1974 Gibson Howard Roberts Custom
A legend of the LA scene during the middle decades of the 20th Century, Howard Roberts paved the way for the studio players of the 70s and 80s whilst recording some seminal albums of his own. Constantly tinkering with his own guitars he was approached by Epiphone to design his own guitar in the early 60s, the model being discontinued by Gibson in 1969.
The Gibson version was introduced in 1974 (though a tiny number were shipped in 1973) featuring a 25.5” scale length, 16” waist, maple laminate body and neck and retaining the epiphone headstock design of the original with the vine inlay.
A full size floating humbucker was designed specifically for this model by Bill Lawerence along with a unique treble and mid control.
This Cherry example is rumored to be one of only 65 made before the colour was changed to burgundy in 1976.
The guitar is in great condition. The cherry finish shows very little sign of fading and though there are a few knocks and bumps the body is in great condition.
The five piece maple neck (specified by Howard Roberts as he felt it was much more stable than mahogany )too shows little sign of fade. There is evidence of a strap button having been fitted at the heel. The rosewood fretboard is in great condition and there is plenty of life left in the original frets.
The chrome hardware is in good condition. The pickguard is included with the guitar but has started gassing so has been kept off to preserve the finish. Elsewhere the plastics are correct and in good condition. The Howard Roberts Rosewood inset in the tailpiece is also still present, often lost.
Electrically everything looks correct and is in full working order including the Super Humbucker and the Treble and Mid Roll off controls.
The guitar comes with its correct hardshell case.
Acoustically this guitar has that classic arch top tone with plenty of projection. Plugged in the Super Humbucker pickups really translate that sound well with a smooth finish, the innovative tone controls really let you shape the sound you desire.
Maybe not at the top of anyone’s archtop list, this guitar has a lot to offer in a unique package.
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