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  #1  
Old 09-01-2022, 04:58 PM
Lucy_Strat Lucy_Strat is offline
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Default An acoustic archtop for travelling

Hi again everyone ^_^ I just wanna take the time to thank everyone for a the advice regarding the Gretsch it's doing everything I ever wanted and more for my plugged in electric tone smitten doesn't even cover it.

A new situations kind of come up where once every two weeks I'm spending 3 nights away at a hotel looking at houses an it's got me thinking (g.a.s. is a cruel mistress) about picking a 2nd archtop up something to play acousticly while I'm away n leave in the pretty secure hotel room while I'm out house hunting without spending a load just incase the worst happened.

Anyway that leads me onto the next conundrum I followed everyone's advice and played a few guitars upside down.

On the vintage front I got to play one very beat up epi triumph from the 40s was quite interesting and quite strident and wasn't responsive to me playing with my thumb volume wise although it felt amazing to feel a carved instrument actually move n vibrate as you play.

Next I tried a 1935 with the neck on the body L50 with the flat back, that had such an addictive sweet tone an weirdly I got on well with the V neck. I honestly didn't want to hand it back lol! How does the flat back compared to Arched back alter the tone?

I'm hoping to try a 1940s one in a week or so along with an L5c itching to try that.

I'd love to try a Benedetto with being a thumb player) am I right in saying the eastmans are loosely based on that concept)

Next I managed to get my hands on a Epi masterbilt Deluxe I struggled getting volume out of that (the room was massive) and it seemed to pickup all the string squeal although I'm assuming that might have been the strings on it. That had a superb neck though I loved the body size to bits an the but I was just unsure about the tone. One thing that did cross my mind was fitting a frequensator tail peice an ebony bridge and a floating CC pickup (for when at home) an seeing if the tail peice and bridge changed matters has anyone done that?

I also played a Zenith at one point very early on in the search that was quite punchy but I do prefer the bigger body size in feel.

Next play was a Broadway in a small room it actually quite filled the tiny room with nice sound n overtones acousticly although that was a very tiny booth so might have been tricking the ear. With that I'd have to drill n move the controls though as now I'm sitting different with the guitar they were stabbing me in the arm.

Final play was the Gretsch new yorker as Steve said very brash and very very strident with a pic it was a surprising guitar with my thumb playing ended up quite Mellow but warm good fundemental note but not any overtones the which I think added to the strident bit the strings were goosed though again I really liked the V neck which suprised me.

I'd love to jump out an buy the l50 but it's 1500 more than the budget but while I'm talking carved top archtops on say an l50 or a loar under those circumstances going into a Car driving 4 hours then into a hotel room that's hot n quite dry with no control over the temp would that be a situation to cause a top to crack how does everyone get on at gigs with the carve tops? Usually it can go from a very wet 10 degrees in the uk to 25 degrees.

I thought a few might enjoy my musings after playing a few guitars while I'm trying to decide what to spend a measly (for an acoustic archtop) 600 budget on

One other guitar that crossed my mind was a Cromwell (not sure of the brand names of the other 30s gibson made ones)

All the above apart from the Loar 700s n L50s are in an around the budget I'm thinking of spending once I've sold my xbox.

Thanks in advance,

Lucy
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2022, 09:30 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucy_Strat View Post
...once every two weeks I'm spending 3 nights away at a hotel looking at houses, and it's got me thinking (g.a.s. is a cruel mistress) about picking up a 2nd archtop, something to play acoustically while I'm away, and leave in the pretty secure hotel room while I'm out house hunting without spending a load just in case the worst happened...

...under those circumstances going into a car driving 4 hours, then into a hotel room that's hot and quite dry with no control over the temp, would that be a situation to cause a top to crack - how does everyone get on at gigs with the carved tops? Usually it can go from a very wet 10 degrees in the UK to 25 degrees...
If I understand you correctly:
  • you're looking for something inexpensive;
  • you're looking for something that'll stand up to the rigors of travel;
  • you're looking for something that's relatively impervious to temperature/humidity extremes;
  • you're looking for something fairly compact;
  • you're looking for something that has acceptable acoustic tone/volume...
In a different place/time I would have recommended one of the old 16" Harmony/Kay student instruments, or one of their slightly more expensive Gibson (L-48)/Gretsch (New Yorker)/Guild (A-50) counterparts; unfortunately most of the former (or their European Hofner/Framus equivalents) that have survived to the present need major restoration work, and the big-name laminated boxes are (with very few exceptions) priced well into the four-figure bracket - as much or more than you'd pay for an all-carved Loar LH-600/700 or Eastman AR605. While you may luck out on the rare exception, IMO your best bet would be to search out one of the discontinued Godin 5th Avenue all-acoustic models I mentioned in another post - here's a pic:



