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The Super Duper Lemon Bengal Monster L9 Archtop MASSIVE FLAME THROWER

class5lp

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May 10, 2005
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1,625
So back in June 2015 on a trip to Gibson Custom I was introduced to the Phillip Whorton designed Gibson L9 archtop. I did a thread on the proto type guitar they had at the factory and even though the photos in the thread below are gone you can still read that thread. For those of you that don't Phillip write that name down cause he is now in charge of the Custom Crimson department at the Gibson Custom Shop and was Mike McGuire's successor. Phillips is in charge of all custom orders. Phillip shared the proto type with me and I played it for about a half hour. His idea and concept with this guitar was what if all the great specs and attributes of a 59 Les Paul and an L5 archtop could be combined and produce an archtop guitar that would play and feel like a solid body 59 Les Paul but would be about the size of an L5 archtop and not feedback at high volumes. The best solid body electric guitar of all time and the best archtop ever made all in one guitar.

Well okay so after playing the proto I was hooked and I ordered one that day. I told Phillip that I only had one request and that was I wanted a lemon burst color and not the cherry sunburst or vintage sunburst that its offered in. I can contest that playing this guitar through a Marshall cranked up at very high volumes it wont feed back. The proprietary top carve prevents feedback and also secures the stop tail piece firmly in place. Now sure if you crank the Marshall on 10 and stand with the guitar 6 inches away from the amp it will squeal but so will my Les Paul. But standing a few feet away from the amp cranked on high volume it wont feed back. The tone and playability is so classic and creamy its stupid. Sometimes it sounds like an old Les Paul, sometimes it sounds like a Byrdland or L5, and sometimes it just sounds like an L9. All I can say is you owe it to yourself to try and find one check it out because they are so good!

http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/s...g-the-R9-Les-Paul-to-the-brand-new-L9-archtop

So after nearly 8 months of waiting look at what they sent me! Without further ado I give you the Lemon Bengal Monster L9!

l9a_zpsheb32hao.jpg

l9b_zpsyxy0s5ki.jpg

l9d_zpsblodlvgb.jpg

l9c_zps5njf37zp.jpg
 
Last edited:

renderit

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Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,227
THAT IS AWESOME! I DON'T LIKE FAT GUITARS BUT THAT IS AWESOME AND IT'S THIN BUT FAT LIKE ME! I WANT IT! I am going to have pancakes now, they sound good for some reason...
 

J.D.

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May 24, 2006
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9,780
So this top is carved out of a thick book matched maple billet and not heat pressed into shape?

What is the internal wood configuration? Solid center block or just under bridge and TP?

Would be interesting to compare this to a PRS archtop or hollowbody.
 

brandtkronholm

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Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,281
How is it different (in construction) than a Johnny A model?

I actually don't know, I look forward to your answer.

Freaky looking guitar. I could imagine a Blonde or Black...with a Varitone.
 

class5lp

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May 10, 2005
Messages
1,625
How is it different (in construction) than a Johnny A model?

I actually don't know, I look forward to your answer.

Freaky looking guitar. I could imagine a Blonde or Black...with a Varitone.

The Johnny A has the same construction as the 336/356. The back and sides are carved from a single piece of mahogany and then the top is glued on.
 

class5lp

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May 10, 2005
Messages
1,625
So this top is carved out of a thick book matched maple billet and not heat pressed into shape?

What is the internal wood configuration? Solid center block or just under bridge and TP?

Would be interesting to compare this to a PRS archtop or hollowbody.

The top and back are carved and there is no center block. I am sure there is internal bracing but I have no idea what it consists of. Gibson is very secretive about how they build it and they have stated that it is a very proprietary design and how they are able to build such a guitar that wont feedback. Keep in mind it only weighs a little over 6 1/2 pounds.

http://www.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2015/Custom/L-9-Archtop.aspx
 

J.D.

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May 24, 2006
Messages
9,780
It's easy enough to insert an inspection mirror into a f-hole and understand the internal construction :jim

I'd be curious to know what is going on under the bridge and stop tp.
 

JimR56

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Oct 20, 2012
Messages
558
The top and back are carved and there is no center block. I am sure there is internal bracing but I have no idea what it consists of. Gibson is very secretive about how they build it and they have stated that it is a very proprietary design and how they are able to build such a guitar that wont feedback. Keep in mind it only weighs a little over 6 1/2 pounds.

http://www.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2015/Custom/L-9-Archtop.aspx
Not only does the weight not seem to appear anywhere on your linked page, basic measurements like the body width at the lower bout and the body depth also appear to be absent. Strange.
 

class5lp

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May 10, 2005
Messages
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Not only does the weight not seem to appear anywhere on your linked page, basic measurements like the body width at the lower bout and the body depth also appear to be absent. Strange.

You can get that yourself by clicking on the Gibson link. It should be posted there.
 

JimR56

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Oct 20, 2012
Messages
558
You can get that yourself by clicking on the Gibson link. It should be posted there.
"The Gibson link" ? The Gibson link you posted (as I said) does not offer any of those three pieces of information. Yes, it "should", which is exactly why I said "strange".
 

