The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Archtops

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #16  
Old 01-24-2022, 03:17 PM
Sage Runner Sage Runner is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 350
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
I used to own a '46 Epi Blackstone (also a 16-incher like your Zenith, and second only to the Spartan in the small-body lineup), played a bunch of other Epis back in the day (they were the top of the food chain in terms of NYC hometown brands, and were relatively plentiful in the '60s-70s), and as you've discovered they're a very different animal than Gibsons; the carving patterns and dimensions (also very different) give them a more projective sound - what the old-timers referred to as "cutting power" - and if you were a big-band comper working one of the 2000+ seat houses in their New York heyday, an Emperor or Deluxe would get the job done where a Super 400 or L-5 might get lost in the mix. While a Gibson might be a better choice as a solo instrument - they tended to have a smoother, more rounded tone (as in the case of your L-5) that made them more accessible to a newcomer - if you knew how to work an Epiphone they could be real tone monsters, and IMO it's this lack of understanding how to get the best from them, rather than any deficiencies in quality, that keeps their prices relatively low on the vintage market...

FYI here's some cuts you may appreciate:
  • Al Caiola on his '40s Epiphone Broadway anchoring the rhythm section (piano-bass-guitar - no drums) for these Johnny Mathis classics:



  • Grady Martin's fluid Tex-Mex soloing on Marty Robbins' "El Paso," performed on a 16" New York-era Epiphone archtop (possibly the same '53-54 Zenith Marty used in the 1965 live clip):


There was also a recent thread you might find of interest, discussing some of the key points of archtop technique in several genres:

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=635470
Cool links!!!ó love that Marty Robbins Vid
__________________
Sage Runner
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-24-2022, 03:19 PM
ssstewart's Avatar
ssstewart ssstewart is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Atlantic Canada
Posts: 551
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post
First, this is a 16" Carpathian Spruce / Austrian Maple Monarch model made by North Carolina luthier John Buscarino. While a smaller archtop, it has tapered depth rims from 3" to 3-1/2" which gives it a balanced voice, fast attack and weight to its trebles.



Next, this is a 16" Carpathian Spruce / Honduran Mahogany oval hole, Zelig model hybrid archtop by Pennsylvania luthier Bill Comins. This instrument also has tapered rims (3-1/4" to 4") and a non-carved ladder braced back like a flattop. It sounds 75% archtop with 25% flattop additional bass and complexity.



Lastly, this is a 17" Italian Spruce / Bosian Maple Artifex model archtop by Uzes, France luthier Bryant Trenier. This is a straight ahead 3-1/8" deep archtop in the school of Jimmy D'Aquisto. It has a big, balanced voice and a surprising amount of sustain acoustically.

Im drooling iim...stunning gits
__________________
Don

1929 SS Stewart Professional Archtop
George Rizsanyi Custom Quilt Maple Acoustic
2021 Denver DD4412
Yamaha G-130A Melvina
1979 Classical Private Que luth
2003 Briarwood YCL-1
1960 Spanish Parlor
2003 A&L Acoustic
1972 Yamaha Acoustic
Fender CD60 Acoustic
1982 Ovation
2020 Fender Tele
80's frankenstrat
Yamaha THR5A
Traynor Dynagain30
1965 Ampeg Gemini II
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-24-2022, 03:41 PM
Sage Runner Sage Runner is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 350
Default

My 1948í Epiphone Broadway. I really love the darker Sunburst on this particular guitar. It Reminds me of my old 31í L-5. My old L-5 had the real Pearl Block inlays too! Most EPI sunburstís from this Era were lighter-with touch of orange/red tint. This guitar had a typical small hairline off the Base F hole that I cleated. Had to re-crown the frets a bit and did few other minor touch-ups. Itís super resonant and a wonderful player.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg 058DA04B-AB60-4E61-8C6C-50B175E3F9FC.jpeg (22.7 KB, 88 views)
__________________
Sage Runner
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-25-2022, 01:16 AM
stevo58 stevo58 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Germany
Posts: 126
Default

I started looking at arch tops ten years ago or so. Not having a boatload of money, I started with an acoustic Fifth Avenue, moved to a Loar LH-700, and finally ;-) found a 1950 Epi Devon that is perfect. Itís a player, and has obviously been played a lot in its life, and needs some work (binding) but, even with its laminated back, itís got ďthat sound.Ē Hereís a photo of it the day I bought it. The first thing I did was remove the Bartolini. I also made a bound pickguard for it.



Obviously it works for swing rhythm, but it is surprisingly good for ragtime, blues, and other forms, too.

Steven

Last edited by stevo58; 01-25-2022 at 10:46 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-25-2022, 08:59 AM
Sage Runner Sage Runner is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 350
Default

Right on Steven. Those old Devonís are real nice. I had one for a short time in early 90ís. All those NY. low end Epi-A-tops are great guitars. Punchy percussive volume and attack. The Laminated backs I believe is what gives those guitars that qualify. A lot of those suffered with deteriorating bindings and P-guard but if a guy is willing to put little work/love into them itís worth the effort.
__________________
Sage Runner
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 01-25-2022, 01:32 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 3,715
Default

I'm a bit hesitant about replying in this thread, even though I have owned and played archtops. There's some lovely high-end models already shown here, and that's not me or my budget.

My second electric guitar (bought used in 1976) was a low-end mail-order-catalog maker (nothing on headstock when I got it) thinline pressed archtop hollowbody with a single chrome cover "speed bump" top-mounted electric pickup. Some years back I bought another used full depth acoustic (no pickup) catalog type guitar that had more damage/wear and also has no brand on the headstock.

