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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member blauserk's Avatar
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    Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    I have the fever for a Byrdland.

    What's your favorite flavor? Florentine or Venetian? I used to prefer the Venetian cutaway, but recently, I've been leaning toward the Florentine. I haven't heard a Florentine recently, but the last time I heard them played back to back, I preferred the Florentine slightly. Maybe it's the short-magnet Pat # pups, and I've also read that the neck block is bigger on the Florentine (but have no idea whether its true).






    Finally, here's a great video of Phil X on a '59. Fretted Americana took this off youtube after the guitar sold, but happily, someone posted the video on the japanese equivalent.

    http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XOTMxOTM2NzI=.html

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    They're both beautiful. I've always been a Venetian fan, especially aiming to get a 50's L5, Super 400, etc. But I agree, the Florentine looks great, too. A very knowledgeable archtop dealer once told me that many professional players value the Florentines a bit more because they cut better. I haven't had the chance to really check that out myself. Of course, the easier access to the higher frets on the Florentine is a plus, too. Can't go wrong either way. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Administrator MikeSlub's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Florentine!



    Actually, I like both Venetian and Florentine...
    Mike Slubowski

    * "Gibson guitars are like potato chips - you can't have just one!"

    * "So many Gibsons to love, so little time..."

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Todd Louis's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by blauserk View Post
    I have the fever for a Byrdland.

    What's your favorite flavor? Florentine or Venetian? I used to prefer the Venetian cutaway, but recently, I've been leaning toward the Florentine. I haven't heard a Florentine recently, but the last time I heard them played back to back, I preferred the Florentine slightly. Maybe it's the short-magnet Pat # pups, and I've also read that the neck block is bigger on the Florentine (but have no idea whether its true).






    Finally, here's a great video of Phil X on a '59. Fretted Americana took this off youtube after the guitar sold, but happily, someone posted the video on the japanese equivalent.

    http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XOTMxOTM2NzI=.html
    Man that guy Oh That's not my kind of guy.....


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  5. #5

    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Love that blonde Florentine! The neck blocks are bigger because of the deeper cutaway so the top vibrates a little less which is a good thing if you wanna crank it up ala Nuge. They still work good for pipe smoker (jazzer) as well! Mike your sunburst is sexy too - been lusting after that one for years!

  6. #6

    Why choose?

    I like them both ways:



    Only one of these is labeled "Byrdland," but they are all thin-bodies with 25.5" scales.

    Danny W.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member TwoTubMan's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Danny W., killer collection, killer photo.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member andreja marovic's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?



    My old Baby...still sounding killer after all there years.
    Turn it louder please...
    Hendrix is God on guitar.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Todd Louis, you have posted my dream guitar, one where money would be no object-I definitely prefer the rounder cutaway, and a Byrdland with a Bigsby would be the holy grail...

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member BobbyS's Avatar
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    Re: Why choose?

    If they're not labeled Byrdland what are they stamped as - ES-350T's?


    Quote Originally Posted by Danny W. View Post
    I like them both ways:



    Only one of these is labeled "Byrdland," but they are all thin-bodies with 25.5" scales.

    Danny W.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member 27sauce's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    What I found weird was the Byrdland with the 25.5" scale

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member blauserk's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by andreja marovic View Post


    My old Baby...still sounding killer after all there years.
    What year? How slim is the neck? I have a '59 ES-350TDN and the fatness of the neck makes up a little for the relative narrowness of the fretboard.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Why choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyS View Post
    If they're not labeled Byrdland what are they stamped as - ES-350T's?
    The Byrdland is all-solid wood with a carved spruce top as in the L-5. THe ES-350T has maple sides and back with a maple top.....laminated unless I am wrong just like the 335/345/355 guitars.


    27sauce wrote: "What I found weird was the Byrdland with the 25.5" scale"
    The Byrdland and the ES-350T are both short scale guitars...23 1/2". A byrdland with a 25 1/2" scale would be an L-5 in all respects except the number of frets, isn't it? 22 on the Byrd versus 20 on the L-5. I have never seen a 25 1/2" Byrdland....I suppose it could happen but it would be an oddity.
    "As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." Albert Schweitzer

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by 27sauce View Post
    What I found weird was the Byrdland with the 25.5" scale
    I could be wrong, but those might be L5-CT's with built-in humbuckers. Guitars I covet.

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member blauserk's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Anyone else get a little seasick seeing this? I've never seen one that was so distorted--every one I've seen lays pretty flat.

    Last edited by blauserk; 05-28-10 at 05:36 PM.

