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Gibson Custom Gibson Byrdland Guitar  Vintage Sunburst Gold Hardware

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The Gibson Byrdland Electric Guitar represented a handful of developments that were radical, even revolutionary, in its dayHistoryMany working musici...Click To Read More About This Product

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  • #10355003
    7.22 lbs.
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See All Gibson Custom Semi-Hollow and Hollow Body Electric Guitars

A beautiful, yet radically designed historic thinline archtop guitar with a super thin neck and short scale.

The Gibson Byrdland Electric Guitar represented a handful of developments that were radical, even revolutionary, in its day

Many working musicians of the fast-paced and musically adventurous '50s required a new instrument”one that captured traditional Gibson archtop artistry and craftsmanship, but represented a redrawing of the blueprint for the needs of the day. Enter the Byrdland, released in 1955 after consultation with first-call Nashville session musicians Billy Byrd and Hank Garland. Outwardly every bit a Gibson, this model represented a handful of developments that were radical, even revolutionary, in its day.

The Byrdland retained the traditional carved solid-spruce arched top and wide dimensions (17") of big-bodied jazzers like its predecessor the L-5CES, but was considerably thinner, at only 2 1/4" deep. The electric guitar was here to stay, and Gibson's designers quite rightly determined that a guitar that was intended primarily as an electric”rather than acoustic”instrument should be made in a way that would minimize feedback. Gibson created the Thinline series, which included the Byrdland partnered by the ES-350T, released the same year. Together they constituted the first of the new thin-bodied breed, and launched a design trend for archtop electrics that would proliferate to this day. So successful was its design ethos, that it not only offered a popular alternative for jazz, pop, and country players, it also proved capable of cranking out heavy rock in the hands of guitarists such as Ted Nugent.

At the request of Billy Byrd and Hank Garland, the Byrdland was made with a reduced scale length, but featured all the finery of a top-of-the-line Gibson archtop guitar. The Byrdland's super-thin neck and 23 1/2" scale length might have implied a "student model" instrument, but it was intended purely for speed and playing ease, and its five-ply binding, ebony fingerboard with pearl block inlay, gold-plated hardware, and triple-loop Byrdland trapeze tailpiece all single it out as a top-shelf guitar.

By now, the Byrdland had also acquired an upgrade in electronics, too. Originally offered in 1955 with Alnico V single coil pickups, it was made with PAF humbucking pickups from 1957 onward. Coupled to the traditional independent volume and tone controls and a three-way selector switch, these units gave the Byrdland the ability to produce anything from a smooth mellow purr to a hot, cutting twang.

Near-perfect Recreation
In keeping with the desires of many players, the Gibson Custom Shop offers the finest original-spec rendition of this classic model that has been available since its production of the early 1960s. From the select maple and walnut used in its neck to the high-grade spruce of its top, no expense is spared in making this Thinline electric a guitar that Hank Garland and Billy Byrd would be proud of. Details such as the pearl flower-pot headstock inlay, multi-ply fingerboard binding, rounded Venetian cutaway, multi-ply bound pickguard, bound f-holes, and sculpted fingerboard end are all true to classic form. In the electronics department, a pair of Gibson's popular '57 Classic humbucking pickups keep it all sounding as good as it looks. Each Byrdland includes a Custom Shop case and a Certificate of Authenticity.

Check the drop-down menu to the right to select colors and/or other options.

  • Body: Thinline Archtop Hollowbody with Bound "F"-holes and Venetian cutaway
  • Body Size (L x W x D): 21" x 17" x 2-1/8"
  • Top: Carved Solid Spruce
  • Back & Sides: Curly Maple
  • Binding: 5-ply binding
  • Neck: Set 5-piece Maple and Walnut
  • Neck profile: Super-Thin
  • Neck joint location: 16th fret
  • Fingerboard: Ebony”sculpted bound
  • Scale length: 23 1/2"
  • No. of frets: 22
  • Nut Width: 1-5/8"
  • Radius: 12"
  • Inlays: Pearl Blocks on neck, Gibson logo w/antique binding and Pearl Flower-Pot on headstock
  • Pickguard: Deluxe Bound
  • Hardware: gold
  • Tailpiece: Triple-Loop Trapeze
  • Bridge: Floating Inlayed Ebony With Tune-O-Matic Saddles
  • Knobs: Gold speed
  • Tuners: Vintage Grover with "Crank" buttons
  • Neck pickup: '57 Classic
  • Bridge pickup: '57 Classic
  • Controls: two volume, two tone, 3-way toggle pickup selector
  • Finish: Lacquer
  • Case: Hardshell

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Gibson CustomGibson Byrdland Guitar

(based on 2 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Reviewed by 2 customers

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(11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)


Just to be sure..

By Mr. Savings

from NYC

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Ask me a question


  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics


    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording

    Comments about Gibson Custom Gibson Byrdland Guitar:

    ..the previous reviewer could not put this into better words. This guitar is a royalty.
    Just to be sure, it seems like he got so excited that he rated it 1 star(?) .. maybe he was in such a euphoric state of mind so he didn't pay attention.

    After buying this guitar, all I can say is: wish I would do it 20 years ago instead of trying countless lower end archtops. The Byrdland is expansive, but I couldn't be happier with this purchase. Great sound and playability, awesome craftsmanship and a drop dead beauty queen. This guitar deserves 10 stars.

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


    The Byrdland is stunning instrument

    By Guitarisallyouneed

    from West Midlands, UK

    About Me Professional Musician


    • Amazing Build Quality
    • Carved Top And Back
    • Good Feel
    • Inspiring To Play
    • Pro Archtop Guitar
    • Sound


    • None

    Best Uses

    • Blues
    • Jazz
    • Playing Solo Or In A Band
    • Pro Use
    • Rock

    Comments about Gibson Custom Gibson Byrdland Guitar:

    I recently brought a florentine version in natural, built by the Gibson crimson team. The guitar is so inspiring, it sounds, looks and plays beautifully. The quality is so good It is easily one of the best I've played. The short scale is quite wonderful and easy to get used to, it's the kind of guitar you want to keep playing. It's very versatile can be used in a multitude of music including rock ! Check out Ted Nugent for an example, Quite something for a jazz guitar isn't it!. Jazz, blues etc sound exceptional each note just blooms, and chords sound clear and full. It feels very comfortable too as it's slimmer than some of the other great arch tops like the L5 yet it still has the tone. If your thinking about an arch top guitar this really should be tried, it is expensive so is a big stretch for most people including me, but in my opinion you are buying the very top quality if it's anything like the custom shop crimson team built guitar I have, so I feel this deserves top marks .. Save up and go and try !.

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