looking at archtops

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by of this world, Sep 16, 2021.

  1. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Senior Stratmaster

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    I'll add something to what @fezz parka wrote above. "Jazz" is as broad as "rock". Rock encompasses Obituary, Foo Fighters as well as the Byrds and the Beatles. Jazz can go from Tuba Skinny to Kurt Rosenwinkel and all points in between and beyond including Bossa Nova…

    If you're playing trad and swing, and wanna do the 4/4 thing, you need a good acoustic archtop – no two ways about it. You might get away with a flat-top, but there's quite a few drawbacks. Same thing if you want to play chord melody in the style of the 20s and 30s masters (check out Matt Munisteri!).

    If you're playing electric solos in the swing and bop language, I would still argue that an archtop with a good single coil pickup (and the right amp) gets you that sound ("rich" cleans with juicy bass and articulate treble, short sustain). Listen to anything recorded by Barney in the early 50s or by the wonderful Remo Palmieri in the 40s (Dizzy Gillespie, "Groovin' High"). Not to mention Jimmy Raney, Chuck Wayne, Dick Garcia… Still, a tele might do the job admirably well – it was, after all, born for Western swing. And in the 60s most jazz player (but not Barney!) switched to humbucking-equipped archtops that were, even more than the ES-150s and ES-350s of yore, "electric guitars".

    For more modern styles of jazz (and I mean from Wes to today) all bets are off: it depends entirely on the sound you're going for. Mahavishnu-style fusion? A big fat Les Paul will do it… But note: archtops (especially if full hollow) still sound quite different from semis and solidbodies especially in terms of attack and decay, so it's not just the looks. We've had a long and elaborate thread on that just recently.
     
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  2. of this world

    of this world Senior Stratmaster

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    i built a Charlie Christian tribute tele-style in memorial of his too-short life and the Tele he never got to play... yeah it had a CC pickup. (a TK Smith CC, balanced with a Lollar Special T) - i gave it a rosey burst hand rubbed oil finish and called it The Rose Room.
     
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  3. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

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    The choice is tough. ultimately you'll find one, but maybe you need to be alittle more discerning in terms of body style and traditional/modern or if you can tolerate a centreblock or not...

    I played a white falcon the other day and it was a ringer. so much resonance. asking price was a lot more than I could reasonably justify, so it stayed put.
     
  4. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Blooze daddy Silver Member

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    So it's not "jazz". It's what sounds please the voices in your head.
     
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  5. stratocarlster

    stratocarlster Most Honored Senior Member

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    I concur with @RadioFM74 that an archtop in the affordable price range is likely to disappoint acoustically. My Epi Joe Pass is a joy to behold but it sounds crap unplugged and it's not my style plugged in either. So it hangs on the wall looking gorgeous :)
     
  6. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    And don't forget Rockabilly, certainly a fusion between Swing, Rock, and a little C&W and Jazz spice thrown in.
    I never got into the Stray Cats in the 80s... it just wasn't my look or sound, but I really warmed up to Brian Setzer about 10 years ago after seeing a few Rockabilly bands with my biker friends.
     
  7. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    Most Rockabillies didn't play hollow bodies. Teles. Strats. Les Pauls (Carl Perkins). Solid Gretsches.

    For every one Scotty Moore there were three Paul Burlison's. ,:)
     
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  8. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster

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    I want some kind of guitar that could do the stuff being discussed, but I draw the line at flat wounds. Erk. I will turn the tone knob down, thanks.
     
  9. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    Flat wounds on a fat body.

    ]
     
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  10. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster

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    Stop it!! Just stop it. Honestly that's one of the things I have liked best that I have heard from you.

    But, if I have a fat body and flats, it will be me playing them, not you... Soooooo, probably different.
     
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  11. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    I play flats for the reduced/eleminated finger squeaks. And because I never have to change them. LoL

    That's from a Purple Rain improv challenge here. One take one pass.
     
  12. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster

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    A lot of my tastes are driven by what the hell I can and can't hear...
     
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  13. Ferpie

    Ferpie Senior Stratmaster

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    0B528CB7-67F2-4468-ACFC-912FB8465B64.jpeg

    Ever heard of the Godin 5th Avenue?
     
  14. PonyB

    PonyB Strat-O-Master

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    I like the duller sound of flat wounds, and the softer attack.
    They didn't work out on my Telecaster but the old acoustic Hofner can really bark with flats.
     
  15. Packrat

    Packrat Strat-Talker

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    Not a typical archtop jazz guitar, but I did have this for a while. Fully hollow. I couldn't bond with the Guildsby trem. Westerly built Starfire lll.
    s-l1600.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
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  16. Archtops

    Archtops Strat-Talker

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    Here’s an Archtop I made.

    56378C19-F48C-494B-B1D6-8C1779C2BCD3.jpeg
    I had a NYL D’Angelico. Beautiful jazz box. Traded it for a Gretsch 6659TG.

    A42390DA-7518-4056-99A6-A38F2DAE9D2C.jpeg D7C8CDFB-446D-436E-BA86-5AE7895168C7.jpeg

    7F398FCB-A3C7-48D6-95FF-0ED0D21BA530.jpeg .
    To be honest as beautifully made as the D’Angelico was I much prefer my Two Gretsch Archtops.

    6EAB049E-EB73-4C20-9C94-1D5F6BB7C772.jpeg
     
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  17. stratocarlster

    stratocarlster Most Honored Senior Member

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    Lovely and great value. And the acoustic sound is decent too.
     
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  18. of this world

    of this world Senior Stratmaster

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  19. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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  20. CigBurn

    CigBurn Total Hack

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    Peeked into the thread to see if there has been any progress.. Switched over to FB to check a message and this pops up.

    Image3.jpg

    Sometimes I feel like, somebody's watching meeeeee. :)
     
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