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Old 12-25-2020, 10:44 PM
JoeYouDon't JoeYouDon't is offline
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Join Date: May 2019
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 58

Originally Posted by Tuba Mike View Post
In a somewhat related topic: Do any of you put round strings on your archtop? I hate the feel of the flat strings but love the sound of the archtop acoustic guitars. If I were to get an archtop I would want round strings on it.
What's the tone that's in your mind when you're thinking of archtop acoustic guitars? That could help steer the direction of string choice -- winding, gauge, nickel vs phosphor vs 80/20, etc.

Also could steer direction of the type of acoustic archtop: laminate or solid/carved, lower bout size -- 15/16/17/18", bracing - X or parallel, etc.

I dipped my toes in with the Kalamazoo KG-21, which is a pressed spruce top with mahogany b/s, X-braced, and L-00 sized. It's bright and very midrange focused. I tried flatwounds on it first, which was immediately clear to be a mistake. I've tried Monels (Martin Retros, 12s and LJ signature), nickel bronze, 80/20, and phosphor. Each of those had appeal, but the phosphor are the most versatile and what really fits to my ear.

It really shines on old timey and fiddle tunes, and can get me close enough to Dave Rawlings territory. But, it doesn't really sound right doing chord melody or anything too traditionally jazz sounding, which is what I was initially thinking of using it for.

Luckily I was able to snag an Epiphone Emperor which serves as the ying to Kalamazoo's yang. Huge 18", carved spruce/maple, and parallel braced. This really shines with nickel bronze.

Apologies for rambling, but point being that acoustic archtops have a multitude of shapes, sizes, and tones -- and can be quite moreish! Hope you (and OP) find what you're looking for!
2016 Waterloo WL-K
2002 Santa Cruz D/PW
1997 Ovation Collector's Edition
1974 Conn F25
1941 Epiphone Emperor
1939 Kalamazoo KG-21

2006 Fender Stratocaster Classic 50s MIM
2005 Fender Telecaster Standard MIM
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