The Byrdland thinline electric was produced from 1955 and is the first Gibson thinline model (compared to previous archtops) together with ES225T and ES350T.
Its name derives from the names of guitarists Billy Byrd and Hank Garland for whom Gibson originally custom-built the guitar.
Many guitarists did not desire the bulk of a traditional archtop guitar such as Gibson's L-5, one of Gibson's top models. The Byrdland, with its overall depth of 2+1⁄4 in (5.7 cm), is thinner than the L-5's 3+3⁄8 in (8.6 cm) depth.
It is essentially a custom-built, thinner, L-5CES with a short scale neck (23+1⁄2 in [60 cm]), which facilitated intricate single-note patterns and unusual stretched chord voicings.
1969 is an important year for the Byrdland model :
- First year with Venetian cutaway back after being used 1955-60
- Neck is not narrow anymore (size is now standard with 1+11⁄16 / 4.3 cm at nut)
It is also interesting to note that Gibson developed the ES-350T from the Byrdland using less-costly hardware and detailing, and offered it as a less expensive model.
Famous users : BIlly Byrd, Hank Garland, Ted Nugent, John McLaughlin, Anthony Wilson, Louie Shelton, David T. Walker and James Blood Ulmer.
- Spruce top
- Maple body and neck
- Ebony fretboard
- Humbucker pickups
- Byrdland Trapeze tailpiece
- Original Gibson case
- Replaced bridge to a wooden one (original base plate)
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