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1964 Gibson L-5CES

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Serial #: 181535

Body size at lower bout: 17" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut width: 1 11/16" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .78/.94

Materials: Handcarved bookmatched fine grained solid spruce top; solid carved figured maple back; solid tiger flame maple sides neck; ebony fingerboard with mother of pearl block fingerboard and peghead inlay; 5-ply body, neck, head and pickguard binding, bound f-holes, polished bone nut.

Hardware: All original gold hardware includes twin Pat. sticker humbucking pickups w/original electronics, multi-bound tortoise pickguard, gold reflector cap knobs, three way switch, gold Kluson Sealfast tuners, compensated adjustable rosewood bridge with ABR-1 Tuneomatic bridge, engraved adjustable Varitone tailpiece, truss rod cover with "Custom" imprint,.

Notes: Introduced in 1923, the Gibson L-5 was the world's first commercially produced archtop guitar, and has remained the gold standard to this day, almost a century later. The electric (CES) debuted in 1951, with twin P-90 pickups, followed by Gibson's legendary PAF humbuckers in 1957. Offered only from mid-1960 through mid-1969, the Florentine L-5CES became an instant favorite with performers, featuring an extra deep cutaway which offered players extended access to the entire range of the fingerboard.

Two features of this fine example make it particularly desirable. While most Florentine L-5s (and Super 4s) were built with laminate backs, a few were constructed in the traditional manner with solid carved backs. And this splendid example is one of the lucky few. In addition, about a year after this guitar left Kalamazoo, Gibson inexplicably reduced the fingerboard width of virtually all their guitars to as narrow as 1 9/16" for the duration of the decade. Happily, this instrument was built with the standard 1 11/16" nut that has remained standard to this day.

One of a scant 42 examples made in its model year, this lovely guitar has been maintained in great shape, free of cracks, and with all original gold hardware and electronics. The tiger maple body shows exceptionally deep flame figure, particularly in the sides and neck, and the classic three-tone sunburst lacquer is masterfully applied, with almost imperceptible gradient from center to rim.

With a comfy light D profile, the neck has a sleek effortless feel, gliding smoothly through the palm, with smooth low action over pro-quality correct medium jumbo fretwork. Pickups and electronics are all original, with unopened covers and shielding cans. The massive gold Kluson Sealfast tuners, now long unavailable, remain installed, along with the original ABR-1 Tuneomatic bridge, and hand engraved L-5 adjustable Varitone tailpiece.

Apart from a few patches of typical thumb and buckle wear, the lustrous sunburst finish remains intact, with only a bit of clear overspray to the neck only, but no repairs apparent there or elsewhere. And finally, the voice: full and sweet, with a warmth and depth only the fully carved body can deliver.

A few custom orders aside, the legendary Florentine L-5CES has been essentially unavailable for half a century. The pride of the Gibson line, in one of its rarest versions ever: one only, call now.

Setup: Trussrod tension and neck relief adjusted; bridge height adjusted; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and adjusted as necessary; bridge wheels and tuners lubricated; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished.

This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel flatwound strings. The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Brown Gibson Lifton hardshell case with pink plush lining .







































































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