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2004 Gibson Byrdland Florentine

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Serial #: 23215001, orange Custom Shop label; oval Master Model label, signed James Hutchins, 11/24/04

Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 23 1/2" Nut Width: 1 11/16" Body depth: 2 1/4" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .78/.94

Materials: Solid carved bookmatched Sitka spruce top; solid carved Bigleaf maple back and sides; solid 3 piece maple neck; solid ebony fingerboard; L-5 style block mother of pearl fingerboard inlay and flowerpot peghead inlay; 7 ply top binding, triple bound back and neck, bound f-holes.

Hardware: All gold hardware includes Grover Keystone Rotomatic tuners ; loop style trapeze tailpiece with engraved crossbar; compensated gold Tuneomatic bridge with inlaid ebony foot; bound 5-ply tortoise pickguard; gold bonnet knobs; 3 way control switch. Jason Lollar Imperial humbuckers, with gold/cream covers.

Notes: Introduced in 1955, the Gibson Byrdland model took its name after a pair of celebrity guitarists who helped dream it up: Nashville session aces Hand Garland and Billy Byrd. This innovative guitar started life as an L-5CES, with its solid carved spruce and maple body, block and flowerpot inlay, and multi-ply binding, right down to the pointed end of the ebony fingerboard.

The scale length was shortened, to create Gibson's fastest neck ever, specifically tailored to facilitate stretch chord voicings and lightning-fast lead runs. And with its slimmed, comfy body depth, the Byrdland became Gibson's first ever thinline guitar. One of the most popular and influential body designs of the modern era, Hank and Billy's brainchild has remained in the catalog to this day.

Late in 1960, the original rounded Venetian cutaway body was superceded by a deeper Florentine cutaway design. Remaining in production through the decade, the Florentine Byrdland offered enhanced access to the uppermost frets. Gibson reverted to the Venetian body in 1970, making the 60's models some of Gibson's most sought-after electric archtops. Bowing to its cult status, Gibson finally reissued the Florentine Byrdland over half a century later, in a very limited release that is now long out of production.

This gorgeous instrument shows that Gibson was paying attention, too. The narrow fingerboard of the originals was widened to a standard 1 11/16" for greater ease of fingering. And the laminate back of the 60's guitars was replaced with solid, quartersawn Bigleaf tiger flame maple. This gleaming example was crafted with an exceptionally vivid bookmatched fiddleback maple back, sides and neck, with a lustrous vintage sunburst finish. And the gentle C- profile neck has smooth, low action over effortless medium jumbo frets, in a solid ebony fingerboard.

The pickups have been upgraded with custom Lollar Imperial humbuckers, with gold/cream covers, and Alnico 2 magnets measuring 7.43K at the neck, with Alnico 5 at 8.25K at the bridge, for tone that is warm and saturated, yet well defined at the bottom end. Carefully maintained, the instrument is free of pick, buckle, thumb and fingerboard wear, and shows only a few incidental lacquer nicks in the all original vintage style nitro finish.

Complete with its deluxe Gibson logo hardshell case, this striking guitar is a handsome example of a landmark in the evolution of the modern electric guitar. One only: call now.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel flatwound strings. The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 4/64" to 5/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.







































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