NGD Lawsuit Era Guitar

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by drmilktruck, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I picked this up on Reverb and it arrived today. I first noticed this model several years ago and had a Warmoth body that I planned on putting together but sold. Then Gibson forced Warmoth to eliminate all their Gibson style models and it was gone.

    The box it came in is ironic:


    It's a 70s Ventura L6S, made by Hoshino Gakki in Japan, during the lawsuit era when Japanese makers were selling blatant copies of American models. They're most famous for making Ibanez guitars. However these were all made at the same factory and had a variety of brands attached. Nonetheless the same bodies, pickups, controls, hardware, etc ... I got this one for about half what an Ibanez model was selling for.


    IMG_3715.jpeg IMG_3716.jpeg IMG_3717.jpeg IMG_3718.jpeg
    loudnlousy, new6659, wildeman and 5 others like this.
  2. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    The L6S was a short lived Gibson model from the 70s. The original pickups were designed by Bill Lawrence and it had a unique harmonica bridge. The Varitone controller allows one or both pickups in series, parallel and out of phase. There's a master volume, midrange control and treble rolloff.

    The guitar is in good condition, but it's destined to be stripped and refinished anyway. It's lighter than I expected. The originals were all maple (!). Pretty skinny neck but no signifiant fretwear. The original tuners have been removed unfortunately. (They would have been Ibanez Star models.)

    The pots and especially the Varitone are pretty scratchy but the pickups sound good. I haven't really played with the different settings but there are some interesting different tones.

    Stay tuned as we get warmer weather here in Minnesota for the work to start.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  3. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Carlos Santana was probably the most famous L6S user, but Al Di Meola and other played them for awhile too.

    Here's Devadip himself from 1975.

  4. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    Cool guitar. Congrats.
    drmilktruck likes this.
  5. LivingMyDream

    LivingMyDream Country Gent

    Congrats Jim! My guess is that will be refinished in red, right? :D
    drmilktruck and Ricochet like this.
  6. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Congrats Jim! Ah a refinish, Frankly I was shocked at the colour, now the world makes sense again.
    drmilktruck likes this.
  7. dak55

    dak55 Synchromatic

    May 31, 2018
    Mills River NC
    Congrats Jim and good luck with the refin. You taking it down to wood or scuffing it up for a repaint? Warmer weather rolls in around June-July in Minnesota, right? ;)
    drmilktruck likes this.
  8. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    Nice! Bit of a lawsuit guitar geek meself.
    drmilktruck likes this.
  9. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Im trying to figure out what the finish is made of, that’ll determine what I’m going to do.

    Hopefully June.:cool:
  10. Winnie Thomas

    Winnie Thomas Gretschie

    Jun 13, 2011
    Cochise AZ
    Nice guitar Jim, I'd vote for natural, like the Gibson "The PAul" BTW Minnesota, like Vermont has only two seasons; Winter and the Fourth of July :)
    drmilktruck likes this.
  11. new6659

    new6659 Gretschie

    Dec 10, 2018
    Southwestern Ontario
    Good One! I have owned two of the Gibsons - one I bought new in about 1977 (and sold to a friend in 1979 - an ebony configured like yours) and then a cherry sunburst, very early (I'd have to check - 1972?) which I got about 7-8 years ago out of a sense of nostalgia, which I still have. Both were what are called "Customs" and not the Midnight Special versions. I think that the selector in position 2 sounds about the best to me. Also the use of an inductor (?) to change the tone is very different. (I hope I haven't just made a fool of myself to those adept at electronics:(:()
    drmilktruck likes this.
  12. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Jim , @drmilktruck nice guitar and congrats . I think lawsuit guitars are pretty cool as I gave a lawsuit Martin ( think it was an Ibenez ? ) to a veteran through the Guitars 4 Vets program a few years back . BTW - thats a nice photo on the floor of you and your son , you were both so young :p
    ( just kiddin' , I know it's not you guys ):D
    drmilktruck likes this.
  13. Beardog

    Beardog Synchromatic

    Apr 15, 2018
    Nova Scotia
    Very nice!
    drmilktruck likes this.
  14. swivel

    swivel Synchromatic

    May 13, 2018
    I have had 3 L6S's. I love the small baseball bat necks, but being solid maple they are terrible sounding (unless you are loud and cranked, then anything is ok!) My first one was all maple. I probably tried a dozen pickup sets to change it. Nothing changed it. HB's, P94's, P90's, Strat SC's etc. I considered milling the body off the neck (except the top) and making the back 3/4 of the body out of Alder or Mahog. Never did it though. Yours looks cool though. Is it maple or ...?
    Speaking of Lawsuits, I had an ES335 with Gibson headstock and Gibson logo on it! ... was actually a Japanese made...Ibanez I was told. Never seen another. Used it for years. It was very good.. eventually sold it. This is the only blurry pic I have of it:
    new6659 likes this.
  15. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I'm not sure what's made out of since it's finished black, but based on weight I'd guess it's maple. I'll see when the finish is off. I'm also going to take it in for a setup and clean the pots hopefully to eliminate the noise. Maybe then I'll decide it's not for me.

    My late local music shop had a guy bring in a fake Gibson to sell several years ago. According to the manager it was a great guitar, probably went out the back door from the same factory that made Epiphones. But of course he couldn't put it out for sale as it was fake.
  16. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Congrats Jim!

    I always wanted a Law Suit L 5CES-N myself ,but they're going for strong money these days,not as much as the real deal like, but still,i think i missed the boat there...
    drmilktruck likes this.
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