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  #1  
Old 02-18-2019, 09:49 AM
ozarkmac ozarkmac is offline
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Default Archtop for Blues

I am considering an archtop for its unique sound. I play mainly blues so I need something that can accommodate that genre.
If it's not amplified no problem, I can always install a pick-up with minimal intrusion of course.
Should I look for an older vintage guitar or just go ahead and buy a modern one?
Please suggest specific manufacturers and models if you have any?
Thanks for any advice!
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:04 AM
Bluemonk Bluemonk is offline
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You can play blues on any archtop. To suggest whether to buy vintage or new or what to consider, more info is needed. What kind of tone do you like? Warm, focused, strident? What is your budget? Aesthetic preferences? Etc., etc.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:11 AM
ozarkmac ozarkmac is offline
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Originally Posted by Bluemonk View Post
You can play blues on any archtop. To suggest whether to buy vintage or new or what to consider, more info is needed. What kind of tone do you like? Warm, focused, strident? What is your budget? Aesthetic preferences? Etc., etc.
Thanks for the reply. Warm, under 1k, appearance not important, I do not gig so I have nobody to impress other than myself, i mainly flat pick and more lead and chord mix than just chord. Please let me know any additional information I need to supply. Thanks!
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:13 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarkmac View Post
I am considering an archtop for its unique sound. I play mainly blues so I need something that can accommodate that genre.
If it's not amplified no problem, I can always install a pick-up with minimal intrusion of course.
Should I look for an older vintage guitar or just go ahead and buy a modern one?
Please suggest specific manufacturers and models if you have any?
Thanks for any advice!
Mac,
The Gibson archtops from the early to late 1930ís are plentiful and perfectly suited for the genre.

Look at L-30, L-37, L-50, L-75, L-4, and others. Many have flat backs and are close to L-00 size.

Happy hunting!

Howard
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:26 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Keep in mind, the acoustic sound of an arch top and the electric sound when a magnetic pickup is used is a night and day difference.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:45 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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To say "I play blues" is like saying "I'm going to have a drink". Water, bourbon, scotch, milk, the list is endless, and so is blues. I play a lot of blues, and almost always on acoustic something or other. Slide on a Dobro, jazz blues on my archtops. Real hard to play Muddy Waters, BB King or Stevie Ray V. on an acoustic, currently I do that on an electric solidbody. But obviously any electric archtop would be great for that too, if selected and set up appropriately. When I think of blues and archtop, the first thing I think of is old country blues, in the school of the old masters, and the aforementioned Gibsons would be great as would many Harmony's, Kay's, Kalamazoo, all of which are actually entry level, often laminated or pressed top, more heavily braced instruments with a forward, midrangy, growly sound. A current version would be the acoustic or electric Epiphones, Godin's, the small body laminated versions. All great, these days it's hard to find a bad guitar it seems. But Blues is music, and a guitar is a musical instrument - what comes out is the mind of the player.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:47 AM
ozarkmac ozarkmac is offline
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Default Sound with/wo pickup

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Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
Keep in mind, the acoustic sound of an arch top and the electric sound when a magnetic pickup is used is a night and day difference.
Thanks for that info Jeff. BTW, beautiful playing. I'm listening to "Somewhere Over....as i type!
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:54 AM
ozarkmac ozarkmac is offline
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Default Kay's and Harmony's

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Originally Posted by MC5C View Post
When I think of blues and archtop, the first thing I think of is old country blues, in the school of the old masters, and the aforementioned Gibsons would be great as would many Harmony's, Kay's, Kalamazoo, all of which are actually entry level, often laminated or pressed top, more heavily braced instruments with a forward, midrangy, growly sound. A current version would be the acoustic or electric Epiphones, Godin's, the small body laminated versions. All great, these days it's hard to find a bad guitar it seems. But Blues is music, and a guitar is a musical instrument - what comes out is the mind of the player.
Have looked at but not played a lot of the Kay's and Harmony's. Any specific era and/or models?
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:57 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Thank you!

Now, the arch top in that video is very much an electric guitar, it sounds nice enough for couch picking unplugged, but it is by no means an acoustic guitar.

Something like a Godin 5th Avenue or a vintage Es-125 might be great for your needs...they're kind of brash and unrefined unplugged, great for blues, and then they amplify with a P-90 which is a little "rowdier" sounding than an arch top with a set humbucker. But it's still a pretty different tone plugged in, much thicker, a lot more bottom.

Old Kay's and Harmonys can be very cool. Play first, many are in rough shape...but they have the right vibe.

Generally, were I choosing an arch top as a blues box, the smaller models seem to deliver that acoustic tone better, and they dont mellow out as much plugged in (again, especially if you go single coil pickup)
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:10 AM
ozarkmac ozarkmac is offline
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Default Godin 5th Avenue

I need to check out the 5th Avenue. Heard a lot of good things.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:37 AM
perttime perttime is offline
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Eastman guitars have a reputation for quality guitars at very reasonable prices. Maybe there's something there that strikes your fancy?
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:48 AM
ozarkmac ozarkmac is offline
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Originally Posted by perttime View Post
Eastman guitars have a reputation for quality guitars at very reasonable prices. Maybe there's something there that strikes your fancy?
I actually have an Eastman flat top which I love. I probably should check out their arch tops.
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  #13  
Old 02-18-2019, 12:41 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Eastman goes for the refined, modern, Benedetto type sound with their arch tops. About as gritty and bluesy as my wife's last trip to pottery barn.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:50 PM
Bluemonk Bluemonk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
Eastman goes for the refined, modern, Benedetto type sound with their arch tops. About as gritty and bluesy as my wife's last trip to pottery barn.
As another poster mentioned, blues encompasses a lot of sub-genres. It can be gritty, but it can also be uptown.
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  #15  
Old 02-18-2019, 02:45 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarkmac View Post
I need to check out the 5th Avenue. Heard a lot of good things.
Talk is cheap.......Here's an L-37 in the flesh, and they can be had for under 2K.




HE
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