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  #1  
Old 01-31-2018, 06:14 PM
Quickstep192 Quickstep192 is offline
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Default Budget Archtop recommendations?

I've been invited to play in a gig with a friend. One of the songs sounds like it should include an arch top. Can anyone recommend an archtop under $1,000?
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Old 01-31-2018, 06:35 PM
Prof_Stack Prof_Stack is offline
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Godin Fifth Avenue will get you three option models: 0, 1, or 2 pickups.

Reverb.com has other models, too.
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Old 01-31-2018, 06:46 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Godin 5th Avenue acoustic - street price ~$550 - and if you need plugged-in capability there's the single P-90 Kingpin version for ~$100 more. If you've ever played a Seagull you'll find a lot to like - same neck/body size as their mini-jumbos, with the usual attention to QC and playability; only caveat here is that you'll need to set them up with heavier strings from the get-go - archtops need more string tension to properly drive the top, and unless you're going to play Gypsy jazz exclusively the factory-installed 12's (11's on the electric version TMK) aren't going to cut it. I'd suggest a set of Martin Retro MM13 monels: enough tension to get some real tone but with a "slinkier" feel than PB mediums, and magnetic so they'll work with a pickup - and since these were the go-to string for many '30s/40s players you'll get a real vintage vibe as well. If you need something more electric there's the Godin CW II, a single-cut twin P-90 jazzbox in the mold of the early-50's ES-175/Epiphone Zephyr; although it'll give you classic jazz tone in spades - TMK Tony Bennett's guitarist has been using one on tour for a couple years now - it's also versatile enough to cover anything short of death metal, and might be a good choice if you're going to be plugged-in all the time...
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:18 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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I'm interested to know what you mean by "sounds like it needs an archtop?" Smoky jazz solo lines? Freddie Green style rhythm? Mother Maybelle pickin? Dave Rawlings fills?

Although, no matter what you answer...the varieties of Fifth Avenue will do ya well.
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:47 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
I'm interested to know what you mean by "sounds like it needs an archtop?"
When we were doing our last hired-gun CCM/P&W church gig my wife - who can't stand archtops (been working on her for years ) - said exactly the same thing during one song...

I've loved/played them all my life - couldn't see where she was coming from here...

She brought my Godin CW II and Bugera V22 to the next rehearsal, and happily plugged in - turns out she was right...

I guess the answer is "you know it when you hear it"...
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:50 PM
jwguitar jwguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep192 View Post
I've been invited to play in a gig with a friend. One of the songs sounds like it should include an arch top. Can anyone recommend an archtop under $1,000?
I like the Epiphone Joe Pass guitars. They give you a lot of guitar for your money.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:40 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by jwguitar View Post
I like the Epiphone Joe Pass guitars. They give you a lot of guitar for your money.
+1, but look for one of the Korean-built models from the '90s/early-2K's - the later Chinese/Indonesian versions changed the neck profile (and not for the better), and QC is nowhere near as good...
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:46 AM
barricwiley barricwiley is offline
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Where did the op go?
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:39 PM
jwguitar jwguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
+1, but look for one of the Korean-built models from the '90s/early-2K's - the later Chinese/Indonesian versions changed the neck profile (and not for the better), and QC is nowhere near as good...
Actually if you get an Indonesian one those are good the Chinese qc on the other hand is not as much. Ive had a few Korean built guitars from that time period and to be honest I found that they all had quality issues such as fret work and level frets. The hardware they use now is better (grover tuners as opposed to generic tuners). Korean guitars really only got good in the past 10 years or so with some exceptions. Indonesia is known for their woodworking. More than likely they are built in the Cort factory and if you look up a video of their manufacturing techniques their factories put Gibson's factory to shame. They do have cheaper labor than Korea but they also make a great guitar. China, with the exception of some Eastman guitars, I have not been impressed with their quality. As for neck profiles that's something that everyone has a different opinion on.
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