The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    All original...the rosewood bridge is in the original case.
    Refretted in 2020 by Andrew Jellison, and I had him drop the Callaham TOM in at the time. it's probably been played about 15 hours since the refret.
    There was a small top seam separation that was repaired at some point, visible in the window of the tailpiece.
    The pickup is a early patent sticker and sounds amazing. It still has the shielding cans around both pots.
    Carter Vintage inspected it and Walter Carter said that someone probably ordered one with a pickup, and rather than a ground up custom build, they just pulled a L-7C off the line and added the pickup (which is what they did to Wes' heart L-5C from the same year). Also, the sticker doesn’t say CE.
    Currently strung with Thomastik GB114s with low action. It plays so well and sounds incredible, I'm just not playing it and need to throw money at a studio build.
    Neck dimensions are:
    Width: 1 & 11/16"
    Depth at 1st fret: 25/32"
    Depth at 10th fret: 29/32"
    $6500 net plus insured shipping from Nashville, TN. I'd also drive a couple of hours in any direction to meet and save shipping.
    Attached Images Attached Images Price Drop...1963 L-7C with factory installed patent number pickup-dscf1514-jpg Price Drop...1963 L-7C with factory installed patent number pickup-99a5634b-9ff4-4a6f-b813-9dee8c82c6d5-jpeg Price Drop...1963 L-7C with factory installed patent number pickup-dscf1515-jpg Price Drop...1963 L-7C with factory installed patent number pickup-dscf1500-jpg Price Drop...1963 L-7C with factory installed patent number pickup-dscf1508-jpg Price Drop...1963 L-7C with factory installed patent number pickup-dscf1507-jpg 
    Last edited by Mccolalx; Yesterday at 09:57 AM. Reason: price drop

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    So did they cut the bracing or brace this one differently when they installed the pickup?


    Price Drop...1963 L-7C with factory installed patent number pickup-gibson_l-7-parallel-brace-jpg
    Last edited by dunhamdolomite; 11-30-2022 at 07:16 PM.

  4. #3
    Carter said that the brace was shaved on the treble side to accommodate the pickup.

    Quote Originally Posted by dunhamdolomite View Post
    So did they cut the bracing or brace this one differently when they installed the pickup?


    Price Drop...1963 L-7C with factory installed patent number pickup-gibson_l-7-parallel-brace-jpg
    Last edited by Mccolalx; 11-30-2022 at 09:13 AM.

  5. #4

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    Nice Guitar.I'm curious about how close the pickup is to the strings. Do you have a side shot? Thanks.I tried to mount a full sized KA 12 pole floater on my '44 and it wouldn't fit. I decided on a Lollar gold foil single coil instead.L7's are one of my Fav's! GLWTS.

  6. #5
    It’s about 1/8” from the bottom of the strings with plenty of adjustment either way.
    Price Drop...1963 L-7C with factory installed patent number pickup-45b3033b-d44e-474f-9852-c22f65e4cfd2-jpg
    Last edited by Mccolalx; 11-30-2022 at 11:15 AM.

  7. #6

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    Just imagine if those had been in any kind of production back in the day.......

    Oh well......

    GLWTS

  8. #7

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    Nice axe! This is about as close as one might come to getting a vintage L-5 Wesmo as single pickup L-5's were not a production guitar (perhaps a few single pickup L-5's from the 60's exist? I bet that the surviving examples of such guitars, including those made for Wes are in the single digits).

    The only difference, other than cosmetics between an l-5 and an L-7 is the fingerboard (Rosewood on the L-7, Ebony on the L-5). While that can contribute to a sonic difference, I wonder how many of us could actually tell in a blindfold test?

    GLWTS. Someone is going to be a happy camper with this one.

    PS: Early Patent sticker pickups are often PAF pickups with a different sticker. And they are quite valuable today.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger View Post

    The only difference, other than cosmetics between an l-5 and an L-7 is the fingerboard (Rosewood on the L-7, Ebony on the L-5). While that can contribute to a sonic difference, I wonder how many of us could actually tell in a blindfold test?

    .
    Ebony has always been harder to get, slower growing trees, and so more expensive. Rosewood was priced lower because of that but in many cases I've found that though less prestigious, it actually sounds better, has a more distinct resonance even glued to a neck. I like the warmth and acoustic clarity of the rosewood fingerboard.
    I had a student with a used L-7 from post-war. One of the NICEST guitars I've ever played. I attribute it to the fact that a previous owner really played it in and brought it to a level of maturity that only a played guitar can achieve. I told him "You'd better play this a lot! Somebody did all the hard work for you."
    L-7 can be some of the all time underpriced finds if you find the right one.

