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Old 06-18-2019, 12:55 PM
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Ruppster Ruppster is offline
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Default Ibanez George Benson or Eastman AR372CE

I'm thinking of getting an archtop for the few times I need that type of guitar. I had a couple of Gibson ES-175s back in the day but do not want to spend that kind of money so have narrowed it down to the two in the title.

Anyone have any opinions on which you'd choose? The Eastman is a couple hundred dollars cheaper but they seem to each offer good bang for the buck. Will be using it primarily with my wedding/casino band doing mostly comping with some clean lead playing.

Thanks for any input...
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:03 PM
lumena lumena is offline
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Maybe also look at the Epiphone es175 premium. Has Gibson pickups at this time. Usually will need small adjustments but is a very nice version of an actual es175. Has an aged lacquer finish. 57 humbuckers. Usually less than 1k and more like 7-8 hundred.

Eastmans can be a bit fragile as far as finish so depending on your personal habits it can scratch etc. pretty easy.

I have never played one of the cheaper George Benson's but Ibanez makes solid instruments, they are however thick poly so if that offends your sensibility then it's a pass.
Good luck.
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:37 AM
frankhond frankhond is offline
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I have a GB10 made in Japan. The neck is one of the easiest, fastest necks I ever touched, if one likes slightly narrower necks. It comes with flats although one can certainly string it with rounds. It's very comfortable to play with its slightly smaller body and the plugged in tone is very jazzy with a nice attack, it's really easy to get the George Benson tone if that's what one wants. Seems most jazz cats mainly use the neck pickup, blending in the bridge pickup for some edge.

Can't say how it compares to a 175 but it's designed to give an archtop sound while being smaller and comfortable on the road and I could certainly imagine it being just the thing for you. The build quality of Japanese Ibanez'es I tried have always been impeccable, so is this one. The cheaper Korean and Chinese ones are slightly less perfectly put together and one can feel that they are cheaper guitars. OTOH they cost less...

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Old 06-21-2019, 07:32 AM
Sonics Sonics is offline
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Unless you specifically want a bridge pickup, then you may also want to consider the cheaper of the two Pat Metheny models.

However if you have $3,600 burning a hole in your pocket, then you may also want to consider the 'full-fat' Metheny guitar, the PM200.

And while we're on the subject...

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Old 07-10-2019, 11:41 AM
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Livingston Livingston is offline
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Since you're looking for something that sounds like an ES-175, I am assuming that you're looking at the Ibanez LGB30 or LGB300. Both are more similar in body dimension and pickups to an ES-175 than the GB10, that has a 14 inch lower bout, 2.5” body depth and floating mini humbuckers.

I've not owned or played the AR372CE, but I'm guessing that even though it looks like an ES-175, it probably sounds more like the other Eastman models (e.g. AR503CE). I have owned an AR503CE and to me it does not sound like an ES-175. As AGF member Mr. Beaumont has described many times, Eastman archtops sound a little like a poor person's Benedetto. I tend to agree with this comment.

Therefore, if the ES-175 is the tone you are going for, I would guess that the LGB30 (or 300) would be more in the ballpark.

I’ve owned several Ibanez archtops including a lawsuit model (2455) that was an attempt at a Gibson L4CES knock off although it had a laminated top and back, like the ES-175. I would say that even the modern Ibanez archtops tend to lean towards the ES-175. Their AF series (and LGB series) have a 16” lower bout and laminated plates, like the ES-175. This along with the Ibanez Super 58 Customs (ceramic magnets) or Super 58 (Alnico 3 magnets) produce a Gibson-like amplified tone.

Having said all of the above, I would say that the Eastman make some very nice guitars at a great value. I’ve owned the AR503CE and I currently own an AR603CE-15. Great sounding guitars although I wouldn’t describe them as sounding like an ES-175.

Anyway, good luck in your search, and in my opinion, you can’t go wrong with either choice.
“Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself”
— Miles Davis.
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:50 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Have you considered a Godin CW II: combines the best tonal elements of a first-gen P-90 ES-175 and a Brooklyn Gretsch, weighs just a tick over five pounds (2-3 pounds less than a typical 175), comes in around $1K street (significantly less if you shop around - got mine for just over $600 at an Amazon Christmas Day 2012 flash sale), Tony Bennett's guitarist has been using one on tour for the last couple years - and I love mine...
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