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1989 Gibson Howard Roberts Fusion II
Serial #: 83399582, stamped in peghead
Body size at lower bout: 14 7/8". Depth: 2 5/16". Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut Width: 1 11/16" Neck depth, 1st/12th frets: .77/.94
Materials: Solid maple neck; arched maple top back, and sides; solid ebony fingerboard
Hardware: 100% original gold hardware, including twin gold Gibson HB-R/L pickups, six-finger adjustable tailpiece, 5-ply beveled black pickguard, Grover Rotomatic tuners, Tuneomatic bridge, black barrel speed knobs; 3 way pickup selector switch.
Notes: A legend among guitarists, the late Howard Roberts dominated the LA recording scene for over a quarter of a century, having played on literally thousands of pop hits, film soundtracks, and a notable series of solo albums. Roberts' creativity was not limited to the fretboard alone. He was a relentless tinkerer with his instruments, often customizing them beyond recognition. Little surprise then that when Gibson came to call, Howard was ready with ideas for a truly innovative guitar for the working player.
The Howard Roberts Fusion made its debut in 1979, and combined a number of signature features from some of Gibson's most successful models. The deep Florentine cutaway body extended the reach of the ES-175 with a neck that joins the body at the 16th fret. The intermediate 2 5/16" body depth is unique in the line, and represents a comfortable compromise between the full sized archtops and the slimline ES-335 family. And like the latter model, the Fusion offers superior feedback resistance with an internal sound block that increases sustain.
The Fusion II was introduced in 1988, with significant upgrades including gold hardware, a bound fingerboard and the adjustable finger tailpiece, borrowed from the upscale Le Grande archtop. The original HB-R/L pickups were designed for Gibson by Bill Lawrence, and feature a four wire 'circuit board' design allowing easy coil tapping, further increasing the versatility of the instrument.
Crafted with an attractive birdseye maple back, this handsome guitar has 100% original hardware and finish, with no cracks, pick, thumb or fingerboard wear. Playwear is light, and confined mostly to some lacquer nicks on the back, and a bit of wear to the pickup covers. The guitar has smooth low action over fine original fretwork, with a fresh high precision setup on the comfy, medium C profile neck. The original brown Gibson logo hardshell case is worn but serviceable, and includes the pink plush coverlet.
The sum of many parts, the Howard Roberts Fusion remains one of the most playable, and versatile, models Gibson ever produced, equally at home with smoking bebop as downhome blues. One only: call now.
Setup: Trrussrod tension and neck relief adjusted as required; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut inspected and recut as necessary; bridgewheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.
This instrument is strung with medium-light gauge nickel roundwound strings (.011). 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. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.