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  #31  
Old 01-03-2018, 03:39 AM
Theleman Theleman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
If you're looking at Asian-made Washburn/Ibanez/Gretsch, you're closer to affording a modern Epiphone than you think; here's a few examples:

https://www.sweetwater.com/c591--Hol...ZW50dXJ5Il19fQ

You might also want to check out Godin's Kingpin models - a bit more expensive than your stated budget but, speaking as a satisfied owner, well worth the money:

https://www.sweetwater.com/c591--Hol...yI3IiwiOCJdfX0

As far as Gretsch is concerned, the Korean-made Electromatic 5400-Series hollowbodies are light-years ahead of the Chinese/Indonesian 2500-Series - fully competitive, in fact, with the high-end Professional Series at three to four times the price; in any case, save your money and buy right the first time - a better guitar can make you a better player, and you will be playing out sooner or later...
Great info. Thanks.

Yup, I was toying with the idea of getting a brand new Chinese made Washburn J3, but dropped it. There are quite many reviews on this model reporting for QC problems such as one pickup not wokring, and finish problems.

Also there are a few old Ibanez Artcores going very cheap, and also as you say, perhaps Korean made Gretsch 5400 series are not too far away from my budget.

How do the 5400 series compare with the Epiphone Semi Hollows?

Last edited by Theleman; 01-03-2018 at 04:09 AM.
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  #32  
Old 01-03-2018, 07:43 AM
Scotso Scotso is offline
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Will all the Eastman love on AGF I am surprised no one has mentioned Eastmen 186s/386s/486s- Awesome guitars!!!!
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Last edited by Scotso; 01-03-2018 at 09:26 AM.
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  #33  
Old 01-03-2018, 07:48 AM
HHP HHP is offline
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Elderly just listed a 1961 Epiphone Broadway at what looks to be a good price.

https://www.elderly.com/catalog/prod...way-e252-1961/
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  #34  
Old 01-03-2018, 11:42 AM
JSanta JSanta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotso View Post
Will all the Eastman love on AGF I am surprised no one has mentioned Eastmen 186s/386s/486s- Awesome guitars!!!!
Awesome guitars for sure, but not what I would consider lower-end (not from a price perspective, or quality for that matter).

Ibanez Artcore gets my vote. I've had a couple and they have both been great (a floating pickup archtop model and ES-335 derivative). Good quality instruments and excellent value (and variety).
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  #35  
Old 01-03-2018, 04:19 PM
Theleman Theleman is offline
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Awesome guitars for sure, but not what I would consider lower-end (not from a price perspective, or quality for that matter).
Yup, Eastman guitars are expensive here too. Also very difficult to find one.
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  #36  
Old 01-04-2018, 12:13 AM
M Hayden M Hayden is offline
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The Ibanez Artcores are excellent - Iíve got the single-neck-pickup AFJ81 and itís perfect for gigs. Iíve set the pickup up to be easy to swap in and out; itís currently got an ancient Bartolini 1S Humbucker format that sounds magnificent. the original ACH pickups are surprisingly good if a little dark, and the Super 58 neck pickups are another inexpensive way to experiment with tone.
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  #37  
Old 01-04-2018, 06:22 AM
JSanta JSanta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theleman View Post
Yup, Eastman guitars are expensive here too. Also very difficult to find one.
I'm fortunate to have one the largest Eastman dealers (Bernuzio's) in the country a few minutes drive away.
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  #38  
Old 01-04-2018, 08:12 AM
Scotso Scotso is offline
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Meh...Eastmans are as affordable as any Gretsch electromatic
1. 386s- can be found for $600 used, mid 800s new if patient
2. 486s- used $700s, new- Reverb has one for mid 800s
3. AR 372 used at GC- $650
4. Ar372 CE used at GC- $800s
5. AR403- used at GC $600
6. 184- used at GC $750.

And that was a 10 min search btw Reverb and GC. Not as cheap as most Ibanez but really nice guitars.
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  #39  
Old 01-04-2018, 09:31 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theleman View Post
...Korean made Gretsch 5400 series are not too far away from my budget.

