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  #16  
Old 01-03-2017, 12:06 PM
PistolPete PistolPete is offline
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If I was playing an A-150 solo I'd probably go for a 5W tube amp. Something I could get a nice cranked-up clean sound from without deafening everyone. I have an Epiphone Valve Jr, but they've been long discontinued & I'm told the newer generation of small valve amps is better. I used an old 50s or 60s 1W Silvertone owned by the studio on my last album, which was pleasing filthy sounding.

Another option would be to run the signal into the PA via something like one of the Boss Fender Amp pedals or the direct out of a Pignose.

That said, my current archtop for blues set up is a Gibson L-50 & an instrument mic.
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  #17  
Old 01-04-2017, 10:50 AM
blue blue is offline
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Originally Posted by PistolPete View Post
If I was playing an A-150 solo I'd probably go for a 5W tube amp. Something I could get a nice cranked-up clean sound from without deafening everyone. I have an Epiphone Valve Jr, but they've been long discontinued & I'm told the newer generation of small valve amps is better. I used an old 50s or 60s 1W Silvertone owned by the studio on my last album, which was pleasing filthy sounding.

Another option would be to run the signal into the PA via something like one of the Boss Fender Amp pedals or the direct out of a Pignose.

That said, my current archtop for blues set up is a Gibson L-50 & an instrument mic.
Yeah. I honestly don't think there anything wrong with your epi. But I testdrove things like the Bugera V5 ($200 full retail price) and the VHT special 6 (double the Bugera's price but "handwired"). They really are nice.
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  #18  
Old 01-04-2017, 02:52 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by PistolPete View Post
...That said, my current archtop for blues set up is a Gibson L-50 & an instrument mic.
You da man...
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  #19  
Old 01-04-2017, 04:44 PM
Hot Vibrato Hot Vibrato is offline
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You can blues on anything. That said, I think there's probably nothing worse than a floating pickup archtop for playing at any volume. The feedback could easily be an issue playing to 50-100 people.
I've done way more gigs than I can count using an archtop with a floating pickup. While feedback can be an issue, I've not had too much trouble. It's certainly no worse than an amplified flat top. However, once you get past a certain stage volume, an acoustic archtop with a floating pickup becomes the wrong tool for the job. But if you're playing drummerless, or with a tasteful drummer at a reasonable stage volume, an archtop with a magnetic pickup can be magic. Blues sounds great on an archtop.

You can cut down on feedback by orienting your rig so that your body is between the guitar and the amp (behind and to the right). Also, avoid being near the bass amp or subwoofer, or your archtop will howl.
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  #20  
Old 01-05-2017, 01:55 AM
PistolPete PistolPete is offline
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You da man...
Ummm...thanks....

I'm not entirely sure if that's sarcasm or not?
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  #21  
Old 01-05-2017, 06:32 AM
Hot Vibrato Hot Vibrato is offline
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That said, my current archtop for blues set up is a Gibson L-50 & an instrument mic.
This is a good option as long as stage volume is kept at a reasonably low level. Otherwise, a magnetic pickup (preferably through a tube amp) works well for blues.

What does NOT work well for blues is a modern piezo pickup system. That sound rubs me the wrong way anyway, but in the context of a traditional style of music (like blues), it's like nails on a chalkboard.
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  #22  
Old 01-05-2017, 08:59 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Ummm...thanks....

I'm not entirely sure if that's sarcasm or not?
See my post (#3) above - unquestionably a compliment...
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  #23  
Old 01-06-2017, 04:02 AM
PistolPete PistolPete is offline
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See my post (#3) above - unquestionably a compliment...

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  #24  
Old 01-07-2017, 07:39 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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If you have what Rev. Gary Davis called a sporting right hand it does not matter much what guitar you play or what amp you plug into. Then again, if you do not have that right hand I guess it also does not matter. Memphis Minnie did just fine with a National New Yorker and something akin to a GE amp. The sound was so distorted you could not hear the individual notes but according to Langston Hughes that beat pushed right through and got everyone up dancing.

I have two archtops in the house - a 1930s Kay Kraft round soundhole and an early 1950s Epiphone Triumph Regent. When I plug in I use Dearmond pickups and an early 1960s Standel tube amp with a 15" JBL in it. I play da bluz on these not because they are particularly well suited for this or that type of music but because I like the feel and the sound. Best thing about playing blues is no special gear needed.
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  #25  
Old 01-09-2017, 12:11 PM
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Hmm.. there are many sounds and styles. There's a towering Marshall stack driven by a solid body. There's a crappy flat top under a pocket knife slide. And everything in between.

IMHO, if you're playing with a drummer and bass player, you don't play acoustic or with a mic. Unless you're a star and big draw, your sound, technique, and hassle factor will ensure they won't want to play with you for long.

