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Gibson L-5 or Super 400


kleinman

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I am looking to buy (maybe early next year) one of these models (not vintage). What would be a fair price to pay for a pre-owned ?

Anyone here who has one for sale perhaps ?

 

Thanks.

 

It depends on condition and finish. By "not vintage", I assume anything from 1975 onwards. I prefer the period from the 1990s onwards when Jim Hutchins was in charge. For an L-5CES with twin pickups, you can expect to pay between $5500 and $6000 for a Sunburst in excellent plus to mint condition. Add a premium of $500 to $1000 for one in Natural with particularly curly maple. For a Wine Red or Ebony L-5CES, $5000 and $5500 would be the ballpark for one in excellent plus to mint condition. You may get lucky and find an owner willing to sell it for about $500 lower than the range I stated sometimes. For anything less than excellent plus, between $4500 and $5000 would be the range for Sunburst.

 

For a Super 400CES, the range for a Sunburst starts at $6000 and runs to $7000. Add $500 to a $1000 for Natural. A Wine Red Super 400CES starts at $5500 to $6000. Elderly Bros. sold a 1998 Super 400CES Sunburst recently with a listed price tag of $5500. This one had a repaired back center seam which had opened up and a few lacquer checks around the headstock.

 

For L-5Cs and Super 400Cs, the price tags are $1000 higher for the respective finishes. So you can expect to pay $7500 for an L-5C Natural in Mint condition.

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It depends on condition and finish. By "not vintage", I assume anything from 1975 onwards. I prefer the period from the 1990s onwards when Jim Hutchins was in charge. For an L-5CES with twin pickups, you can expect to pay between $5500 and $6000 for a Sunburst in excellent plus to mint condition. Add a premium of $500 to $1000 for one in Natural with particularly curly maple. For a Wine Red or Ebony L-5CES, $5000 and $5500 would be the ballpark for one in excellent plus to mint condition. You may get lucky and find an owner willing to sell it for about $500 lower than the range I stated sometimes. For anything less than excellent plus, between $4500 and $5000 would be the range for Sunburst.

 

For a Super 400CES, the range for a Sunburst starts at $6000 and runs to $7000. Add $500 to a $1000 for Natural. A Wine Red Super 400CES starts at $5500 to $6000. Elderly Bros. sold a 1998 Super 400CES Sunburst recently with a listed price tag of $5500. This one had a repaired back center seam which had opened up and a few lacquer checks around the headstock.

 

For L-5Cs and Super 400Cs, the price tags are $1000 higher for the respective finishes. So you can expect to pay $7500 for an L-5C Natural in Mint condition.

 

Thanks a lot for the detailed info. Much appreciated.

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Why not vintage? There are some deals out there. A 1960's L5-C or CES can be had for the same or not much more than a new Custom Shop guitar.

 

"This is madness." "This is Sparrrttttaaaaa!"

 

Sure...but normally the vintage guitars on offer are waaay to expensive for my budget. I am looking at no more than say $6500.

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Sure...but normally the vintage guitars on offer are waaay to expensive for my budget. I am looking at no more than say $6500.

Here's an example of an interesting one that's $1,000 under your max price:

 

EH6481.jpg

 

Go to: http://new.gruhn.com/Inventory.aspx?Cat=eh and look for the 1939 L5N.

 

The more affordable price is a result of the stupid modification someone did, but a floating DeArmond (or other floating pickup) at the neck could turn this into a real winner.

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Here's an example of an interesting one that's $1,000 under your max price:

 

EH6481.jpg

 

Go to: http://new.gruhn.com/Inventory.aspx?Cat=eh and look for the 1939 L5N.

 

The more affordable price is a result of the stupid modification someone did, but a floating DeArmond (or other floating pickup) at the neck could turn this into a real winner.

 

Wow ! Thanks JimR....What a beauty !

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  • 1 month later...

If the op is anything like me they don't want a guitar they have to worry about devaluing. Vintage Gibsons are amazing, but I went nuts playing out with a 52 175. That would be greatly compounded with a L5 or Super 440! I've learned to stick with player guitars with a few exceptions;)

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If the op is anything like me they don't want a guitar they have to worry about devaluing. Vintage Gibsons are amazing, but I went nuts playing out with a 52 175. That would be greatly compounded with a L5 or Super 440! I've learned to stick with player guitars with a few exceptions;)

 

Life is too short to play anything but great guitars.

 

I've done hundreds of gigs with this guitar and it still looks great:

 

Danny.jpg

 

This one too:

 

688aa251.jpg

 

and this one:

 

a6cd1386.jpg

 

Is it possible they'll get damaged? Sure, that's why I have insurance, but I could never see the point in playing beaters and leaving the nice stuff at home.

 

Danny W.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

March/April arrived early!

 

Do show so that we may all share in your joy!

 

What is its vintage?

 

Thanks Jabberwocky...

 

Yip...earlier than I initially thought it would. I believe it's an early 70's....will check the ser# once I have it and then post some pics for you guys.

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According to Van Hoose, volutes appeared on Super 400's around 1973-74, and were discontinued around 1980-81.

 

That's a real beauty you've got there! Love the flame on it (I'd say that's exceptional grade maple for that time period).

 

When I got my first Super 400 back in the mid-80's, it really inspired me and took my playing to a new level. I hope yours will do the same for you, and that you'll enjoy it for a long time. I've had three of them over the years, and didn't manage to keep any of them, but I'll probably always fantasize about getting another one someday.

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Not all that rare to see someone rotate a pickup 180 degrees like that. I would probably put it back to the standard position, but if the guitar sounds great the way it is, it's no big deal.

 

Thanks Jim.

 

I hear that Wes Montgomery had his pup flipped like that and many jazzers followed the example.

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