60s

The Howard Roberts signature, originally an Epiphone like this one, was built by Japanese guitar-makers throughout the ’70s lawsuit era before being reintroduced by Epiphone in the ’90s.

Photos courtesy of Reverb and Garrett Park Guitars

This acoustic-electric, built for the jazz-fusion guitarist, was varied in both specs and brand names throughout the late 20th century.

My last installment of Vintage Vault, in the April 2024 issue, highlighted the signature guitars of Johnny Smith, a 20th-century jazz legend whose eye for detail resulted in the creation of a premium electric archtop for the ages. Here, we turn our eyes to what could be that guitar’s stranger cousin: an odd merging of acoustic and electric design built for jazz-fusion guitarist Howard Roberts.

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