  10. #9
    Added neck dimensions to the original post.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger View Post
    Nice axe! This is about as close as one might come to getting a vintage L-5 Wesmo as single pickup L-5's were not a production guitar (perhaps a few single pickup L-5's from the 60's exist? I bet that the surviving examples of such guitars, including those made for Wes are in the single digits).

    The only difference, other than cosmetics between an l-5 and an L-7 is the fingerboard (Rosewood on the L-7, Ebony on the L-5). While that can contribute to a sonic difference, I wonder how many of us could actually tell in a blindfold test?

    GLWTS. Someone is going to be a happy camper with this one.

    PS: Early Patent sticker pickups are often PAF pickups with a different sticker. And they are quite valuable today.
    SS, I believe the scale length is different as well, correct? Perhaps I’m thinking of the Bozeman L7s. For some reason I’m thinking an L7 is 24 3/4 scale.

  12. #11
    Hey Mark!
    It's a 25.5" like a L-5.

  13. #12

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    Just something to think about, the ebony is more susceptible to humidity changes than the rosewood, ebony boards shrink much during dry spells, exposing fret ends. Just my experience.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note View Post
    Ebony has always been harder to get, slower growing trees, and so more expensive. Rosewood was priced lower because of that but in many cases I've found that though less prestigious, it actually sounds better, has a more distinct resonance even glued to a neck. I like the warmth and acoustic clarity of the rosewood fingerboard.
    Also, just something to think about, the ebony is more susceptible to humidity changes than the rosewood, ebony boards shrink much during dry spells, exposing fret ends. Just my experience.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound View Post
    Also, just something to think about, the ebony is more susceptible to humidity changes than the rosewood, ebony boards shrink much during dry spells, exposing fret ends. Just my experience.
    Because ebony is a dense (one of the only woods that doesn't float) and so slow growing, the supply of good usable ebony is not abundant. It's actually illegal to harvest it in Sri Lanka, one of the only places in the world where it grows. It's not oily like rosewood so it needs to be oiled regularly by the owner or it can crack. Soooo, two things: Its scarcity drove the prices up, not because it was "better" but because it looked nice, was durable and was hard to use. Rosewood, it can be argued, is better suited for fingerboards because it's also very hard and dense but its natural oils give it greater resistance to cracking and splitting. It's got a natural oil content and as anyone who builds with it knows, it's very resiny. This can give rosewood natural stability.
    But because it wasn't nearly as much of a pain in the A to acquire and work with, rosewood could be used more widely without the upcharge. Ebony became a prestige wood because it was pretty, not as common and carried with it a caché that allowed builders to charge more.
    It's also interesting to note that many or even most of what passes for ebony these days is not ebony at all but dyed hardwood of some kind. But it still carries that prestige so even though guitar makers are using cheaper woods, the 'look of ebony' can be sold at an upcharge as ebony and guitar buyers gladly pay for that cool black look.
    Back to the Gibson guitars, yes there were guitars in their line that had rosewood fittings. It's ironic that to many who owned them, they reported widely that it had a woodier classic jazz box sound than the later heavier built ebony featured models. But they were seen as lesser instruments because it didn't have prestige woods. Vintage and how much it was played has much more to do with an aged guitar's sound and feel.
    There're less expensive guitars that are bargains because the woods lack prestige. There are less expensive guitars that are just cheaper construction and materials. For the mass market, something that looks prestigious is more appealing than something that looks different.

