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1977 Greco L-200 Vintage Archtop Blonde L-5 CES w/ Maxon U-2000 Pickups, Japan Fujigen


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Up for sale, a 1977 Greco L-200 electric guitar in excellent condition and in perfect working order. Produced in Japan's famed Fujigen factory, this exceedingly rare guitar is a faithful iteration of the Gibson L-5 CES and the highest priced instrument in Greco's 1977 catalog at 200,000 yen.

At double the price of Greco's L-100 which is identical in its cosmetic appearance, the L-200 is a no-corners-cut faithful clone of the L-5 CES ("1:1" as boasted in the original catalog description) with a carved spruce top, carved and bookmatched curly maple back, three-piece maple neck with walnut stringers, multi-ply bound rosewood fingerboard with pearl block inlay, full 17" lower bout width, premium Sealfast-style tuners and L-5 tailpiece, and an oval label visible through the F hole signed by the luthier.

One of the more sought after vintage Japanese PAF iterations, the original Maxon-made U-2000 pickups offer a tone that is detailed and rich, with plenty of sweetness from the bridge pickup, and more inherent warmth and fullness in the neck position. The guitar has a natural woody character and percussive, dynamic midrange chop that translates faithfully through the humbuckers, delivering sparkling trebles, focused low end, and an articulate and clear response in every pickup position. The instrument weighs 8lbs 7oz, professionally dialed in here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with flatwound 12-52 strings, comfortable action, and accurate intonation.

The five-ply neck features three broad pieces of maple and two slender strips of walnut, with a modestly slender C-shaped profile carve that has moderate shoulder, measuring .830" deep at the 1st fret and .920" at the 9th. The multi-ply bound rosewood fretboard features pearl block inlay and stock medium jumbo fretwire with fret edge binding. The frets are in great shape with just a touch of wear exclusively beneath the B string on the crowns of frets 5-10, and virtually no wear further up the fretboard. The guitar plays cleanly in every register up the straight neck with an optimally adjusted and responsive truss rod. The scale length is a full 25 1/2“, and the stock bone nut measures 1 11/16“ in width. The bound “open book” headstock features a pearloid Greco logo and inlay design that closely mimics the L-5 “flower pot”, with stock Greco-branded Sealfast-style gold tuners that turn smoothly and hold pitch well.

On the body, the stock electronics work as they should, with a three-way pickup selector and individual Volume and Tone controls for each pickup. The stock Maxon U-2000 pickups each have date codes stamped on the baseplates that translate to 1977. Original plastic parts include the switch gasket and set of witch hat knobs with gold inserts, while the dark tortoise bound floating pickguard is a modern iteration. The gold hardware includes the Nashville-style bridge and elaborate art deco trapeze tailpiece mirroring the L-5 design.

The ambered binding shows the off-gassing and checking common with Greco ES-style instruments in this era, and the binding has been filled and stabilized as needed for optimal aesthetics and performance. Cosmetic wear on the Blonde gloss finish is limited to light vertical finish checking, and a few shallow marks and scuffs mostly on the lower bout on top. Aside from light finish checking along the treble side seam between maple and walnut plies behind the nut, the neck profile sports a pristine smooth gloss finish.