The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson Tal Farlow Custom Archtop Electric Sunburst, 1998


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Working guitarists have always been a focus of guitar makers, and the Gibson Tal Farlow represents the involvement of the famous Jazz guitarist Tal Farlow with Gibson.

Tal Farlow lived from 1921 to 1998 and was well known for his chord melody playing, which he developed at an early age. He went on to play with many jazz greats including Charles Mingus and Artie Shaw. His large, fast hands earned him the nickname ‘the Octopus’.

Based on a full size, fully hollow arched top design, the Gibson Tal Farlow appeared in 1962 and was built until 1971, and again from 1993 until Gibson’s recent reorganization. With a full 25.5 inch (647.7mm) scale length, this is a serious jazz guitar. The top, back and sides are figured Maple laminate for feedback rejection at stage volumes, paired to a Maple neck with a bound Indian Rosewood fingerboard. The body has a distinctive faux scroll on the lower cutaway, a specific request by Tal Farlow.

This Gibson Tal Farlow was built at the Nashville Custom Shop and dates to July 09 1998. It’s in very good, clean condition with a nicely faded sunburst and minor wear.

Sold with its original hard shell case.

Here’s what the builder has to say, on a legacy archive page, about the Gibson Tal Farlow model:

“The Tal Farlow model, first released in 1962, has a body that is outwardly reminiscent of the popular ES-5 in its basic dimensions, but from there it departs in its own unique model form as dictated by this gifted guitarist.

Its trademark faux-scroll rounded cutaway (Farlow’s own design), upside-down J-200 fingerboard inlays, double-crown headstock inlays, and Tal Farlow trapeze tailpiece with inlaid rosewood block set it apart from any other archtop Gibson had ever created. This unusual signature model has always been a rare bird, and only 215 examples were produced between 1962-’69.

Gibson’s Custom Shop makes the Tal Farlow today in the exact image of the original, down to the enlarged five-point pickguard and the Farlow scroll cutaway, created—now as then—by curling the binding into the body at the cutaway to create the impression of a mandolin-like scroll. It’s a full-sized archtop at 17” wide and, more comfortable than other models of its day, 3” deep. As preferred by many professional jazz guitarists, including Farlow, the ES rounded neck profile is made to a 25 1/2” scale length, with a 1 11/16” nut width. The model also features multi-ply binding on the body’s top and back, single-ply white binding on the fingerboard, headstock, and f-holes, and is available in vintage sunburst and viceroy brown.

Fully acoustic, it is also a fully electric model, with two set-in humbucking pickups with individual volume and tone controls, and a three-way selector switch. Its floating rosewood bridge base carries an ABR-1 tune-o-matic bridge for full adjustment of individual string intonation and excellent sustain. “


Price: $5,450.00 CAD
  • Model: Tal Farlow
  • Year: Current
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: 9190812 Built July 09 1998 Nashville TN
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Brand New
  • Date Posted: 23/09/2020

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 7/392lbs 3.36kg
  • Scale Length: 25.5in 647.7mm
  • Nut Width: 1.693in 43mm
Gibson Website

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