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  1. #1

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    Got my Gibson L-5 yesterday. It is a 1992. I finally had a chance to play it this morning and now I understand when people say "If you want the jazz tone you hear from some of your favorite records, get an L-5". To me, the sound I get from the L-5 is exactly what I think of when I think jazz guitar.




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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Congratulations on a fine guitar & welcome to the club ;-)!
    Great, it looks totally mint.
    Last edited by JazzNote; 01-11-2019 at 10:55 AM.
    _________
    JazzNote

  4. #3

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    I don't know how to improve on the L-5 sound. Consider that the design has been around forever and successfully bridged into electrification.

    There are other similar archtops that also sound good, but I don't believe they sound better. Some simply fall flat in comparison.

    L-5 remains king of that niche.
    MG

  5. #4

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    Happy NGD, lookin' good!

  6. #5

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    I found a way to improve the sound I got from my L5ces. I turn the volume up!
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  7. #6

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    A classic! Congratulations, and play it in good health!
    Best regards, k

  8. #7

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    Congrats! For those who understand, no explanation is necessary, for those who don't, no explanation is possible.
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger View Post
    Congrats! For those who understand, no explanation is necessary, for those who don't, no explanation is possible.
    Amen to that. People that say the L5 isn’t the best jazz guitar do not own one.....Congrats !

  10. #9

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    My 1st electric was an ES-175.
    A few yrs later I bought an L-5.
    It was like going from a Chevy to a Rolls, just so much more solid and luxurious feeling.
    I've had many since, but never forget getting the 1st one.
    Sold the 175 to Jimmy Bruno (that was a loooong time ago )
    congrats and welcome to the club.

  11. #10

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    Wow, that is pretty Play her in health!

  12. #11

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    When I received my L5ces last year, the only thing I could think of was that image used in the Bible, "a gold ring in a pig's nose." (Prov 11:22). Many players could do this guitar much more justice than I do, and must settle for far less.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  13. #12

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    I mean, the L5 has got to be literally, THE jazz guitar. Like you look up "jazz guitar" in the encyclopedia, and there's a picture on an L5.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  14. #13

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    L5 are great guitars indeed. Congrats

  15. #14

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    Hey, geese. You have arrived.

    Owing to my eccentricities, all of my archtops are "L5-ish." I mean, I have a guitar made by Aaron Cowles--who used to carve L-5s, Super-400s, Kalamazoo Awards, and Citations at Gibson. I have a Heritage Super Eagle. I even have a Matsumoku copy of an L-5 (Super-V, actually). All three archtops have some L-5 DNA. Even my '38 Gibson L-50 is a stripped down, less ornate version of the 16" L-5.

    For sure, though, it's the L-5CES that sits at the top of the jazz guitar pyramid. D'Angelico, Epiphone, Stromberg, and the rest were all aiming at the L-5 when they began producing archtop designs. And, as MG said, Gibson best made the shift into electrification when they devised the L-5CES. "The Sound" of jazz guitar.

    Enjoy!

  16. #15

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    That is The stuff right there. Wish I could afford one. But for now I have a copy.

  17. #16

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    The L5CES...often imitated but never surpassed. What's the secret Gibson sauce? I don't know. Only a Gibson L5CES sounds like an L5CES. It is the way all the parts come together in the Gibson Custom Shop. Beats me.

    Congrats, geese. I have the L5 Wes Montgomery which is a little different to the L5CES.

  18. #17

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    Geese,
    Congrats on the L5 ! When it comes to electric Archtops - this is standard from which all others are judged.

    The warm throaty Gibson signature sound is so appealing - and on countless Jazz recording.

  19. #18

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    I'm a believer! Say Halaluya! Amen! And all that Jazz. Although, Joe Pass drove that Chevy pretty well. He and a bunch of my other favorite players. But I get your drift Wintermoon. My 175s get very little mileage these days and stay parked in the garage, ever since my L7 and L5 pulled into the lot!

    Congratulations Geese! That's a beauty. Love those L5s. Enjoy!

