The Gibson L-4 archtop became jazz’s greatest rhythm instrument in the hands of six-string innovators like the virtuoso Eddie Lang in the 1920s and assured the company’s dominance of the guitar market... Read More
The Gibson L-4 archtop became jazz’s greatest rhythm instrument in the hands of six-string innovators like the virtuoso Eddie Lang in the 1920s and assured the company’s dominance of the guitar market even before the outbreak of World War I. But the L-4’s story - how it evolved from an acoustic guitar to the dynamic L-4 CES Mahogany Archtop of today - is perhaps the best illustration of Gibson’s historic dedication to endlessly refining and improving instruments that are already world class.
Today’s gorgeous L-4 CES six-strings still adhere to the classic design of their namesakes. They have a solid carved spruce top and a carved solid mahogany back and rims. They are a comfortable 16-inches wide, 20-inches long, and 3 3/8th-inches deep and come in wine red, natural, and vintage sunburst finishes with multi-ply white or black binding on top, with single ply white binding on their backs.
Contributing much to the guitar’s silky, lush, deep tone is the one-piece mahogany neck. It has a 24 ¾ inch scale length and is 1 11/16-inches wide at the nut. True to the model’s historic evolution, today’s L-4 CES has a 20 fret Indian Rosewood fretboard with pearl split parallelogram inlays and single ply white binding. It boasts the classic ES rounded profile and a headstock with vintage tulip shape tuners.
Featuring attractive gold hardware, the electronics and controls are pure Gibson: two ’57 Classic humbucking pickups, two volume pots, two tone pots, and a 3-way pickup selector switch. The tailpiece is the iconic L-4 T-shape style and the bridge a hard working ABR-1. The L-4 CES, after being examined and set up on Gibson’s state-of-the-art Pleck machines, is shipped wearing L-5 Electric .012 strings. These marvelous guitars come with a Custom Shop case and certificate of authenticity. But the real proof is in their great tone and style.
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