Whats a "Poor Mans" Gibson L5?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by shawntp, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. shawntp

    shawntp Member

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    I played one and its so sweet but ...8K+ new, thats some serious coin.

    What are some other models to look at in its sound range but not price. To me a 335 is closer sound wise to a Les Paul than some of these big jazz boxes so I always pass by the 335's feeling they are closer to my Les Paul. I dont even really play jazz but do some finger style and blues that I really dig on these.

    Maybe an ES-175 or something like that? I dont ever run into too many of these gibson at the shop so I was just wondering.
     
  2. doc

    doc Member

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    If it has to be Gibson, you'll pay some "serious coin".
    Check out Heritage or Eastman.
    Also consider vintage models from other makers like Guild and Epiphone.
     
  3. oscar100

    oscar100 Member

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  4. Carl_Tone

    Carl_Tone Member

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    The older Ibanez jazz guitars have a L5 equivalent which is excellent.
    All the George Benson Ibanez models are well under the Gibbo prices as well.

    I really enjoyed my no F hole es 135 but have it for sale now. Got some nice jazz blues tone outta that.

    Just remeber that a real L5 is 25.5 scale (like most fenders)
    Not 24.75 like mot all the other gibbos. (With a few exceptions ie. the rare Chet Atkins)

    Eastman specializes in 25.5 and I'd say check em out too. I'll bet they would add 50% to their sales if they took 50% of the wood off their mondo headstock...but they use alot of nice solid wood.

    Personally I'd look at what the pros use...and that's Ibanez, if your talking about a mass produced non-Gibson.
     
  5. archtopjazz

    archtopjazz Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The mid to late 70's Ibanez L5 guitars are great if you can find one.
     
  6. shawntp

    shawntp Member

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    What about those Gibson Chet Atkins Tennesean's - Is that going to sound closer to a ES335. I remember playing one a while back and thinking it was a really cool guitar but that it needed a pickup swap to some PAF's or something. It was long ago and I didnt directly A/B anything though.

    I wonder if thats going to be closer to a 335 in sound since it has the center block and thin body. I see them cheap on ebay all the time ($1200 ish) and it seems like a fun project semi-hollow.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Thor

    Thor Member

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    Paging Jack Zucker.

    I have not had the opportunity to play one of Sadowsky's jazzers, but they have received stellar reports, and having had the chance to play one of his NYC basses, he clearly dose some outstanding work.

    Not cheap, but seem very fairly priced for what you get.

    Happy hunting,

    Edward
     
  8. soopajeanmi

    soopajeanmi Member

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    Gibson Tal Farlow gives you the scale lenght, the body width, the pickups & pickups placement & the neck of a L5 for half the price. Main differences are it's laminated and the body is a tad thinner. That's the Gibson model that will get you the closest IMHO.
     
  9. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Good call, and they're very undervalued in the used market, if you can find one.

    OK, the big difference between an "L" guitar and say, and ES-175, is that an "L" guitar - L-5, L-7, L-4 - they all have solid spruce tops. Spruce is more of a tone wood, it vibrates very well, and feedsback at med to high volume, but sounds amazing at lower volume.

    An ES-175 has a plywood top - doesn't sound as wonderful acoustically, but doesn't feed back as much at volume, and still sounds like a great hollow guitar.

    If you're dead set on that spruce top tone, it doesn't come cheap - the Tal Farlow is a good suggestion. If you're just looking for genuine hollow body tone, you should be able to find a good ES-175 for $2500 or thereabouts.

    If you want a '50's ES-175 w/ P-90's, like Dave Orban's, that's gonna cost a little more (GRIN).

    Good Luck, Dana O.
     
  10. pinner

    pinner Silver Supporting Member

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    I love my Heritage Golden Eagle (made in the old Gibson Kalamazoo Factory)
    [​IMG]
    Think I got it for $2300 used
    My brother got the same for $1800 used
     
  11. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    I was about to say that very thing....

    jb
     
  12. dharmafool

    dharmafool Member

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    In that price range, these gits can't be beat.
     
  13. gtraddict

    gtraddict Member

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    i would agree with the Eagle series from Heritage, I played a Classic Eagle and if you can live the headstock you will have a guitar built better than the L5. It was a great instrument that felt alive
     
  14. KBR

    KBR Member

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    I have a different Po Man's Gibson
    2 Hard Tail Strats, with Mahogany/Rswd Boatnecks, one has Lollar P90's one Lollar HBers, both weigh 6 Pounds, and the headstock won'
    t break if they fall over.
    well balanced and the Tones, take a listen:

    http://www.myspace.com/kennyblueray
     
  15. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

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    It's still not cheap, but not nearly as expensive to get an old Barney Kessel. It's also not the exact same guitar - and there are plenty of differences - but I find that at the end of the day they're similar to the untrained ear. I know a guy who's got both. He plays the Kessel more, but the L5 does sound better.
     
  16. Bluewail

    Bluewail Tone curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    BTW there are a rare few Barney Kessel models out there with solid spruce tops.
     

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