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Gibson guitar catalogues

Gibson publicity material 1950s-1980s

Gibson issued regular promotional material for it's products: catalogues every two years or so, dealer handouts, advertisements in guitar magazines, and Gibson's own magazines Gibson Gazette and Gibson Backstage Pass. Some publications were 'full-line' containing Gibson's entire product range. Others were segment, or even model-specific. Most of Gibson's guitars, basses and amplifiers are included amongst the pages of these catalogues, and many variations within a model can be tracked from catalogue to catalogue, both in the pictures, but also in the included specifications. The majority of these brochures state that materials and specifications could be changed without notice, so the information within, whilst generally accurate can not be regarded as absolute.

Gibson produced it's literature for the US guitar-buying market, but in the rest of the world, it was the responsibility of the overseas distributor, Selmer then Rosetti in the UK, Monzino in Italy etc. Gibson guitars often appeared in leaflets and brochures printed by these companies.

1958 | 1960 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1966 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1985


1958 Gibson electric guitar and amplifier catalogue

1958 Gibson electric guitar and amplifier catalogue. This was a time of innovation at Gibson and although the catalogue did not contain all of the new guitars of 1958, it did include two new-legendary designs, the ES-335TD and Flying V guitars - aswell as the EB2 bass.


1960 Gibson full line catalogue

1960 Gibson full line catalogue. The solid body and thinline ranges were expanding significantly at this time. New instruments for 1960 included the ES-330, ES-345 and ES-355, plus the early style Melody Maker, SG Special and EB-O bass.


1962 Gibson full line catalogue

1962 Gibson full line catalogue. This catalogue debuted the familiar 'batwing' SG series, including EB0 and EB3 basses, plus Artist series jazz instruments, the Johnny Smith and Barney Kessel.


The new Firebird guitar and Thunderbird bass were announced in mid-1963. Specification sheets for each model (four guitars and two basses) were produced by Gibson to accompany the instruments launch.


1964 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue

1964 'Brilliant' Gibson guitar and bass catalogue. 16 pages. Yet again, new (yet soon-to-be classic) guitars were included in the form of Firebird guitars, and Thunderbird basses.


1966 Gibson full line catalogue
1966 Gibson guitar and bass catalogue. Electric guitars, basses, acoustics, amplifiers. This was Gibson's first full-colour catalogue.
1966 Gibson 'Feel The Excitement' brochure
1966 Gibson "Feel The Excitement" brochure - a single sheet folded into panels


Towards the end of the 1960s, Gibson was running into a number of financial, managerial and production issues; ultimately culminating in parent company CMI giving way to Norlin in December 1969. New models were thin on the ground at this time, although there was much fanfare for the new reissued Les Paul guitars.

1968 Gibson pamphlet
1968 Gibson pamphlet - a simple eight-sided booklet highlighting a handful of models representing Gibson's range of electric guitars and amplifiers.
1968 Gibson Les Paul brochure
1968 Gibson Les Paul brochure announcing the newly reissued Les Paul Standard and Custom.


1969 Gibson Les Paul Personal / Professional owners manual
1969 Gibson Les Paul bass owners manual Four page pamphlet detailing the specifications and operation of the new low impedance Les Paul bass
1969 Gibson Les Paul Personal / Professional owners manual
1969 Gibson Les Paul Personal / Professional owners manual Six page pamphlet detailing the specifications and operation of the two new low impedance Les Paul guitars


Published by new owners Norlin, in early 1970. For this catalogue, they changed from the usual approach of offering full line catalogues and published a series of pamphlets each around 8-12 pages long containing just a small segment of the 1970 range. Naturally this reduced overall costs, as potential customers would only take the brochures featuring the instruments relevant to them, but it also allowed easy revision of certain segments as the instruments available changed. Titles included: solid bodies, thinlines, Les Pauls, basses, banjos, electric acoustics, carved top acoustics, mandolins, flattops, 12-string flattops and classic guitars. Note the new 'foliage' motif, used throughout the 1970s being used here for the first time.

1970 Gibson Les Paul catalogue - Les Paul models
1970 Gibson Les Paul catalogue - Twelve sides, five guitars, one bass, one amp
1970 Gibson thinline catalogue
1970 Gibson thinline catalogue - 12 pages, 10 guitars
1970 Gibson bass catalogue - electric basses
1970 Gibson bass catalogue - Eight pages, six basses


1971 saw the addition of the Les Paul Recording guitar and Triumph bass, with brochures detailing these new models and their novel controls

1971 Gibson low impedence brochure (with flexi disc)
1971 Gibson low impedence brochure (with flexi disc). Four pages
1971 Italian Gibson/Monzino brochure
1971 Italian Gibson / Monzino brochure. Six pages - fourteen guitars, five basses.


