Gibson L6-S advice needed

I have a 1973 Gibson L6-S with non-functional pickups but otherwise in excellent condition.. I would like to restore it but am having trouble finding replacement pickups. Can anyone suggest a supplier of either vintage parts or reproduction parts? I am in New Zealand.

What would the market value of the instrument be if restored?

Many thanks,


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Dont replace the pickups, it can affect its value, when selling vintage guitars buyers like to have all original spec.
Best take it to a repairers, the pickups CAN be fixed.

Helen, something made me think of Bill Lawrence. He's not in your neck of the sheep, but he's very up on p'ups and I thought worth a look:

Then a bit more clicking got me this:

and it looks like Bill had a major role in the design of the L6S. I'd suggest you goto the homepage and contact him. He'd probably be interested in your guitar, and who better to fix your pups? Sending pups by airmail isn't that expensive; I've done it a bit myself.

EDIT: I've just emailed Bill Lawrence. If he replies, I'll put up the news. If he posts here directly, I'll sing Pie Jesu in my best soprano :)

Thanks very much. That's really interesting information. I'll try to contact Bill L. for advice.


Hi Helen,

1BL is right, don't even think about replacing the pickups, they probably just need to be rewound.

The Bill Lawrence suggestion is a good one, I'm just not sure how much repair work he does these days. In the States, Lindy Fralin has a good reputation for repairing vintage pickups. I had him rewind a single coil from my 60's National Newport and it turned out great. You can't be in a hurry, my recollection is that it took him about 4-5 months to return my pup. Shipping to the States is a non issue.

You may also want to look at the list of pickup repair people I have listed at the bottom of my vintage guitar links page:

The Vintage Guitar Price Guide values your guitar around $750 USD. It is likely worth considerably more in NZ. Good luck, sb

One thing did occur to me, Helen. Sorry if it's such an obvious question, but it is a bit unusual for both pickups on a guitar to go AWOL. Is the rest of the wiring OK? I bought an old WEM bass for a friend, a real basket case. I got no output at all from either pup, but the problem was a really worn jack socket not really making any connection with the lead. Once I'd soldered a new socket in, both pups worked fine. You have checked for this (and any other loose connections) before blaming the pups?

The guitar repairer who looked at it for me said that one pickup is working on one coil only and the other not at all. This certainly fits with the fact that I get sound from only two of the five positions of the (chickenhead) switch.

Thanks for all of the replies so far - we are very isolated down here and it's great to have this support.


Goodo, had to ask the "suck-eggs" question, just in case they hadn't been :) . Seeing as the pups need a bit of life breathing in, I'd suggest Bill Lawrence and Lindy Fralin, in that order. If it's a bit expensive/time-consuming and you'll settle for Dimarzio et al, I'd just suggest that you make sure of replacements that don't cause any extra holes, and hang onto those originals for a future sale.

Hi Gang!
I'm new to the site and just happened upon this discussion when I typed Gibson L6-S into search. ok, enough of that. The reason I'm on the search is because I have a L6-S and I've had it since it was new. But after many years of hiding it from myself deep in the back of the closet it would seem it no longer wants to work as I remembered it. I think my problem is in the 6 way dial switch, Helens chicken head "lol". It works in some positions and not in others. Position 1 I get no sound at all, positions 2 through 5 seem to be in order but position 6 sounds the same as position 5. I'm trying to figure out if I may have a short between the two pickups or if I might be in need of a new 6 way. Anyone have a thought on this please let me know. In regards to the price of this guitar I have seen 3 of them on e-bay. They went from $550 to $650. So I think the price quoted in here at $750 is a good estimate. Almost nothing brings what it's really worth at e-bay.

could just be bad input connector!!!

Took me a while before I found out what the rotary does (well done,

The positions available on the rotary are: 1=both p.u. in series in phase; 2=neck p.u. only; 3=both parallel in phase; 4=both parallel out-of-phase; 5=bridge only; 6=both in series out-of-phase.

Two facts to consider here. (1) You've had the guitar since new, so that rules out the rotary being yanked out and replaced with a three-way, then a botched return to the original 3-way. (2) Your neck-pup-only and bridge-pup-only settings work fine, so we can rule out pup damage. There are some strange things that I don't quite figure out, but it looks like either the connections to the rotary's tabs or the rotary internals themselves are at fault.

Having narrowed it down like this, it's worth spending just a little money having a decent tech look it over. It beats trying to describe things by email. If that 6-way needs replacing that might be a difficult part to find, but resist any lazy tech's "solution" of replacing it with a toggle switch.

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