  20. #19

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    Well, it's no tele but I'm sure it sounds swell.
    More gravel truck than Coltrane

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Donovan View Post
    Well, it's no tele but I'm sure it sounds swell.
    I've got one of those too =)

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by skykomishone View Post
    I'm a believer! Say Halaluya! Amen! And all that Jazz. Although, Joe Pass drove that Chevy pretty well. He and a bunch of my other favorite players. But I get your drift Wintermoon. My 175s get very little mileage these days and stay parked in the garage, ever since my L7 and L5 pulled into the lot!

    Congratulations Geese! That's a beauty. Love those L5s. Enjoy!
    Actually this has always fascinated me: Joe Pass almost never played (that I recall) a guitar with a 25.5" scale. He loved those 24.75" scaled guitars, which usually put him in the 16" instrument category. I am certain he could handled the longer scale perfectly well, but he must have preferred the 175 style instrument.

    While the L5 is the King of Jazz Guitars, I'd say the ES175 is the Prime Minister. They actually do the work of governing...
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  23. #22

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    Lawson, I respectfully disagree. That’s not true. You are a fine player. Don’t slight yourself.
    Joe D

    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    When I received my L5ces last year, the only thing I could think of was that image used in the Bible, "a gold ring in a pig's nose." (Prov 11:22). Many players could do this guitar much more justice than I do, and must settle for far less.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405 View Post
    Lawson, I respectfully disagree. That’s not true. You are a fine player. Don’t slight yourself.
    Joe D
    Coming from you, Joe, that carries a lot of authority. Thank you. I still feel unworthy of the fine instruments I've been privileged to have move in with me.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  25. #24

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    Lawson body size has a lot to do with it. Joe Pass was a short little guy so the 175 fit him well as does the Super 400 fit Kenny Burrell well as he is a big tall cat.

    A lot of people say we pay big bucks for just that G logo but that is not it at all. Only a Gibson sounds like a Gibson and if you want the Gibson sound you must pay the price tag for it. The sticker shock fades almost immediately after a song or two.

  26. #25

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    You have a beautiful guitar there. Congratulations and lots of luck with it. Good times ahead for goose, no doubt.
    The L5 Gibson is the original. It set the standard in the 20’s and it still stands firm almost 100 years later.
    The L5 will be the other guitar I will have. It’s nice to know, your guitar will never be the reason you can’t be a great player. It is pure unadulterated Jazz sound. The specifications are perfect for most players. It will take anything you can give it.
    Enjoy it. Thanks for sharing.
    Joe D

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k View Post
    Lawson body size has a lot to do with it. Joe Pass was a short little guy so the 175 fit him well as does the Super 400 fit Kenny Burrell well as he is a big tall cat.
    Maybe so. But there are many dimensions. Many yet to be explored, and some have already been. That's the beauty of the Archtop guitar, and of Jazz!

  28. #27

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    Our buddy Rhoadscholar is a big dude. I remember when I sold him a 175 I was watching him play it and it looked like he was playing a Les Paul. I am 6ft and he towers over me. Great guy.....hey Bob where have you been pal ?

  29. #28

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    That's a fair point. The principle has exceptions.


    Gibson L-5 - Now I Understand-tiny-tim-jpgGibson L-5 - Now I Understand-kaki-king-shell-pose-jpg


    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k View Post
    Lawson body size has a lot to do with it. Joe Pass was a short little guy so the 175 fit him well as does the Super 400 fit Kenny Burrell well as he is a big tall cat.
    MG

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Actually this has always fascinated me: Joe Pass almost never played (that I recall) a guitar with a 25.5" scale. He loved those 24.75" scaled guitars, which usually put him in the 16" instrument category. I am certain he could handled the longer scale perfectly well, but he must have preferred the 175 style instrument.

    While the L5 is the King of Jazz Guitars, I'd say the ES175 is the Prime Minister. They actually do the work of governing...
    Actually, the Ibanez JP-20 has a 25.5” scale. That seems unusual for a 16” archtop, and I’m not really convinced that the long scale was Joe’s idea. Having said that, he did play that guitar for a long time before returning to the ES-175.
    Keith

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup View Post
    Actually, the Ibanez JP-20 has a 25.5” scale. That seems unusual for a 16” archtop...
    Keith
    That's why I love my L-5 Signatures--15.5" body with 25.5" scale. Someone once told me he had had a Borys B120 with that scale instead of the usual 24.75" for that model. If mine had had the longer scale I'd probably still own them.

