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tomvwash

1999 Gibson L-4 CES, Laminate Maple Back?

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Does "flamed maple" mean laminate? I know the top is carved spruce and the mahogany is also solid, but not sure about the maple backs. Thank you for any insight. 

 

Tom 

Edited by tomvwash

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No. 

Flame refers to the pattern of grain.  The back of an L-4 should be carved/bookmatched.

The L-4 is one of Gibsons very finest.  This one was on ebay some years ago - a great guitar photo;

Gibson-L4a.jpg

Best wishes.

Edited by jdgm

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JDGM is correct - flame refers to how the pattern of the grain looks.  An L-4 is not a laminated body, it is a solid maple body.  Here is an example of some nice flame on the back of an L-5

CEBf5V2.jpg

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 There were various styles of L-4 guitars over the many years they were built. The new versions were built with laminated backs and sides of maple ply as were the ES-175's of the period. Then then they were built of laminated  mahogany again like the ES-175. Finally they were built of all carved mahogany back and sides in the last iterations.  All of the models I know of had carved spruce tops. I have a 1952 carved top and laminated maple back and sides L-4 and a all carved mahogany back and sides 2009 L-4 CES .  I have played the laminated maple and laminated mahogany L-4 CES and their companion ES-175's. They are all different in tone but none are better the others. I remember reading that the new crew at Nashville were trained in on carving the L-4CES guitar tops before L-5 and S-400 guitars were put in to production.

 Thanks John

Edited by powerwagonjohn

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 Just to confuse the issue there were a few new style {reissue} L-4 CES guitars produced with fully carved back and sides that were quite expensive and very limited production.  And some with unique finishes like white sparkle and extravagantly engraved hardware. 

 Thanks John

Edited by powerwagonjohn

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