Archtops...Do you like them and let's see them

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by screamin eagle, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. stonge

    stonge TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Gibbys.JPG 46 L7.png a pair of 1950's and a beater 46...
     
  2. John Backlund

    John Backlund Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Shoulda kept this one...
    IMG_20160418_150144366_HDR.jpg

    Shoulda kept this one too...
    IMG_20161231_211749~3.jpg

    Shoulda kept this one... IMG_20150810_181035103_HDR.jpg

    Still have this one...but haven't played it in years...
    IMG_20160722_181132~2.jpg
     
  3. smartsoul72

    smartsoul72 Tele-Meister

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    14918801_10207985745141650_6843554501927702930_o.jpg Here's two. My Grimshaw SS Deluxe (as played by the fellow in my avatar, Tony Sheridan) and a 1960 Guild t100
     
  4. wulfenganck

    wulfenganck Tele-Holic

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    Ooof.....that's orgasmic!
     
  5. wulfenganck

    wulfenganck Tele-Holic

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    I changed my picking style around 7 years ago, leaving out picks completely and only using my finger ever since. This also changed the position and angle of my wrist towards the strings. It's fine with archtops, but more difficult with flattops.

    My number 1
    WP_20150821_16_28_50_Smart.jpg
     
  6. wulfenganck

    wulfenganck Tele-Holic

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    This is my first ever archtop:
    Aktuell 26.5.12 016.jpg
    ...and my first one with a floating bridge
    20160801_091637.jpg

    This one was a try for Rockabilly, but I just can't handle vibratos....
    20161116_133633.jpg

    And one for more modern rock stuff.
     

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  7. BramptonRob1958

    BramptonRob1958 TDPRI Member

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    My 2014 IBJL Revolution Casino “Winston”

    upload_2019-8-11_7-12-5.jpeg
     
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  8. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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  9. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    Those 50's and 60's guitars with steel reinforced necks are from budget models and on average didn't age well. Sometime in their life they have had or will need work like a neck reset to make them playable. If you can find Tom Wheeler's book " American Guitars" read the sections on Kay, Harmony, Airline, Epiphone and Gibson. They explain the issues and evolution of construction in great detail. The frets do not hold up well on the budget models. By the late 1960s with the increase of Japaneses import lines, you will start to see more guitars equipped with some sort of truss rod design for budget models.

    IMO if you want a good affordable acoustic archtop look at some of the Korean and China made models. They'll play and sound much better without the maintenance and construction issues at the same price point.

    The Gretsch G9555 New Yorker comes to mind. It's a solid spruce top and that is the most desirable feature for an acoustic archtop not to say a laminated top can't sound nice but, like flat tops, there is a reason spruce has been the choice for the top wood on an acoustic instrument.

    I've played some the Loar brand archtops and have liked what they have done for their price.

    If you want to pay over 1K you can into an Eastman used and if you're really lucky find one that has Benedetto pickup installed and pay a little more.


    And I may add, if you want a really good vintage acoustic archtop now would be a good time to start thinking about it. Save for the Strombergs and Loyd Loar made Gibsons and other old small builders, prices are at least a 2/3rd to half of what they were 15 years ago.

    Lots of new small builders are making great archtops today as well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  10. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    No doubt there are some good quality guitars being made today, however I haven't come across a new acoustic archtop guitar that sounded as good or better than a good vintage one. Starting out with good wood then, and now add 50 more years of drying out and being played. New guitars sound tighter and stiffer (player preference qualities for sure), but I'd take a vintage one that hasn't rode too hard usually in a side by side.

    You can find a good vintage archtop for not too much money, you just have to know what to look for. Of course there are expensive ones out there, but you can find something in a more modest budget.
     
  11. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    Right, but how many people today know what sound difference between ladder, x, and parallel bracing and how that relates to price, That a Recording King built in the 30s and 40s was most likely been built by Gibson. Which early 50s model Kays could as well been made by Gibson. Not all Kays, Orpheum, Silvertones, S.S. Stewarts, Regals, etc. are the same. A buyer must do their research.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  12. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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  13. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    You're right about that, but to me that is part of the fun with these guitars. In fact, I'm pretty certain that the solid kerfing makes a noticeable difference.

    upload_2019-8-14_9-9-1.jpeg

    I've played a few guitars (older) that had solid kerfing and they had a stronger wood tone. Of course it could have been that those guitars were just great players, but I've talked to Jonathan Stout about this very thing he feels pretty strong that solid kerfing does add something. Like having a bridge foot shaped to the top and having a full solid contact vs an unshaped and not full solid contact. If that makes sense.
     
  14. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, definitely. It's part of that magic of finding that balance of solid rigid construction to hold up that arch to those 13/14 strings and create projection and at the same time creating the best conditions to allow the top to vibrate. IMO archtop building is the highest form of guitar making. The builder is balance competing requirements.
     
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  15. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    AG95 IBANEZ 2017 - 02.jpg

    Ibanez AG95 ...no regrets! My only guitar with flatwounds.
     
  16. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Super 58's they put in some of their nicer guitars can actually sound pretty good.
     
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  17. Saxonbowman

    Saxonbowman TDPRI Member

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    I picked up this nearly new Godin about a year ago. It plays and sounds great!

    Godin.jpg

    Not loud acoustically but nice to play unplugged at home.
     
  18. stonge

    stonge TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    It's actually a 1950 L7 with the McCarty pickup, which has a 1/8" output plug and I've never plugged it in. It sounds great acoustically, and is my "Sunday morning sitting on the couch with a coffee trying to play music" guitar.
     
  19. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    WIN_20190816_23_14_11_Pro.jpg Just picked up a ES330:
     
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  20. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    My favourite sort of guitar.
     
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