    Danny W.

  32. #31

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    I think if Gibson ever manages to get back into business and making guitars again since that seems like a bit touchy, they should give all the forum memebers a discount special. We do more for the L5 business than any thing I bet for sure.

    The L5 is basically the standard............you bought the real deal and not a template. While I prefer the Super 400 due to the 18inch it is the other Standard. You could not have done better play that guitar and frets right down to the ebony fingerboard.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  33. #32

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    Serious topic drift, I apologize to the OP who just wanted to celebrate the arrival of his new wonderful guitar!

    I suspect that the JP20 was mostly designed by Maurice Summerfield:

    The Eclectic Collector: 1983 Ibanez Joe Pass JP20 - GuitarPlayer.com

    Getting back the the important topic at hand: geese, congratulations! That's a beautiful instrument and from the sounds of it will be inspiring you for years to come.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  34. #33
    Hello Vinny (thanks again for hooking me up with that great 175). I would also like to say hello to the Jazzguitar.be gang. I am Alive and well but had a good scare. Complications from surgery but lived to tell about it. I am a giant of a person. Whenever I play a les paul, folks say it looks like a ukulele on me). In my avatar I am playing an American Eagle (now owned by big Mike). I can handle the size difference but still love the smaller body sizes. I really like the shape of the 175 and the size.

    I have a Heritage Golden Eagle Wes Mo Style (single mounted pickup, parallel bracing) whenever I want to tickle that L5 itch.

    My favorite though is this custom Heritage 555 with a 25 1/2 inch scale and 3 inch body depth (built for Toty Viola with input from George Benson).

    Haven't done a side by side comparison but I bet its sound would be quite similar to a Tal Farlow (played them at different times).


    I don't know why it never caught on (as the Gibson 150 in the 70's) as a mainstay.
    Other than Heritage's brief run, I don't know of anyone who make something like this.
    If it is good enough for George, it is good enough for me

    Gibson L-5 - Now I Understand-p54-jpgGibson L-5 - Now I Understand-p39-jpgGibson L-5 - Now I Understand-p5-jpg



    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k View Post
    Our buddy Rhoadscholar is a big dude. I remember when I sold him a 175 I was watching him play it and it looked like he was playing a Les Paul. I am 6ft and he towers over me. Great guy.....hey Bob where have you been pal ?
    Attached Images Attached Images Gibson L-5 - Now I Understand-p9-jpg 

  35. #34

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    L5CES, in SUNBURST no less - King of the hill! Congrat's, she's a beauty!
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  36. #35

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    Very nice, congrats ....

    I remember bringing my first L5 home about 8 years ago and saying ... "How come I didn't get one of these years ago!"



  37. #36

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    I wanted to buy one in 1971, a dealer was discounting them by 30-40 %. It would have cost about $800 + or - . That was a lot o money at the time, but since I was playing 5 or 6 nites a week, I seriously considered it. Shoulda done it, but then I needed a good amp at the same time, so the Twin Reverb purchase caused a cessation, bought a ES150 instead. Shoulda bought the L5!

    Now I have a Tobacco-burst L5, looks very much like Geese's. I love mine, hope you love yours.

  38. #37
    Beautiful! Congrats, HNGD and play her in good health!
    Midnight Blues

  39. #38

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    I just realized how little time I've had for posting here since I got my L-5CES in early December. Much playing time, though

  40. #39

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    Bob......hope you are OK ? I will put you on my prayer list my friend.

  41. #40

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    Love my L5. There are many guitars I have found to be inspiring but there is something about the L5 that makes you you feel like you're in the line of the great tradition of bop and post bop. I'll take any year as long as the neck is straight....many Gibsons suffer from not having enough truss rod action and thus live with a perpetual bow.
    Attached Images Attached Images Gibson L-5 - Now I Understand-img_6420-jpg