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  1. #1

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    Feeling very blessed to have finally become the owner of an immaculate sunburst L-4 CES. Has been a dream for me for many years. After struggling with a major health issue this year, I am doing much better. I figured I better fulfill my dreams and enjoy life while I’m able. So... after looking at many less than pristine examples, one of our brothers (Vinny1k) offered to sell me his L-4. What a blessing.

    It is so nice. Perfect neck, perfect top, back and sides, perfect finish. Of all the Gibsons I’ve owned over the years, this one has the finest fit and finish. The sound is perfectly balanced across all strings and all positions on the fingerboard. The nut is cut perfectly, the intonation is perfect. Oh and that warm, milky tone just flows from it. If a great ES-175 were to mate with a great L-5 CES, this would be the offspring. Like all truly great guitars, it almost plays itself. Enough gushing. I’ve found a treasure and will care for it well. Thank you, Vinny for being so thoughtful and supportive during my ordeal. And thank you for allowing me to own this pristine example of what a fine Gibson archtop is all about.

    I’ll record something to share when I have time, but here are a few pics. It’s a 2014 and has a carved mahogany back and mahogany sides, ebony fingerboard and bridge (final year using ebony). Feeling fortunate!

    Gibson L-4 CES and, wow! It’s amazing!-e33f1fcd-5fe9-470d-a7ac-2698c6cbe754-jpg

    Gibson L-4 CES and, wow! It’s amazing!-6b05f06f-7f47-4f23-a05b-3419ccb0eea3-jpg

    Gibson L-4 CES and, wow! It’s amazing!-bec34dd2-818e-43b0-8362-016390c0cc1e-jpg


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    May she inspire your playing for MANY years to come.

  4. #3

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    That’s a beautiful guitar! I owned an L4CES for a few years and it was a fabulous guitar. It was a thing of beauty, and a perfect cross between an L5CES and an ES-175. I love 175’s, but the L4CES has upgrades that really appeal to me...solid top, gold hardware, bound tortoise guard, gorgeous tailpiece, ebony bridge and fingerboard, etc. I wish I had kept mine, but I ended up selling it to a friend who was looking for one.

  5. #4

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    What a gorgeous L4 CES!!

    May you play it in good health for many years.

  6. #5

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    Great axe. One of the most underrated Gibson model often sold as a bargain. I'm the happy owner of a '89 L4-CESN. Just like yours, perfect in every sense. Maog + carved spruce + ebony fingerboard makes a winning combination.

    Best to you and take care.

  7. #6

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    Happy New Guitar Day - may she bring you joy for years to come!

  8. #7

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    Beautiful! I also had one about 10 yrs ago. It was a great guitar. The mahogany back and sides produce a really warm tone unique to that guitar. Mine was finished in ebony and was beautiful in it’s own way, but nothing is as pretty as a nice burst. Enjoy it!

  9. #8

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    Nice guitar a smaller cutaway l5 really. Looks beautiful. Play it well!

  10. #9

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    Wow! What a beautiful L4 CES, congrats!
    Last edited by v281; 10-07-2020 at 01:18 PM.

  11. #10

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    Lovely guitar....congrats!

  12. #11

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    Can any of you who own both an L5 and an L4 care to compare? (Electric sound.)

  13. #12

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    I’ll give my 2 cents on it. I think they are very close. My L-5 has that characteristic “bark” in its electric tone. The L-4 also has it, but not as much. But, they’re definitely in similar sonic territory. My L-4 has mahogany back and sides versus the maple back and sides of my L-5 so it’s not totally apples to apples. But they aren’t kidding when they say mahogany adds warmth. This L-4’s electrified tone is buttery smooth and mellow. Not muddy at all, just warm. I can run the tone control on the neck pickup on 10 and it’s still warm and round. I’m glad I went for this guitar. Not surprisingly, it feels more like a 175 but sounds more like an L-5.

    Anyone have a maple-backed L-4? Would love to hear your comparison to its bigger sibling.

  14. #13

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    Beautiful Instrument! The longer scale and all maple construction of an L-5CES, should make for less mids and pronounced lows and highs.
    It also would feel different because of the longer scale.String tension would be more.

  15. #14

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    Firstly ,congratulations on this great acquisition, you could not have purchased from a more
    reliable and trustworthy source, all of Vinny's instruments are of mint condition and well
    looked after. I have had the good fortune to possess at the same time . an L4CES, L5CES,
    Wes Montgomery L5, a Byrdland and a Tal Farlow, All superb ,from the Crimson Custom shop.
    ( with the exception of the L4CES built before the CCshop came into existence). It is a great
    guitar especially with Mahogany back and sides. easy to play with a 24 3/4" scale, superior
    to an ES175 , IMHO, its tone is very pleasing, not identical to the L5's but has its own identity.
    You will love it. ..or I'll eat my Pork Pie Hat !

    Good luck with it,


  16. #15

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    I just love a happy ending. Rolijen, I cannot think of anyone more deserving than you for this L4. I think I got the bigger blessing in all of this being a part of your dream. May you have many healthy years ahead playing your L4 my friend !

  17. #16

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    A superb example of a unique instrument. Congratulations, and play it in good health!

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    I just love a happy ending. Rolijen, I cannot think of anyone more deserving than you for this L4. I think I got the bigger blessing in all of this being a part of your dream. May you have many healthy years ahead playing your L4 my friend !
    Thank you, Vinny. You’re a true brother.

    I haven’t been able to put it down! I’ll post a family pic later.

  19. #18

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    Vinny has told me about a half a dozen times over the years, this is the one guitar he wouldn't part with.
    It is absolutely beautiful. He has told me, it sounds like no other Guitar.
    You never, ever get a guitar in better condition, that has been pampered more than a Vinny Guitar.
    He has the best of the best. And keep them immaculate.
    I am really happy for you Roligen. And also Happy for Vinny. Believe when he says it, He enjoys the enjoyment that other have MORE than his own enjoyment.
    A true saint.
    Enjoy your new Gem.
    And thanks for sharing it with us.
    Joe D

  20. #19

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    Congratulations on that gorgeous guitar! May she inspire you for many years to come!

  21. #20

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    Beautiful! Happy new guitar day. Play the heck out of it!

  22. #21

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    So nice to be among friends here. Thank you all for the well wishes!

    Joe, you are an inspiration to us all. I want to play more like you. And, I agree with you, Vinny is a saint. I know a guitar is merely a worldly possession, but I am truly grateful to have this particular one.

    And I’m grateful for all the wonderful people here, through a common love of music, particularly jazz, and guitars with curvy tops and backs.

    As I get back into the swing of things, (pun intended) I hope to re-hone my chops. Earlier this year, I was unable to sit or hold a guitar. Now that I’m getting my groove back , I’m up and about and playing guitar more and more. This L-4 just hits the sweet spot being, light, comfortably sized and has a voice that brings warmth into the room and my heart. Cheesy perhaps, but I’m working up an arrangement to a simple hymn and the sound chokes me up.

    Hope to share once I get it finished.

    Thanks again all!