One of the Most Beautiful Guitars Ever Made
This top-of-the-line of Gibson Guitars designed by Billie Byrd and Hang Gardland
Based on the L-5, it has a thinner body, this guitar has been made in America using Old world craftmanship
Though its association with Country would fade into a much more jazz-oriented scene over time, the Byrdland remained in Gibson’s catalogue for many years, all the way up until the mid 2010’s, when they essentially axed all archtops from production.
Gibson’s Byrdland hollowbody guitars are a favorite with jazz guitarists, although the Byrdland’s playability and tone are loved in many styles including rock. This Byrdland hollowbody tops a maple back and sides with a spruce top, for wonderfully vibrant tones with good definition.
Full detailed specs:
17″ Inches Body
23,5 inch scale
Overall length is 41 in. (104.1 cm.), 16 15/16 in. (43 cm.)
laminated maple neck with ebony fingerboard
Carved spruce top reinforced with two parallel braces
Solid maple back and sides.
Laminated five-piece maple/mahogany/maple/mahogany/maple neck with a wonderful medium profile and 22 wide jumbo frets.
Ebony fretboard with pointed end and inlaid pearl block position markers.
Nine-ply binding on the top of the guitar, five-ply binding on the back, five-ply binding on the headstock, three-ply binding on the fretboard plus two white lines on either side, and single-bound f-holes.
Headstock with seventeen degree peghead angle and inlaid pearl “Gibson” logo and pearl flowerpot (“torch”) inlay.
Pearl block inlays. Joins body at the 14th fret
Two-layer (black on white) truss-rod cover with “Custom” engraved in white.
Black-painted headstock rear face.
Individual Gibson tuners with tulip-shaped metal buttons.
Label inside indicating Norlin Era 1982
Two great-sounding humbucker pickups
Tortoiseshell pickguard with five-layer (white/black/white/black/white) plastic binding.
Four controls (two volume, two tone) on lower treble bout, plus three-way pickup selector switch on upper treble horn.
Black plastic bell-shaped knobs with metal tops.
Gibson Tune-O-Matic retainer bridge with metal saddles on Ebony base and specific three-loop tailpiece with “Byrdland” engraved on the cross-bar.
All hardware gold-plated.
This guitar, in exceptionally fine (9.00) condition, is one of the nicest-playing and best-sounding Byrdlands that we have ever seen.
The back of the guitar and the back of the neck are super well preserved
Housed in its original Gibson black hardshell case
This is one with Venetian Cutaway Gibson
“Named after famed 50s guitarists Billy BYRD and Hank GARLAND, the [$550.00] Byrdland was unveiled in 1955 as the top-end model in the then new thinline series. Patterned after the L-5CES, save for a shorter and narrower neck [designed for easier fingering of ‘twisted’ chords and faster playing speed], the Byrdland went through the same evolution in terms of pickups and body style. Three main variants can be successively distinguished up to 1965…The first variant of the Byrdland [with a round Venetian cutaway] is characterized by its Alnico pickups with six individually adjustable rectangular magnet poles…In early 1958 the Alnico pickups were replaced by humbuckers. All the other specifications remained unchanged…In late 1960 the body was restyled with a pointed Florentine cutaway to facilitate access to the fingerboard. The newer shape entailed the use of a slightly shorter pickguard. All the other specifications remained unchanged. Subsequently, the neck was changed from a 2-piece to a 3-piece maple lamination for added strength in mid-62. About a year later, the Byrdland was no longer systematically built with a solid 2-piece maple back and one-piece laminated maple backs were brought in. The round Venetian cutaway was eventually reinstated on the Byrdland in early 1969” (A.R. Duchossoir, Gibson Electrics — The Classic Years)
“Jazz players at the time were experimenting with chords that required great stretches of the left hand, and the Byrdland was designed to accommodate them with a shorter, 23 1/2-inch scale and a narrow neck. Otherwise it was essentially a thinbodied L-5CES” (George Gruhn and Walter Carter, Electric Guitars and Basses: A Photographic History)
The Byrdland is one of the company’s best known jazz archtops having been in continual production for over six decades. It is a particularly fine guitar, designed by, and taking its name from, Billy Byrd and Hank Garland – two influential jazz guitarists of the 1950s, and produced at Gibson’s famous Kalamazoo plant. As the 1972 Gibson Showcase brochure states, “craftsmanship, playability and tonal performance have been the ‘key elements’ in the design” of the Byrdland. It debuted in 1955 and has been on Gibson price lists ever since.
The Byrdland is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful guitars ever made.