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  #1  
Old 07-17-2018, 08:26 PM
Vee_Voe Vee_Voe is offline
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Talking NGD: Paddock 17" Non Cutaway

Sort of a late NGD, today was nice enough to snap some photos. This is my Paddock 17" Non Cutaway made by Charles (Charlie) Paddock. I'm not sure if anyone around here may have heard of this name or not, Charles made musical instruments (arch top/acoustic guitars, one electric guitar, banjos, snare drum) from 2010 until his passing in 2016. Charles was an engineer for the Fisher Price toy company and held a few patents during his career. Though I've only seen 2 of his guitars so far, without a doubt they're of professional quality. The fit and finish are up there with other professional grade instruments. I actually bought 2 Paddocks (The other one is in for a set up) almost blindly. I had some generous help from an acquaintance of Charles who took time out of his day to make a sound clip for me. The thing that drew me to this guitar was that it was made with a Cedar top, you don't see that everyday. I spent most of my life playing fingerstyle on flat top acoustics and Cedar was always known to make extremely responsive tops which is great for fingerstyle though at the expense of headroom. I can say that this is by the most responsive arch top guitar I've played to date, it has a lovely fingerpicked tone/projection. The color of the Cedar matches the sunbursted sides and back fairly well. Charles' carve on the top and back is just absolutely stunning to me, the curves around the waist are nice and tight with a very pronounced dish around the perimeter. These curves are what makes/breaks it for me cosmetically on an arch top (Yes I'm shallow). The guitar features a bolt on neck consisting of 2 bolts accessible via the input/tailblock using a very long driver, it makes future neck resets a lot less painful. The beautifully burled pick guard is mounted on an angle which is very comfortable to me. The zero fret helps make the action nice and low if need be. All in all, a very well built guitar and well thought out. What do you guys think?









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Old 07-17-2018, 10:16 PM
drive-south drive-south is offline
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Whats not to like? That is stunning.
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:30 AM
terryj47 terryj47 is offline
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Beautiful!
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:29 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vee_Voe View Post
...I spent most of my life playing fingerstyle on flat top acoustics and cedar was always known to make extremely responsive tops, which is great for fingerstyle though at the expense of headroom. I can say that this is by the most responsive archtop guitar I've played to date, it has a lovely fingerpicked tone/projection...Charles' carve on the top and back is just absolutely stunning to me, the curves around the waist are nice and tight with a very pronounced dish around the perimeter. These curves are what makes/breaks it for me cosmetically on an arch top (yes I'm shallow)...
You're not shallow - that "dish" around the perimeter (also known as the "recurve") is a significant personal element of the luthier's craft and, while it can vary over time (and individual instruments), is as much a mark of maker authenticity among archtop collectors as orchestral-string specialists; to my eye it looks like Charlie took a bit of inspiration from a couple late-40's D'Angelicos I've seen, particularly in the back where he paired it with a subtle touch of "German carve" such as one might see on a '50s Hofner jazzbox (or, in its most extreme form, on the rare Fender LTD or certain Rickenbacker hollowbodies) that lends an almost cello-like elegance - very well done IMO, and I'm sorry he didn't have a more prolific output...

BTW I don't know how long this guitar was played (or by whom) before it came into your possession but archtops, being the finicky beasts they are by nature, not only take longer to "break in" than flattop guitars - I played a number of Big Band-era comp boxes back in the '70's-80's, that were just beginning to come into their own after several decades - but IME once they have a tone "played into them" that's it, for better/for worse/for life. Although your tastes/style may run to fingerpicking (and perhaps extensive use of the open/semi-open positions and alternate tunings associated therewith), I'd also spend a fair share of time whacking out some four-to-the-bar Freddie Green-style comp chords and single-string lines along the entire length of the neck - or enlist the aid of an experienced jazzer friend who can (I doubt anyone in his/her right mind would refuse the opportunity on that guitar) - to help "open up" the full tone/volume potential; as an archtop player since the early-60's the best examples I've found were the ones that were obviously played hard in all positions (and treated with respect and care over their lifetime - there's a big difference between honest wear and abuse, that a lot of the flattop guys don't seem to get) - and while I recognize the difference a cedar top would make, time is on your side in that it would likely tend to mature earlier in terms of ultimate tonal capability. I'd give it a try - meaning over an extended period of time - and see what happens...

Gorgeous instrument - use it well and often...
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:19 PM
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Livingston Livingston is offline
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Wow! Gorgeous guitar! Congratulations and thank you for posting photos of your new axe!
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:23 PM
Vee_Voe Vee_Voe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
You're not shallow - that "dish" around the perimeter (also known as the "recurve") is a significant personal element of the luthier's craft and, while it can vary over time (and individual instruments), is as much a mark of maker authenticity among archtop collectors as orchestral-string specialists; to my eye it looks like Charlie took a bit of inspiration from a couple late-40's D'Angelicos I've seen, particularly in the back where he paired it with a subtle touch of "German carve" such as one might see on a '50s Hofner jazzbox (or, in its most extreme form, on the rare Fender LTD or certain Rickenbacker hollowbodies) that lends an almost cello-like elegance - very well done IMO, and I'm sorry he didn't have a more prolific output...