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    blauserk, Gibson liked to put that pretty wood under that natural finish....beautiful.
    "As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." Albert Schweitzer

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Blauserk, I tried to email you, but the message was returned. Contact me out of curiousity???
    "As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." Albert Schweitzer

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member blauserk's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    Gibson liked to put that pretty wood under that natural finish.
    You can say that again. My ES-350T:


  19. #19

    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Florentine is more functional for fret access-'

    i think the Venetian is more aesthetically pleasing

    as for the seasick-the rubber ring gromet on the selector toggle is to prevent the click from transferring to the top

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member Elliot Easton's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    florentine, but i think it's because i'm such a '60's kid and those are the ones that were around when i was growing up. they just say '60's to me, like a lyre vibrola or a pointier, narrower 335 horn...
    "A little bit of knowledge can be a very dangerous thing."

  21. #21

    Re: Why choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyS View Post
    If they're not labeled Byrdland what are they stamped as - ES-350T's?


    These are all thin-body L-5 CES guitars, except for the one labeled "Byrdland." Despite the difference in name, the two florentine cutaway ones are virtually identical.

    My Byrdland was custom-made with a 25.5" scale, one of very few that have been made this way. I've had a number of standard Byrdlands, but I'm much more comfortable with the longer scale.

    Danny W.

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member wernerg's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    three words:

    Cat Scratch Fever!!!!

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    DannyW, those are beautiful gutiars.
    RE: the 25.5" scale 'Byrdland'....I see that all of those guitars have 20 fret necks. The Byrdland should have 2 frets. So, in effect, isn't that Byrdland just a relabelled L-5CEST..'T' for thin-bodied?? Except the L5-CEST was based on the L5CT/George Gobel, which has the 24 3/4" scale....George Gobel was a short fellow. Are your thin-bodied L-5 CES gutiars 25.5."?
    Just trying to put things togethr and learn some more.....
    "As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." Albert Schweitzer

  24. #24
    bigsby'd
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    blauserk, Gibson liked to put that pretty wood under that natural finish....beautiful.
    It can happen....not a Byrdland, but its close.

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigsby'd View Post
    It can happen....not a Byrdland, but its close.

    Prettier tops on ES-350T's for sure. Of the two Byrdlands and three 350T's I've had in recent years, The 350's were the better sounding guitars IMO. Plywood seems to be well suited for the microphonmic qualities of PAF's, I find the tiny appr. 1 1/2" nut, short neck, combined with the odd, sometimes clashing harmonics of the neck and middle position from non-conventional placement in the harmonic scale make Byrdlands a bit of a "challenge" to get the sweet tones we normally expect from a Gibson. Not to mention the playabilty challenge. If these sounded as good as other models and played as well as other PAF models they wouldn't be so "cheap". Never stopped me from trying them, though. I had a '58 ES-350 that was the best of the bunch. I'll post pics of the Byrdlands when I get back home.

  26. #26
    bigsby'd
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Was that your 350 with the Bigsby and aluminum bridge?

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigsby'd View Post
    Was that your 350 with the Bigsby and aluminum bridge?
    Yes, it was an unlikely candidate for the best of the bunch according to conventional thinking but was a very sweet sounding guitar compared to my other 350's and Byrdlands. I think I just assumed it was factory because of the "fading' but I don't think I ever took the bottom hinge of the Bigsby off to check. Did Gibson ship Bigsby equipped guitars with the Bigsby bridges or were most factory equipped Bigsbys shipped with ABR-1'S?

  28. #28
    bigsby'd
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    The reason I remember that guitar, is because the Bigsby was a rare '56 in gold, if its the one I'm thinking of. I've seen a factory '57 Byrdland with the same Bigsby, but its a rare piece. The only guitars I've seen from Gibson with factory Bigsby bridges were LPs (mostly '56 Customs, and a couple of specials)
    Almost every Bigsby bridge I see on an archtop is modern. Up until sometime in the mid-late 60s, the bridge bases got thinned, and the casting of the saddle got cleaned up, and slightly narrowed. I seem to recall that the bridge on yours was a later unit, but my memory might be failing.

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    bigsby'd, that is one pretty guitar.
    "As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." Albert Schweitzer

  30. #30
    bigsby'd
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Thanks Wally!

