Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Archtop question - this or that?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by El Tele Lobo, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's

    Jul 28, 2005
    N. Cal.
    My answer: Benedetto Bambino Deluxe - Size, Tone, Feel, Build, Price.
    Tube or SS amp - guitar sounds great through either.
     

  2. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 6, 2015
    Wisconsin

  3. cnlbb

    cnlbb Tele-Holic

    760
    Jun 19, 2014
    United States
    Have we really gotten this far into the thread without mentioning CC pickups? They sound fantastic and cover lots of ground. Don't sound bad through a tweed amp either.

    edit: saw that the video right above me mentions them.
     
    El Tele Lobo likes this.

  4. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    Not an accident. Most newer and affordable (under 2 grand) archtops don't come with them. And they're a pricy upgrade. Love the sound of them though.
     

  5. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    58
    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    Carved or laminate body? Either, depending on how much you want a nice acoustic tone.

    Body mount or floating pickup? floating if a solid top, body mount if ply

    Full size humbucker or mini humbucker? P90s! P90s! P90s!

    Tube amp or solid state? up to you: depends on your music

    A big carved archtop is a beautiful thing. They can have a great acoustic tone and be loud enough to hang easily in an acoustic band. If you want, you could go for one of the many mic options, or a mag pickup, or even a piezo.

    If you are primarily going to play it amped I say go laminate. More durable, more feedback resistant.

    I love P90s for jazz. No reason to assume mushy humbuckers are the only way to go.

    I have a 1978 Guild Artist award with a Kent Armstrong handwound floating single coil. It sounds great, but a big archtop with a floating pickup has to be babied
     
    drlucky and El Tele Lobo like this.

  6. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    I Do love me some p90s...
     

  7. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    Actually leaning toward a Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin w/P90s...I was asking about the others b/c of a Reverb giveaway.
     
    cnlbb likes this.

  8. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    Tweed amps work with any guitar. I play one all the time with various archtops. As far as which guitar type is right for you, that's a personal taste.

    I do prefer slightly shallower than full depth hollowbodies. My Heritage H575 custom is 2.75 deep I think ... the H525 slimmer, same depth as the old ES-225. Set in p/us for me. Either laminated or carved can be perfect. Anyone who says lam is not as good, just plywood - that would be advice I'd steer clear of. I have favorite guitars made both ways.

    A couple key variables for me: pickups and scale length. In solid bodies, 25.5 is my preference. Feels better. On semihollow and hollow, I go for 24.75. Feels better. P90s (to me) are king. And other pickups (dearmond 2k, Guild Franz p/u) very much like P90s.

    MD
     
    drlucky likes this.

  9. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Friend of Leo's

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    How are you going to use it? Your questions are loaded. Either answer could be right. I’ve got laminate full size with set in pickups, laminate thin line, and carved top acoustic with floating dearmond. Tweeds are my favorite, but an eh 185 sounds great too.

    What sound/genre are you going for?
     

  10. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    Great questions. I suppose it's time for me to stop being so mysterious. Wanted to hear everyone's gut responses. I've heard many of the arguments before about floating pickups and carved bodies sounding more acoustic and laminate tops and body-mount pickups sounding more electric. I've never owned the former, but have had a couple of the latter. The main one, a Washburn J6 Wes Montgomery (laminate body/body-mount humbuckers) fed back so badly in my Blues Jr. (early model) that I had to get an EQ pedal and dial out the mids to have it be at all workable. This was later rectified when I purchased a 63 Vibroverb reissue. I didn't even need the pedal anymore. Everyone says they work great with tweeds, but when I brought home a Peerless (I believe it was the Gigmaster...it had two body-mounted humbuckers and laminate construction if I recall), I tried everything: Played it through both amps, all pickups positions, bedroom volume (3 to 5 on the dials), tone turned up on the Vibrolux, bright cap switch engaged (even though it sounded terrible) on the Champ clone, standing in different parts of the room...even going into the next room with a long cord...whatever I did, I had major feedback whenever I got anywhere near C# (9th fret, 6th string) to E or F above it on the same string. Weirdly, I played it all over the neck for hours in Sam Ash through a (admittedly much brighter) Blues Junior 3. I might have got an EQ pedal and tried to make it work, but it had some other issues so I took it back. Ended up buying a solid-wood Gibson flattop (HP435W) that has enough warmth and chewy midrange to handle acoustic jazz as well as strummy and fingerstyle stuff acoustically. Not as crazy about it amplified through my tweeds, though.

    So the question was rather deceptive...I titled this Archtop question, but it was really more about these low-watt tweed amps that don't have full EQ controls.

    I think I'm more "archtop-curious" than anything. I love the sound of them in other people's hands, but I still like the sound of a tele for jazz in my own. My other problem is most new archtops have what I consider shredder necks...super skinny and often super narrow. The Peerless was a little better b/c it had a wider nut width...and I've played a P90 Eastman that, though skinny, also seems to have a wider nut, which helped a little. With a tele, I can get an Allparts V or Fat neck and get the hand support I need to avoid fatigue when playing a lot of barre chords. Wish I could find a neck like that on an archtop with decent action and a good pickup.

    Anyway, I guess I'm the only one to struggle with these feedback issues with laminates. Maybe I just don't know how to love those big-bodied guitars the way they like. Still, I keep hoping that "the one" is out there somewhere...time will tell.

    Thanks everyone for your feedback. Keep it coming!
     

  11. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    Oh and I play solo chord-melody and jamming with a looper. Mostly 50s style jazz and jump blues, a little western swing and occasionally a bit of gypsy swing.
     

  12. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    ETL:

    They're all different regarding feedback. Generalizations and popular wisdom often are helpful, but cannot substitute for trying a given guitar. I find that shallower bodies (less than 3" or 3 1/4" depth) and laminate top can help. Not always. The worst archtop for feedback I've owned was a Peerless Wizard with P90s. Laminate top. Thinline. Almost unuseable, even at home. I installed a soundpost, which really helped. But still. Now I'm playing a similar guitar - Dearmond T400, wider body than the Wizard, but thinline, laminate maple top - and it's not nearly like that. It's a somewhat heavier guitar, thicker top. Maybe that is why.
    MD
     
    El Tele Lobo likes this.

  13. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Friend of Leo's

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    This may be your problem...you're playing barre chords;)
     

  14. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Friend of Leo's

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    I've got 4 amps:
    A 5/10 watt tweed princeton clone build with a 12" speaker
    A 30 watt 5c5 pro type clone with a 15" jensen
    A 30 watt 1x10 blackface build
    A Gibson Eh185 clone

    For swing tones and jazz type tones I don't have any problem with feedback on any of my F-hole guitars:
    17" full hollow with P13's (kind of a custom build--my poor man's es350)
    '49 16" Carved top Epiphone Zenith
    Epiphone Casino
    335

    The Epi. Zenith will feed back uncontrollably with lots of volume, but by the time I'm at that volume, I'm no longer occupying the swing/jazz space.


    Get a tweed amp and don't be concerned about a single tone knob vs a TB or TMB tone stack.
     
    awasson and El Tele Lobo like this.

  15. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    Well not Barre chords strictly. Those contortionist jazz books chords though.
     

  16. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    This is a great encouragement to me. I love my 5F1 and 5F11 clones.
     

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.