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1976 Gibson Howard Roberts Custom

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Serial #: 00101631

Body size at lower bout: 16". Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 11/16" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .81/.94

Materials: Seven-ply bound arched maple laminate body; three piece flame maple neck; solid rosewood fingerboard; abalone vine peghead inlay and logo, pearl split-block pearl fingerboard inlays.

Hardware: Original chrome hardware includes Gibson full size floating humbucking pickup; custom engraved tailpiece; ebony bridge with mother of pearl foot inlay; Gibson Deluxe sealed tuners; master volume control, 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 guitarist 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" body with an extended Florentine cutaway, and a unique oval soundhole, a design with roots in Orville Gibson's very earliest guitars. With its long-scale neck, the Howard Roberts also echoed the celebrated vine peghead inlay of the classic Epiphone Deluxe and Emperor.

The Epiphone Howard Roberts was discontinued by 1968, but revived under the Gibson logo in 1970. A special full-sized floating humbucker was produced for this model alone, in addition to unique separate treble and bass tone controls. Three years later, Gibson premiered this most popular version of the model, the Howard Roberts Custom, and 1975 saw the debut of this striking wine finish, the rarest color for the model. Produced in limited numbers, the Howard Roberts Custom was offered for less than a decade until the last one rolled off the line in 1981.

This handsome example has been maintained in great shape, with colorful Paua abalone in the tree-of-life peghead, and the signature split block inlays, borrowed from the prewar Epiphone Spartan. The finish is all original, and the guitar is without cracks, pick, thumb or fingerboard wear. Some light scattered checking ensures that the gleaming lacquer finish is all original, with playwear confined mostly to some case wear at the top of the headstock, and a few patches of strap wear on the back. (For some long forgotten cosmetic issue, the peghead is also stamped with the number '2', as a factory second. By contrast, Gibson guitars with the slightest structural flaw were swiftly dispatched to the band saw.)

The tone is rich and unusually versatile through the distinctive full size Gibson humbucking pickup, seen only on this model, and never reissued. The distinctive oval hole body has a quite respectable unplugged voice of its own, and the custom tone control system, which adjusts both treble and bass frequencies separately, is unique only to this most versatile of Gibson archtops. The arched maple laminate body offers superior feedback resistance, and bulletproof reliability, against seasonal changes in temperature and humidity. Action is smooth and low over a gentle D profile neck, with fine pro fretwork and a fresh high-precision setup.

A rare opportunity to own one of Gibson's most distinctive and versatile Artist Models. One only: call now.

Setup: 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, pickup polepieces adjusted and electronids tested.

This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel wound 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.

Case: Original deluxe black Gibson logo arched plush lined hardshell case.

































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