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 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 maple neck and fingerboard ensure a powerful tonal platform and excellent sustain, with the glassy articulation and note attack of maple. 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. 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 maple fretboard, measuring .830" deep at the 1st fret and 1.025" at the 12th. The fretboard retains the original medium jumbo frets which have good meat and height, showing very little wear. 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 with light patina, and the "Ripper" truss rod cover is present. The bass also has an oval decal serial number badge, consistent with mid-1970s production.
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, along with the chrome bridge cover, and the bridge is currently strung as a top-loader. The plastic parts include the original three-ply black pickguard which has one small split at the bass-side corner, a trio of stock black speed knobs, and the chicken head rotary dial.
The Natural nitro lacquer gloss finish is 100% original and extremely clean, with wear limited to a localized spot of light buckle rash at the bass-side waist and just a few additional minor nicks and scuffs on the body as a whole. An extra strap button has been added to the neck heel, and the neck profile retains its smooth nitro gloss with no palm wear.
The original form-fit hardshell case with Gibson silkscreen on the exterior is included. The original handle is intact, and the case latches are functional.