Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 26 of 26
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Hi! Long time lurker but first time poster. Earlier this year I acquired a beautiful 1978 Gibson Super V CES. It’s a fine guitar and I’m grateful for this forum which I, among other sources, uses to inform my purchase. After a refret, new pickguard and some other tweaks it’s a guitar I intend to add some mileage to.

    My question is just one of curiosity.

    Whenever I read a thread about the L-5 CES on this forum, without fail there’s reference to the countless classic jazz albums recorded with one. Of course we all know Wes’ work, but these threads make it seem like at least half of the classic jazz guitar canon was committed to record on a twin-humbucker L-5. Any recommendations? I’m talking mainly real jazz albums, not R&B or jazz of the “smooth” variety.

    I’m wondering what I’ve missed, as most of the classic guitar albums I’ve listened to seem to feature laminates, or carved archtops equipped with floaters. Luckily I didn’t buy my particular guitar based on how many albums the type appeared on but I’ve been curious about this! I love this forum and read it regularly.

    Best wishes!
    Attached Images Attached Images 1978 Gibson Super V CES-da44179a-8a6f-41d9-b4ad-9a3b8854dc5a-jpg 1978 Gibson Super V CES-b0cf045d-209d-4efe-9124-d15d0ba09e6b-jpg 

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by PWG
    I’m wondering what I’ve missed, as most of the classic guitar albums I’ve listened to seem to feature laminates, or carved archtops equipped with floaters. Luckily I didn’t buy my particular guitar based on how many albums the type appeared on but I’ve been curious about this! I love this forum and read it regularly.Best wishes!
    You have missed nothing. Way more classic jazz guitar albums were recorded on laminates like the ES 150, ES 350, ES 175 than on the L5.

    Joe Pass, Herb Ellis, Jim Hall, Rene Thomas, Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel, Jimmy Raney, Grant Green, Kenny Burrell ... They all played laminates when they recorded their classic albums. Some even exclusively played ES guitars all their lives. Others used carved tops too occasionally but you are talking "classic" albums which I take means 1950s, early 60s?

    The classic 1950s, 1960s bebop sound IMHO IS a laminate ES sound.

    Wes and Johhny Smith come to mind in the L5 and floater department. Pat Martino played an L5 in the late 60s too.

    DB
    Last edited by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog; 07-08-2020 at 11:27 AM.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Raney's recordings until the early 60s were done with his prewar ES150, so carved spruce top. Same guitar for René Thomas during his whole career. Also, Tal's ES250 was a carved spruce top.

    But other than that, a lot of classic jazz album were done with laminated.

    Both are fine, I can tell you. It's Mom AND Dad, not Mom or Dad !
    Last edited by Fred Archtop; 07-08-2020 at 04:15 PM.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    It all depends on what you call classic albums. Tal's "classic" sound is defitely laminate ES, even though he played an ES 250 at times. All of these guys owned several guitars of course.

    For an honest count first define classic album, then list them and then see what is played on it. But that is kind of nerdy isn't it.

    DB

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    It seems to me that the answer to the question of which guitar provides the "classic" jazz guitar tone, laminated or carved? is a simple one.

    Both.

    Carved players include: Wes, Kenny Burrell, Johnny Smith, Larry Coryell, Eddie Lang, Chuck Wayne and many others.

  7. #6
    I agree with you guys! ‘Classic’ is a subjective term but honestly I don’t even think you have to look at the most famous 50s-60s albums to prove this weird notion wrong. I’m not aware of many impactful jazz albums recorded with an L5-CES since the models introduction (aside from the Boss of course).

    I know Peter Bernstein used a Wes model for a period and I enjoy the sounds he gets no matter what guitar he uses. Russell Malone might be another contemporary player known to use a CES but I don’t think his sound is very representative of what the model can do.

    I love the sound of a well adjusted L5 and I enjoy the weighty notes you can get with one. I’m not trying to bring down the model’s influence, but I’m curious as to how the notion of it’s widespread use in jazz has spawned.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    It seems to me that the answer to the question of which guitar provides the "classic" jazz guitar tone, laminated or carved? is a simple one.

    Both.

    Carved players include: Wes, Kenny Burrell, Johnny Smith, Larry Coryell, Eddie Lang, Chuck Wayne and many others.
    Yes, there are plenty of legendary carved top players, but I often see the characterization of the L5 CES model as the bona fide jazz guitar in threads comparing it to the Wes model or other carved top models. I don’t question the floater equipped carved tops influence, merely the CES variant!

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    I studied with Allen Hanlon back in the 70's. Allen played an early 50's L-5CES as his main guitar for many years, long before Wes showed up on the scene. Due to the influence of Wes, we have players like Royce Campbell and Joshua Breakstone choosing the L-5CES as their guitar of choice.

