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January Clearance 2017

Gibson L5 Archtop

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First introduced in 1922 by the Gibson Guitar Corporation of (at the time) Kalamazoo, Michigan, the L5 was the first Gibson built that had true F-holes. Created under the guidance of master luthier Lloyd Loar, this radical design came to define early archtop style, and some models can still be found with Loar’s signature on the internal label. It was considered the ultimate rhythm guitar during the Big Band era and was initially offered only as an acoustic, with electric versions (including the L5CES) first appearing in the 1950s. Although the L5 debuted with a 16″ wide body, the need for a louder sound prompted the move to a 17″ body in 1934. Famous guitarists who have been associated with the L5 include Wes Montgomery, Scotty Moore (Elvis Presley’s guitarist), Maybelle Carter, Eddie Lang, and Django Rheinhardt. More recently, Eric Clapton used one to record his brilliant instrumental “Reptile.”

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