The first one is actually interesting plugged in sound-wise.

I play around with the second one occasionally. One thing holds me back: I don't have much skill in the jazz comping school of guitar playing. Admire it, just don't have the knowledge to make up for my limited skills, and that's my read of what even these low-end guitars were aimed at. When I play "fake jazz" it's almost entirely single note work (the old "like a horn player" thing -- although again, think someone of lower skills and knowledge doing that). As Charlie Christian demonstrated, a pickup is a great aid to that.

This century I've bought a couple of inexpensive full-depth, floating wooden bridge, archtops magnetic pickups and enjoy them: a large jumbo top/full-depth DeArmond X155 from Fender's doomed "Guild-alike" turn of the century import line with two top mounted humbuckers which is one of my first choices guitar when I want to play "fake jazz." They were "blown out" at incredibly low prices when Fender pulled the plug on the line, and I replaced an Epi Joe Pass model with this one.

The second is a lower quality Washburn model with a single floating mini-humbucker hanging off the end of the fretboard. This is my "David Rawlings without the talent" guitar, usually played plugged in but with leakage from its hollow-body encouraged.

Fun guitars all, but I tend to play this sort of guitar plugged in, so I don't talk about them here much, if at all, as I sort of assumed AGP is more interested in true acoustic archtops.
__________________
-----------------------------------
Creator of The Parlando Project

Guitars: 20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6; '00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '16 Martin 000-17, '07 Parkwood PW510, Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 01-25-2022, 09:58 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Staten Island, NY - for now
Posts: 12,831
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
...One thing holds me back: I don't have much skill in the jazz comping school of guitar playing. Admire it, just don't have the knowledge to make up for my limited skills...
Formerly known as the "Orchestral Chord System" when I was taking lessons back in the early/mid-60's, this one's been the comper's bible since 1948 and still retains its validity as a jazz-guitar primer:



https://www.melbay.com/Products/9321...rd-system.aspx

I'd also listen to Al Caiola's work on the early Johnny Mathis recordings (two of which are posted above) - proof positive that it doesn't have to be overly complex (the actual chords are well within the range of any intermediate player) to be both genre-authentic and tasty...
__________________
"Mistaking silence for weakness and contempt for fear is the final, fatal error of a fool"
- Sicilian proverb (paraphrased)
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 01-25-2022, 10:22 PM
tadol tadol is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 4,782
Default

Gotta say, I'd love to find a nice arch top, but so many I see are 1-⅝" or 1-11/16" - If anyone could point me to ones that are 1-ĺ" or even 1-13/16", I'd be very appreciative -

I do have a couple nice arch-backs -Santa Cruz FTCs - so I do sorta understand their appeal -
__________________
More than a few Santa Cruzís, a few Sexauers, a Patterson, a Larrivee, a Cumpiano, and a Klepper!!
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 01-25-2022, 11:18 PM
RLetson RLetson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 180
Default

I believe the Eastmans are 1.75", as are the Loars. Mine certainly are.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 01-26-2022, 03:51 PM
tadol tadol is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 4,782
Default

I picked up an El Rey, but its not really floating my boat - although the neck is closer to good -
__________________
More than a few Santa Cruzís, a few Sexauers, a Patterson, a Larrivee, a Cumpiano, and a Klepper!!
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 01-26-2022, 04:38 PM
ssstewart's Avatar
ssstewart ssstewart is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Atlantic Canada
Posts: 551
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tadol View Post
Gotta say, I'd love to find a nice arch top, but so many I see are 1-⅝" or 1-11/16" - If anyone could point me to ones that are 1-ĺ" or even 1-13/16", I'd be very appreciative -

I do have a couple nice arch-backs -Santa Cruz FTCs - so I do sorta understand their appeal -
my 1929 SS Stewart has 1 13/16" nut with 24 3/4" scale length. Might be selling it in the Spring, will either sell it here or to one of my Luth friends if they want it
__________________
Don

1929 SS Stewart Professional Archtop
George Rizsanyi Custom Quilt Maple Acoustic
2021 Denver DD4412
Yamaha G-130A Melvina
1979 Classical Private Que luth
2003 Briarwood YCL-1
1960 Spanish Parlor
2003 A&L Acoustic
1972 Yamaha Acoustic
Fender CD60 Acoustic
1982 Ovation
2020 Fender Tele
80's frankenstrat
Yamaha THR5A
Traynor Dynagain30
1965 Ampeg Gemini II
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 01-26-2022, 05:46 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Staten Island, NY - for now
Posts: 12,831
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tadol View Post
I picked up an El Rey, but its not really floating my boat - although the neck is closer to good -
The El Rey is a niche item - try an AR810 non-cutaway...
__________________
"Mistaking silence for weakness and contempt for fear is the final, fatal error of a fool"
- Sicilian proverb (paraphrased)
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 01-26-2022, 06:17 PM
Sage Runner Sage Runner is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 350
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
Formerly known as the "Orchestral Chord System" when I was taking lessons back in the early/mid-60's, this one's been the comper's bible since 1948 and still retains its validity as a jazz-guitar primer:



https://www.melbay.com/Products/9321...rd-system.aspx

I'd also listen to Al Caiola's work on the early Johnny Mathis recordings (two of which are posted above) - proof positive that it doesn't have to be overly complex (the actual chords are well within the range of any intermediate player) to be both genre-authentic and tasty...
Thanks for sharing this Steve!!! I forgot Iíve had this chord book stashed for 35+ years!!! Iím gonna dig it out. I never used it. Dennis
__________________
Sage Runner
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Archtops

Thread Tools





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=