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Evilive1999

Dreaming of an L5. Will the dream ever become real?

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I've always thought that a 40s L5 is a truly magnificent guitar. Finding one that has been taken care of, has been an adventure. There are several makers that make non cutaway archtops that are infinitely more affordable, that i could buy and not be afraid to play and take out. But there really is something about the big sound that only comes from a well seasoned axe.

I've actually been saving for one for the past year. Patiently putting away some cash from every paycheck. I'm making some progress it feels good.

What is your dream guitar? How long did you wait to get it?

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Good luck on making it come true...

I have most of the Electric Guitars of my dreams.. My Wife says too many! But, I'm waiting for the new Inspired by Gibson USA Epiphone Casino.. In Royal Tan with Chrome Nickel Dogear Covers. I'll add a Bigsby. 

I have 3 Casinos now. A Sunburst 50th Anniv. 1961 with Tremotone, a Natural Finish IBJL Revolution & a Sunburst Peerless with Bigsby.. All are great but have been wanting a USA Casino for a long time.. Like 20 years..

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The L5 is so dreamy...😍

 

I got my dream guitar earlier this year and man I could not be happier with it. I waited about 14 years to get it. It’s a 59 reissue Les Paul and it is my favorite guitar ever! 

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Join The Friends of the Archtop on FB,  members will help you find one. They come up for sale by members occasionally as well.

Edited by jaxson50

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31 minutes ago, jdgm said:

Or there is -

https://www.archtop.com/ac_inst.html

Archtop guitar heaven.  But you probably knew that already. 

[cool]

oh yeah. i've got their number. but I'm a lil ways to go from their prices. but I am getting there.

they seem t have the market cornered with their merchandise and reputation. After careful thought when planning this journey, When the time comes to make a decision on what guitar to buy, I was going to buy in person. After playing and deciding on how it feels in my hands.

 

this isn't going to be a catch & release, I plan on finding the guitar of my dreams for keeps.

Edited by Evilive1999

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Only one guitar qualifying as a 'dream guitar' for me, would be a Stratocaster. I knew I wanted one when I was still at school and before I ever played any guitar. It was the sound I loved. I got my 1st guitar in 1970 and exchanged it for a new Strat about 2 years later. It was my only electric guitar for the next 25 years. It sounded great and handled dreadfully. 

I have never looked back with any affection, nor remorse about trading it in. Every guitar I've had since has handled better, and there has never been any 'dream' guitar for me since. 

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20 hours ago, Evilive1999 said:

What is your dream guitar? How long did you wait to get it?

there were 2 come to mind,  An Sj200, waited maybe 10 years, while the prices just continued to climb.  2016 was the year. #2 was a 814CE Taylor, waiting about 5 years to pull the trigger, which turned out good because by the time I was ready, they'd changed to the V Class bracing and added the DLX model.

For Electrics, my needs are basic,  have all I need there too.

And I too wold love an L5, but, can't justify the cost.

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1 hour ago, jaxson50 said:

How much is an L-5 worth to you,  what are you willing to pay for one?

that's a fair question. obviously that depends on its condition, how it feels in my hands, how it sounds to my ears, how original, etc.

I don't have to have a museum piece, but I don't want to spend thousands for an instrument that has drastic modifications or issues with the structural bracing, neck issues, aftermarket tailpiece and so on.

 

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10 hours ago, Evilive1999 said:

that's a fair question. obviously that depends on its condition, how it feels in my hands, how it sounds to my ears, how original, etc.

I don't have to have a museum piece, but I don't want to spend thousands for an instrument that has drastic modifications or issues with the structural bracing, neck issues, aftermarket tailpiece and so on.

 

I hear you,  you want a player not a museum piece,  but you don't want a shot mess in need of a rebuild,  

I hope you find what you're looking for. 

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I think I've  had all my dream guitars at one time or another.  They never quite turn out to be as great as the dream of them, because after all is said and done it's what is in your hands and your heart that counts a lot more toward the sound than the axe itself.  I too dreamed of an L5 for a long time and when I unexpectedly came into about $10K I said now is the time - it's now or never.  But I wasn't looking for a vintage one like the OP here.  I bought a brand new L5CES from Sweetwater.  The list price was $15,400, and I got it for $9500.  It was certainly the most beautiful looking guitar I've ever owned and it sounded wonderful as well - although I never had the true jazz chops to get the most out of it.  I kept it for seven years before selling it to go on to the next dreams.  Good luck in our search, it is half the fun 👍

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Here for you to dream of at Xmas are pics of 2 L-5 variants.

Red! 3 pickups!

Red3puL5.jpg

And (I know you weren't thinking of these) - The formidable L5S

1980-Gibson-L-5-SSunburst.jpg

 

If anyone is thinking of late Xmas prezzies, I'd be deliriously happy with either [biggrin]

Happy Xmas!

 

Edited by jdgm
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I have had a love/hate relationship with archtops all my life. I can't remember how many I have owned, including L-7s, which are supposed to be just plainer L-5s. Nothing made me happy. A couple years ago I bought a 1947 sunburst non cutaway L-5 (see my profile pic). I paid less than market value because it had actually been used.

I've owned it for a couple years and it has spent most of it's time with me in the case, tucked away in a closet, unplayed, until recently.

I went through the standard rite of passage of finding the right strings for it. My first bit of advice to you is to ignore what anyone tells you about strings. Everyone on the planet had me convinced that all archtops need tow cables for strings. Forum rules forbid me from the expletive that I would like to type. I even fell into that trap, putting a set of 14-59 on it and going a brief period thinking I was "right" along with the "experts". Add another expletive here.

