1969 Ventura V-1400 Barney Kessel – £999
The Ventura V-1400 is a faithful recreation of the Gibson Barney Kessel Custom, made in Japan’s famed Matsumoku factory. This was Ventura’s top of the line offering in the 1960’s and the quality and craftsmanship really shows! Commonly referred to as a “lawsuit” Japanese guitar, these particular Venturas were never the centre of any controversy, although they do borrow generously from their Gibson cousins. It features a full 17″ body with laminate maple top, back and sides, finished in a vivid cherry sunburst. The three-piece maple neck has a slim C profile with a 1 9/16″ nut width (again closely matching its Gibson counterpart) and feels very comfortable with easy playing action. Tonally it’s very versatile – when strung with flatwound strings, it’s easy to get a variety of warm, complex jazz tones, and if strung with roundwounds, you can push these humbuckers to get very rocky. Overall, this guitar is a great example of Japanese craftsmanship in the later 1960s and one of the more ornate “lawsuit” guitars offered over the decades. The guitar comes in a non original hard case.