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Gibson / Howard Roberts Custom / 1974 / Cherry / Guitar

A legend of the LA scene during the middle decades of the 20th Century, Howard Roberts paved the way for the studio players of the 70s and 80s whilst recording some seminal albums of his own. Constantly tinkering with his own guitars he was approached by Epiphone to design his own guitar in the early 60s, the model being discontinued by Gibson in 1969.

The Gibson version was introduced in 1974 (though a tiny number were shipped in 1973) featuring a 25.5” scale length, 16” waist, maple laminate body and neck and retaining the epiphone headstock design of the original with the vine inlay.

A full size floating humbucker was designed specifically for this model by Bill Lawerence along with a unique treble and mid control. 

This Cherry example is rumored to be one of only 65 made before the colour was changed to burgundy in 1976.

The guitar is in great condition. The cherry finish shows very little sign of fading and though there are a few knocks and bumps the body is in great condition. 

The five piece maple neck (specified by Howard Roberts as he felt it was much more stable than mahogany )too shows little sign of fade. There is evidence of a strap button having been fitted at the heel. The rosewood fretboard is in great condition and there is plenty of life left in the original frets.

The chrome hardware is in good condition. The pickguard is included with the guitar but has started gassing so has been kept off to preserve the finish. Elsewhere the plastics are correct and in good condition. The Howard Roberts Rosewood inset  in the tailpiece is also still present, often lost. 

Electrically everything looks correct and is in full working order including the Super Humbucker and the Treble and Mid Roll off controls.

The guitar comes with its correct hardshell case.

Acoustically this guitar has that classic arch top tone with plenty of projection. Plugged in the Super Humbucker pickups really translate that sound well with a smooth finish, the innovative tone controls really let you shape the sound you desire.

Maybe not at the top of anyone’s archtop list, this guitar has a lot to offer in a unique package.

Instrument sold

ATB Guitars, UK  

Contact name:
Mike Long
Vintage Gibson, Fender and Martin from 1940's-1970's
Opening hours:
24 hours

Hello we’re ATB Guitars.

We are one of Europes leading sellers of vintage and rare guitars. We only sell vintage Gibson and Fender electric guitars from 1950 until 1975 and have an extensive inventory to browse in our bricks and mortar store in Cheltenham, UK or in our online web store.

Payment and p/x:

All prices are in UK GBP £ Sterling. Payment can be made by Paypal, bank transfer, cash, or money order cashiers cheque etc. 

Should you not be absolutely delighted with your purchase you may return it to Cheltenham, at your own expense, within 7 days from the date of delivery for a full refund. The item must not have been altered or tampered with in any way, and it must arrive in the same condition as it left us.

Postage and shipping:

We ship within the UK by Royal Mail Recorded (small items under 2Kg), TNT or UPS and Worldwide by Royal Mail Airmail Signed For (small under 2Kg) Parcelforce, UPS or FedEx. All shipping prices include expert packing, cartons and packing materials but not insurance which is typically around 2% of items value. Currently approx shipping rates for a single guitar are as follows:

UK excluding Northern Ireland and Highlands £29
Most of mainland Europe £49
U.S.A. £129
Asia £149 - £190
Rest of World including S. America £149 - £275


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