DanD

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Apr 8, 2007
Messages
2,366
From Chorder.com

"Gibson first started building archtop guitars few years prior to the turn of the 20th century. Fast forward six decades, and the cult Les Paul is sweeping the world off its feet with its solid body construction, big, fat electric tone squeezed from then revolutionary double humbucker pickups combo. This mind-blowing success of the solid electric guitar prompted Gibson luthiers to blend the classic archtop legacy with these electrifying novelties. They gambled. Big time. And it paid off more and bigger than anyone could have dreamed back in the fifties. Today, in 2015, Gibson`s Custom division pays tribute to the original electric archtops of the fifties and sixties with the mesmerizing L-9 Archtop guitar. It is a single-cut six-string with a thin contour and semi-hollow construction. Back, sides and the center block are all made of mahogany, while the carved top is made of two matching pieces of high grade flamed maple. Gibson`s tried and tested two-piece bridge unit is nestled between the two classic "f" holes, and in its front Gibson installs a pair of `57 Classic humbuckers. All of the tone and all of the awesomeness which came with the classic fifties and sixties tunes is packed within the four coils which comprise the `57 Classic and `57 Classic Plus pickups. They feature the standard vol/vol/tone/tone set of knobs, as well as a three-way toggle pickup switch. Set in mahogany neck is a single-piece with a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard on the top. Six Kluson Reissue Green Key tuners wrap up the major specs list. The MSRP for this jaw-dropping archtop is set at $6,499."


From the statement above I'd guess that the mahogany back is carved with a center block to support the bridge.

On Gibsons' L9 page it states they are using "integrated bracing" for the top. I assume this to mean the top is CNC carved from a billet of maple on the top and the botom. The 'bracing' for the top is done with the CNC, not 'glued in' like a true archtop.

Seems to me to basically be a Johnny A or 336/356 taken to the next level with the underside of the top carved to include the bracing. :peace2
 

class5lp

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Joined
May 10, 2005
Messages
1,625
From Chorder.com

"Gibson first started building archtop guitars few years prior to the turn of the 20th century. Fast forward six decades, and the cult Les Paul is sweeping the world off its feet with its solid body construction, big, fat electric tone squeezed from then revolutionary double humbucker pickups combo. This mind-blowing success of the solid electric guitar prompted Gibson luthiers to blend the classic archtop legacy with these electrifying novelties. They gambled. Big time. And it paid off more and bigger than anyone could have dreamed back in the fifties. Today, in 2015, Gibson`s Custom division pays tribute to the original electric archtops of the fifties and sixties with the mesmerizing L-9 Archtop guitar. It is a single-cut six-string with a thin contour and semi-hollow construction. Back, sides and the center block are all made of mahogany, while the carved top is made of two matching pieces of high grade flamed maple. Gibson`s tried and tested two-piece bridge unit is nestled between the two classic "f" holes, and in its front Gibson installs a pair of `57 Classic humbuckers. All of the tone and all of the awesomeness which came with the classic fifties and sixties tunes is packed within the four coils which comprise the `57 Classic and `57 Classic Plus pickups. They feature the standard vol/vol/tone/tone set of knobs, as well as a three-way toggle pickup switch. Set in mahogany neck is a single-piece with a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard on the top. Six Kluson Reissue Green Key tuners wrap up the major specs list. The MSRP for this jaw-dropping archtop is set at $6,499."


From the statement above I'd guess that the mahogany back is carved with a center block to support the bridge.

On Gibsons' L9 page it states they are using "integrated bracing" for the top. I assume this to mean the top is CNC carved from a billet of maple on the top and the botom. The 'bracing' for the top is done with the CNC, not 'glued in' like a true archtop.

Seems to me to basically be a Johnny A or 336/356 taken to the next level with the underside of the top carved to include the bracing. :peace2

I guarantee you that is wrong. There is absolutely no center block in these guitars.
 

Cogswell

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15,716
I would guess that the construction is similar to a CS-336, w/an "island" of mahogany for the studs left in the middle of the guitar after routing.
 

J.D.

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May 24, 2006
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PRS has been doing this since the '90s LOL.
 

TM1

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Jun 27, 2003
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8,135
Very Nice!! I remember when you posted about your trip last summer and if I recall, you mentioned you ordered one of these!!

PRS? I don't think I want a guitar who's fingerboard is glued on with Epoxy.. I've known Paul Smith personally for about 27 years. Great guy but I just can't hang with some of their construction methods..
 

J.D.

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May 24, 2006
Messages
9,780
LOL why in the heck would you want to remove the fretboard anyway?

Hot hide glue? Seriously, adhesive technology has advanced quite a bit in the last century.

As Paul would say, why spend all the time and effort drying out the wood to then glue it back together with water-based glue? :wah
 

JimR56

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Oct 20, 2012
Messages
558
You can get that yourself by clicking on the Gibson link. It should be posted there.
So... since it's not posted there, and since you now own one of these guitars... can you please tell us the depth of the body, and the width at the lower bout? Thanks.
 
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