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  1. #1
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    Gibson L4CES Price Question

    What do L4 CES' go for on the used market? I just found an interesting single P-90 with only a volume control under the pick guard. No other knobs or controls. It's a 2001 in very good condition and sounds really good. Asking price is $2200. eBay closed listings (only two of them) are well above that for a couple of newer ones. But, Harmony Central reviews from 2007-2009 are below stating the price purchased at between 1800-2000. I am having trouble getting a feel for it's $$ value. Thanks.
    Best regards,
    Matt

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by msr13 View Post
    What do L4 CES' go for on the used market? I just found an interesting single P-90 with only a volume control under the pick guard. No other knobs or controls. It's a 2001 in very good condition and sounds really good. Asking price is $2200. eBay closed listings (only two of them) are well above that for a couple of newer ones. But, Harmony Central reviews from 2007-2009 are below stating the price purchased at between 1800-2000. I am having trouble getting a feel for it's $$ value. Thanks.
    WOW!! Do not hesitate. Pull the trigger before someone else does. I've NEVER heard of an L4 CES like you describe.
    Patrick2 . . Heritage representative (now former)

  3. #3
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    This one makes me curious, too. If it's an original Gibson, the price is right. Post some pics if you buy it.

  4. #4
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    Will do. I am going back tomorrow to A-B it with my 175. If I come home with the L4, the 175 will go. Looks like it was a special order through the Nashville shop. The serial number checks out, and the shop is reputable and a Gibson dealer. I don't think it is a fake. We'll see.
    Best regards,
    Matt

  5. #5
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    New L-4's seem to be in the $3-4K range, but used ones go for much less, so this is a good deal. I had a 1988 L-4, double humbucker -- my first real jazz guitar! -- and it was a great guitar. Single pickup makes more sense, and I love P-90s, so the one you're talking about should be pretty nice!

    When I went to sell mine, though, I practically had to give it away! Everyone wants 175's (they're "cooler" I guess), and not L-4's, even though the L-4 has better wood, details, etc. So, don't expect to make money if you decide to sell it later ..

  6. #6
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    Are you sure that it is $2200.00, and not $3200.00? $2200.00 sounds like a rather low price for an L-4 CES, especially for a custom one with a single P90. If you're not buying it, please do let me know who the dealer is. I'll buy it. Does it have maple back and sides?

    For what it's worth, Joe Vinikow listed a blonde 2010 L-4 CES with Mahogany back and sides, with a single neck inset humbucker for $3695.00 in January 2011 and it was sold.
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 08-15-2011 at 09:26 AM.

  7. #7
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    Are you sure it's not $22,000?

  8. #8
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    I am sure it is $2200. You guys are making it hard to walk away from...
    Best regards,
    Matt

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by msr13 View Post
    I am sure it is $2200. You guys are making it hard to walk away from...
    If you walk away from it, please do let me know where it is

  10. #10
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    I didn't walk away from it. It came home. Sounds awesome through the AI/RE. Interesting sticker in the f hole by the pickguard. The main luthier dated and signed the sticker. I haven't seen that before on a Gibson. Some picts below. Now, the 175 has to go, though.





    Last edited by msr13; 08-15-2011 at 04:43 PM.
    Best regards,
    Matt

  11. #11
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    That looks more like a custom 175 than an L4. It has a laminated back, rose wood finger board, rose wood bridge base and saddle, 175 tail piece. It does have a beautiful spruce top. I think the price was so low, at $2,200 because it's not an L4. But, it's a gorgeous guitar. I would have bought that for $2,200 too!! What does the label inside the F hole say?
    Patrick2 . . Heritage representative (now former)

  12. #12
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    It says Custom L4-CES.

    Pre-2004 the backs and sides were laminated maple. Starting in 2004 they started to use mahogany-- although I am unclear whether the mahogany itself is laminated. It is definitely an L4 according to the paperwork and label. But a unique one.
    Best regards,
    Matt

  13. #13
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    The original 1949 onwards L4-C's had laminated back and sides and a parallelogram tailpiece ...

    Vintage Guitars Info - Gibson archtop vintage guitar collecting

  14. #14
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    The tail piece is a 175 . . . the finger board (rose wood) is a 175, the bridge base and saddle . . (rose wood) is a 175.

