The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson Byrdland Archtop Electric Sunburst, 2001


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The Gibson Byrdland Archtop Electric model has been in production since 1955, available in original sharp Florentine or rounded Venetian cutaway. It is based on a thinline version of the classic L5-CES body, but with a short scale length of 23.5 inches, two inches shorter than the L5.

The Byrdland was introduced in 1955 as a custom model for two top Nashville session players, Billy Byrd and Hank Garland. They wanted the tonality of the carved Spruce top L5, but also needed a more compact body and the ability to reach complex extended chords – hence the short scale. This scale length and has somewhat limited the appeal of this model, but aside from jazz and session players it has been used by many players including Ted Nugent and James Blood Ulmer. To extend the appeal of the design, 1955 also saw the introduction of the Gibson ES-350T, which shared the short scale length but used laminated, pressed woods for the body. That model was used by Chuck Berry.

Here we’re looking at a Gibson Byrdland Archtop Electric with sharp Florentine cutaway in Sunburst. It bears a secondary label, visible through the treble F hole, signed by the late Gibson Master Builder James W. Hutchins, who died in January of 2010. This secondary label dates the guitar to October 17, 2001 at Gibson Nashville. Hutchins began as an employee at the Kalamazoo plant and following the move to Nashville rose to not only manage carved-top instrument teams, but also acted as liaison with artists ordering custom models – including Chet Atkins. Hutchins and Atkins became friends while creating the Gibson Chet Atkins Country Gentleman.

This Gibson Byrdland Archtop Electric is in very good condition with light play wear and very nicely matched, figured woods. Strung with flat wounds, fret wear is light. This guitar has the characteristic short scale of Byrdlands, but the fingerboard is somewhat wider than early models at 1.7 inches (43.31mm).

The top is hand-carved Sitka Spruce, paired with a hand-carved Flame Maple back and Flame Maple sides; the neck is three pieces of Flame Maple connected by two layers of Black Walnut. The fingerboard, bridge base and head plate are Ebony. The block position markers and headstock inlays, the Gibson logo and Torch, are Mother of Pearl. The Byrdland has always been a top of the line model, so all the metal is gold plated, and multi-layer binding is applied to the top, back, neck and headstock *and* the faux-tortoise pickguard. The F-holes get single-layer binding. The electronic layout is traditional Gibson, with a pair of humbucking pickups, 3-way Switchcraft toggle with rubber shock mount, and individual volume and tone controls.

This Gibson Byrdland Archtop Electric with Florentine cutaway is in very nice clean and original condition, with very little wear. These instruments are few and far between, and play really well.

The original black Gibson Custom hard shell case is included, and contains the owner’s manual and original Gibson hang tag.

Price: $7,500.00 CAD
  • Model: Byrdland
  • Year: 2001
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: 22981005, signed and dated to Oct 17 2001 at Nashville TN
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Date Posted: 06/09/2023

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 6.996lbs 3.18kg
  • Scale Length: 23.346in 593mm
  • Nut Width: 1.705in 43.31mm
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