Re: Decent L5 Copy?
- From: "Mark Cleary" <mcleary08@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2010 23:09:29 -0600
"335" wrote in message news:df9f6b69-45e0-4b94-95e4-bada7a0084ee@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
On Dec 27, 1:18 pm, "Mark Cleary" <mclear...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
"Rick Stone" wrote in message
On 12/27/2010 1:28 PM, 335 wrote:
> I'd like to get an L5 but don't have the bucks. Any suggestions for
> who is making a decent 17 inch archtop? I'd like to keep the price at
> $2000 max. I know of D'Angelico and Peerless but I don't have the
> opportunity to try those since nobody carries them in my area.
In that price range, I thing the Peerless is a good bet. You need to
get over to Guitars 'n Jazz in New Jersey. He's got a ton of these
things. Lots of good axes in your price range. You REALLY need to play
ANYTHING before you buy it.
The question is if you want the built in sound or a floating pickup? This
will then determine what to look for and like Rick said since you are really
searching you need to get around and play the guitars. Some of the Eastman's
can be fine but you need to play these before you buy not over the net. One
other real mystery that is just hard to describe about a real L5 is that
nothing sound quite like the sound of a real L5CES. You can get really close
and even nail the sound but the magic of the L5 sound and playability is
something that just seems to come with an L5. If you can find a Ibanez Copy
of an L5 they are really good too but a nice one would push $2000.
If you want a floater you have lots of choices but that is a different sound
and feel. If I was playing a build in electric I would just get a super400
and be done with it because I like the bigger size. If you listen to Kevin
Van Sant you will understand why and L5 is magic sounding. In his case he
happens to be a first rate player so that is the real secret but the L5 gets
that sound vibe.
Deacon Mark Cleary
In your opinion, is it a complete waste to use 11s on an L5? Maybe
that's just not enough string to bring out what the guitar has to
The heaviest gauge I really like to use is 12 flats and I've been
using 11s lately on my 175.
Normally a 12 will drive the top better and produce a better fundamental tone, it will also intonate a little better but not enough to really matter. But no necessarily a waste of time if you like an 11 and the guitar responds to the string. Some guitars like an L5 even the CES will be carved in such a way that an 11 would work. I have played L5's that have the response and vibe that an 11 will work. Most of these L5's seemed to be carved in a way that allowed the top to vibrate more an a lighter gauge string can work. If you really want to use an 11 just make sure you have spent more time on the details of the guitar set up. The action, pickup height, and amp set up need to be dialed in and it can work. I also will add that you really do not want to use a bridge with a metal tune-o-matic, a full ebony saddle is even more crucial. Many players do disagree with me on this but I am firm believer in all ebony bridges, even rosewood, over metal. Try an 11 then a 12 then a 13 just to see how they work. Frankly you get a 13 to play "soft" feeling if you set the action really close and the nut is set so that it allows the lowest setting at the 1st fret.
As a string vibrates over the guitar from the tailpiece to the headstock I think these are the critical points to ponder. You want the best response over the bridge area since this is where the strings are moving the top. If the anchors of the strings at the headstock/nut and the tailpiece absorb too much of the string movement , you get less response. I think ideally you want a reasonable amount of mass in the headstock, and a tailpiece the does not absorb string vibration too much. This is why I think basically and L5 has the sound it has.... because the good solid maple headstock and a metal tailpiece. For me this electric sound of Wes or Kenny Burrell is just loaded full rich sound. Kenny Burrell will sound like Kenny no matter what guitar he plays but he told me personally years ago that the Super400 CES is all about the sound he gets. A set of flatwound medium gauge strings through a Fender Twin and you are ready to go. He played my Hollenbeck and he liked it but of course he would have wanted one with a set of those Gibson Humbucker's cut in the top.
Another option is to get one of the D'angelico built in electrics. I think you can make of them work, the Excel comes with built in option or at least I have seen them.
Deacon Mark Cleary
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