Often considered the granddaddy of electric archtops, the L-5 CES proves time and time again that it is one of the most toneful in its class. At 70+ years of production, who are we to argue?
This centennial year example comes from the early days of the Gibson Custom Shop, where Master Builder Terry Ryan was responsible for most of the higher end electric archtop production. This L-5 CES has all of the period features of the early 50s 17" cutaway electric, with dual 'dogear' P90 pickups, rounded Venetian cutaway, and gorgeous 5-piece Figured Maple neck with bound ebony fingerboard. A carved Spruce top complete with carved Figured Maple back and sides is finished in a beautiful Blonde that has aged very nicely to a slightly darker amber hue.
Before plugging in, the acoustic tones of the guitar are breathtaking. Touch-sensitive and dynamic in its response, it has a distinct and powerful midrange with a clear top end and punchy low end. Plugged in, all of that great acoustic energy is captured by the clear and defined tone of the P90 pickups. It's an exceptionally versatile instrument that reaches far beyond its Jazz lineage.
Condition: Excellent. Frets show very little play wear. There are some small surface scuffs and minor nicks/indentations in the finish, primarily on the back of the guitar at contact points (none substantial enough to even pick up in photographs). All of the gold hardware remains clean with little wear or patina. Light scratches on the pickguard.
Priced with original hardshell case.
- 17" body with carved Spruce top and carved Figured Maple back and sides
- 5-Piece Figured Maple & Walnut neck
- Bound Ebony fingerboard with pearl block inlays
- Bound peghead with 'flower pot' inlay
- Ebony bridge base with gold-plated ABR-1 bridge
- Gold-plated L5 tailpiece
- Dual Gibson '52 Reissue P90 pickups
- Weight: 7lb 14oz