Getting a little hard to find, though - particularly in the rare blonde and black finishes (the former has definite '40s visuals, the latter a cool rockabilly vibe reminiscent of the now-rare '50s Harmony Montclair) - so if you're serious about one of these, you might just have to pounce on the first one that turns up before someone else does...
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Old 09-02-2022, 02:10 AM
Lucy_Strat Lucy_Strat is offline
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Thanks Steve one of those had crossed my mind tbh especially with the all laminate construction.

How does everyone go on with the carve tops for outside gigs and temp changes or taking them from one place to another indoors more from a curiosity stand point for the future as I'm gonna look at an L50 or an L7 further down the line

The eastmans or the Loar have crossed my mind little bit past what I was thinking of spending very tempting though I watched a none cutaway 610 go a few weeks back and a few loar 600/700s have been coming up around 800-1000.

Up to now price wise it seems like they are sitting around the following after watching some go.

Godin's £450 ish
Epiphone Zenith modern £400 (dealers used) Then a couple of hundred for a CC style pickup
Epi Deluxe modern £550 (dealer used)
Cromwell (not seen enough go but somewhere around 600-700 gbp
Gretsch 5th av modern with a floater (550)
Loar 600/700 800-1000 s/h
Eastman 610 none cutaway not read up about these yet next task) one went for 900

N at the more expensive range l50s seem to be sitting at 2k an es 125s around that to



Then on the electric but fairly loud acousticly in a small room.
Broadway £500 mik - I'd be tempted to put staple pickups in one of those.

Some really interesting options about just sold my games console before so that's helped the budget to £700 or so.

One thing I was curious about is with regard to body size and thumb playing would a smaller body produce more volume because its not taking as much force to drive the top on say a laminate or pressed or would that relate purley down to bracing and the carve of the top on a carved instrument.

Last edited by Lucy_Strat; 09-02-2022 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 09-02-2022, 04:48 AM
pawlowski6132 pawlowski6132 is offline
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Your both over thinking it.

Just buy whatever you like and have a good case maybe with a lock.

Done.
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Old 09-02-2022, 06:18 AM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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You say you get along with the vintage V neck, so you could add a used Loar 600 to your list. I'm not really certain if there ever was a Loar 300 (carved top, laminate B&S) but there was the LH350 (budget version of the LH-650).

All those should cost a fraction of the price of a vintage or even an Eastman archtop and be able to act as a beater/travel guitar. I'm not aware of any archtops that are travel guitars through their compact size. 15" and smaller archtops are rare and thus expensive.
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Old 09-02-2022, 06:41 AM
Lucy_Strat Lucy_Strat is offline
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Thanks RJVB there's plenty of room in the car ^_^ so I can even go to a 17" without much trouble as the car parks right outside the door anyway. Yep the loar has caught my attention as I really loved the L50 although that is the only vintage gibson I've played.

I was actually having a look at a few sh loar 600's n 700s that are private sales but wasnt sure how the top would stand up to temperature changes n being pulled out of a case quite quickly after arriving but at the same time I'm trying to think of something that won't be redundant after the move is finished an would compliment the Gretsch nicely.

I did see an eastman ar 610 for around the prices of the Loars.

Last edited by Lucy_Strat; 09-02-2022 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 09-02-2022, 06:50 AM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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Originally Posted by Lucy_Strat View Post
I was actually having a look at a few sh loar 600's n 700s that are private sales but wasnt sure how the top would stand up to temperature changes n being pulled out of a case quite quickly after arriving
The Loar tops are probably a bit more robust (= thicker) than what you'd find on Eastmans, and newer instruments will usually take temperature changes better. They're pretty heavy instruments, but I am not going to predict how they will react to being pulled out of a +45°C car interior into an AC'ed room that's probably more than 20°C colder.

That said ... an old instrument that has survived will probably continue to do just that, even if it as a few cracks in "benign" places. You can think of those as stress relief provisions
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Old 09-02-2022, 06:58 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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If I were looking for a "take anywhere" acoustic archtop, I'd definitely look for one of the all-acoustic 5th Avenues. Actually, should I ever stumble upon one used I'll likely buy it "just to have."

