top of page

We haven't had one of these in a while,  It's good to see one in the shop again.  At the time of release, the Gibson Solid Formed 17" Venetian suffered from some unfortunately atrocious marketing from Gibson which really hurt it in the public eye.  The thing is, luthier Bruce Kunkel had really worked on a proprietary method of pressing and forming solid pieces of spruce and maple into the backs and sides of these guitars in a way that actually worked very nicely and quite consistently produced a very good sounding acoustic archtop guitar.  In the end, approximately 125 solid formed guitar, most being this 17" style seen here.


It's not going to compare to the very best carved top guitars out there made by the best luthiers at it in the world (John D'Angelico, Jimmy D'Aquisto, Bob Benedetto, Bill Collings, Bryant Trenier, Guillaume Rancourt, etc.) but it will outperform many carved top guitars out there. Besides, those top luthier guitars will cost multiple times what one of these will run you.  Players seem to be catching up with an understanding of the quality of these guitars, and they have become hard to find on the used market.


The fit and finish on these Gibson Custom Shop built solid formed guitars is top notch.  Just looking at them, they have the appearance of a dot-neck reissue of a Gibson L-7C, but with higher grade woods.  The playability on every example of these I've played, this one included, has been great.  The neck is a larger C-shape, perfect for those who like a larger neck in the vein of a '54 or '58 Les Paul neck.  The frets are in excellent condition, showing only a little wear.


The condition is very good with only some very light surface scratches in the clear coat, as shown in the closeup pic.  As one would expect from a guitar that's been played, the pickguard also shows scratches.


The acoustic tone is very good and the guitar has good volume.  The tone is more balanced than punchy in keeping with its x-braced top.  Upgrades are always subjective, but in this case, I think the pickup swap is a big one.  The original floating mini-humbucker on these tends to be very, very bright, requiring significant tone roll off to get a usuable sound. This one now has a Vintage Vibe Guitars CC-Rider (Charlie Christian style) single coil, blade floating pickup made by Pete Biltoft which is one of my personal favorite floating pickups of all time.  The thumbwheel controls of the original have also been replaced by a single volume control in the pickguard.  This is all that is needed with this excellent pickup which, while not the same as a true Charlie Christian, gives a close approximation with superb clarity.


Weight - 6.1 pounds

Nut width - 1.70 inches

1st fret depth - 0.94 inches

10tth fret depth - 1.06 inches

Scale length - 25.5 inches


The guitar comes with the orginal Gibson Custom hard shell case which is in excellent condition, as well as the certificate of authenticity and all other case candy.


Ships free in the United States, and for reasonable rates worldwide.

2015 Gibson Solid Formed 17" Hollowbody Venetian

    bottom of page