The L-6S was designed in 1972 by then Gibson employee Bill Lawrence. Starting with the basic L5-S, Gibson wanted to create a guitar with as varied an array of sounds as possible, without over-complicated electronics. Retaining the L5-S body shape and maple body and neck, and offering an optional ebony fingerboard, the L6-S was a much less expensive alternative.
Electrically it differed from the L5-S though, sporting a six-position phase switching system, and treble roll-off and midrange controls. The idea was to offer new sounds and as much versatility as possible. To this end, the L-6S also had a two octave, 24 fret neck- the first Gibson to offer this enhancement.