Debuted in 1973, the L-6S Custom was a short-lived Gibson electric model discontinued in 1980. This quirky solid-body Gibson never caught on, but it has two unique features that make vintage examples worth checking out: 1) The single cutaway body shape is 13-1/2" across—wider than a Les Paul—but it's only as thick as an SG. 2) The six-position rotary switch and intriguing electronics give you more room to explore.
This 1977 L-6S Custom is great-playing Gibson with a lot of vibe and mojo. It features an Ebony fingerboard and Gibson's Ebony finish, which looks played-in and just right. The guitar shows some general wear and tear all around (see photos), but what's really cool is the how the finish is worn through on the bass edge and the body contour. At some point along the way, the original pickguard was changed out in favor of a custom pearloid pickguard, and we love the tuxedo look with the Ebony finish.
Compared to other Gibsons, the L-6S cam stock with more adventurous electronics. It sports redesigned humbuckers known as "Super Humbucking" pickups that allow wiring to a unique six-position rotary switch. Here is how the positions break down:
Position 1 Both pickups, in series, in phase (wiring in series results in a bit more high end bite).
Position 2 Activates the front pickup only.
Position 3 Activates both pickups in a parallel, in phase configuration.
Position 4 Activates both pickups, parallel out of phase for a "dirty" type tonality.
Position 5 Activates the back pickup only for the maximum in treble response.
Position 6 Activates both pickups in series out of phase.
From there, the L-6S has a Master Volume control and a traditional Tone control, but it also has a Midrange control that allows you to add or cut mids. Combined with the rotary switch, there's simply a wider range of sounds available.
1970s Gibsons are often thought of as heavy, overbuilt guitars, but the L-6S Custom is an exception. Because of the slender body and contours, this 1977 only weighs 8 lbs. If desired, it will deliver that powerful, '70s classic rock Gibson sound, but in a package more lightweight and manageable than a Les Paul. And because of the unique electronics, it will do a lot more than a Les Paul, too.
This 1977 Gibson L-6S Custom has a fast, low setup, which makes it a breeze to explore all 24 frets. It includes a basic Gator gig bag.