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1975 Gibson Ripper L9-S Vintage Bass Sunburst, Alder Body w/ Case, Hangtag


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Up for sale, a 1975 Gibson "The Ripper" L9-S bass in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case and warranty card. One of the more unique and versatile Gibson basses ever produced, the Ripper comes equipped with its original pair of Bill Lawrence designed "Super Humbucker" pickups and a four-way rotary switch for series, parallel, and out of phase pickup settings.

The contoured alder body is a particularly rare option, only offered on the Ripper in 1975 and attributable to the instrument's smooth, balanced natural sound. The set neck, string through body design, maple neck and ebony fingerboard ensure a powerful tonal platform and excellent sustain, with the glassy articulation and note attack of ebony. And while the bass does have a distinctive growl and grind accentuated by a set of roundwound 45-105 strings, rolling back the Tone knob to taste can yield a broad, meaty thump. The pickups have a rich tonal palette, delivering fundamental punch and top end cut. Lightweight for a Ripper at 8lbs 9oz, this bass has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with easy-playing action and spot-on intonation.

The three-piece maple neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with more shoulder and heft in the upper registers, measuring .830" deep at the 1st fret and 1.005" at the 12th. The original medium jumbo frets have good meat, showing light wear on the crowns of frets 1-10, and playing cleanly up the 34" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 1 5/8" in width, upgraded to bone. On the headstock, the original tuning machines are intact and work as they should, and the "Ripper" truss rod cover is present. The bass also has a small "2" beneath the serial, originally sold as a Factory 2nd for some small finish flaw imperceptible after half a century.

All of the electronics work as they should, with CTS pots that date to the 52nd week of 1974. The four-way rotary pickup selector switch works as follows:

1 in phase — series
2 bridge only — single
3 in phase — parallel
4 out of phase — series

The original bridge is intact with extremely clean chrome plating, complete with the bridge cover. The plastic parts include the original three-ply pickguard which appears black but is actually a very dark swirling tortoise material, along with the original trio of black speed knobs.

Cosmetic wear on the gloss Tobacco Sunburst nitro lacquer finish includes buckle rash on the upper bout of the back, and a number of minor dings on the body as a whole, largely relegated to the perimeter and back. Additionally, there is limited texturing in the clear coat along the lower bout perimeter from extended contact with the case lining. The neck profile retains its smooth nitro gloss.

The original black tolex hardshell case is included, along with the original warranty card.