This 1963 Gibson Barney Kessel is one of the more desirable early model with a spruce top, long heel neck joint, and features all original electronics with early patent decal pickups which are internally exactly the same as late PAFs. These pickups have never been opened. The pots and jack are all original with the original shielding canisters. The finish is all original and has the darker cherry color that I've only seen on some others from 1963 which makes me think they may all be from the same run of Barney Kessel Customs. The only things that appear non-original are one of the nylon saddles which is a replacement, and it has been refretted. The refret was done beautifully and these frets show only the lightest of wear. The electronics, waffle back tuners, nut, bridge (except for the one saddle), and tailpiece all appear original.
In contrast to the Barney Kessel Regular, the Custom features the stylized musical note headstock inlay that was only ever used on this model. The Custom also got the so cool bowtie fingerboard inlays as well as gold hardware.
The guitar plays beautifully with nice action that could be raised or lowered at the bridge as the player desires. The tuners work well and are stable. The patent decal pickups sound simply amazing. This is easily the best Barney Kessel that I've ever had the chance to play, and I've played and sold others that were great guitars. I was very tempted to keep this one for myself.
The 5-ply maple neck is lightly flamed, and the back is highly flamed laminated maple. The finish is in very condition with some checking, as is typical for a 60 year old guitar, as well as a few small nicks and dings. Overall though, the finish looks great.
Weight - 6.95 pounds
Nut width - 1.69 inches
1st fret depth - 0.82 inches
10th fret depth - 0.94 inches
The guitar comes with the original case which is in great condition. All of the hinges and latches work perfectly.
Ships free in the United States. We also ship worldwide for very reasonable rates.
top of page
bottom of page