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Info on Gibson CL 20 Standard Plus


bodger

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Hi. I'm new to the forum and need some info about a guitar I recently bought. I have searched the internet as well as this forum but haven't been able to come up with the info I seek.

 

I bought a Gibson CL 20 Standard Plus. It is mint, qualifies as "New Old Stock" really. Doesn't look like it ever left the case. Sounds great and is well apointed with inlays. Has factory pick-up installed.

 

Serial is 92267005

 

The person I bought it from has others, one of which is a CL 20 but according to him, does not have the archback as mine does, but braces as would be found in standard guitar fabrication. The seller is telling me that this model is rare because they were only made for one year. He also stated that the CL20 Standard Plus models were originally priced at about $3,200, but that Gibson dropped the price due to sluggish sales.

 

My most important questions are

1) Is the CL 20 Standard Plus in mint condition a rare guitar?

2) What would be considered a fair market price for that guitar?

3) Is the CL20 with back braces hard to find and therefore more valuable?

 

I'm a bit of a newb to the world of Gibsons, and actually to guitars in general. I have played drums and blues harmonica all of my life, professionally and for fun, and only took up guitar two years ago, and I am hooked. Specifically on the Gibson brand.

 

Any info or link would be much appreciated.

many thanks.

-Kevin

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Hi Bodger and welcome.

 

I'm afraid I know nothing of your model but I'm sure there are those who do who will post some replies soon enough.

 

Below is a link to a related post from last year which may be of use to you.

 

http://forums.gibson.com/Default.aspx?g=posts&t=8181

 

Also, here is a link to Harmony Central. A web site which encourages people to review their guitars and post said reviews.

 

http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Guitar/product/Gibson/CL-20+Standard+Plus/10/1 (You'll have to cut and paste the address into your address bar - link won't work - don't know why - sorry!)

 

Good luck with your quest for information. As an experienced grazer on this site, I'm sure you'll get some helpful advice.

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I don't know a huge amount about this model' date=' but I know the CL series is very uncommon and doesn't come up very often on the secondhand market. I know they are spoken highly of by owners, though.[/quote']Thanks.

Yeah, there's not a lot of info out thre about them either. They ween't made for long apparently. I took mine to someone who is fairly knowledgable about guitars in general, although not an expert on Gibsons by any means. He played it and said it was one of the finest acoustics he's ever played for a guitar in that price range.

 

The guy I bought it from has a few more, also new old stock.

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The Gibson CL 20 Standard Plus is a bit of a rare bird. It was part of the CL series, which also included a CL-30, CL-35, CL-40, CL-45 and CL-50. The primary differentiation between the models is the back and sides and the X5 were cutaways. The CL series was the predecessor to the Songbird, now Songwriter series. I have a very rare WM-10, which is basically a working man, all-solid wood, satin finished version of the CL/Songbird/Songwriter w/ mahogany b/s.

 

There's also a difference between 1997 and 1998 models in that I think that all 1998 models had solid back and sides while the 1997 CL-20 and CL-30 were laminate back and sides. The tell-tale sign of whether the back is solid wood is if there's a back strip running down the interior of the back.

 

Fair value on a used CL-20 runs between $700-$900 from what I've seen.

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The Gibson CL 20 Standard Plus is a bit of a rare bird. It was part of the CL series' date=' which also included a CL-30, CL-35, CL-40, CL-45 and CL-50. The primary differentiation between the models is the back and sides and the X5 were cutaways. The CL series was the predecessor to the Songbird, now Songwriter series. I have a very rare WM-10, which is basically a working man, all-solid wood, satin finished version of the CL/Songbird/Songwriter w/ mahogany b/s.

 

There's also a difference between 1997 and 1998 models in that I think that all 1998 models had solid back and sides while the 1997 CL-20 and CL-30 were laminate back and sides. The tell-tale sign of whether the back is solid wood is if there's a back strip running down the interior of the back.