1972 Gibson electric solid bodies catalogue
1972 Gibson electric solid bodies catalogue - 12 pages, containing details of 5 newly redesigned SG models
1972 Gibson bass catalogue - the bass place
1972 Gibson bass catalogue - details of the solid body EB bass range, redesigned for '72. Special focus on the new EB-4L
1972 Gibson bass catalogue - the bass place
1972 Gibson solid bodies solid sound catalogue - fold out brochure containing details of some of the new features of Gibson's solid body (SG) range

The Gibson 'guitar of the month' showcase series of brochures published in 1972 provide a detailed look at some of Gibson's higher end models - each is a single sheet folded down to four panels.

1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - Les Paul Recording guitar
1972 Gibson Showcase - Les Paul Recording guitar
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - L-5CES
1972 Gibson Showcase - L-5CES
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - ES-175D
1972 Gibson Showcase - ES-175D
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - Super 400 CES
1972 Gibson Showcase - Super 400 CES
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - ES-355TD-SV
1972 Gibson Showcase - ES-355TD-SV
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - Byrdland
1972 Gibson Showcase - Byrdland


1973 Gibson solid bodies catalogue
Gibson solid bodies catalogue Single fold out sheet showing the once-again redesigned SG series. Five models are detailed.
1973 Gibson solid bodies catalogue
1973 'Look Ahead to Gibson' brochure demnstrated a selection of new models: Howard Roberts Custom, L6S, Gospel and the Les Paul Signature guitar and bass.


Once again the 1975 catalogue is split into smaller brochures highlighting different segments of Gibson's instruments.

1975 Gibson bass guitar catalog
1975 Gibson bass guitar catalogue Eight pages, featuring six bass models
1975 Gibson electric acoustics catalogue
1975 Gibson electric acoustics catalogue Twelve pages, featuring ten electric acoustic guitars
1975 Gibson Les Paul guitar catalogue
1975 Gibson Les Paul guitar catalogue Eight pages including four guitars and two bass guitars
1975 Gibson solid body catalogue
1975 Gibson solid body catalogue Twelve pages featuring six solid body guitar models
1975 Gibson thinline catalogue
1975 Gibson thinline catalogue Eight pages, four guitar models


In 1975, several new models were added to the range - Gibson reissued some of the 1975 brochures with additional pages to cover the new guitars: the G-3 bass, and S-1 guitar

1976 Gibson bass guitar catalog
1976 Gibson bass guitar catalogue - Twelve pages, featuring seven bass models
1976 Gibson solid body catalog
1976 Gibson solid body catalogue Twelve pages featuring seven solid body guitar models



The 1978 Gibson catalogue was the first full-line catalogue of the Norlin period. New models first included in the 1978 Gibson catalogue include the Gibson RD guitar and bass, the the ES-347TD and several Les Paul models: The Les Paul, LP Artisan, and LP 55/78


1980 Gibson catalog. Gibson Guitars.
1980 Gibson catalogue. Entitled Gibson Guitars, but also includes a number of mandolins and banjos. The cover features an instrument made by Orville Gibson in 1894. First catalogue appearance of the 335S and Sonex series of guitars.
1980 Gibson Sonex owners manual
1980 Gibson Sonex owners manual, covering the Sonex-180 Deluxe, Standard and Custom.


Summer 1981 saw the release of 10 Gibson 'pre-owners manuals' - actually mini folders with loose-leaf inserts, one for each model. Each manual represented one segment of the Gibson line. At this time, Rosetti took over distribution of the Gibson line in the UK, and produced their first Gibson guitar catalogue at the tail end of the year.

1981 Victory bass pre-owners manual
1981 Victory bass pre-owners manual mini folder containing two inserts: Victory Standard bass and Victory Artist bass
1981 Victory MV guitar pre-owners manual
1981 Victory MV guitar pre-owners manual mini folder containing two inserts: Victory MV-2 and Victory MV-10
1981 Sonex guitar pre-owners manual
1981 Sonex guitar pre-owners manual mini folder containing three inserts: Sonex-180 Deluxe, Sonex-180 Custom and Sonex Artist
1981 Gibson Specials pre-owners manual
1981 Gibson Specials pre-owners manual 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
1981 Victory bass owners manual
1981 Victory bass owners manual 32 page guide to the Gibson Victory Standard and Artist bass
1981 Victory MV owners manual
1981 Victory MV owners manual 36 page booklet for owners of the Victory MV-II and MV-X
1981 Rosetti (UK) Gibson catalog
1981 Rosetti (UK) Gibson catalogue The only Gibson catalogue to include the GGC-700


In '82 Gibson produced a number of single sheet flyers, typically with one or more folded panels with extra details. Some of these flyers were also placed as advertisements (minus the fold out panel) in Guitar Player and similar magazines. Only the front panels are shown here - click to see the full flyer.



