (missing one latch)DetailsVintage 1968 (Manufactured) / 1969 (Release year was 1969) Serial# 882837 (serial reflects 1968)Solid mahogany body
Three-piece mahogany neckRosewood fretboardDot inlays30 1 / 2 inch scaleTranslucent walnut finish24 fret Two octave neckTwo oval humbuckersVolume knobReble knobBass knobPhase ... more
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Gibson Les Paul Personal 1971

Gibson Les Paul Personal 1971

Aschaffenburg, 63***, GERMANY


Nur 370 Stück wurden von der Gibson "Personal" zwischen September 1969 und Juni 1973 gebaut, was sie zu einem einzigartigen Sammlerstück macht. Seinerzeit war sie auch preislich "top of the line" und rangierte mit 675 $ nochmals deutlich über der Les Paul Custom!
Unser Model befindet sich im originalen Zustand. Die Elektrik ist völlig unberührt, auch die Bünde sind noch fast wie am ersten Tag. Der Lack zeigt natürlich altersbedingte Spuren, aber diese "Personal" ist frei von ... more
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Gibson Les Paul recording Bass 1970

Gibson Les Paul recording Bass 1970

Parkville, VIC, 3***, AUSTRALIA

AU $4000

Gibson Les Paul recording bass
Made in U S.A. 1970
All original
Frets in excellent condition
There is a dent on the front of the headstock, please see pics.
There is some cracking and wear in the clear coat.
comes with non-original hard shell case, it is not a perfect fit but will be packed well for shipping.
... more
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There are 3 comments on this article so far. Add your comment

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John Creech Comment left 18th April 2015 06:06:30 reply
I've got a Les Paul Recording Bass Serial #173955 and was supposed to be a 1982 model that I found out supposedly 44 of them were made including my natural and a white one also! They couldn't tell me how many of each were made but mine is of a natural finish! Could anyone tell me what year date and any details about this instrument!! Even in 1982 it was about $1650.00 case and all and I would like to know more about it!! It's in perfect shape and even had a brass nut added to it by Gibson themselves which could make it very unique!! HELP!
BaddiH Comment left 30th July 2012 05:05:59 reply
Best guitar i've ever played. Great to see all that old literature. Mine has serial number 737189 or maybe 139. I think it is an early 70s model as it has the two post bridge rather than the three post. Can you confirm date at all? Any tone you want. BH
Normondo Comment left 17th December 2016 02:02:02 reply
700000 numbers are 70-73 You mention a possible second number of 139. Is this a stamped in number, under the "made in USA" but done after the finish was applied and cured?


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1971 Selmer guitar catalogue

1971 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1971 Selmer guitar catalogue showing the range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Gibson, Yamaha, Selmer, Hofner and Suzuki. 1960s Selmer had always placed Hofner at the front end of their catalogues, no doubt these were the better sellers - but into the 1970s Hofner were slipping somewhat and only appear at the tail end of this publication, pride of place going to Gibson, and to a lesser extent Yamaha. In fact this is the last Selmer catalogue to include the many Hofner hollow bodies (Committee, President, Senator etc) that had defined the companies output for so many years - to be replaced in the 1972 catalogue by generic solid body 'copies' of Gibson and Fender models. A number of new Gibson models are included for the first time: the SG-100 and SG-200 six string guitars and the SB-300 and SB-400 basses.

1968 Selmer guitar catalogue

1968 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1968/1969 Selmer guitar catalogue (printed July 1968), showing the entire range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Hofner, Gibson, Selmer and Giannini. Selmer were the exclusive United Kingdom distributors of Hofner and Gibson at the time, and this catalogue contains a total of 18 electric guitars, 7 bass guitars, 37 acoustics, and 2 Hawaiian guitars - all produced outside the UK and imported by Selmer, with UK prices included in guineas. This catalogue saw the (re-)introduction of the late sixties Gibson Les Paul Custom and Les Paul Standard (see page 69) and the short-lived Hofner Club 70. Other electric models include: HOFNER ELECTRICS: Committee, Verithin 66, Ambassador, President, Senator, Galaxie, HOFNER BASSES: Violin bass, Verithin bass, Senator bass, Professional bass GIBSON ELECTRICS: Barney Kessel, ES-330TD, ES-335TD, ES-345TD, ES-175D, ES-125CD, SG Standard, SG Junior, SG Special GIBSON BASSES: EB-0, EB-2, EB-3 - plus a LOT of acoustics branded Gibson, Hofner, Selmer and Giannini