    Gibson.com: Gibson Custom L-4 CES Mahogany

    It looks to me like a custome version of either or both, the 175 and the L4. Either way, it's got an amazing vintage vibe!! I really love it!!
    Patrick2 . . Heritage representative (now former)

  15. #15
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    The paperwork and the case have the word "Historic" all over them. I think it is a mash up of the vintage L-4C with a p-90. Maybe the guy preferred rosewood when he ordered it. The Tailpiece look like the L-4C Bill referred to. I'm not totally sure what I got, but I like it.
    Best regards,
    Matt

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by msr13 View Post
    The paperwork and the case have the word "Historic" all over them. I think it is a mash up of the vintage L-4C with a p-90. Maybe the guy preferred rosewood when he ordered it. The Tailpiece look like the L-4C Bill referred to. I'm not totally sure what I got, but I like it.
    I think you're correct . . . no . . . I'm sure you're correct. If the label and other paper work say L4 . . then that's what it is. The tail piece is period/era correct to the older ones. . thus the "Historic" notation. Also, the bound head stock is a real nice touch. If you bought that gem for $2,200 . . you did REAL well. It's just a beauty. The shading on the top looks like it is right out of Parsons Street, Kalamazoo, MI. If that thing plays like it looks . . . it's a winner!
    Patrick2 . . Heritage representative (now former)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by msr13 View Post
    The paperwork and the case have the word "Historic" all over them. I think it is a mash up of the vintage L-4C with a p-90. Maybe the guy preferred rosewood when he ordered it. The Tailpiece look like the L-4C Bill referred to. I'm not totally sure what I got, but I like it.
    The original (ie 1949-1971) L-4C was exactly like a 175 but with a spruce top with no drilling for pickups etc. Yours is just like this but with a P90 and the bound headstock. What a find!

  18. #18
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    Interesting update. I just got off the phone with Gibson-- nice people, BTW-- and they have no record of the guitar as different from stock. They know who made it, when it was finished, when it shipped, but no indication that it was unique. They told me not to worry. They are convinced it is real, but they are intrigued and looking into it.

    It does sound pretty great. I will make a sound clip later today.
    Best regards,
    Matt

  19. #19
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    Man, great find and a great price. I almost wish you had walked away from it and then the beauty will be MINE, ALL MINE. I gotta snap out of it. Unlike the other L-4 CES Custom Pro II, this one, I am convinced, is real. It looks like an L-4C with an inset P90, as Bill C said. For $2200.00 and in that fabulous condition, you scored BIG. Wish I had found it instead. Gibson charges a mint for a one-off. I don't even want to know how much it cost originally. I paid $3200 for a regular Y2000 2-humbucker L-4 CES with maple back and sides.
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 08-15-2011 at 03:36 PM.

  20. #20
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    Also consider that it might have been an L4C, then someone retro fitted a P90. That could be the reason for the lower selling price ...due to the aftermarket alteration. Is the cord input jack on the rim of the lower bout or is it in the end pin/strap button? If it's on the rim, then it was probably done at the factory where they would have been able to glue a reinforcement on the inside of the rim proir to closing the body. If it's in the end pin, it might have been retro fitted
    Patrick2 . . Heritage representative (now former)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2 View Post
    Also consider that it might have been an L4C, then someone retro fitted a P90. That could be the reason for the lower selling price ...due to the aftermarket alteration. Is the cord input jack on the rim of the lower bout or is it in the end pin/strap button? If it's on the rim, then it was probably done at the factory where they would have been able to glue a reinforcement on the inside of the rim proir to closing the body. If it's in the end pin, it might have been retro fitted
    Yeah, I thought of this. The end pin is just a strap button and the input jack in on the curve of the lower bout as usual. Assuming the Gibson folks don't come back with anything really surprising, I think it was a custom order and wasn't logged in properly. Fun stuff.
    Best regards,
    Matt

  22. #22
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    I used to have a '66 L-4C. That sure looks like a factory-customized L-4C to me.
    "Next to knowing when to seize an opportunity, the most important thing in life is knowing when to forego an advantage." - Benjamin Disraeli
    http://www.youtube.com/user/TKOProd/videos

  23. #23
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    What a wonderful guitar! Congratulations!

  24. #24
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    What you got kinda looks like this: 124848 . Almost the same vintage too. So, it is not unheard of for Gibson to make such one-offs.

  25. #25
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    Wow cool guitar, and not too expensives for a G.

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