    Kenny Burrell's Super 400CES is heard on countless classic jazz recordings (along with his floater equipped D'Angelico New Yorker).

    My Pal Duncan James (who played with George Barnes in Barne's last quartet) plays an L-5CES.

    Bruce Forman plays an L-5CES (he has also played laminates and floater equipped guitars).

    No one guitar dominates the classic jazz sound to be sure, but Wes is so huge in this genre of guitar that his use alone is enough to make this an iconic guitar.

    Laminate archtops, carved archtops with floaters and carved archtops with built in PUPs each have their sound (and all three are well represented in the pantheon of jazz guitar history). My solution for the quandary of which one to own is to have several of each.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Off the top of my head:

    Tuck Andress
    Pat Martino (at various points L5, Super 400, and Koontz carved top)
    Kenny Burrell played an L7 (an L5 with less bling) on a lot of stuff, as well as Super 400s
    I believe Jack Wilkins and George Benson played L5's at some point early in their careers
    Jimmy Ponder (not widely recorded, but one of the greats)
    Russell Malone has played an L5 off and on
    Martin Mull (or was it Barth Gimble ...)

    John

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    You can add Lee Ritenour to the list when he's playing straight ahead jazz.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    That is one beautiful guitar. A local player uses one, and I have always admired it. His is the only one I have ever seen in person (in instrument?). Quite a find. Enjoy!

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    The "poor man's" Super V is the Aria Pro II PE180 which is the same specs as the Super V except for the laminated body. A very well made, great playing, super-sounding guitar.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Was that the AriaPro Herb Ellis played, do you know? Had a really recorded sound on an LP.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    When I think of the iconic jazz sound only 2 guitars come to my mind. The L5 and 175. Those 2 guitars I would never be without. Every other archtop I own are variants to those 2 guitar staples.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    Was that the AriaPro Herb Ellis played, do you know? Had a really recorded sound on an LP.
    It was an Aria Pro Herb Ellis model, somewhat similar but 16" wide as opposed to 17" for the PE180

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Killer sunburst and inlays and bling. The Super V is the only guitar i could cinsider as beautiful as the L-5 on Gibsons catalogue. Congratulations

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    Was that the AriaPro Herb Ellis played, do you know? Had a really recorded sound on an LP.
    No that was a custom design, the Herb Ellis Signature model. 16" lower bout and I think the 24.75" scale. It looks more like the FA70.

    The PE180 is the exact dimensions of the Super V except that it's a 7 layer laminate and has the L5ces style tailpiece. There are variants of this guitar that look more like an L5ces, mainly due to the fret markers.

    Here's my PE180. Some variants actually have the same headstock inlay as the Super V.

    1978 Gibson Super V CES-area180-tmtr-jpg
    Last edited by lawson-stone; 07-10-2020 at 01:32 PM.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu


    Here’s my 1980 Super V which you’ll notice has one striking difference to yours. The fingers are the other way around. It’s always been this way. I’m not sure why they did this or how common it was.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    I had a Howard Roberts Fusion with the Fingers TP (Man, I hate that TP when changing strings, not as much as a Bigsby, but close) and the fingers on mine were like those on the OP's Super V (longest finger on the high E). Perhaps someone reversed the fingers on yours due to the bass strings that they were using not being long enough?

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    I bought this guitar back in 1981 so it’s doubtful it was swapped out by someone. It was a brand new guitar.
    If you do an image search for Super V guitars you’ll find the fingers on this model going either way. It seems totally random and not associated with vintage. Almost like they just threw it on in whatever order they felt like. Weird.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    just a note, they're actually called Oettinger t.p.s and date back to banjos from the 20s
    on Super V's I've seen almost as many w/ the long side on bass as treble

  23. #22
    I’ve seen the TP variations as well. Your V looks great, and it’s in far better condition than mine. Mine was coated in a thick layer of nicotine/tar when I got it. Yellowed a lot and smelled like an ash tray!

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    This photo is from a few years back when I did a major overhaul on it. New pickup covers, and a complete clean up and buff on the body.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    It seems to me that the answer to the question of which guitar provides the "classic" jazz guitar tone, laminated or carved? is a simple one.

    Both.

    Carved players include: Wes, Kenny Burrell, Johnny Smith, Larry Coryell, Eddie Lang, Chuck Wayne and many others.
    Yes, like pre-1977 Benson, 90s McLaughlin, early Pat Martino too I believe.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Cool thanks for the Aria info guys. Not that I need another guitar but I would like to pick one up.
    heard a college age kid solo gigging with one and they to me have a nice live sound.
    now as to his playing....

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    Plenty of examples of great musicians playing or recording on L5s and Super Vs.

    Russell Malone on a Super V.



    Peter Mazza on a Super V.



    Peter Leitch on an L5.



    Calvin Keys on an L5.