    It's always to your advantage to be informed. Buy for your purposes.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note View Post
    Because ebony is a dense (one of the only woods that doesn't float) and so slow growing, the supply of good usable ebony is not abundant. It's actually illegal to harvest it in Sri Lanka, one of the only places in the world where it grows. It's not oily like rosewood so it needs to be oiled regularly by the owner or it can crack. Soooo, two things: Its scarcity drove the prices up, not because it was "better" but because it looked nice, was durable and was hard to use. Rosewood, it can be argued, is better suited for fingerboards because it's also very hard and dense but its natural oils give it greater resistance to cracking and splitting. It's got a natural oil content and as anyone who builds with it knows, it's very resiny. This can give rosewood natural stability.
    But because it wasn't nearly as much of a pain in the A to acquire and work with, rosewood could be used more widely without the upcharge. Ebony became a prestige wood because it was pretty, not as common and carried with it a caché that allowed builders to charge more.
    It's also interesting to note that many or even most of what passes for ebony these days is not ebony at all but dyed hardwood of some kind. But it still carries that prestige so even though guitar makers are using cheaper woods, the 'look of ebony' can be sold at an upcharge as ebony and guitar buyers gladly pay for that cool black look.
    Back to the Gibson guitars, yes there were guitars in their line that had rosewood fittings. It's ironic that to many who owned them, they reported widely that it had a woodier classic jazz box sound than the later heavier built ebony featured models. But they were seen as lesser instruments because it didn't have prestige woods. Vintage and how much it was played has much more to do with an aged guitar's sound and feel.
    There're less expensive guitars that are bargains because the woods lack prestige. There are less expensive guitars that are just cheaper construction and materials. For the mass market, something that looks prestigious is more appealing than something that looks different.

    It's always to your advantage to be informed. Buy for your purposes.
    I actually prefer less blingy guitars, all else equal (somewhat ironic, since I have a couple of very blingy guitars). At least visually, I’d rather have this L7 than a WesMo L5 if I were in the market. I don’t if there is a tonal difference between rosewood and ebony fingerboards. I’ve never managed to find guitars to compare where that was the only difference.

    Anyway, I bet that’s a fantastic guitar, OP. GLWTS.

  17. #16
    Bump!

  18. #17

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    Very cool. Doesn't Carter have access to the Gibson ledger? I'd imagine it would have an note if this was ordered from the factory like this

  19. #18
    I'm not sure if Walter checked the logs or not, but he definitely said that it was a factory install, and since the wiring and pickup are correct for the year of the guitar, it makes sense that it shipped as is.

  20. #19
    Small price drop...

  21. #20

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    If I was rich I`d gift it to Jack Wilkins who had his stolen out of his NYC apt in the early 80's IIRC.
    His had a top mounted HB also but the controls were on the guard. Sorry Jack ...not rich enough.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger View Post
    Nice axe! This is about as close as one might come to getting a vintage L-5 Wesmo as single pickup L-5's were not a production guitar (perhaps a few single pickup L-5's from the 60's exist? I bet that the surviving examples of such guitars, including those made for Wes are in the single digits).

    The only difference, other than cosmetics between an l-5 and an L-7 is the fingerboard (Rosewood on the L-7, Ebony on the L-5). While that can contribute to a sonic difference, I wonder how many of us could actually tell in a blindfold test?

    GLWTS. Someone is going to be a happy camper with this one.

    PS: Early Patent sticker pickups are often PAF pickups with a different sticker. And they are quite valuable today.
    The Wesmo has a rosewood board. I learnt that only two days ago.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven View Post
    The Wesmo has a rosewood board. I learnt that only two days ago.
    99% of them are ebony

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon View Post
    99% of them are ebony
    I have never seen a Gibson Wes Montgomery L5 with a rosewood fingerboard. Every one that I have seen was ebony. I have run into a few vintage L5’s built during WWII with rosewood boards, which allegedly took place due to difficulty obtaining ebony at that time.
    Keith

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup View Post
    I have never seen a Gibson Wes Montgomery L5 with a rosewood fingerboard. Every one that I have seen was ebony. I have run into a few vintage L5’s built during WWII with rosewood boards, which allegedly took place due to difficulty obtaining ebony at that time.
    Keith
    Almost all if not all postwar L-5s and Super 400s up until the early 50s have rosewood boards

    there's at least one Wesmo but almost all are ebony

    Gibson Custom Wes Montgomery - Natural | Sweetwater
    Last edited by wintermoon; 12-16-2022 at 01:55 AM.

  26. #25

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    Man, I hope you sell this guitar pretty soon. This thread is driving me crazy! What a nice instrument!

    I found this old thread on famous L7 players that features some great info..

    Also, Hammertone posted pics (#46?) of routed p/u versions of L7's that are pretty good too.
    Great vids of some great L7 players, including one of the greatest, Louis Stewart! Man could that guy play.. Grant Green also played an L7 early on. Patrick posted some good references too.

    Famous Gibson L-7 Players?

    Once again, GLWTS. Very cool guitar.