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 Gibson L-5CT George Gobel

L-5C Thinline

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Notes: The L-5CT is a variant of the venerable L-5 with a thinline body and cutaway, and was originally designed for comedian and actor George Gobel. The comedian used a Super 400 for many years but wanted a thinline, short-scale guitar to fit his somewhat small and short-armed body, and the CT design was Gibson's answer. In 1958, the first L-5CT (s/n A-27318) was a "one-off" built expressively for George Gobel. It was presented to him by Ernie Ford on Gobel's own show. The prototype had the standard L-5 scale of 25 1/2" but later production models from 1959 to 1962 had the 24 3/4" scale length and a total of only 44 instruments were produced during this period. Another unique feature of this model is the bright cherry red finish to make it show up better on stage and tv, and it was the first use of that color. Although the L-5CT was never officially designated as the George Gobel model it is nowadays commonly referred to as such.

Materials: 17" wide 2 7/16" deep body with handcarved fine grained X-braced solid spruce top, highly flamed solid maple back and sides, highly figured tiger flamed maple neck with two streamers made from high-grade walnut, pointed-end ebony fretboard with 25 1/2" full scale length, nut width 1 11/16", 14/20 frets, pearl block position markers, flower pot peghead inlay, multi-ply white / black binding, bound f-holes, solid ebony bridge base with pearl tie inlays.

Hardware: Factory eqipped golden Johnny Smith floating pickup with adjustable pole pieces, tone / volume pots mounted on quintuple-bound pickguard, tailpiece with L-5 model name engraved, ABR-1 bridge, "CUSTOM L-5" engraved truss rod cover, Schaller M6 tuners, output jack / strap button combination.

Facts: Made 2001 in Nashville in a beautiful cherry red finish. One label is signed by James Hutchins, a long-time employee who has been working for Gibson more than four decades. The instrument's orange label tells us that it is named the L-5CT Acoustic and not just L5-CT. She has been factory equipped with a Johnny Smith floating pu. There are no drillings or routings into the top for pots, an acoustic advantage compared to the electric version L-5CEST. Gibson Certificate included.

Condition: The guitar has only very light playing wear and the frets are as new. The entire guitar is completely original including the unfaded beautiful cherry red finish. The tuners work smooth and perfectly.

Playability: Action is low on the Gibson's traditional ES-rounded neck profile, not too thick nor too skinny and it feels like an unpronounced C-shaped profile. The neck is buzz-free, straight and it plays effortless. It just feels like a glove. The approx. one inch decreased body depth makes it so easy to embrace her.

Tone: Unplugged it is astonishing loud for its body depth and the tone is very clear and perfectly balanced. Plugged in, the single floating humbucker is capable of all the jazzy tone desired. IMO, this L-5CT acoustic is one of the best sounding L-5 and she deserves the additinal name acoustic.

Case: Original Gibson Custom Shop hardshell case with red crushed velvet interior in very good condition. All latches and hinges work fine.

Setup: This instrument is strung with roundwound strings (.012-.054).

To Summarize: It is unknown whether George Gobel's L-5CT has inspired him to do some yodeling like Skyball Paint but we know that he had roots from the Austrian Empire as his father emigrated from there around 1890. So he may also have inherited this talent. What we can say for sure is that this L-5CT not only has all the classy look and high-grade appointments of her full bodied sisters and also the full jazz tone we are looking for in a great archtop guitar. But we can not garantee that the new owner of this beauty will be yodeling when playing her as not everyone has such a talent as the lonesome George

Gerge Gobel's 1958 L-5CT

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