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  #1  
Old 03-21-2020, 07:45 PM
loco gringo loco gringo is offline
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Default Gibson Howard Roberts Fusions

Anyone familiar with or own this guitar? I've been interested in this guitar off and on since they first came out in the late 70's or early 80's. I really had forgot about them, so they haven't been on my radar for a long time. Some random googling of guitars brought them to my attention again.

It appears they went through design changes from the Fusion to II to III models. The III has a different control layout. I also think they went from maple to balsa center blocks somewhere in there.

Yeah, I'm wasting time on the internet looking at obscure guitars when I could be playing, but I am getting several hours of playing a day in right now.

Last edited by loco gringo; 03-21-2020 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:21 AM
terryj47 terryj47 is offline
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Originally Posted by loco gringo View Post
Anyone familiar with or own this guitar? I've been interested in this guitar off and on since they first came out in the late 70's or early 80's. I really had forgot about them, so they haven't been on my radar for a long time. Some random googling of guitars brought them to my attention again.

It appears they went through design changes from the Fusion to II to III models. The III has a different control layout. I also think they went from maple to balsa center blocks somewhere in there.

Yeah, I'm wasting time on the internet looking at obscure guitars when I could be playing, but I am getting several hours of playing a day in right now.
I worked for Howard in the late 60s at Benson. He did bring in his Epiphone HR guitar and share it but I know he used the "Black Guitar" when he played at Dante's in north hollywood and record jazz-style albums at Capital studios. There is info on the Black Guitar on the internet.

Howard was a "monster" player. I know he used 13's and probably 14's on his jazz guitars. He could bend them like a shredder using 9's! Well almost.
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:11 PM
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Livingston Livingston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terryj47 View Post
I worked for Howard in the late 60s at Benson. He did bring in his Epiphone HR guitar and share it but I know he used the "Black Guitar" when he played at Dante's in north hollywood and record jazz-style albums at Capital studios. There is info on the Black Guitar on the internet.

Howard was a "monster" player. I know he used 13's and probably 14's on his jazz guitars. He could bend them like a shredder using 9's! Well almost.
Great reflection...thank you for sharing! I didn't know he played such heavy gauge strings. I do have 12 of his records (as a leader) and am familiar with his great playing.

Regarding the Howard Roberts Fusion guitar by Gibson, I've played a couple at stores over the years, but know little about the guitar itself. As you probably already know, it's a semi hollow with 2 x PAF's, 16" lower bout and 24-3/4" scale fretboard.

I noticed there are a lot of YouTube videos talking about the Howard Roberts Fusion model...maybe some good info there?
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:41 PM
loco gringo loco gringo is offline
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Originally Posted by terryj47 View Post
I worked for Howard in the late 60s at Benson. He did bring in his Epiphone HR guitar and share it but I know he used the "Black Guitar" when he played at Dante's in north hollywood and record jazz-style albums at Capital studios. There is info on the Black Guitar on the internet.

Howard was a "monster" player. I know he used 13's and probably 14's on his jazz guitars. He could bend them like a shredder using 9's! Well almost.
Yes, thanks for that.

I found a lot of info on the net about the Black Guitar and some mentions of the Benson amps. Very cool stuff. Also found info on how the HR Fusion came to be.

I remember the HR Fusions being in magazines in the 80's, probably Guitar Player as that's the magazine that I remember the most. It always caught my attention. I don't recall ever seeing one live in the wild. Interesting guitar.

I am currently listening to HR recordings on Tidal Hi Fi. I am on Antelope Freeway at the moment.
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:43 PM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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I had one of the epiphone versions for a while, nice guitar, tho the Gibson's I've seen were a step up, I think. I saw one recently at Guitar Showcase recently, and it looks like it's still there:

https://www.guitarshowcase.com/listi...022145/5763712

Pricier than I recall paying - I think the epiphone only cost me 3-400 or so at the time?

I always thought these were pretty cool guitars, tho perhaps I'm biased by being a big Howard Roberts fan.
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Old 03-22-2020, 04:53 PM
loco gringo loco gringo is offline
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I had one of the epiphone versions for a while, nice guitar, tho the Gibson's I've seen were a step up, I think. I saw one recently at Guitar Showcase recently, and it looks like it's still there:

https://www.guitarshowcase.com/listi...022145/5763712

Pricier than I recall paying - I think the epiphone only cost me 3-400 or so at the time?

I always thought these were pretty cool guitars, tho perhaps I'm biased by being a big Howard Roberts fan.
Those are cool guitars. I think the "Fusion" moniker applies more to the guitar in the below link, though I find both guitars very interesting. I think the early versions of this guitar came with a stop tail and a solid maple center block. The later ones had the finger tail piece and balsa center blocks. I can't remember if the early ones were called Fusion or Fusion I, followed by Fusion II, or if they were all Fusion III's.


https://www.poshguitars.com/guitar-l...ts-fusion-iii/
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Old 03-23-2020, 08:19 AM
terryj47 terryj47 is offline
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Thanks for commenting guys.
The guitar I saw was Epiphone branded. Archtop, I think a slightly smaller body, Florentine cutaway, One HB pickup (as I remember) and a round or oval sound hole.
I just some him play it briefly at the Benson "plant".
HR used Benson model 200 and 300 amps in those days.
I can't think of a guitar player I ever met that wasn't an HR fan if they ever heard him.
The Antelope Freeway album was a bit of a disappointment to me. One of my favorite tracks was Winchester Cathedral from Jaunty-Jolly. Our band was invited to attend the session. He did the George Van Epps style rendition in two takes! You can find this (audio only) on Youtube. I used the Black guitar. Both amped and acoustic.

