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1968 Gibson Barney Kessel Model

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Serial #: 896260, orange oval label

Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 9/16"

Materials: Solid mahogany neck; solid Brazilian rosewood fingerboard; arched spruce top; arched tiger flame maple back and sides; dual-parallelogram mother of pearl fingerboard inlay and thistle peghead inlay; triple bound top, bound back.

Hardware: 100% original hardware includes twin Gibson Patent # humbucking pickups and electronics; beveled 5-ply pickguard; 3 way control switch, nickel Kluson double ring tuners, compensated rosewood adjustable bridge, Barney Kessel engraved nameplate tailpiece and rubber grommet switchplate. Original black witch hat knobs included, extra set of black reflector caps installed.

Notes: Guitar legend Barney Kessel began his career as an acolyte of his fellow Oklahoman Charlie Christian. With a career that spanned from the bands of Artie Shaw and Charlie Barnet to the combos of Charlie Parker and Oscar Peterson, Kessel's resume spanned the most formative years of the contemporary jazz guitar. After a short-lived endorsement deal with Kay, Kessel became a Gibson artist, and his namesake model made its debut in 1961.

A 17" long scale twin pickup jazz box in the tradition of the ES-350, the Barney Kessel was Gibson's first full-depth double cutaway archtop, a design intended to facilitate access to the uppermost frets. A versatile and popular model, the BK has been unavailable from Gibson since 1973. This outstanding example shows particularly handsome tiger flame maple in the top, back and sides, and a solid Honduras mahogany neck. The original cherry sunburst finish is in excellent condition, with just the right amount of checking, and virtually without pick, thumb or buckle wear. Both pickups show original Pat.# decals in place and original chrome covers, and are beautifully matched with smooth, powerful output. The original nickel Kluson Deluxe double ring, double line tulip keys are in excellent shape, as is the original 5 ply beveled pickguard and bracket, and the original Brazilian rosewood adjustable compensated bridge.

The neck profile is notably slim and fast, ideal for the player desiring true vintage tone but unwilling to wrestle a bulky vintage neck. The original medium jumbo frets are still high and undented on the handsome Brazilian rosewood fingerboard. The tone is classic 60's jazz: fat, warm and sweet, with excellent clarity and balance across the range. So well maintained has this guitar been that it comes complete with its original factory hang tag in the original Gibson plush lined hardshell case. This Barney is a superb gig-ready player, all set for another half century of hot licks.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel roundwound strings (.012-.054). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" 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.

Case: Original black Gibson hardshell case with plush lining.



























































































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