Up for sale, a 1975 Gibson "The Ripper" L9-S bass in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, 100% original and complete with the original bridge cover and hardshell case. 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, and slab ebony fingerboard ensure a rich 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, a set of 50-120 roundwound strings can also yield a deep thump. The pickups have a rich tonal palette, delivering fundamental punch and top end cut. Extremely lightweight for a Ripper, the bass weighs only 8lbs 6oz and has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with low action and spot-on intonation.
The three-piece maple neck has a round, substantial C profile carve, modestly more slender at the nut yet with appreciable heft as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .845" deep at the 1st fret and 1.015" at the 12th. The slab ebony fretboard retains the original medium jumbo frets which have good meat and show only light wear on the crowns of frets 1-6. The bass plays cleanly up the 34" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 1 5/8" in width. 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 stamped serial number, preceding the stickered serials seen just a few weeks later in '75.
All of the electronics work as they should, with untouched solder joints and CTS pots that date to the 41st week of 1975. 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, currently functioning as a top loader, and the plastic parts include the original three-ply black pickguard (with one small chip on the bass-side edge), trio of speed knobs, and chicken head rotary dial.
The Ebony nitro lacquer finish is 100% original and particularly clean, with wear limited to one spot of targeted buckle rash at the bass-side waist on the back, and some additional minor nicks and finish scratches on the body as a whole. There is light rack rash adjacent to the nut, and a small finish chip on the volute, while the smooth nitro gloss is retained along the entire profile length.
The original form-fit black tolex hardshell case is included with a clean purple plush interior, functional latches, original handle, and silver Gibson silkscreen on the exterior.