Gibson guitar catalogs for sale is funded by its visitors. When you buy through links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission. For more info see terms and conditions.


Bellport, New York, 117**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Gibson Amplifier Brochure

Super hard item to find in original stained condition. 1959 Gibson Amplifier Sales Brochure. Tiny water mark on the lower left, barely visible. Only one side of the brochure is shown there are three models on the opposite side
It's currently in a cheap frame, not as shown in the photo, that you should upgrade when you get this
GA 86GA 77GA 40T Les PaulGA 18 T ExplorerGA 20 T RangerGA 30 InvaderGA Super 400GA 200 Rythym KingGA 6 LancerGA ... more
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1975 Original Gibson Thin Electric Acoustic Series- 8 page Brochure-MINT BB King

1975 Original Gibson Thin Electric Acoustic Series- 8 page Brochure-MINT BB King

San Francisco, California, 941**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


For sale is an original 1975 Gibson Thin Electric Acoustic Series brochure featuring BB King. The brochure is in mint condition and contains 8 pages of information about this vintage guitar. This item is a great addition to any musician's collection, with its rich history and exceptional craftsmanship. The brand of this guitar is Gibson and the exact year is 1975. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to own a piece of music history!
... more
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Pahrump, Nevada, 890**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


GIBSON CATALOGS Two vintage Gibson guitar catalogs from the 70's, electric basses and electric solid bodies. These are in good condition with no rips or tears. Please see my photos as they are part of my description. This comes from a pet a smoke free home.... more
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1963 64  GIBSON GUITAR CATALOGUE with thunderbird firebird

1963 64 GIBSON GUITAR CATALOGUE with thunderbird firebird

Derby, Derbyshire, DE72***, UNITED KINGDOM


In pretty good condition for year , has been folded but I think could be ironed out , I??ve tried to show all marks etc in photos , no writing in it... more
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Gibson Poster / Catalog 1980 - Collector - good condition - rare

Gibson Poster / Catalog 1980 - Collector - good condition - rare

Lagarde, 31***, FRANCE


Gibson Poster / Catalog 1980 - Collector - good condition - rare.
Good condition
Great Gibson collector item.... more
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gibson guitar catalog and price list  1970s

gibson guitar catalog and price list 1970s

Minto, NSW, 2***, AUSTRALIA

AU $50

A very nice gibson catalog and price list ( UK )Price includes shipping in Australia... more
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Reginald Gainey Comment left 10th May 2012 23:11:30 reply
Hello, I have used your site for years now. I wrote you a long time ago and told you about my LP-12 amp. You got me started on a long path of Gibson Recording and Triumph guitars. I visit Gibson Restoration for them to do all my work. They are great people. I also have a nice collection of Epiphone Guitars. They are not as low-end as people think. Yes, they do have some junk but Mr. Les Paul always wanted something for kids to use to get started with. You know that. I visited Mr. Les Paul on his birthday at the Iridium in NY on his birthday 2 years before he passed. He did not sign autographs that night but let me in the back in the green room with him after the show. He signed my Recording. I held his hand for 15 minutes and we talked about "life". I mentioned a couple technical questions to him, but I didnt want to talk about things he's always talked to fans about. So he told me about life and happiness. He did say he was still friends with Eddie Van Halen and that the LP-12 amp "was just too damn loud". I also have pics where Phil at Gibson Restoration made him his last Goldtop Low Impedance guitar from scratch. Phil took pics along the way and since he was the only one in the shop who worked on a Recording (mine) and he's the best, he got the job of making the guitar. I have about 100 pics. It was the last guitar made for Les before he passed. My original Gibson Low Impedance catalog got stolen at a gig. So I am trying to find another one. Please let me know if you find one? Also, I have 5 Epiphones and looking for Epiphone catalogs. If you know a site like yours, please let me know? Anything I can do for you just ask. Thanks, Reggie, Macon, GA


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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.