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  1. #1

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    This is a trivia question I guess. I got this L-5 from Danny W. that came from Gibson Custom Direct long ago. It's red but not the usual traditional cherry shade. There is a name for this finish, but it escapes me. Danny says that Gibson said it's a custom finish.

    Does anyone know the name of this red finish? I put a 345 pic next to it to highlight the difference.


    Gibson L-5 finish:  What is the name of it?-345-jpgGibson L-5 finish:  What is the name of it?-l5-jpg


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  3. #2

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    I don't know, but the cherry finish on that 345 is perfect.

  4. #3

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    The L5 finish is opaque, the 345 is transparent. The sides of the L5 aren't completely opaque, but close. The 345 is completely transparent. Can't tell about the backs, but I would guess they're the same as the tops. I'd call the L5 an opaque cherry finish. But I could be wrong.

  5. #4

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    The 345 had the Gibson VOS treatment. You can see the gunk on the hardware.

    The VOS finish is not glossy, although it can buff out. But the cherry shade seems spot on for a mid 60s 335.

    Gibson bought their basic finishes from somewhere in Grand Rapids, MI. When Gibson left, Pete Moreno bought a ton of leftover Gibson stuff. That included several gallons of the original finishes. In the 30 years since Gibson left Kalamazoo, Pete has used may 10 ounces of cherry. He has more than a gallon left.

    The L-5 has a glossy finish. Also, the pic was shot in bright sunlight. The red is deeper, more crimson.

    Here's a cherry L-4. It's more like the 345 and not as crimson.

    Gibson L-5 finish:  What is the name of it?-l-4-jpg

  6. #5

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    It's not really opaque, but it is denser.

    Here is the back and rims better seen. The top has silking and grain.

    I think the finish is something like translucent crimson.

    Gibson L-5 finish:  What is the name of it?-100_0249-jpgGibson L-5 finish:  What is the name of it?-100_0246-jpgGibson L-5 finish:  What is the name of it?-l5-back-jpg

  7. #6

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    First, I've never seen an L-5 with a suspended pick up!

    I thought that was something that Gibson only did on their Johnny Smith, Kalamazoo Award, and Citation models.

    Second, the last picture of that beautiful flamed back on the L-5 made me start to drool!

  8. #7

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    This L-5 is an odd duck. Danny can tell you more of the story than I can.

    It's the L-5 Premier.

  9. #8

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    This is a one-off guitar that Gibson spec built and auctioned off when they had their Custom Direct program. It's an L-5C with a floating BJB in what they told me is a "custom red color", so I don't think there is an actual name for it. On the original listing for the auction the color is unspecified.

    In this photo the one in the lower right is "light faded cherry", the one above that is "dark faded cherry" and the one on the top left is "wine red." The final one is the L-5C, which is different from the others.

    Danny W.

  10. #9

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    I'd call it "Luscious."

  11. #10

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    You’re a lucky man Marty!

  12. #11

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    Just a guess, but maybe...King Crimson...or simply Wow!

  13. #12

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    Candy Apple Red
    Category:Shades of red - Wikipedia
    Attached Images Attached Images Gibson L-5 finish:  What is the name of it?-capture-jpg 
    Last edited by fritz jones; 07-25-2018 at 07:36 AM.

  14. #13

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    i think it is known as "red".

  15. #14

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    I really like the sound of the L5 with the suspended pickup in the clip you provided. You can hear the acoustic-electric aspects of the guitar quite clearly on that rendition of "Moon River."

    Compare it with Royce Campbell below. Royce is using the L5 CES that he used for 19 years with Henry Mancini on his "Moon River." It, too, sounds quite pretty--but doesn't have quite the acoustic-electric sound. (Still, that L5 can probably play "Moon River" by itself after doing it for almost two decades with Mancini.)

  16. #15

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    As best I can tell it's the L-5 Premier, but the Premier description includes asymmetric bracing. That's ambiguous to me.

    As best I can tell by feel and the limited ability to look with my smart phone, my guitar has cross bracing.

    The BJB pickup seems to have fuller mids than the Johnny Smith pickup that it replaced. Combined with the bracing, it seems to have a warmer sound.

    Gibson L-5 finish:  What is the name of it?-l-5-bracing-jpg

  17. #16

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    As Danny mentioned above, it would likely be an L-5C by name, since the Premier moniker did not surface until very recent times (mid teens, maybe 2014?). Not counting the original 1939 L-5P of course, which was the first cutaway L-5 produced.

  18. #17

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    That color is called custom red.