Up for sale, a 1975 Gibson "The Ripper" L9-S bass in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original 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 all maple construction comprises a three-piece set neck with slab maple fingerboard and string through maple body, ensuring a very immediate, authoritative sound with smooth treble articulation and low frequency punch. 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 power and top end cut. Extremely lightweight for a maple-bodied Ripper, the bass weighs only 8lbs 5oz and has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with slinky action and spot-on intonation.
The three-piece maple neck has a medium C profile carve with more shoulder and heft further up the neck, measuring .830" deep at the 1st fret and .999" at the 12th. The original medium jumbo frets have a very flat factory fret dress, showing virtually no wear 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. On the headstock, the original tuning machines are intact and work as they should, and the "Ripper" truss rod cover is present.
All of the electronics work as they should, with CTS pots that date to the 44th 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 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.
The Natural nitro lacquer gloss finish is 100% original with very little ambering, and cosmetic wear is limited to a few finish scuffs and minor marks across the back, some concentrated nicks on the back of the bass-side body horn, and two loops of cable worming on the back just beyond the neck joint. There are also a few pinhead-sized nicks at the bass-side waist on top. The nitro lacquer gloss on the neck profile is clean and smooth with no palm wear and just one small mark on the bass-side shoulder at the 5th fret.
The original black tolex hardshell case with silver silkscreened "Gibson" logo on the exterior is included. The case is just as well-kept as the guitar with a red plush interior, original latches, and stock handle.