Slightly scaled-down with a floating pickup and carved tonewoods.
Beginning with his solo albums in the mid-1970s, Ritenour’s smooth style and clean sound have been completely set apart by the use of his beloved Gibson L-5. And while the Lee Ritenour L-5 introduced by Gibson Custom in 2003 stays true to the original in many ways, it is also quite a revolutionary version of this classic archtop.
Beginning with the body, the Ritenour L-5 is most characterized by its scaled-down dimensions, which are 15-½ (W) X 19-¾ (L) X 2-? (D). The body retains its traditional tonewoods; high-grade and hand-carved spruce top with high-grade and hand-carved figured maple back and sides. The body is then adorned with multi-ply black and white binding on both the top and back, with single-ply white binding around the f-holes. The gold hardware includes a “fingers”-style tailpiece and endpin jack, with a compensated bridge and base made from ebony.
The scale length of the neck remains at 25-½", as does its traditional five-piece construction, which is made primarily from high-grade maple with two streamers made from high-grade walnut, resulting in one of the most stunning neck designs in the history of Gibson Custom. The eye-catching neck is topped by a 20-fret ebony fingerboard with pearl block inlays and multi-ply black and white binding, then hand-fitted with Gibson’s traditional ES-rounded neck profile. The heel of the guitar has also been contoured closer to the body to allow access to the guitar’s higher register of frets.
The single pickup is Gibson’s traditional BJB floating pickup, which was originally used on Gibson’s signature Johnny Smith models of the mid-1960s. The pickup is attached to the pickguard, which conceals the wire that runs through the f-hole connecting it to the jack, and also features adjustable pole pieces as specified by Ritenour. Other appointments include Gibson’s traditional flower pot inlay on the headstock, and Schaller M6 tuners. The guitar is available here in a signature iced tea finish, and comes with a Gibson Custom case and a certificate of authenticity.