Here's the link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o55Z5JdNUA4

Enjoy
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Old 06-22-2020, 06:56 AM
Ricketts Ricketts is offline
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Default HR

Terry 147 - Read your post & brought back memories of Dante’s. Believe Monday Night was “Guitar Night”. Saw many great studio guys jam. Loved George Van Epps w 7 String. I took lessons from one of HR’s protégées (Mike Anthony). Those were fun days. I still love Howard’s work. Have most of his stuff on original vinyl - like HR is a Dirty Guitar Player. Guess I’m showing my age now.
Thanks for the memories
Ricketts
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:38 AM
terryj47 terryj47 is offline
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Terry 147 - Read your post & brought back memories of Dante’s. Believe Monday Night was “Guitar Night”. Saw many great studio guys jam. Loved George Van Epps w 7 String. I took lessons from one of HR’s protégées (Mike Anthony). Those were fun days. I still love Howard’s work. Have most of his stuff on original vinyl - like HR is a Dirty Guitar Player. Guess I’m showing my age now.
Thanks for the memories
Ricketts
Hey Ricketts,
You are welcome! I took lessons from Mike for a while too. At Lively Arts Music in Northridge.
Small World.
Take care.
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:49 AM
brad4d8 brad4d8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terryj47 View Post
Thanks for commenting guys.
The guitar I saw was Epiphone branded. Archtop, I think a slightly smaller body, Florentine cutaway, One HB pickup (as I remember) and a round or oval sound hole.
I just some him play it briefly at the Benson "plant".
HR used Benson model 200 and 300 amps in those days.
I can't think of a guitar player I ever met that wasn't an HR fan if they ever heard him.
The Antelope Freeway album was a bit of a disappointment to me. One of my favorite tracks was Winchester Cathedral from Jaunty-Jolly. Our band was invited to attend the session. He did the George Van Epps style rendition in two takes! You can find this (audio only) on Youtube. I used the Black guitar. Both amped and acoustic.

Here's the link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o55Z5JdNUA4

Enjoy
The HR guitar with the soundhole is not the Fusion. It was called HR Custom in its latest (90s Samick made Epi) appearance. The original was an Epiphone from the late 60s early 70s, and was a solid top model. Gibson rebranded it in the mid 70s. There were two incarnations of the original Epi, the HR and the HR Custom, the latter had more bling and morphed into the Gibson version, although I don't know if they kept the solid top. The Korean version has a laminated top and the hole is a different shape/size.
FWIW, I like my Samick/Epi version, if I were still gigging it would be my go to guitar in places I wouldn't want to take my Artist Award or Guild X-170. If you're patient, you should be able to score one of the Korean HR Customs for under $500, although I see people asking (hoping for) a lot more on eBay.
Brad
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Old 06-25-2020, 05:28 PM
Edisoned Edisoned is offline
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Great guitar. Had one from the 80's. Really versatile guitar.
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Old 06-25-2020, 05:54 PM
Rip VanWinkle Rip VanWinkle is offline
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I have a cherry version of the Fusion III pictured in the Posh Guitars listing. They don't mention it, but it has an Ebony fingerboard. It has always been a wild stallion for me to play.....kinda like a Telecaster....keeps you honest. I'll never sell it.
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Old 06-25-2020, 06:57 PM
loco gringo loco gringo is offline
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I found a couple listed on ebay. They didn't appear to be listed by guitar stores. I couldn't get comfortable with the purchase.

I found another listed from a music store, but I think it was an old listing from a defunct store, as I couldn't get a response from the store. I did some searching online about the store that led me to believe it is no longer in business.

I wouldn't mind trading or selling a few things I have and picking one up. It will happen if it is meant to be.
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:16 PM
Ricketts Ricketts is offline
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Default Terry

Lively Arts is where Mike taught me too! I grew up in Northridge, went to Cleveland HS, Grad 1965. You?
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:26 AM
terryj47 terryj47 is offline
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Quote:
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Lively Arts is where Mike taught me too! I grew up in Northridge, went to Cleveland HS, Grad 1965. You?
We lived in Reseda, Northridge, Van Nuys, and back to Reseda. I went to Van Nuys High School. Our drummer went Cleveland.
We probably saw each other in Lively Arts. Our band (the Coachmen at that time) hung out at L.A. all the time. Even worked there in the second store on Reseda Blvd. doing repairs on guitars and amps.
What's your name if you don't mind. I'm Terry Johnson.
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