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RJVB 11-06-2021 05:15 AM

Looking for used acoustic (+ electric) archtop - LH650 or AR805
I've caught the WTB virus again...

I'm looking around for used archtops in the <1500 class, intended for mostly fingerpicking and almost exclusively acoustic playing. I'll take a floating pickup for the in-case-I-might-join-a-band scenario though ;)

Thing is, I've never played archtops beyond a late 1940s low-end probably all-laminate German instrument in bad shape, which sounds just good enough to have given me the aforementioned virus. I planned to go check out a good-looking Loar LH650 this week, but the owner decided to keep her after we finally had a meet set up, so I'm still none the wiser.

I've located another one, with a less attractive back, higher asking price and even further away from me, so I'd have to buy it unseen. Not really comfortable with that as the seller doesn't play himself. And I've begun to pick up on the fact that I might prefer an Eastman, probably an older AR805.

Let me rephrase that: the Eastman is probably a safer bet to buy untried, both in terms of constant build quality but also in terms of acoustic sound and playability. It seems there's a better chance it'll sound good with my current string favourite (TI Plectrum AC111, which I use on my similar-sized mini-jumbo). Having said that, in a "blind" comparison of 2 otherwise identical sibling L5 copies by Cranmer Guitars I actually prefer the sound of the parallel-braced instrument...

I've been looking for used AR805s. The *ce's that still have the floating pickup are either priced way too high (over 2000) except one which is just within my budget but does have a nasty looking bit of damage to the back (could be more than just the finish) and is in Japan so I'd be looking at 350 shipping.

FWIW, I don't consider the non-cutaway Loars (LH600/700) because of their neck profile, but might consider the uncut AR805 as long as it doesn't have a fixed pickup (or pots in the top).

In hope it's not a rule violation: I'd be grateful for pointers to sites or ads that I overlooked! I'm in France, so a buy inside the EU would be preferable for me.

mr. beaumont 11-09-2021 08:26 AM

TI plectrums may be too short for an archtop. You may find the silk wraps extend past the nut.

RJVB 11-09-2021 11:37 AM

That'd be a bummer, but one that should be overcome'able ... someone out there in aliXP land must have invented the string extension and if not, there's always my trusty "double fisherman's knot" ;)

You're right though, I've noticed a similar nuisance with some of their other strings when I wanted to put them on my resonator - for exactly the same reason of course.

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