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1978 Gibson Howard Roberts Artist

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Serial #: 71388066

Body size at lower bout: 16". Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut Width: 1 11/16" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .76/.90

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

Hardware: All original gold hardware includes full sized floating Gibson humbucking pickup; trapeze tailpiece with engraved ebony insert; compensated adjustable ebony bridge with mother of pearl inlay; Gibson/Schaller Deluxe sealed tuners; master volume with separate treble and bass tone controls; original black barrel knobs, 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 his time. Like his contemporary Johnny Smith, Roberts also consulted in the creation of a number of technically innovative instruments.

An instrument as versatile as its celebrated creator, the Howard Roberts Model was first introduced by Gibson under its Epiphone label in 1965. Made in Kalamazoo, this innovative 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, and the split block fingerboard inlays of the Epiphone's prewar Spartan model.

While the Howard Roberts was discontinued under the Epiphone brand by 1968, the model was revived under the Gibson logo in 1974. A unique full-sized floating humbucking pickup was produced for this model alone, with innovative separate treble and bass tone controls. Two years later, Gibson premiered Howard Roberts Artist, the most upscale version of the model, featuring a solid ebony fingerboard and all gold hardware. Produced in very limited numbers for only four years, the Artist is now the rarest version of this celebrated model.

This example is one of just 45 produced in its model year, and is in gleaming condition, without cracks, pick, buckle, thumb, or fingerboard wear. The hardware and electronics are all original, including the ebony tailpiece, engraved with the model name, and the pearl inlaid ebony bridge, as seen on the L-5, Johnny Smith and Super 400 models. With striking curly maple figure in both body and neck, the guitar sports a vintage correct three-tone sunburst finish in true nitro lacquer, meticulously applied in our own shop, and its original multi-bound tortoise pickguard, rare to survive on this model.

Action is smooth and low over a particularly elegant slim depth D profile neck, with a full width 1 11/16" nut, and fresh high precision setup. The tone is warm and rich thanks to the unique full sized floating pickup, and dual-band tone control system. The distinctive oval hole body produces a respectable unplugged voice of its own, yet is substantially more resistant to feedback than a conventional carved archtop.

Rare, handsome and versatile, and a fitting tribute to one of the true legends of contemporary guitar. 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.

This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel roundwound strings. 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 Gibson logo black arched plush lined hardshell case.

































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