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guitarwebguy 12-06-2019 07:35 PM

Suggestons please!
I've been playing guitar for a long time and started on a flat top, did the electric guitar rock and roll era, shifted back into the acoustic 12 string, dabbled in banjo and find myself wanting to explore jazz guitar. Acoustically I'm more comfortable with smaller sized guitars (ie: not a dread fan). I'm interested in getting an archtop for jazz (most of the time I expect I'll being plugged in). So I'd appreciate suggestions on what would be a guitar or brand to consider. I'd like to stay under $1,000, Looks are not important, I'm fine with laminate, new vs old is not important and semi-hollow vs hollow is not important. I prefer flattened C shape necks (too many years playing hagstrom guitars). Fit/feel/playability are at the top of my list. Thanks in advance

Steve DeRosa 12-06-2019 09:29 PM

IME a full-size 16" - or even a 17" - archtop handles very differently than its flattop equivalent as the body depth is significantly (as much as 2") less, so don't rule out a traditional hollow-body jazzbox until you've tried a few. That said, here's a couple bargains in the under-$1K bracket:

Several of us around here own the CW II and, given your background and requirements, it sounds like a good match as the weight/handling characteristics are virtually identical to the well-respected Seagull MJ models (TMK Tony Bennett's guitarist is still using one on tour - and I tend to believe that both he and his boss know a little something about tone); similarly, the Korean-made Guilds are also built to a high standard of tone/QC - this one's a steal at $799 - and if you put a set of flatwound strings on that X-175 and plug into a nice low-/mid-powered tube combo, it's an instant time warp back to Vegas '59 and the "Rat Pack" New Year's Eve show at the Flamingo... :cool:

gerardo1000 12-08-2019 08:57 AM

I am VERY happy with my The Loar all solid wood archtop with carved top. I paid less than $800.00 for it, brand new. (I think on Reverb). I previously had a D'Angelico. and a Godin 5th avenue. The Loar in my opinion is superior, and I like it also because of the wide nut width (1 3/4).

mawmow 12-08-2019 12:12 PM

I am an acoustic guy... came to archtop with a plain Godin 5th Avenue, I keep as a practice guitar and got a Loar LH-700.

Godin produces a bunch of differently electified (different pickups arrangements and matches) archtops
based on the 5th Avenue, including the Montreal line.

Loar produces many, but their higest, solid woods, are 600 and 700.
They have and electrified 650, but with V neck as I remember.
They were inspired from the Gibson L-4 designed by Loar !

Eastman AR 610 and AR 805 got good comments on this forum.

In addition, you can add a floating pickup to electrify any plain archtop.

LyleGorch 12-08-2019 12:45 PM

Get a used gibson es-175. A lot out there.

Spook 12-08-2019 02:54 PM

Used Gibson - well above the OP's target price
Loar - Thought these had a slight V neck? OP wants a flat C neck.

If you don't mind a 1.75" neck, used Eastman archtops are probably the best thing you can get around $1K. Not really a flat C but may feel more that way because of the nut width. You can get hand carved solid woods and they are beautiful instruments. These are good acoustic archtops as well as electric though maybe too bright sounding for some.

If you want to experiment for cheap, D'Angelico's have a great neck though it's a 'C' profile.. A new premier XL1 can be had for $400 on Musicians Friend SDOTD at times. You may have to touch up the frets and adjust a few things but if you believe the reviews they work fine. Especially if you plan to plug in anyway. You can check the overall feel and workmanship of Premier D'Angelico's at a Guitar Center. I have an Excel SS and it's actually a pretty good guitar though a step up from the Premier line in materials and price.

guitarwebguy 12-08-2019 06:05 PM

Thanks for the tip re: body depth, I appreciate knowing that, the CW II is a looker, looking forward to additional ideas from others as well - thanks

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