• Gibson L-5 Wes Montgomery

    Category: Product Condition: Pre-Owned

    Our price:

    Here’s a well taken care of Gibson L-5 Custom Wes Montgomery built in 1997 by the Master Luthiers of the Gibson Custom Shop. Having been in continues production since 1922, the L-5 is the pinnacle of the Gibson archtop collection, in no small part to the fact that Wes Montgomery made it his guitar of choice during his short, but highly successful career.

    Other players that have chosen the L-5 as their axe of choice are Tuck Andress, Lee Ritenour, Pat Martino, and Eddie Lang. Though these guitars come with a hefty price tag, the L-5 is still the Gibson guitar that many players save their pennies for as they search for the perfect (Wes Montgomery inspired) tone. The Gibson L-5 is the Holy Grail of archtops, the kind of guitar that has it all: looks, tone, playability and the patina of a history extending back to 1922 and through the hands of an amazing array of players that speaks to its versatility. Also, John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Django Reinhardt, Paul Simon and Scotty Moore are among the musical royalty who have used an L-5 in the studio or on stage.

    Wes Montgomery is the most important jazz guitar player of the century. And that is an understatement! Wes had such a profound influence on any one musical genre, much less one as conspicuously diverse as jazz music. Yet in the span of just a few years in the late 1950s and early 1960s, jazz legend Wes Montgomery was able to forge a body of work that is still referred to today as the most important and influential of any music ever recorded by a jazz artist. Montgomery’s mastery of the guitar is well documented, and the enormous impact on his peers is recognized time and time again, from Pat Metheny to George Benson to Joe Satriani, all of whom claim Montgomery as the virtuoso who inspired them to reach new heights.

    Wes ordered various L-5 version and in finally Gibson built his own master model: the L-5 Custom Wes Montgomery. The Custom Artist Model L-5 has a single “Classic 57” pickup in the neck position and an X-brace supporting the top. These features Montgomery felt helped achieve the warm guitar voice for which he loved this guitar model.

    We bought this guitar from the first owner, who treated the instrument very well. She has a lot of playing hours, but was never on stage. Our luthier gave her the full cleaning and polishing treatment and a fret leveling job. This guitar is in Excellent Plus condition



    • Solid Carved Sitka Spruce top
    • Solid flamed Maple back and sides
    • Multi-ply black and white binding
    • Single-ply white binding around the f-holes
    • Venetian cutaway
    • Gold ABR-1 bridge with Ebony base
    • L-5 tailpiece with ‘Wes Montgomery’ inscription
    • 25½-inch scale length neck
    • Five-piece flamed Maple neck
    • 20-fret Ebony fingerboard
    • Pearl block inlays
    • Multi-ply black and white body bindings
    • ES-rounded neck profileGibson ’57 Classic PAF  pickup
    • Flower pot inlay on the headstock
    • Schaller M6 tuners
    • Vintage Sunburst
    • Gibson USA Hard shell case