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-   -   Show Your Archtop Some Love! (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=529573)

Guest 728 11-27-2018 05:21 PM

Show Your Archtop Some Love!
 
Whether you've got a vintage heirloom or a less expensive workhorse, let's see your archtops and hear about how you use them!

Here's my Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin, resting up between takes. I bought a Tune-O-Matic bridge for when I use an unwound G-string; otherwise I use the stock TUSQ version. The single P-90 is sublime -- it can nail the rolled-off-trebles jazz tone and some lowdown greazy blues grit with equal aplomb.

https://i.imgur.com/ozErL1Dl.jpg

Not sure why, but the archtop's F-hole design is visually very appealing to me -- the tone is just icing on the cake!

Let's see yours!

RichardP 11-27-2018 06:22 PM

I would show you mine but it is on back order. My fifth avenue kingpin ii should be here by Christmas. First one. Looking forward to it.

mr. beaumont 11-27-2018 07:01 PM



Heritage 575



Godin Kingpin



1950's Kay

Loves me some archtop!

zmf 11-27-2018 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr. beaumont (Post 5902357)

Loves me some archtop!

Wow. How do I get to be an archtop kinda guy? If, at the moment, I am a Doc Watson/John Hurt/John Fahey kinda guy?

Should I do it in another life?

mr. beaumont 11-27-2018 08:12 PM

No! Sign up now.

For the record, I love Doc and Fahey too.

Steve DeRosa 11-27-2018 08:25 PM

Been playing archtops since 1962 - not set up for pics but here are some of the more memorable ones that have passed through my hands:
  • Harmony student model: the one with the big treble clef stencil on the peghead, painted "binding," and faux grain on the body - rented from the music school and quickly replaced, took some of my first lessons on this one
  • Harmony Broadway: first guitar I owned, lasted me until my first year of college when the ravages of the old Black Diamond strings finally took their toll on the non-adjustable neck and questionable dovetail joint
  • Gretsch 6117 Double Anniversary: bought brand-new in May 1964 from the old Silver & Horland store on Lower Manhattan's Park Row and still in my stable, served as my all-purpose electric through the late-70's - presently in semi-retirement until I can get the characteristic decomposing binding issues taken care of
  • 1946 Epiphone Blackstone: I was always drawn to the old New York Epis ever since I saw them hanging in the 14th Street (Manhattan) pawnshop windows as a kid (still am), and at $350 w/OHSC in '82 it was the first one I owned and could afford on my then-limited income - never installed a pickup, used it for comping and vocal accompaniment with the doo-wop group I sang with a couple years later until I traded it toward the next entry
  • 1947 Gibson L-7: one of the first white-label A-series postwar instruments (very low three-digit serial number), this one appeared to have been made from a leftover prewar body fitted with a postwar top (the differing plate recurve patterns are distinctive and recognizable to an experienced archtop aficionado) which seemed to limit its volume capabilities (then again, I was probably spoiled by the characteristic Epiphone cutting power of the Blackstone) - recorded well on bluesy solo work and functioned nicely for American Songbook ballad accompaniment, but I found it rather limited/limiting compared to what I knew a good 17" Gibson could do and sold it about 15 years ago
  • Carlo Robelli ES-450: made by Peerless in the early-2K's for Sam Ash, this big blonde pre-Switchmaster ES-5 knockoff (3 P-90's, 3 volumes/master tone) that I nicknamed "Elvis" became my electric jazz/blues/rockabilly box for a decade - refitted it with a StewMac rosewood bridge (for tone) and a trapeze tailpiece (when the Bigsby B700 started to tear up the top), still use it on occasion when I want that Bop-era 17" body "thump"
  • Godin 5th Avenue acoustic: just a fun little 16" archtop in the mold of the mid-1900's Harmony and Kay student guitars, this one's made to a standard of quality/playability the old boxes couldn't begin to approach (and sounds like a period instrument with Martin Monel mediums) - not the most refined tone in the archtop world but it purrs, it barks, I can fingerpick it credibly (responds like a 000 with a more "forward" midrange), and my kids found it a total hoot when I used it to teach
  • Godin CW II: everything you need and nothing you don't: two P-90's, a cutaway, volume/tone/PU selector switch, and tone for days, this little blonde jazzbox will cover every iconic archtop tone of the last seven decades as well as producing a few all its own - at just a tick over five pounds (nearly three pounds lighter than the Robelli) it's my go-to for jazz/blues/rockabilly, backup for my P-90 Les Paul in low-/medium-volume environments, and with its reduced acoustic output (but surprisingly rich unplugged tone) it's also my late-night couch guitar
Um, not for nuthin', but why isn't this thread on the Archtop suboforum...? :confused:

Guest 728 11-27-2018 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa (Post 5902415)
Um, not for nuthin', but why isn't this thread on the Archtop suboforum...? :confused:

Well, derp -- 'cause I didn't realize there was one! Mods, feel free to move it!

beatcomber 11-27-2018 09:22 PM

double post

beatcomber 11-27-2018 09:24 PM

Here's my '64 Kay Speed Demon which, despite being a thinline electric guitar made of plywood, actually has a very strong acoustic voice. I think the rosewood bridge has a lot to do with that.

It's also my favorite electric guitar, I like it better than some much more valuable electrics that I own. The chunky, soft-V neck feels great!

https://i.imgur.com/GNRYuBo.jpg

beatcomber 11-27-2018 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr. beaumont (Post 5902357)


Heritage 575



Godin Kingpin



1950's Kay

Loves me some archtop!


Lovely. I wish I could play jazz.

Dadzmad 11-28-2018 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zmf (Post 5902398)
Wow. How do I get to be an archtop kinda guy? If, at the moment, I am a Doc Watson/John Hurt/John Fahey kinda guy?

Should I do it in another life?

I was too - the transition is seamless. I've got a Kingpin with a single neck P90 that has become my acoustic guitar, and served as the gateway drug for getting back into electric guitar after decades of playing a D size flat top. Some nickel round wound 0.13's will make a Kingpin just wake up. The unplugged Kingpin works well along with another player on a flat top. They have a different sound and blend together nicely.

Guest 728 11-28-2018 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dadzmad (Post 5902719)
I was too - the transition is seamless. I've got a Kingpin with a single neck P90 that ... served as the gateway drug for getting back into electric guitar after decades

Same here -- I had become so accustomed to the dimensions of an acoustic that solidbodies and semi-hollows just didn't feel right anymore. The Kingpin bridged the gap perfectly, and is now my only electric.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Dadzmad (Post 5902719)
Some nickel round wound 0.13's will make a Kingpin just wake up.

If you haven't tried it amplified with flatwounds, you should -- magical tone!

mr. beaumont 11-28-2018 09:14 AM

I keep one guitar with flatwounds now, and one with Monels (the Kingpin)

Flatwounds are the sound of the 50's, but if you want that Charlie Christian vibe, it's gotta be rounds!

(Early Jimmy Raney too)

Guest 728 11-28-2018 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr. beaumont (Post 5902758)
Flatwounds are the sound of the 50's

I get a more than passable "early British Invasion" tone from flatwounds, as well -- would be better on a Gretsch or Rickenbacker, of course!

stormin1155 11-28-2018 10:05 AM

This guitar was a gift from a friend. Here's the story behind it. It was built by two friends returning from WWII. It is made of butternut, which is sometimes referred to as white walnut. It has a unique shallow-bowl-shaped inner baffle. On the inside are the signatures of the two builders, the date (4/15/45), and some bible verses. The day my friend gave it to me was 4/15/18, exactly 73 years from the build date.

I use it as a "couch guitar" because it is comfortable to hold and play. It is not loud, and has a thin tone, so I doubt I will ever use it to perform.

https://i.ibb.co/NjPdWQp/archtop.jpg


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