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Conrad Barney Kessel

Conrad Barney Kessel

Japanese Barney Kessel Lawsuit Jazz Guitar

This highly impressive jazz guitar dates from a period when Japanese guitar makers were producing some fine copies of high-end US models.

Research reveals that Conrad guitars were part of the infamous ‘Lawsuit-Era’ guitar makers group based in the Far East during the 1960’s and 1970’s.

These guitars were made by Matsumoku in Japan and were subsequently distributed in the US by David Wexler & Co.of Illinois.

This is a very fine playing (and sounding instrument), which would please either jazzers or rock/blues players and represents one of the best buys on the market for those looking for a great vintage guitar but at a more affordable price than the big names command.

Price: £999.00 £799.00
S/N: R348

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Conrad Barney Kessel Description

Conrad Barney Kessel – This highly impressive jazz guitar dates from a period when Japanese guitar makers were producing some fine copies of high-end US models. Research reveals that Conrad guitars were part of the infamous ‘Lawsuit-Era’ guitar makers group based in the Far East during the 1960’s and 1970’s. These guitars were made by Matsumoku in Japan and were subsequently distributed in the US by David Wexler & Co.of Illinois.

Conrad guitars are actually very fine playing instruments in their own right, but attracted legal action from US companies (as did other manufacturers at the time) realising that the designs were too similar to their higher-priced US originals. Clearly designed to replicate Gibson’s famous Barney Kessel model, this is a high quality hollow body jazz guitar in every respect and features the same distinctive double Florentine cutaway as seen on the Gibson model.

Sporting twin humbuckers with individual tone and volume controls, this guitar is capable of a wide variety of quality sounds and whilst you might expect jazz to be its forte, it can easily deliver very respectable rock/blues tones. The 21 fret neck is very comfortable to play and access to the higher registers is especially easy due to the well-crafted double cutaway.

The neck is straight with good condition frets and a solid neck joint and although there are some very minor wear marks, its condition is very good indeed. The rich and deep sunburst finish is a real testament to the craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into these guitars and with great playability thrown into the mix, these ‘Lawsuit Era’ instruments are attracting increasing attention from collectors and players alike.

Overall this is a very fine playing (and sounding instrument), which would please either jazzers or rock/blues players and represents one of the best buys on the market for those looking for a great vintage guitar but at a more affordable price than the big names command.

Conrad Barney Kessel Features

  • Arched maple top with two f-holes
  • Black and ivoroid binding with sunburst finished body
  • Double Florentine cutaway
  • One-piece 21 fret mahogany neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard with pearl block inlays
  • Black pickguard w/ bevelled white edging
  • Adjustable compensated bridge with thumbwheels on rosewood base
  • Gold plated trapeze tailpiece with white ‘Conrad’ shield logo
  • Black headstock with gold ‘Conrad’ logo
  • 6 x Gold plated enclosed tuners
  • 3 way black toggle switch with gold surround
  • Gold reflector cap volume and tone knobs x 4
  • 2 x humbucking pickups
  • Non – original case


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  • What people are saying

    The guitar is brilliant! Just what I was after have got some nice jazz tones out of it as well as more punchy sounds too. Perfect! Thanks a lot for all your help. I'll certainly be recommending you to my friends and maybe back myself!


    Mike, Bucks, UK

    Gibson ES-137



    The Best Vintage Guitar Dealers on E bay. Simple As. Stunning Guitar. AAAAAAAAAAAA


    Simon. Dublin, Eire

    Gibson ES-175 1954



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