1969 Gibson L-5CES


In stock

Sunburst, EX-. First, finding a nice Gibson L-5 is rare. They made almost a thousand Les Pauls for every L-5. Gibson does not currently offer the legendary L-5CES because you need to find someone with the skill to hand carve, tap tuning as you remove just the right amount of wood by hand. That same person needs to deal with being in a corporation. Artists don’t do well with ivory tower top down management. So, no, no more Gibson L-5’s in the near future. This one sounds fantastic, rich lush, warm with a bloom to each note.

Condition: It’s had a neck reset and the inside cutaway has a repaired crack. It might have happened when getting the neck off. But, it’s a good repair we are not worried by it. The heel has some checking again neck sets are hard work. You have to steam the neck off and that can cause the finish to blister. Still we offer this with pride because we don’t have to do the work. It’s done and it plays great. Also has a repaired crack near the jack and some touch up around the tailpiece. It also has a repro pickguard with five layers of binding.

The L-5 and L-5CES (cutaway Electric Spanish) have always been Gibson’s top of the line. These 17-inch-wide icons were the hardest to make and showed the pure artistry that Gibson was capable of. The best woods, with an elegant and distinctive visual appearance. You could spend an hour documenting the details. What you get is a rich, complex tone that might be best compared to a cello. Hand-carved top and back, on the finest wood that was hand-chosen by the artisan inside Gibson that built it. Rich notes with a buttery smoothness that is hard to describe. Scotty Moore played an L-5 CES with Elvis and so did Tuck Andress, Lee Ritenour, and Howard Roberts used one to record “The Twilight Zone” in the ‘60s. Also Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny and John Scofield (Hi John!) This guitar is stunning, just look at the extreme figure in the lumber, flame and birdseye. The neck is artfully hand-carved, the tone is strong but balanced, with remarkable sustain even using the requisite flat wound strings. Sublime. Go google Wes Montgomery’s “‘Round Midnight” and you’ll get the idea. Yet this one has enough wear to be your daily player or to take to gigs. Simply magnificent.

Has the original ’69 knobs, pickups and electronics. No, Dimarzios on L-5’s never happened. Has the original etched tailpiece and lots of Birdseye Maple and comes with the original hard case.