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Differences between ES-175 and L4-CES?


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I own an both an L4 CES and an ES165 which has an ES175 body but has a floating pickup attached to the pick plate. Both guitars are the same size but the L4 CES is more upmarket with an ebony fret board, gold hardware and an ebony bridge. The carved mahogany on the top L4 produces a very different sound when the guitar is played as an acoustic or through an amp. The sound is more mellow.


However I reckon both an L4 and ES175 are great guitars. I would love to own a single pickup ES 175 but they are very hard to find.

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hey deveewee,


long time L-4CES admirer / multiple ES-175 owner here...


I believe the solid top will feedback sooner. I'm 99.9% sure the laminate tops

like the ES-175 were developed to mitigate feedback back in the day.


as noted, the solid top, ebony fingerboard and L5(?)-style tailpiece are the big differences, followed by:


- neck pickup location

- pickguard shape

- ebony bridge base

- also crown inlay is not in the traditional location


I dig 'em though! Would love to get one and experiment with some Gibson or Duncan

Alnico-V Staple pickups... that would make it more like a smaller version of an L5CES

like Scotty Moore used with Elvis after the 295.


As they are, they seem pretty straight-up jazzer guitars.


So are you looking to pick one up? :-

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henry_lee i agree with your comments about the feedback. The ES 175's were designed to not feedback as easily as the carved top L4.


In relation to experimenting with pick ups I have replaced the pickups in my L4 with two Seymour Duncan pick ups (neck - jazz, bridge - '59). I'm very happy with the change in sound. The changes I've made make the L4 sound even more jazzy - a very warm mellow full rich sound with great clarity.

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Hi henry_lee, Thx for the info.

Since I've never played a L4, I had that fix idea she would feedback not as much as my ES-175. I've always been looking for a L4(L5) to play but I don't have that many opportunities in my neighborhood or my country. I've no plans of buying one, just a question out of curiosity.(euh [biggrin] , never say never...)

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