Up for sale, a 1970's Gibson Byrdland in excellent condition and in perfect working order. One of Gibson's most storied professional archtop models and their first ever thinline hollowbody, the Byrdland is an amalgam of the names of its co-creators, session guitarists Hank Garland and Billy Byrd. With the L-5 CES as its genesis, the Byrdland revised the design of Gibson's flagship model with a shorter 23 1/2" scale and 1 5/8" nut width, engineered to enable more ambitious chord extensions and spirited lead work. And the 2 1/4" body depth is exceedingly comfortable, retaining the L-5's full 17" lower bout width.
Featuring a solid carved quartersawn spruce soundboard and figured maple back and sides, the Byrdland retains its original pair of patent stickered T Top humbuckers. A detailed and lively pickup pair, the T Tops have a distinctly clear top end and a taut, focused bass response, great for retaining clarity with complex chord voicings. The carved spruce top ensures an articulate, woody sound in every pickup position, and the guitar is strung with fresh 11-50 roundwound strings. Weighing 6lbs 10oz and well-balanced on a strap, we've had this Gibson dialed in to perfection here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with low action and spot-on intonation.
The three-piece maple neck has a slender, yet round C shape at the nut, measuring .800" deep at the 1st fret and tapering to .945" at the 9th. The bound ebony fretboard features pearl block inlay and has been professionally refretted with wire that has vintage width yet with appreciably more height and crown, fretting easily in every register. The nut has also been upgraded to a hand-carved piece of bone for optimal clarity and sustain. The headstock has been fitted with a set of modern Grover Rotomatic tuning machines with metal tulip buttons, and additional tuner mounting holes have been cleanly doweled with targeted lacquer touchup. There is also one small ding on the headstock face between the low E and A tuner posts.
The original pair of T Tops are intact, each fitted with a new gold Gibson cover. The ABR-1 bridge is modern Gibson component as well, shining like new, and the gold reflector cap knobs are also modern, along with the bound transparent tortoise pickguard. The original Byrdland gold tailpiece is intact and impressively well-kept. Visible through the F hole, the original purple Union Made Gibson label is intact. The original Ice Tea Sunburst nitro lacquer finish is warm and inviting, showing some small scattered nicks and broad lacquer checking across the top. The bridge was at one time glued, with light wear beneath the feet, and there are two small finish chips in the maple on the side of the body on the upper bout. There is light buckle rash central to the back, with some assorted small nicks on the back and sides as well, all in-line with light, honest use over nearly a half century. The neck profile exhibits one small nick on the treble side shoulder of the profile behind the 1st fret, and the profile is otherwise extremely clean with only a couple faint marks.
This Byrdland has all the soul and dynamic responsiveness of vintage wood and pickups, with the gleaming hardware of a new instrument and factory-fresh playability thanks to the professional refret and carved bone nut.
A modern Gibson USA brown tolex hardshell case is included.