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1981 Gibson Byrdland

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Serial #: 80351054, stamped in headstock Body size at lower bout: 17". Scale length: 23 1/2" Nut Width: 1 10/16" Body depth: 2 1/4" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .80/1.00

Materials: Solid carved bookmatched spruce top; solid carved 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 loop style trapeze tailpiece with engraved crossbar; compensated ABR-1 Tuneomatic bridge with rosewood foot; 3 way control switch, gold bell volume and tone knobs. Seymour Duncan Seth Lover PAF humbucking pickups and Schaller M-6 tuners installed.

Notes: It was a disc jockey convention in Nashville, and the year was 1955. Gibson, Inc. had a booth demonstrating their new offerings, and ace session guitarists Hank Garland and Billy Byrd were sampling the merchandise. Then, according to Garland, Gibson rep Clarence Havenga asked the fateful question: "What would you like in a guitar that we don't already have?" By the time the three had finished brainstorming, a new guitar was born.

Christened the Byrdland after its co-creators, 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. Hank had been playing a custom Stromberg with a shorter scale and slimmer body depth, and he asked Havenga to match it. With Gibson's fastest neck ever, this innovative model made stretch chord voicings and lightning fast lead runs a breeze.

The traditional body depth of Gibson archtops had been unchanged since the Loar era, but by April 4th 1955, Gibson ledgers recorded the creation of four L-5CES guitars with the handwritten designation 'special thin model'. Thus did the Byrdland become Gibson's first ever thinline guitar, pioneering one of the most popular and influential body designs of the modern era, and Hank and Billy's brainchild has remained in the catalog to this day.

This handsome guitar is a rare example of this model from the early '80s. Maintained in superb condition, the guitar is fitted with all gold hardware, including the signature engraved trapeze tailpiece. Free of pick, buckle, thumb, fret or fingerboard wear, the gleaming deep Cremona sunburst finish is subtly feathered, and apart from a few incidental lacquer nicks, shows few signs of play altogether. The gentle C neck profile is elegant, with effortless action over fine original medium jumbo frets, on a fresh high precision setup.

At just 6lb 11oz, the guitar is nicely light in weight and well balanced, on the lap or the strap. The voice is rich and warm, with it's solid carved spruce soundboard and twin Seymour Duncan Seth Lover PAF humbucking pickups. A rare and striking example of a landmark in the evolution of the modern electric guitar. 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 roundwound 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: Deluxe black arched plush lined hardshell case.







































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