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1975 Gibson Howard Roberts Custom

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Serial #: 513975

Body size at lower bout: 16". Scale length: 25.4" Nut Width: 1 11/16"

Finish: Wine red finish, nitrocellulose type

Materials: Seven-ply bound figured maple body; three piece flame maple neck; solid rosewood fingerboard; ornate NY Epi Deluxe style peghead vine inlay, Gibson peghead logo, and split block pearl fingerboard inlays.

Hardware: Original chrome hardware includes custom engraved tailpiece; ebony bridge with mother of pearl foot inlay; Gibson Deluxe sealed tuners; unique full sized original floating Gibson humbucking pickup; master volume with separate treble and bass tone controls; black barrel knobs. Vintage correct 5-ply bound tortoise pickguard.

Notes: Featured on untold thousands of major studio recordings, movie and TV soundtracks as both a sideman and soloist, the late Howard Roberts was almost surely the most prolifically recorded jazz gutiarist of all time. Like his contemporary Johnny Smith, Roberts also consulted in the creation of a number of technically innovative instruments. The Howard Roberts Model was introduced by Gibson under its Epiphone label in 1965. Made in Kalamazoo, this original guitar combined an arched 16" Florentine cutaway body with a unique oval soundhole, a design with roots in Orville Gibson's very earliest guitars. With its long-scale neck, the Howard Roberts also revived the celebrated vine peghead inlay of the prewar Epiphone Deluxe.

The Epiphone Howard Roberts was discontinued by 1968, but revived under the Gibson logo in 1970. A full-sized floating humbucking pickup was produced for this model alone, and unique separate treble and bass tone controls. Three years later, Gibson premiered this version of the model, the Howard Roberts Custom, with the wine red finish making its debut in 1975. Produced in limited numbers, the Howard Roberts Custom was offered for less than a decade. This example is from the first year of production in this rare finish option.

This guitar is in superb original condition, with handsome figure in the arched maple back, and colorful Paua abalone in the tree-of-life peghead. The finish is all original, and the guitar is without cracks, pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. Even the typical checking one normally expects from an instrument of this vintage is notably absent. Apart from a bit of pitting on the pickup cover, the instrument looks much as did when it left the Gibson factory almost four decades ago.

The tone is rich and unusually versatile through the floating humbucking pickup, thanks to the unique tone control system, and the distinctive oval hole body has a very respectable unplugged voice of its own. Action is smooth and low over a gentle C profile neck, with fine pro medium jumbo fretwork. A rare opportunity to own one of Gibson's most distinctive Artist Models. One only: call now.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, recrowned and polished as required; trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge foot contour inspected and fit to top as necessary; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel wound strings (.013-.057). 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 deluxe Gibson arched black plush lined hardshell case.

































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