The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    This is less a PSA than a question of current price points, also the nicest L-5 I have seen on Reverb in a long while. The last natural L-5 I recall seeing on Reverb was nearly a year ago, same condition, priced at $10k or so. $15k for a mint condition 2021 L-5 CES?

    *Rare* Gibson L5 CES 2021 Custom Shop | Reverb

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  3. #2

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    It is way more money than I would pay for one. Example of Gibson doing well but now getting to the place that I believe few have any real interest in this guitar. For that money I can go to Campellone and on the used market get a much better deal.

  4. #3

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    My 2003 L-5CESN is a fine guitar, but I would not pay 15K for her and if anyone here really needs one, you can have mine for 14K.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomvwash
    This is less a PSA than a question of current price points, also the nicest L-5 I have seen on Reverb in a long while. The last natural L-5 I recall seeing on Reverb was nearly a year ago, same condition, priced at $10k or so. $15k for a mint condition 2021 L-5 CES?

    *Rare* Gibson L5 CES 2021 Custom Shop | Reverb
    it’s crazy

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    It is way more money than I would pay for one. Example of Gibson doing well but now getting to the place that I believe few have any real interest in this guitar. For that money I can go to Campellone and on the used market get a much better deal.
    We often compare L5 to Campellone. I wonder if Mark ever made a 2-set-in pickup model similar to a CES. I bet it would be a killer.

  7. #6

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    I just bought a '95 Citation for that price.

    The Citation is awesome.

    Pictures coming.


  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedawg
    I just bought a '95 Citation for that price.

    The Citation is awesome.

    Pictures coming.

    Promises, promises.

  9. #8

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    2021 Gibson L-5 CES on Reverb-01-jpg2021 Gibson L-5 CES on Reverb-07-jpg Just for comparison sake, I bought this Gibson custom shop L5 CES brand new from Sweetwater in 2015 for $7839.
    Last edited by Forensbro; 08-12-2022 at 07:03 AM. Reason: clarification

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by laap45
    it’s crazy
    Yes it is. Several years ago I paid ~$2800 for my mint used Sadowsky. Now a new one is $6k. If I were looking for the same kind of guitar today, I'd call Holst.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forensbro
    2021 Gibson L-5 CES on Reverb-01-jpg2021 Gibson L-5 CES on Reverb-07-jpg Just for comparison sake, I bought this Gibson custom shop L5 CES brand new from Sweetwater in 2015 for $7839.
    What rootin' tootin' chicken-chokin' hornswoggling one-eyed pound dawg plays an L-5CESN with a Rosewood fretboard!! And Sweetwater probably overcharged you.

    Ai! Those were the days when a used in excellent plus and better condition L-5CESN could be had for under $6000.

  12. #11

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    Vintage 1984 "50th Anniversary" Gibson L-5CES Archtop Jazz Guitar #5 of 10 made | eBay

    This one's only $6,995... not as pretty, but you could buy two...
    Last edited by charleyrich99; 08-12-2022 at 11:37 AM.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by charleyrich99
    Vintage 1984 "50th Anniversary" Gibson L-5CES Archtop Jazz Guitar #5 of 10 made | eBay

    This one's only $6,995... not as pretty, but you could buy two...
    When a sunburst L-5 CES with lots of play wear and mostly replaced parts has a 7 K asking price, it is a sign that guitar prices have gotten a little out of hand. I am sure glad that I have all the guitars that I need. I would not want to be a buyer in today's market.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    What rootin' tootin' chicken-chokin' hornswoggling one-eyed pound dawg plays an L-5CESN with a Rosewood fretboard!! And Sweetwater probably overcharged you.

    Ai! Those were the days when a used in excellent plus and better condition L-5CESN could be had for under $6000.
    I know.

    I purchased a 2010 L5CES in 2016. It was near mint, and it was the nicest Rose Blonde you ever laid your eyes on. I acquired it for less than $6k. Oh, and it had an Ebony fretboard.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    My 2003 L-5CESN is a fine guitar, but I would not pay 15K for her and if anyone here really needs one, you can have mine for 14K.
    Great - i also am proud owner of a 2003 L-5CESN, even one with a Hutch signed label. This is the only "high end" archtop i bought new, payed 13.5k here in Switzerland, which would be equivalent to 15k or more considering inflation. No way to get it any cheaper over here at the time.

    Ironically just this week i "rediscovered" my 1970 teaburst L5-CES which for a while i thought to be inferior to the 2003. Not inferior at all in sound & feel anymore, but it cost me only 5k when i bought it in the early nineties ;-). I have to admit however, it does not at all look mint anymore ;-).

  16. #15

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    Truth is.. it's 2022 and we have high inflation with more to come. Certainly several years of it. Gibson archtops have shown no sign of dropping in value thus far. Maybe they will when it finally hits the fan. Not sure when that will be.

    So.. when Gryphon posted a 1989 Gibson L5 CES (blond, pretty, great shape) for $7300 while it would seem kind of high, compared to what I've seen in the market that's maybe a little low from a trusted seller. Or at least fair since it needs a new pickguard. I had to buy it, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it. NGD sometime in the future. I would post the link but they have already taken it down. Text and a few pics attached for those who enjoy ad copy..