  31. #31
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    The florentic style reminds me of a half-finished Barney Kessel. Not my cup o' tea. So, venetian for me, absolutely.
    And PAF's, which narrows my selection to 1958-1960. I'm not sure I can get used to the narrow/short scale neck though. But the 58-60 version looks stunner

  32. #32

    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    DannyW, those are beautiful gutiars.
    RE: the 25.5" scale 'Byrdland'....I see that all of those guitars have 20 fret necks. The Byrdland should have 2 frets. So, in effect, isn't that Byrdland just a relabelled L-5CEST..'T' for thin-bodied?? Except the L5-CEST was based on the L5CT/George Gobel, which has the 24 3/4" scale....George Gobel was a short fellow. Are your thin-bodied L-5 CES gutiars 25.5."?
    Just trying to put things togethr and learn some more.....
    Yes, all those guitars have 25.5" scales. The prototype for the George Gobel had a 25.5" scale, as did a few of the first production runs Gibson made of that model. Over the years, Gibson has built them with either scale length.

    As for why one of my florentines is a Byrdland and the other is an L-5 CEST, Gibson told me that one was ordered as a Long-scale florentine Byrdland and the other as a thin florentine L-5 CES, so that's how they got named.

    Danny W.

  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member kingsleyd's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    OK, so, this isn't exactly a Byrdland, or even a Gibson for that matter, but I've got Matt Artinger working on a new guitar for me. I wanted a single cutaway version of Matt's "Hollow Sport" model with a Florentine cutaway. When Matt got to drawing the guitar he thought it reminded him of a Byrdland. (for a relatively young guy, Matt is very into his Martin & Gibson history) So he dubbed it the "Kyngsland."

    Yeah, yeah, it's a 25.5-inch scale, and the body width is only 15 inches, it has a maple top, and the f-holes are a little modern, but looking at all these great photos (thanks fellas! they look great! ) I can see where Matt is coming from.



    Here's where we are as of this past week:



    Sorry for the OT post here, I just thought it was funny that I have this project going and all of a sudden a great Byrdland thread pops up on the LPF. Synchronicity!

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member blauserk's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    How's this for a rare Byrd? Supposedly a 1959 Byrdland tenor:



    Is that really a 4-saddle ABR-1?

  35. #35

    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    I like the Venetian. I had a sunburst in the late 60's that was so nice. I like the pointy look better. It was so easy to play. I traded it for a mint '53 Goldtop that I WISH I still had. I sold it to Bobby Blue Bland's guitar player at Basin St. West.

    I like the Artinger design. I played one of Kimock's Artingers. Nice!

  36. #36
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Oh my God, look at that !
    Definitely a rare bird, Thanx for posting it ....

    Quote Originally Posted by blauserk View Post
    How's this for a rare Byrd? Supposedly a 1959 Byrdland tenor:



    Is that really a 4-saddle ABR-1?
    ...and back on topic; i appreciate the classic (and classy) apearance of the Venetian version...with the natural finish also.
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  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Member andreja marovic's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by kingsleyd View Post
    OK, so, this isn't exactly a Byrdland, or even a Gibson for that matter, but I've got Matt Artinger working on a new guitar for me. I wanted a single cutaway version of Matt's "Hollow Sport" model with a Florentine cutaway. When Matt got to drawing the guitar he thought it reminded him of a Byrdland. (for a relatively young guy, Matt is very into his Martin & Gibson history) So he dubbed it the "Kyngsland."

    Yeah, yeah, it's a 25.5-inch scale, and the body width is only 15 inches, it has a maple top, and the f-holes are a little modern, but looking at all these great photos (thanks fellas! they look great! ) I can see where Matt is coming from.



    Here's where we are as of this past week:



    Sorry for the OT post here, I just thought it was funny that I have this project going and all of a sudden a great Byrdland thread pops up on the LPF. Synchronicity!
    Oh man...this is beautiful...I really appreciate the looks and the construction.
    Looks likea cross odf many guitars and remains original to the unique vision of the Artist.I am not familiar with Art's work but I can tell that he is a great builder.Please keep us updated with your baby.Will love to see it finished.
    Thanks again for posting your new guitar.More.....
    GREETINGS
    Andreja
    Turn it louder please...
    Hendrix is God on guitar.

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Member Flying Fish's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?


  39. #39
    bigsby'd
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    I've seen this vid before. Pinera's guitar is weird. Block inlays, gold hardware, long guard, varitone. Hmmmm. Re-boarded 345?

  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member blauserk's Avatar
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    Re: Byrdlands: Florentine or Venetian, and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigsby'd View Post
    I've seen this vid before. Pinera's guitar is weird. Block inlays, gold hardware, long guard, varitone. Hmmmm. Re-boarded 345?
    And varitone? (Sans the ring)

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