1961 Hofner Colorama I

1961 Hofner Colorama IHofner Colorama was the name UK distributor Selmer gave to a series of solid and semi-solid guitars built by Hofner for distribution in the UK. The construction and specifications of the guitars varied over the period of production, but by 1961 it was a totally solid, double cutaway instrument, with a set neck, translucent cherry finish, six-in-a-row headstock, and Hofner Diamond logo pickups. Available as a single or dual pickup guitar, this sngle pickup version would have been sold in mainland Europe as the Hofner 161.

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)Commodore was a brand applied to a series of guitars produced in Japan at the well-respected Matsumoku plant from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s - and sold primarily (perhaps exclusively?) in the United Kingdom. The models bearing the Commodore name were all guitars available from different distributors with different branding. Although there may have been some minor changes in appointments (specifically headstock branding) most had the same basic bodies, hardware and construction. Equivalent models to the Commodore N25 (and this is by no means an exhaustive list) include the Aria 5102T, Conrad 5102T(?), Electra 2221, Lyle 5102T, Ventura V-1001, Univox Coily - and most famously the Epiphone 5102T / Epiphone EA-250.

1960 Hofner Colorama II

1960 Hofner Colorama IIThe Hofner Colorama was the name given by Selmer to a series of solid (and semi-solid) body Hofner guitars distributed in the United Kingdom between 1958 and 1965. The Colorama name actually applied to some quite different guitars over the period, but in 1960 it was a very light, semi-solid, set necked guitar with one (Colorama I) or two (Colorama II, as seen here) Toaster pickups. Although an entry-level guitar, it was very well-built, and a fine playing guitar; certainly a step up (at least in terms of craftsmanship) from many of the Colorama guitars that would follow, and a good deal of the guitars available in Britain circa 1960.

1971 Epiphone 1820 bass (ET-280)

1971 Epiphone 1820 (ET-280) bassBy the end of the 1960s, a decision had been made to move Epiphone guitar production from the USA (at the Kalamazoo plant where Gibson guitars were made), to Matsumoto in Japan, creating a line of guitars and basses significantly less expensive than the USA-built models (actually less than half the price). The Matsumoku factory had been producing guitars for export for some time, but the 1820 bass (alongside a number of guitar models and the 5120 electric acoustic bass) were the first Epiphone models to be made there. These new Epiphones were based on existing Matsumoku guitars, sharing body shapes, and hardware, but the Epiphone line was somewhat upgraded, with inlaid logos and a 2x2 peghead configuration. Over the course of the 70s, the Japanese output improved dramatically, and in many ways these early 70s models are a low point for the brand. Having said this, there are a lot worse guitars out there, and as well as being historically important, the 1820 bass can certainly provide the goods when required.

1981 Gibson Marauder

1981 Gibson MarauderProduction of Bill Lawrence's Gibson Marauder began in 1974, with production peaking in 1978. But by 1980 the model was officially discontinued, though very small numbers slipped out as late as spring 1981. Over 7000 examples shipped between 1974 and 1979, and although no totals are available for 1980 and 1981, it is unlikely production reached three figures in either of these years. These final Marauders were all assembled at the Gibson Nashville plant, and had some nice features not available through the later years of production, such as a rosewood fretboard, and in this case, an opaque 'Devil Red' finish. It's a great looking and fine playing guitar!