 

Fair value on a used CL-20 runs between $700-$900 from what I've seen.[/quote']

My CL 20 bears a serial number that indicates it was made in 1997. But when I shine a light through the soundhole, I don't see the strip that would indicate it's a laminate. it looks like solid wood. Any other way to confirm that? Not that I care really, the guitar sounds great and is in factory fresh condition for being 12 years old. I paid $1500 for it about 6 months ago.

I'm happy with it, but if the fair market tops out at $900, I guess I paid top dollar.

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I know less than nothing about that series but I stumbled upon one on ebay this morning. The top looks like cedar... suppose it is?

 

CL-20 on ebay

Thanks for that link KS. The guy who sold me my CL 20 just offered me that exact same CL 20 model that is in the listing on e-bay. You can see from the photo that is has back braces, which means it isn't an archback like the model I have. According to the guy who is pitching that guitar to me, these non-archback models are extremely rare, and he is asking $1875 for the guitar. It is new old stock condition according to him ( and the one he sold me truly was, I'll give him that) but the one on e-bay only has two small dings in the top, otherwise, looks pretty fresh.

I love the hell out of my CL 20, but based on what I'm hearing, even with the economy driving the prices down, I paid too much for it. Live and learn I guess. Impulse buy.

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Thanks for that link KS. The guy who sold me my CL 20 just offered me that exact same CL 20 model that is in the listing on e-bay. You can see from the photo that is has back braces' date=' which means it isn't an archback like the model I have. According to the guy who is pitching that guitar to me, these non-archback models are extremely rare, and he is asking $1875 for the guitar. It is new old stock condition according to him ( and the one he sold me truly was, I'll give him that) but the one on e-bay only has two small dings in the top, otherwise, looks pretty fresh.

I love the hell out of my CL 20, but based on what I'm hearing, even with the economy driving the prices down, I paid too much for it. Live and learn I guess. Impulse buy. [/quote']

 

If your CL-20 has the bracing strip running down the middle of the back like the version listed on ebay, your CL-20 should be all solid wood. Since it's a fairly rare Gibson, these guitars don't seem to price appropriately because most people have never heard of this model. I keep an eye out for these models since I know that you can sometimes buy them for a song. The all solid wood versions should command a premium, but most sellers claim that they're all solid wood even if they aren't. For what it's worth, when I've contact Gibson directly about the CL-20, they claim that none of them had solid back and sides. I think that's inaccurate though and the key distinguishing factor is the interior back strip that runs vertically.

 

The bracing and body type are a good combination for these Gibsons. They sound terrific, solid wood or not.

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If your CL-20 has the bracing strip running down the middle of the back like the version listed on ebay' date=' your CL-20 should be all solid wood. Since it's a fairly rare Gibson, these guitars don't seem to price appropriately because most people have never heard of this model. I keep an eye out for these models since I know that you can sometimes buy them for a song. The all solid wood versions should command a premium, but most sellers claim that they're all solid wood even if they aren't. For what it's worth, when I've contact Gibson directly about the CL-20, they claim that none of them had solid back and sides. I think that's inaccurate though and the key distinguishing factor is the interior back strip that runs vertically.

 

The bracing and body type are a good combination for these Gibsons. They sound terrific, solid wood or not.[/quote']

Mine doesn't have any bracing on the back, it's the archback version. I don't see a seam at all, not even like you would normally see if two solid pieces of bookmatched wood were joined.

Like you say, these CL 20's aren't around very much for sale. And there's not a lot of info on them either.

Either way, I love the sound of this guitar. I have compared it side-by-side with a D28 and I prefer thoe Gibson.

I'll probably never sell it, so I'm happy with it in any case.

Thanks for the info.

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I had a 1997 CL-50 and that was probably the best acoustic I have ever owned. I still kick myself for trading it in a Martin D-42. There really was no comparison---the CL-50 was a much better instrument all around.

Yeah, this makes me want to start collecting the CL's.

I grew up un Circleville Ohio, I see you're from Dayton. Good town, Dayton.

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