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1974 GIBSON L6-S Deluxe: Full Refret + Full Set-Up

When this guitar was brought to me, I couldn't believe how beautiful it was. I also couldn't believe how badly it needed some TLC, but that was secondary. Mainly, I was excited to be holding one of the 3,500 L6-S Deluxe guitars ever produced, and very likely the only one currently in Ireland.

This is how it looked when it arrived: covered in dust and with a fretboard that hadn't been taken care of in a decade or two (possibly ever!). Still, this was a gem to me.

Pictures: heavily worn down upper frets (above) and middle frets (below).

The frets were damaged all along the fretboard, making bending strings nearly impossible and overall giving the guitar a lot of buzzing and intonation problems. There was nothing salvageable, this Gibson needed a full refret job. I proceeded by removing the frets and sanding down the fingerboard to get rid of the dirt and regain the original radius. I got a more even surface but made sure I didn't sand it all the way, as I wanted to preserve some of the fingerboard's character and history.

Pictures: fingerboard sanding in progress (above), finished refretting job (below).

I used fretwire that would be as close as possible to the original one but slightly lowered the fret height as I knew my client would appreciate that. I then proceeded with a full set up, which included a slight adjustment of the nut height.

Picture: the original top nut.

Before I refretted this Gibson, while I was waiting for the fretwire to arrive, I worked on its electrics. The pots were noisy, plus, the guitar had a pretty bad electro-magnetic interference problem. So I worked on fixing those issues.

Picture: the control cavity before I copper-shielded it.

I was very pleased with the end result of my work on this beautiful Gibson L6-S Deluxe, and it was a pleasure to see that my client was happy too.

Please find his testimonial here.

Picture: the guitar before I worked on it (as you may guess from the fingerboard).

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