The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gibson Custom L-5 Signature Archtop Electric Crimson, 2012


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This is special – a 2012 Gibson Custom L-5 Signature Archtop Electric in Crimson finish, from the Nashville Custom Shop Crimson team.

Aside from the truss rod cover reading CUSTOM L-5 in place of an engraved signature, this appears to be or is identical to the Lee Ritenour L-5 model. This guitar, like the Lee Ritenour version, has a feature that’s barely noticeable unless you are playing it. In a break from Gibson traditional production, the fairly large frets extend all the way to the edge of the binding. There are no binding ‘nubs’, allowing a wider playing surface. This is so unusual for Gibson’s that we’ve examined it closely with the Repair staff and can find no signs of alteration.

The Gibson Custom L-5 Signature appears a bit smaller compared to early L-5 models. The body is 15.25 inches wide, the sides 2.625 inches deep. The scale length is just shy of 25.5 inches at 25.4 or 645mm. As with traditional acoustic archtops, the top is carved, bookmatched Spruce with Spruce bracing and is paired with a bookmatched, carved Flame Maple back and Flame Maple sides and neck, though here the translucent Crimson finish masks some of the figuring. The body blocks and linings are Mahogany. The bridge base and bound fingerboard are Ebony, with Mother of Pearl headstock logo and flowerpot, position markers and bridge inlays.

Hardware is gold plated, with Gibson branded Schaller M6 style tuners with metal keystone buttons. A ‘wireless’ (not Bluetooth) ABR bridge sits on its Ebony base, and the tailpiece is a six-finger adjustable tension unit based on the classic Oettinger banjo models. A Johnny Smith type pickup is mounted to the pickguard with a single volume control; the output jack runs through the tail block and doubles as a strap pin.

This Gibson Custom L-5 Signature is in excellent condition with only the lightest wear. It is extremely well built and finished, one of the best Gibson pieces. It plays well, is very resonant, and its lightweight, svelte body is very comfortable. This guitar is truly a thing of beauty.

The original Gibson Custom branded hard shell case is included, and contains the original Gibson Custom / Custom Crimson Certificate of Authenticity. That COA is signed by Michael McGuire, the first Custom Shop operations director, who retired a few months after signing this.

Price: $10,500.00 CAD
  • Model: Custom L-5 Signature
  • Year: 2012
  • Finish Translucent Crimson
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: 11172001, dated to April 26, 2012 at Nashville TN
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Date Posted: 24/04/2024

  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 6.116lbs 2.78kg
  • Scale Length: 25.4in 645mm
  • Nut Width: 1.702in 43.24mm
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