    "We ordered this L-5 CES for a music business pal back in 1989, and asked Jim "Hutch" Hutchins at Gibson to watch over it. Hutchins signed the second label and everyone was more than pleased with the end result. Our friend passed away several years ago but his L-5 got excellent care in the hands of another local musician who recently decided to downsize a bit so it's now ready for a third owner. It has been played, but our pal had several archtops and a very light touch, so the frets look almost unplayed. There is some typical checking to the lacquer, such as on the neck heel and around the knobs, but you have to look carefully to find them. This is an excellent example of a high-point in American jazz guitar design and it's original throughout with no sign of any repairs. There's only one photo here with the pickguard in place for a reason: tarnish on the edges of the pickup covers and the pickup rings screw heads suggest that the pickguard has been "off gassing" as the faux tortoiseshell celluloid begins to deteriorate. The pickguard looks fine, and it's probably safe to put it on again if the guitar is out of its case (tightly confined spaces concentrate the minute off-gassing resulting in tarnished metal plating). The pickguard mounts with just two screws, btw. Fortunately exact replacements for L-5 CES pickguards are readily available, because this is a common problem. The best are made by our pal Paul Fox, and his "TruVintage" 'guards for these models are even better than the originals. While not cheap ($349) they're worth if for a guitar of this quality. However, there are other good-looking pickguard options for under $200, and if you're handy cutting the notches for the pickup covers you can find a 'guard for even less.
    The first owner had a case cover made for this, so the original case is as clean as the guitar. No part of this package looks like it's 33 years old! The heavyweight cordura case cover shown is included with the guitar.
    "
    Last edited by Spook410; 08-12-2022 at 11:00 PM.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by charleyrich99
    Vintage 1984 "50th Anniversary" Gibson L-5CES Archtop Jazz Guitar #5 of 10 made | eBay

    This one's only $6,995... not as pretty, but you could buy two...

    Some people (like me) prefer a nice burst over a natch. I doubt that shipped with that pickguard.

  18. #17

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    Read and weep:
    1989 L5CESN
    Hutch and Triggs on the build.
    Ready?
    List $3500
    Paid $1800.
    ”Never Again”
    (I know misuse of the term but still)))

  19. #18

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    If we're reviewing old prices ...

    In 1993 I ordered my Le Grand. It listed at $6K

    When I picked it up in 1994 it was up to $6300

    I paid $3650 for it.


    I also remember thinking the people paying $5K for 1950s Les Pauls in the early 80s were nuts ... I guess they have proven me wrong. LOL

  20. #19

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    It's not a question of what the guitar cost back in the day..

    It's a question of if you want one and what will it cost 5 years from now if you wait.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    It's not a question of what the guitar cost back in the day..

    It's a question of if you want one and what will it cost 5 years from now if you wait.
    Indeed. When my Santa Cruz, California home was built in 1973, it sold for 35K. I bought it in 1997 for 235K (and that seemed like a lot of money at the time for a 1710 square foot ranch house that was built pretty cheaply). Today it is worth 1.75 million.

    The best time to buy desirable stuff that is in short supply in relation to demand is yesterday.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    I had to buy it, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it. NGD sometime in the future.
    Well, you sly one! Congratulations, can’t wait to see it!

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Indeed. When my Santa Cruz, California home was built in 1973, it sold for 35K. I bought it in 1997 for 235K (and that seemed like a lot of money at the time for a 1710 square foot ranch house that was built pretty cheaply). Today it is worth 1.75 million.

    The best time to buy desirable stuff that is in short supply in relation to demand is yesterday.
    Oh, and here I thought you were in Daly City.

    I know those California prices well, since I’m from SacraTomato, as we used to call it. Did I ever tell you that I got my SS number at age 7 because you had to have one to pick tomatoes? Another story.

    So 1972, my Senior year of HS, my best friends sister was bemoaning the fact that she and her husband were shopping for a new home but the prices were $35k for a 1600 sq ft rambler. What is the price for that house today? And how in the heck does anyone pay taxes on $1.75M?

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    Oh, and here I thought you were in Daly City.

    I know those California prices well, since I’m from SacraTomato, as we used to call it. Did I ever tell you that I got my SS number at age 7 because you had to have one to pick tomatoes? Another story.

    So 1972, my Senior year of HS, my best friends sister was bemoaning the fact that she and her husband were shopping for a new home but the prices were $35k for a 1600 sq ft rambler. What is the price for that house today? And how in the heck does anyone pay taxes on $1.75M?
    Daly City? What ever gave you that idea?

    Prop 13 protects those of us who bought years ago from paying market rate property taxes. My property taxes were $4200 last year. If I sold my house, the new owners would be paying about $20,000. If they ever repeal prop 13 and don't grandfather me in, I may leave.

    We still call it Sacratomato. Which is about 75 miles east of Bezerkely.

  25. #24

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    Agree with everything being said.. and good for those who bought back when. You even got to enjoy the guitars all these years. Still..

    In August 1980 the S&P 435. Friday it was 4280. The equity markets are. IMHO, a more general indicator than a single real estate market that enjoyed some unique advantages. And while a few guitars have tracked equity values, most have not. In the end you have to get what you want and play it. Not that value doesn't matter. Utility, price, aesthetic, resale, and availability have to be considered. THat and new guitars entering the market changing the supply/demand equation. Ask me again in 5 years if $7300 was a good price on a Hutchin's 1989 L5 CESN in great condition.

    Better still.. point out a new jazz guitar (or even a used one) in today's market that will be worth 5 or 10 times the current price in 10 to 20 years. Unless inflation continues out of control which is a different equation, my new used Gibson won't be. But if you know of some you think will achieve that sort of appreciation, would love to hear about them.

    Buyers in the current archtop market have to be realists, do good research, and pick their opportunities. But don't cheap out when the right guitar comes along for a fair price.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    ……… We still call it Sacratomato. Which is about 75 miles east of Bezerkely.
    There are a lot of “SacTown” references these days as well. I’ve been here since the late ‘80’s.

    AKA