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  #1  
Old 01-29-2020, 02:02 PM
MJScott MJScott is offline
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Default Godin vs Epiphone vs The Loar vs ???

What archtop in your opinion would be best for an introductory Jazz guitar for someone with relatively small hands?

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Last edited by MJScott; 01-29-2020 at 02:03 PM. Reason: Omission
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Old 01-29-2020, 02:39 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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"jazz guitar."


That can mean different things...acoustic archtop or plugging in? That will affect my answer.
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Old 01-29-2020, 03:19 PM
MJScott MJScott is offline
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Acoustic. Doubt I would play publicly-at least for quite a while. Mostly chord melody stuff. I have an Ovation Elite. Would that suffice?
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Old 01-29-2020, 04:05 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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So I'm never one to talk somebody out of a guitar, but that Ovation Elite is a great acoustic jazz chord melody guitar.

The all acoustic Loars are the best sounding of the guitars you mentioned, but they would not be my first choice for someone with small hands. Big ol V necks on those.

The Godins are great, especially the one pickup Kingpin. The all acoustic 5th Avenue is very well built and comfortable, but it's a small laminate box and it just doesn't make much sound. Its pleasant though, and they're not making them anymore, so you might find a real deal out there somewhere.

The recent Epiphone acoustic archtop aren't much to talk about, imho.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:52 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
...The all acoustic Loars are the best sounding of the guitars you mentioned, but they would not be my first choice for someone with small hands. Big ol V necks on those...
Here's something that should be right up your alley - 1-3/4" neck but fairly comfortable (FYI I also prefer slimmer necks), sweet mellow tone that works well with chord-melody (thanks to the mahogany sides/back), and the price is definitely right for an all-solid/all-carved jazzbox in that condition:

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Ea...r-115954046.gc
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:48 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
Here's something that should be right up your alley - 1-3/4" neck but fairly comfortable (FYI I also prefer slimmer necks), sweet mellow tone that works well with chord-melody (thanks to the mahogany sides/back), and the price is definitely right for an all-solid/all-carved jazzbox in that condition:

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Ea...r-115954046.gc
Whoa, OP, pounce on this.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:19 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
Here's something that should be right up your alley - 1-3/4" neck but fairly comfortable (FYI I also prefer slimmer necks), sweet mellow tone that works well with chord-melody (thanks to the mahogany sides/back), and the price is definitely right for an all-solid/all-carved jazzbox in that condition:

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Ea...r-115954046.gc
That's pretty much the guitar I have (mine started out as an Eastman MDC 805 mandocello, but I converted it to a 6 string guitar). I love it. New they're almost $2,000. A definite better deal than anything I've seen lately.
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:45 AM
paddybrumson paddybrumson is offline
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I'll agree with the thoughts of everyone, having owned a sample of all three options. The Eastmans have the most going for them in all aspects, quality, sound and play-ability. The acoustic Godin 5th Ave. is an easy to play, well built and fun guitar, but as stated, has a limited voice. Unfortunately, the Epiphones got us all excited when the debuted and quickly disappointed when we actually got our hands on them. They looked the part but were over-built, heavy and lacked a convincing sound acoustically and required a different pickup to work plugged in. There's always the vintage route if you can find a solid wood example in decent shape for a reasonable price, but it takes a practiced eye to evaluate the condition of an older archtop. Sorry there isn't a clear cut choice.
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Old 01-30-2020, 04:12 PM
MJScott MJScott is offline
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Thanks all! I’m going to forge ahead on the Ovation for a while and if I make decent progress then I’ll revisit the archtop issue. With my old stiff hands I can either go 1.75” nut/short scale or 1 11/16 and standard scale. The Ovation fits my hand very well. I’m mainly a country blues finger picker so this is a bit of a “broaden your horizons” thing.
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2020, 11:39 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJScott View Post
...I’m going to forge ahead on the Ovation for a while and if I make decent progress then I’ll revisit the archtop issue...
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
Whoa, OP, pounce on this.
Once in a while an opportunity comes along that you're not likely to see again in your lifetime (I still regret not jumping on the dead-mint one-owner '43 Epiphone Emperor - with a never-opened original package of spare strings in the case pocket - that sold within 48 hours of its arrival at MandoBros about 30 years ago)...

If I hadn't recently shelled out a not-inconsequential sum for my wife's new Guild Starfire 12-string, with requisite accessories - and will be investing in some needed supplemental stage equipment within the next few weeks (speaker cabs, a mid-powered combo amp for the aforementioned Guild, maybe a mid-powered tube head) - you'd be reading my Eastman AR605 NGD right now...

Jeff's right as usual when it comes to matters of this type: if there's any possible way you can scrounge up the bucks for this little 16" sweetie, do it before someone else does - sometimes a new instrument is exactly what you need to jumpstart your progress...
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:17 PM
d.loseth d.loseth is offline
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I have an all acoustic Godin 5th Avenue, quiet guitar but was my main guitar for like 10 years, played that poor thing hard. I think the neck is sinking or something, but I love that dang guitar, fun one, I like to play folk style on it. I love the short scale.
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2020, 06:15 PM
Prof_Stack Prof_Stack is offline
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The Godin 5th avenue is a decent and cheap used guitar these days. Put 13's on it and use a thick pick and perhaps raise the string height via the bridge adjusters.

I saw a 5th Avenue with twin pickups on FB recently for $325. Steal of a deal.
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Old 02-21-2020, 09:19 AM
mot mot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof_Stack View Post
The Godin 5th avenue is a decent and cheap used guitar these days. Put 13's on it and use a thick pick and perhaps raise the string height via the bridge adjusters.
What's the definition of thick? I should also ask about material. I tried 3mm picks that I thought were horrible. They were hard and brittle feeling picks. Currently my favorite is a 1.5mm Dunlop PrimeTone Triangle Pick for my "jazz" guitar and it works well for my other guitars. It may be the material, but the 3mm plastic picks and another 2mm TUSQ pick I recently tried takes away all those velvet tones I can get with the 1.5mm.

The trick I haven't mastered yet is palming a triangle pick so I can play continuously between finger picking and flat picking. I'll get there, but so far I drop it or can't get it back to the right finger position quickly enough. I am about 80% with a regular pick, so maybe I should just hone that skill. Any suggestions? Maybe I should try a thumb pick of the right material to obviate this issue, but I haven't found any I like yet.

PS I was in Pittsburgh when this thread first started and almost took a little drive over to a nearby GC, but my wife was there to keep me on the straight and narrow. I went back home empty handed of course. It looks like the guitar is still for sale but has moved south since then.
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  #14  
Old 02-21-2020, 09:36 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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I think if you're just bashing out rhtyhm, thick picks (3mm and up) are fine, but for more intricate playing, chord melody, single note lines, I find the perfect thickness to be in the 1.5 to 2mm range.

Have you tried D'Andrea Pro-Plecs? They're my favorite, and not clicky like those primetones (which I know people like, but I think are awful!)

I also really like the black, 2mm Dunlops with the alligator on them for acoustic archtop. They make a purple in 1.5mm that I think folks really like too.
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  #15  
Old 02-21-2020, 10:05 AM
keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
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Late to this conversation, but I've played a couple of the Ibanez AG85/6-AG95 models that I thought were really nice guitars. Smaller body than the AF series felt good to me. I set up one with the half-round 12s from D'Addario and they felt and sounded really good. They're really affordable for a decently made Ibanez.
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