Ditto for action. Unless you envision yourself pounding the strings with a 50 cent piece, go with what is comfortable. Don't let them tell you the strings need to be 1/4" off the board to get proper sound from an archtop.

There are people out there that think every Les Paul should be paired with a Marshall amp that goes up to 11. The L5 has it's own "people" who know best.

Lately I have been playing the L-5 pretty much exclusively. To say that it has grown on me in a very short time is an understatement. I have it strung with 12-52 John Pearse something or others, and the action is low.  I can't explain the sound I'm getting other than it sounds like a good humbuckered jazz box except there's nothing plugged in. 

I've always tried to play like Merle Travis, and it seems like when I try on this guitar, I can pull it off. I don't know whether it's just a frame of mind I have when I play it or if we're just a good match. I'm not going to question it. I play more lately than I have in a long, long time.

Mine has been used. A lot. Most "L5 guys" would turn their noses up at it because they like stuff pristine. This tells me more about their personality traits than their particular taste in guitars.

In addition to it not having any finish left on the back of the neck. it also wore a DeArmond pickup for a long time, so there are screw hole sin the side of the neck and a jack hole in the rim. The pickguard is a very good repro. I have no idea where the bridge came from but it works. One tuner has been replaced with an exact replacement other than it's a lot more shiny. There have been two strap buttons installed in the heel and both holes have been filled. It was refretted and the board planed. They did a flawless job other than they sanded one corner of one of the block inlays off. 

It is not mint. But apparently someone thought it was a great guitar and played hell out of it.  It's in it's original red line case and it fills the air with musty funk when I open it up. If they would bottle that scent, I would use it as after shave.MnOy974.jpg

 

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On 12/23/2020 at 10:56 PM, ksdaddy said:

I have had a love/hate relationship with archtops all my life. I can't remember how many I have owned, including L-7s, which are supposed to be just plainer L-5s. Nothing made me happy. A couple years ago I bought a 1947 sunburst non cutaway L-5 (see my profile pic). I paid less than market value because it had actually been used.

I've owned it for a couple years and it has spent most of it's time with me in the case, tucked away in a closet, unplayed, until recently.

I went through the standard rite of passage of finding the right strings for it. My first bit of advice to you is to ignore what anyone tells you about strings. Everyone on the planet had me convinced that all archtops need tow cables for strings. Forum rules forbid me from the expletive that I would like to type. I even fell into that trap, putting a set of 14-59 on it and going a brief period thinking I was "right" along with the "experts". Add another expletive here.

Ditto for action. Unless you envision yourself pounding the strings with a 50 cent piece, go with what is comfortable. Don't let them tell you the strings need to be 1/4" off the board to get proper sound from an archtop.

There are people out there that think every Les Paul should be paired with a Marshall amp that goes up to 11. The L5 has it's own "people" who know best.

Lately I have been playing the L-5 pretty much exclusively. To say that it has grown on me in a very short time is an understatement. I have it strung with 12-52 John Pearse something or others, and the action is low.  I can't explain the sound I'm getting other than it sounds like a good humbuckered jazz box except there's nothing plugged in. 

I've always tried to play like Merle Travis, and it seems like when I try on this guitar, I can pull it off. I don't know whether it's just a frame of mind I have when I play it or if we're just a good match. I'm not going to question it. I play more lately than I have in a long, long time.

Mine has been used. A lot. Most "L5 guys" would turn their noses up at it because they like stuff pristine. This tells me more about their personality traits than their particular taste in guitars.

In addition to it not having any finish left on the back of the neck. it also wore a DeArmond pickup for a long time, so there are screw hole sin the side of the neck and a jack hole in the rim. The pickguard is a very good repro. I have no idea where the bridge came from but it works. One tuner has been replaced with an exact replacement other than it's a lot more shiny. There have been two strap buttons installed in the heel and both holes have been filled. It was refretted and the board planed. They did a flawless job other than they sanded one corner of one of the block inlays off. 

It is not mint. But apparently someone thought it was a great guitar and played hell out of it.  It's in it's original red line case and it fills the air with musty funk when I open it up. If they would bottle that scent, I would use it as after shave.MnOy974.jpg

 

thank you for the images. those are some amazing guitars. I hope to have one just like that. 

I was at a guitar show in Dallas ages ago (remember those?) and they actually had air fresheners that had 'old case' scent!

thank you for those amazing images!

 

 

 

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On 12/23/2020 at 4:24 PM, jdgm said:

Here for you to dream of at Xmas are pics of 2 L-5 variants.

Red! 3 pickups!

Red3puL5.jpg

And (I know you weren't thinking of these) - The formidable L5S

1980-Gibson-L-5-SSunburst.jpg

 

If anyone is thinking of late Xmas prezzies, I'd be deliriously happy with either [biggrin]

Happy Xmas!

 

Those are beautiful John. Especially that top red one.    My dream guitar has always been the same. Just any "Good Gibson." That reality didn't happen until I retired from the Railroad at 60 years old when I actually bought my first  Gibson Standard Gold Top. It might be the most expensive one I own but the most played one is my Epiphone Casino Coupe. But that's because it has P-90's in it. 

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I’ve been on that quest for a few years and every time I think I have it, it just turns out to be another nice guitar.  Here’s my L5 on the wall next to a F5L and my other dream guitar a Super 400. This is a shot of my maple guitars  

Maples


 

Edited by Dave F
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ATM I want a Standard 60s, a set of SD Slash pickups and someone to install them for me. 

I find it very hard to justify the expense right now, though. 

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