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  #1  
Old 11-20-2020, 10:52 PM
Denandannie Denandannie is offline
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Default Should I Give an Archtop Another Try?

In the last three years I've bought and sold two semi hollow bodies. Love the sound, but two things turned me off, thus I sold them.

First, the nut width was just too narrow. I need at a minimum a 1.75 for my size hands. I started capoing at the 2nd fret to get past this.

Second, I just hate a floating bridge.

I'd like to give the an electric another try. Any suggestions where I might look for a larger nut width and a non floating bridge?
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:56 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Hi, confused here, do you want an archtop - I mean a real arched topped acoustic guitar, like these



or

Or an electric ? If a guitar that "looks" like the above but has a pickup screwed to the top then they won't be truly acoustic as most have a fencepost glued under the top to kill the resonance.

You can get real acoustics with a floating bridge on a real acoustic but can also be plugged in - Eastman made a version of mine above with a Kent Armstrong p/up installed and sublte tone/volume pots on the underside of the pick guard.

Please don't find a real acoustic and screw pick ups to it. There are too few real acoustic archtops that have not been spoilt in this way.
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2020, 11:08 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denandannie View Post
...I need at a minimum a 1.75 for my size hands. I started capoing at the 2nd fret to get past this.

Second, I just hate a floating bridge.

...Any suggestions where I might look for a larger nut width and a non floating bridge?
My thoughts, in reverse order:
  • Most modern semi-hollows have the bridge permanently anchored into the top, either with studs (into which the height adjustment screws/wheels are mounted) or by pinning the base - shouldn't be a problem finding something that suits your needs;
  • I've been playing since 1962, taught in the public and private sector for 45 years, encountered countless fellow guitarists over my lifetime - and barring genuine medical issues, IME much of the professed need for ever-wider fingerboards among flattop=based steel-string players is rooted in poor left-hand technique (something those of us who were trained from the get-go on archtop don't generally have, BTW). I had the pleasure of meeting renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman, who has a pair of mitts worthy of an NFL linebacker and has no difficulty whatsoever handling the narrow neck/string spacing of a violin, and many of the same people clamoring for bigger necks double on fiddle/mandolin - often quite proficiently, which smacks as much of compartmentalization as the aforementioned technical deficiencies. My suggestion is to adopt an orchestral-string players' technique - get off the flats of your fingers and up on the very tips (also improves articulation. BTW) - and while Eastman makes a line of semis with 1-3/4" necks, you may just find you really don't need as wide a fingerboard as you originally thought...
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:58 PM
Denandannie Denandannie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
My thoughts, in reverse order:
  • Most modern semi-hollows have the bridge permanently anchored into the top, either with studs (into which the height adjustment screws/wheels are mounted) or by pinning the base - shouldn't be a problem finding something that suits your needs;
  • I've been playing since 1962, taught in the public and private sector for 45 years, encountered countless fellow guitarists over my lifetime - and barring genuine medical issues, IME much of the professed need for ever-wider fingerboards among flattop=based steel-string players is rooted in poor left-hand technique (something those of us who were trained from the get-go on archtop don't generally have, BTW). I had the pleasure of meeting renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman, who has a pair of mitts worthy of an NFL linebacker and has no difficulty whatsoever handling the narrow neck/string spacing of a violin, and many of the same people clamoring for bigger necks double on fiddle/mandolin - often quite proficiently, which smacks as much of compartmentalization as the aforementioned technical deficiencies. My suggestion is to adopt an orchestral-string players' technique - get off the flats of your fingers and up on the very tips (also improves articulation. BTW) - and while Eastman makes a line of semis with 1-3/4" necks, you may just find you really don't need as wide a fingerboard as you originally thought...
Thank you. Thinking about your thoughts, my fingers might be lazy. They don't always stand up. Something for me to work on.
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2020, 07:35 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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My thoughts have been on neck width for a while now, since I am making a new neck for one of my earlier archtops and I've decided (today anyway) to make a 1 11/16" nut width. Why? Because my 1946 Epiphone has a 1 11/16" nut width and I like it. I usually make 1 3/4 or even 1.8" nut widths. Most people leave 1/8" of fretboard outside the strings, so on a 1 3/4" nut your string spacing is 0.3" while with a 1 11/16" it's 0.29". 1/100" difference. Not much. Yet we all seem to be able to tell the difference from across the room. I wonder why that is...
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2020, 05:50 PM
drive-south drive-south is offline
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A semi hollow body guitar is really more of a solid body than it is a hollow body. The bridge is usually attached to the solid center block.
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