If you're playing solo there's the question of what style you're drawn to. Personally I can do without that scratchy old sound. It was a financial and technological constraint the artists lived with. Might be authentic, but that's not my demographic or taste. Given a choice, I want to sound like Wes Montgomery playing blues.. that's when I play a fixed humbucker archtop through a Rivera era Fender Concert with a EV speaker in it. Sometimes I just like the acoustic sound of my oval hole with a Sunrise through a Grace Felix / Schertler speaker. Tone is a very personal business when it comes to something as broad as 'blues'.
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  #26  
Old 01-12-2017, 11:11 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is online now
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As folks have said--and I'll agree--there's a lot of territory labeled blues and you can play blues on anything. I get the sense you are starting out, figuring it out. Do you have some artists whose sound you're aiming to get in the neighborhood of?

Since we don't know, and I guess it's possible you don't yet know, what sound you'll end up aiming for, I'd suggest a Fender Mustang III amp. It's loud enough, has a 12" speaker that can handle decent low end thump if that's your thing, has a nice direct out, and can do a good job of emulating a number of amps so you can explore your sound. If you hook it up to a computer there are a number of nice "blues" user presets available for download into the amp. If you try one out, skip to the highest numbered presets first where they have "plug straight in" non-effect loaded amp models.

The Super Champ XD is a similar idea, but it's a lower volume amp (particularly if you want some clean volume) and doesn't have as much lower end thump if you are going to be thumbing the bass strings.

I have a circa 2000 DeArmond X175 (big, deep archtop with modern humbuckers) and an old Harmony or Kay slimline archtop with the speedbump pickup. I string the DeArmond with TI flats and go for the '50s/early '60 jazz sound. I string the slimline with nickel electric guitar lights for a more Chicago/Maxwell Street vibe. You could probably go either way with the X150.
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  #27  
Old 01-12-2017, 12:30 PM
tonys145 tonys145 is offline
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Guild hollowbodies are great guitars and I'm sure yours will get the job done with a good setup with decent strings (10s or 11s -- something substantial but not piano wire). The amp is really a hindrance, even a decent solid state guitar amp will sound better than that Rumble for blues. I saw an old 80s-era Peavey Backstage Plus for $50 bucks in a store the other day and was tempted to get it, but I don't need it. It's a small amp with a 12" speaker and reverb plus the EQ and drive are designed for electric guitar. You could find something like that in a pawn shop or on Craig's List cheap. If you're playing solo or duo in a small room that's all the amp you'll need. Of course if you have the cash a vintage Vibro Champ would also be a cool amp for this. Your post sounds like you will not be playing with a drummer so you have a lot of flexibility in what you get amp-wise. A used Super Champ or Roland Cube would also work fine. Later you can upgrade to something fancier if you like.

Sounds like a fun idea, how's it going?
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  #28  
Old 01-18-2017, 03:02 PM
stephen mills stephen mills is offline
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Smile archtop blues

[Hi 'K' and all you strummers and pluckers

I have a little experience in this matter that hopefully may help you., and so do many others I should say.
During the 60's I played with Sonny boy Williamson, Long John Baldry, Joan Bias, Julie fleix and J. Hendrex. These are just names on a day and don't eally matter but what is important is how one had to play to 'make that mix' for a one off and if you got that wrong you were back on the hog farm!!
At the time I had a 1952 Archtop that was dull. I had no idea why. I went to a music shop ( think about the date!!) and asked if my strings could/would make a difference to the tone of my guitar-- good question.
YES THEY WILL/COULD/WOULD, so I changed the strings that were 20/30 yrears old and the best you will ever fit ( factory string s are the best) and the change was quite extraordinary.
SO/SO WHAT. With the type os music you wish to play you must always be the 'undertone' because that's what you are. So you need to radically change the tone of your guitar.
Here in Europe, guitarists generally do not like the Gibson because it has become a mark, but if you read comments on this site the quality has changed hugely, don't be sucked in.
The 'key' about playing with a singer is PACE. You need to be one millie sec behind the singer to make it work. if you were here by the time you left you will have it. Remember the singer always starts. you follow as the last reath leaves the body.
You can practice this.

I would like to say to all the readers of this extraordinary site, always sing or hum the tune you are playing in that way you will find the pace --THE PACE
if you need more help
write to me on the site I could just be able to help

Stephen
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  #29  
Old 01-22-2017, 07:14 PM
k_russell k_russell is offline
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Thanks for all the input folks. Somehow I think that no matter what gear/setup that I decide to use, I will sound like me singing and playing something that sounds like blues.

I have a "captive" audience, to experiment on, at a B&B in Vermont, in a few weeks. I will keep your ideas in mind as I plan this out.

Thanks again
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