Carved top and back, twin P90s and the four controls. Stop the search, you're there...!
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Gorgeous arch tops are always welcome here at ATB Guitars, and this 1951 Gibson L5 CES is very special.
Generally considered to be the archetype of the Archtop guitar, carved spruce top and maple back, tap tuned, the name denoting that it was the 5th production archtop, the Gibson L5 was produced by Gibson from 1922 and originally overseen by Lloyd Loar. BY 1951 the L5 was the first instrument in the catalogue to have twin pickups and thew now recognisable 4 control layout.
If this guitar doesn’t move you well, archtops aren’t for you! Sure, its got a few battle scars but what you have here is an instrument that’s been cared for and played. The carved Spruce top (desirable amongst afficinados) has worn between the pickups, around the controls and on the lower bout. There are some superficial marks around the selector switch but these are still solid and don’t seem to go into the wood any futhether than the very top. This also goes for the top cracks around the treble pickup tone control. The colour on the carved, spruce top is still vibrant and doesn’t seem to have faded. The sides show the odd dink but nothing serious.
The carved maple back has a subtle birds eye which changes as you view it from various angles. Again the back hasn’t faded and hasn’t been damaged. The flamed maple neck is wonderful, the sunburst really excentuates the grain. The heel shows signs that there was a strap button installed at some point. There is a little chips to the lacquer on the back of the neck and a superficial lacquer crack along following the line along the back of the neck but otherwise the rest of the neck is in great shape.
The frets are a little worn in places but have plenty of life left. The ebony fretboard is fantastic and the binding is wonderful. The headstock with its flowerpot inlay is in good shape.
The guitar comes with its correct 4 latch brown hardshell case.
As you’d expect, this guitar has a very evocative tone. Acoustically its well rounded tone is loud and projects wonderfully. It’s currently strung with flat wound strings which makes it a pleasure to play. Plugged in the P90s help to accentuate all the best parts of the guitar’s intrinsic tone.
If you’ve searched for that illusive tone, don’t look any further!
We are located in Cheltenham, the capital of the Cotswolds, UK. All items are in stock and can be viewed and tried out through a variety of vintage amplifiers, by appointment only, at our brand new lounge/showroom. We despatch virtually anywhere in the world and we have enormous experience in hassle-free, safe shipping.
ATB Guitars (By appointment Only) 15 Regent St, Cheltenham, GL50 1HE United Kingdom
Landline: 01242 697607
Mobile: 07842 001007
Overseas: +44 (0)1242 697607