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-   -   Comparing high end Foreign Archtops (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=594027)

SuperB23 09-30-2020 02:47 PM

Comparing high end Foreign Archtops
 
I'm curious has anyone compared the higher end acoustic archtops from The Loar like the LH-600 and LH-700 models with the Eastman equivalent fully carved acoustic Archtop guitars?

Is there anything else in that $1200-2000 price range worth considering?

Silly Moustache 09-30-2020 02:58 PM

My first archtop was a Harmony - US build, then a vintage Gibson - so both "foreign" to me.
My second was an Eastman wich was superb, but I ordered it with the "classic" finish which I dislikes and a floating pick-up which was a whim which I didn't care for.

Then I got a Loar, didn't care for it, got another, sent it back.

Bought another Eastman - an AR 805. Love it!


SuperB23 10-09-2020 09:10 AM

Thanks for this hands on info. I enjoyed your video of the Santa Cruz RS. I have one of those that I really love!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silly Moustache (Post 6512162)
My first archtop was a Harmony - US build, then a vintage Gibson - so both "foreign" to me.
My second was an Eastman wich was superb, but I ordered it with the "classic" finish which I dislikes and a floating pick-up which was a whim which I didn't care for.

Then I got a Loar, didn't care for it, got another, sent it back.

Bought another Eastman - an AR 805. Love it!



OKCtodd71 10-17-2020 01:56 PM

A used Eastman AR805(CE) or 905 will be about the wisest short money you'll ever spend.

hanknc 10-23-2020 05:56 PM

I play in two Big Band style jazz orchestras and am a Loar 600 player.

You just cannot beat that sound for Big Band rhythm. Parallel bracing!

I paid $600 for mine used.

Are there more nicely made arch top acoustics out there? Yep! Do they sound like an old Gibson?

Mine even smells like an old Gibson.

Steve DeRosa 10-24-2020 08:29 AM

If you're after that classic Jazz Age tone and you're OK with the period-correct thick V-neck, get a Loar LH-600/LH-700...

If you're looking for a more modern-sounding, easier-playing option, Eastman is the way to go...

I've played a few MIJ non-cutaway Gretsch Synchro 400's that were excellent, and one that was truly amazing - shame they discontinued them in favor of the New Yorker... :sick:

The Epiphone Masterbilt line was neither fish nor fowl, and a total flop on the market...

On the domestic front there's talk of a reasonably-priced archtop line from Taylor, including a Gypsy guitar based on the -14ce template - should be interesting to see where they fall on the tonal spectrum...

I'll just wait a while to see if the long-rumored, all-carved New York-style Epis ever make it to production...

icuker 10-25-2020 02:50 AM

Hey, Steve, interesting development at TaylorGuitars if it follows through. Is there a site that talks about this?

Steve DeRosa 10-25-2020 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by icuker (Post 6532791)
Hey, Steve, interesting development at TaylorGuitars if it follows through. Is there a site that talks about this?

There was something mentioned in passing on the General Acoustic subforum not too long ago (within the past couple months), haven't heard anything since though...

drive-south 10-30-2020 08:41 PM

Another contender is Peerless, made in Korea. They built some of the best Epiphones in the last 30 years.

Ray175 10-31-2020 01:56 AM

Check out guitars made by Mr Wu in China.

http://www.yolandateam.com/sdp/15949...6288652/0.html

He worked for Eastman before going solo some years ago. Excellent instruments using hand-carved aged woods, and lots of posts over at jazzguitar.be. Tuners and electronics are not the best but that is quickly remedied once you have the guitar in your hands.

mefoolonhill 10-31-2020 11:41 AM

Loar archtops
 
The #600 and #700 Loars are essentially the same guitar, with cosmetic differences. The #700 is a bit more fancy (bound peghead, gold tuners, etc.) They are both all-solid, hand carved top & back. A few years ago I got lucky and found an all-black finish #600 for $500 bucks. Put a DeArmond repro pickup on it and it's now my favorite instrument, sounds great. Also has a really nice soft 'V' neck profile, and a 1.75 nut width. That guitar and a Fishman Loudbox Mini amp cost me a grand total of $850. Couldn't be happier.

ballynally 11-27-2020 11:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa (Post 6532017)

I've played a few MIJ non-cutaway Gretsch Synchro 400's that were excellent, and one that was truly amazing - shame they discontinued them in favor of the New Yorker... :sick:

The Epiphone Masterbilt line was neither fish nor fowl, and a total flop on the market...

I'll just wait a while to see if the long-rumored, all-carved New York-style Epis ever make it to production...

I concur. I also played a Gretsch Synchro 400, borrowed from a friend and it WAS nice. Just felt right.
Then my eye caught the New Yorker. Ouch. I couldnt believe how flimsy it was. Very disappointing. The Masterbilt line is just meh to me.

The Eastman w mahogany b&s i havent played. They seem too shallow to me (as in non deep).
Im still eyeing out for a Kalamazoo KG21 or 22.
That's about right. I have a flattop K14 looking for a brother..

SuperB23 11-27-2020 06:36 PM

I actually ended up buying a early 90s Gretsch G400c in natural. It has a Benedetto pickup installed on the pick guard with the volume and tone knobs on the pick guard too. Kind of interesting it was originally owned by Bill Pettaway of Milli Vanilli, Missy Elliott and Snoop Dogg fame.

Its a ton of bang for the buck!! I really like the MIJ Gretsch guitars.


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