1971 'Pick Epiphone' Catalog

1971 Pick Epiphone catalogWhen Epiphone production moved from Kalamazoo to the Matsumoku plant in Japan, a whole new range of electric, flattop and classic acoustic guitars was launched. Between late 1970 and 1972 the new models were launched and refined. This 'folder' catalog contains various inserts released over these years detailing four electric six-strings (ET-270, ET-275, ET-278, and thinline EA-250), three bass guitars (ET-280, ET-285, and thinline EA-260), three folk/steel acoustics, four jumbo flattop acoustics, two 12-string jumbos, four classic acoustics, and a banjo.

1981 'Gibson Specials' Pre-Owners Manual

1981 Gibson Specials Pre-Owners Manual'Gibson Specials' was part of the June 1981 pre-owners manual series, but unlike the other folders contained a mish-mash of different guitars: limited editions, test marketing and close outs. "You will find the unusual, the brand-new, and the bargain within this folder". End of line 70s guitars like the Marauder, S-1, and L-6S Custom mixed in with brand new models the The V, The Explorer and the Flying V Bass.
It was the largest folder in the series, with 24 inserts, (19 guitars and 5 basses): Guitars: 335-S Standard, Melody Maker Double, Marauder, L-6S Custom, S-1, RD Artist, Firebird, Firebird II, Flying V, Flying V-II, The V, Explorer, Explorer II, The Explorer, The "SG" Standard, Les Paul Artist, Les Paul Artisan, ES-335 Heritage, ES-175/CC Basses: Grabber, G-3, L-9S, RD Artist Bass, Flying V Bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bassRose-Morris were selling Shaftesbury-branded Rickenbacker copy instruments from the late 1960s right through the 1970s. The 3263 bass was one of the first models, (alongside the 3261 six string and 3262 twelve string) available from late 1968 until about 1974. The earliest incarnation was a set neck bass, produced very briefly in Japan. But production quickly moved to Italy. This bolt-on neck example was built by Eko, in Recanati, using the same hardware and pickups as fitted to Eko, and Vox basses built around the same time. It's certainly a fine looking bass, and not a bad player either.

1961 Hohner Zambesi

1961 Hohner ZambesiThis very early, and pretty rare British-built guitar is branded Hohner London. Hohner were, of course, a German company, better known for their harmonicas and accordions, but they were keenly expanding into guitars at the birth of the 1960s. This model, along with the Hohner Amazon and (particularly) the Hohner Holborn, bear some similarity with Vox guitars of the same period; furniture manufacturer Stuart Darkins constructed bodies and necks for both brands, with Fenton Weill assembling them using their hardware and pickups. These guitars do have some hardware peculiarities, and they are not the most adjustable of instruments, but they actually play very nicely, being solidly built out of some very nice woods. Check out the video on this page.

1963 Vox Super Ace

1963 Vox Super AceThe Vox Super Ace was a mid-priced British solid body electric guitar, produced by JMI at their factory in Dartford, Kent. It was broadly modelled on the Fender Stratocaster, and a sibling model to the dual-pickup Vox Ace. Both the Ace, and Super Ace (along with several other models), were redesigned in 1963 with a new body shape, headstock style, and pickup layout - only increasing the resemblance to the aforementioned Fender. The Super Ace had a 1963 price tag of 47 5S. It's a pretty nice playing guitar with some lovely sounds - check out the videos on this page, and in the Vintage Guitar and Bass supporting members area

1966 Vox New Escort

1966 Vox New EscortThe Vox New Escort was Vox's version of the Fender Telecaster, at a time when American guitars were out of reach for most British musicians. It was made by JMI in England, for the British market, and unlike the majority of other models, didn't have an Italian-made equivalent. But the New Escort wasn't a slavish Fender copy, adding Vox's stylish teardrop headstock to the tele-style body, with a stop tailpiece and two Vox V2 single coil pickups. And it's a pretty substantial, and nice playing guitar, with a very comfortable neck. Check out the images, specifications, and watch a video of it in action. There is also extra content in the vintageguitarandbass supporting members area.

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin' Care

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.