How do the 5400 series compare with the Epiphone Semi Hollows?
As a whole they're a bit more expensive but, speaking as an owner of both, the quality control on the Korean Gretsch instruments is far above what you're going to find on a Chinese/Indonesian Epiphone semi-hollow. The 5400-Series Electromatics are also true hollowbodies - the only comparable models in the current Epiphone lineup are the Casino and Casino Coupe - whereas the Epi semi-hollows have a solid center block like their Gibson counterparts; if weight is an issue, many of the 5400 E-matics are under seven pounds (about 3 kilos) on the strap - as much as two pounds/one kilo lighter than some semi-hollows - and the tone tends to be lighter and airier as well. IME the only thing the Epiphones have in their favor is their pickups - they've really made some major improvements in recent years (the humbuckers in my Ultra 339 are every bit as good as those in the Gibson '61 SG Reissue I owned in the late-1980's) - and if you need something that approaches the classic Gibson ES-335 tone but don't want to spend the money, one of the Epiphone semi-hollows might be a good choice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotso View Post
...Eastmans are as affordable as any Gretsch electromatic
1. 386s- can be found for $600 used, mid 800s new if patient
2. 486s- used $700s, new- Reverb has one for mid 800s
3. AR 372 used at GC- $650
4. Ar372 CE used at GC- $800s
5. AR403- used at GC $600
6. 184- used at GC $750
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theleman View Post
Yup, Eastman guitars are expensive here too. Also very difficult to find one.
As I'm sure you're aware I'm an old Gretsch guy at heart, but I really like Eastmans as well - in fact, I've got an all-acoustic non-cut archtop on my short-term radar as we speak; thing is, I get the feeling this guy doesn't live on the North American continent - as I said before, his posts look like they've been through a translator app - and he and I both seem to agree that Gretsch will be somewhat easier to find/afford in his part of the world...
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Last edited by Steve DeRosa; 01-04-2018 at 10:39 AM. Reason: typo
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  #40  
Old 01-04-2018, 10:25 AM
Scotso Scotso is offline
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Gretsch are great...just giving an alt.
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  #41  
Old 01-04-2018, 11:55 AM
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I have a low end Jay Turser that I bought last year. I swapped out the pots and put in some Seth Lover pickups and that guitar really has a great tone! It's also a very nice looking guitar.
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  #42  
Old 01-05-2018, 04:19 AM
Theleman Theleman is offline
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I dropped ideas going for an Archtop just now, because

1. jazz.be forum suggests when practicing, one could use any guitar - electric, acoustic or even nylon guitars. They said that thin solid bodied electric guitars like strats or teles would be actually easier to hold and practice than huge heavy hollow bodied semi acoustics.

2. None of the guitarists I am listening and trying to learn from seem have used archtops, apart from perhaps Lightnin Hopkins. In his later years he seemed to have used an ES335 for live gigs, otherwise he and most other seemed have used mostly simple acoustics, Dobros, Strats and Teles.
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  #43  
Old 01-05-2018, 07:59 AM
JSanta JSanta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theleman View Post
I dropped ideas going for an Archtop just now, because

1. jazz.be forum suggests when practicing, one could use any guitar - electric, acoustic or even nylon guitars. They said that thin solid bodied electric guitars like strats or teles would be actually easier to hold and practice than huge heavy hollow bodied semi acoustics.

2. None of the guitarists I am listening and trying to learn from seem have used archtops, apart from perhaps Lightnin Hopkins. In his later years he seemed to have used an ES335 for live gigs, otherwise he and most other seemed have used mostly simple acoustics, Dobros, Strats and Teles.
Jazz can be played on any guitar - I actually prefer my Parker Fly Artist to the Benedetto I used to have. YMMV
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  #44  
Old 01-05-2018, 11:11 AM
Theleman Theleman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSanta View Post
Jazz can be played on any guitar - I actually prefer my Parker Fly Artist to the Benedetto I used to have. YMMV
I have just taken out a cheap old Tele copy for practicing.
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  #45  
Old 01-06-2018, 08:10 AM
JSanta JSanta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theleman View Post
I have just taken out a cheap old Tele copy for practicing.
I LOVE a tele tone for jazz. Many great players use tele's for jazz, and they sound great. Have fun with it!
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