I did own a Loar 600, and though the sound was great, the V was a bit too pronounced in the neck for me, and I ended up selling it. It seemed well built and could likely take hanging around in a car/other non-climate controlled situations.
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Old 09-02-2022, 09:03 AM
Lucy_Strat Lucy_Strat is offline
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Thanks everyone really appreciate the advice lots to think about I might end up having to get two! Always room for more guitars haha although one would be further down the line.

I'll try check out a few Godins again got my eye on a few different sh guitars at the mo

A couple of loars, a godin, two different masterbilt deluxe's and a Zenith

I think realistically it's gonna be a Godin or a masterbilt then save my pennies in the future for a vintage Gibson.

Slightly straying from full on acoustic an off topic but rather than me making another post does anyone know what bout Charlie Christians Es150 was am I right in saying it was a 16" an the 250 was a 17" ?

I still keep playing with the idea of a CC pickup on either the Godin or the acoustic epiphones as it'd give it a bit of flexibility for when I'm not traveling. I'm guessing it'd have to be a floating option compared to setting it in because of the bracing?

Its super interesting n fascinating trying to learn what woods, pressed vs laminate vs carve etc suit playing with the thumb more, very interesting learning journey

Thinking a none cutaway guitar will be better as well for converting to lefty, somewhere on my phone I've got some audio clips of a masterbilt deluxe and a gretsch new yorker I'll dig them out this afternoon.

Last edited by Lucy_Strat; 09-02-2022 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 09-02-2022, 11:03 AM
Lucy_Strat Lucy_Strat is offline
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Took me all afternoon but I've done it

Here's some clips of me playing the following guitars

Acousticly an upside down apart from the godin

All played with my thumb bar some clips of the new yorker which are mentioned on the caption
1946 epiphone triumph which was in bad condition
Modern Epiphone Masterbilt Deluxe had bronze strings on it
Gretsch new yorker
Godin with the p90.
Made in China Epi broadway

N then the 2nd half of the clip is the ones with pickups plugged in.

Wish my phone had recorded the Gibson l50 but that's an excuse for a guitar shop visit

https://youtu.be/tQsHyU9aTuw

Last edited by Lucy_Strat; 09-02-2022 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 09-02-2022, 11:21 AM
RLetson RLetson is offline
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FWIW, I took my Loar 600 to Augusta's Swing Week (in West Virginia in July), where it performed just fine indoors and out. As a traveling instrument, it's more than adequate, and mine (nearly ten years old now) came in a decently sturdy zip-up foam case that I would not be afraid to gate-check if I had to fly.
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Old 09-02-2022, 11:38 AM
Lucy_Strat Lucy_Strat is offline
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Thanks for the feedback on the Loar that's handy to know
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Old 09-02-2022, 11:46 AM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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Originally Posted by RLetson View Post
mine (nearly ten years old now) came in a decently sturdy zip-up foam case that I would not be afraid to gate-check if I had to fly.
I forgot to mention that because mine got separated from its case, sadly. From what I heard on jazzguitar.be they are indeed more than decent soft-shell cases which sadly cannot be ordered from the Loar company.

FWIW, I cut a strut from a piece of sturdy foam which slips under the pickguard brace and keeps the cover of my gigbag up in case of an oopsie (it comes about to the same height as the saddle).
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Old 09-02-2022, 11:48 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucy_Strat View Post
Took me all afternoon but I've done it

Here's some clips of me playing the following guitars

Acousticly an upside down apart from the godin

All played with my thumb bar some clips of the new yorker which are mentioned on the caption
1946 epiphone triumph which was in bad condition
Modern Epiphone Masterbilt Deluxe had bronze strings on it
Gretsch new yorker
Godin with the p90.
Made in China Epi broadway

N then the 2nd half of the clip is the ones with pickups plugged in.

Wish my phone had recorded the Gibson l50 but that's an excuse for a guitar shop visit

https://youtu.be/Av-0wzRwVJ8

Well, it's the budget breaker, but the Zenith is the clear winner in my book.
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Old 09-02-2022, 11:50 AM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucy_Strat View Post
Thinking a none cutaway guitar will be better as well for converting to lefty,
Definitely. I missed that bit, somehow (or it's the old violinist in me who's still in denial about lefty instruments )

@Steve: how symmetric is the carving of the top, and isn't there a difference between the parallel treble and bass braces?
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