BTW I don't know how long this guitar was played (or by whom) before it came into your possession but archtops, being the finicky beasts they are by nature, not only take longer to "break in" than flattop guitars - I played a number of Big Band-era comp boxes back in the '70's-80's, that were just beginning to come into their own after several decades - but IME once they have a tone "played into them" that's it, for better/for worse/for life. Although your tastes/style may run to fingerpicking (and perhaps extensive use of the open/semi-open positions and alternate tunings associated therewith), I'd also spend a fair share of time whacking out some four-to-the-bar Freddie Green-style comp chords and single-string lines along the entire length of the neck - or enlist the aid of an experienced jazzer friend who can (I doubt anyone in his/her right mind would refuse the opportunity on that guitar) - to help "open up" the full tone/volume potential; as an archtop player since the early-60's the best examples I've found were the ones that were obviously played hard in all positions (and treated with respect and care over their lifetime - there's a big difference between honest wear and abuse, that a lot of the flattop guys don't seem to get) - and while I recognize the difference a cedar top would make, time is on your side in that it would likely tend to mature earlier in terms of ultimate tonal capability. I'd give it a try - meaning over an extended period of time - and see what happens...

Gorgeous instrument - use it well and often...
So that’s what a recurve is, I heard the term used before but I always imagined it as the transitional thinning out of the top thickness, now I know The guitar has minimal play, when Charlie passed his wife had his instruments put up on consignment at Bernunzio’s music shop in NY. That’s very interesting what you said about the opening up process of an archtop, makes sense to me. I’ll have to find some friends to help me open up the wood
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Old 08-05-2018, 05:30 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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That looks like a very finely crafted archtop ... that IS a floating pickup isn't it?

Cedar is an unusual (unique?) option for an archtop but should make it sonorous for soloing and lead melodies, if not a hard chunky rhythm box .. a more modern sound I guess, so here's the thing ... she looks stunning, but what does she sound like? Gotta put a video or a sound file up for us !

Enjoy you new guitars!
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Old 08-05-2018, 07:00 PM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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I favor cedar and redwood tops, having made both, and I think that guitar is absolutely stunning. Recurve just means the curve of the arch returns towards the edge, it goes down and comes back up again. Mechanically it is perhaps the most important part of both the top and the back. It's thin thickness is critical to freeing the top and back - archtops have what is called a "live back" that vibrates with the top to produce the tone - and allows them both to respond to the strings. When you hear of tuning and tap-tuning an archtop, what you are doing is carving and finessing that recurve to release the tone of the guitar.
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:40 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is online now
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I'm also partial to Western Redcedar and Redwood for soundboards. I have several arch top instruments using them. Two mandolins (F5 and F4), an A4 10 string mandola, a 10 string hardanger viola, an F4 octave mandolin and an F4 10 string mandocello. Tight straight grain, beautiful color but most importantly a sweet mellow tone. I'd love to hear your guitar.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:02 PM
Vee_Voe Vee_Voe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
That looks like a very finely crafted archtop ... that IS a floating pickup isn't it?

Cedar is an unusual (unique?) option for an archtop but should make it sonorous for soloing and lead melodies, if not a hard chunky rhythm box .. a more modern sound I guess, so here's the thing ... she looks stunning, but what does she sound like? Gotta put a video or a sound file up for us !

Enjoy you new guitars!
Yep, it's a floating Kent Armstrong pickup. I just got my cutaway Paddock back from setup, it is a spruce top with mahogany back and sides. I love the first 2 Paddock archtops so much that I got a third one which is an all acoustic Spruce/Maple, though not as responsive to fingerstyle it is thunderous when hit with a pick. Here are some photos and an iphone sound clip (I tried maintaining the same distance and attack when playing, first guitar is the cedar/maple/x-braced and second is the spruce/maple/parallel braced), I don't own any great recording equipment so this is what we'll have to work with, and as always, so many guitars but not enough talent








Last edited by Vee_Voe; 08-06-2018 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 08-10-2018, 10:28 AM
jomaynor jomaynor is offline
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Thank you for posting the brief bio of the late Charles Paddock and the photos of your exquisitely made Paddock guitar, Vee_Voe. Much admiration for luthiers of this caliber.
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:45 AM
upsidedown upsidedown is offline
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I'd love to hear a soundclip of a cedar archtop..

Wondering; what is the deal with the gap between the first fret and the nut?

Beautiful guitar!
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:49 PM
Vee_Voe Vee_Voe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upsidedown View Post
I'd love to hear a soundclip of a cedar archtop..

Wondering; what is the deal with the gap between the first fret and the nut?

Beautiful guitar!
There's a soundclip on my post near the bottom. That's actually called zero fret, some guitars are made that way.
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Old 08-18-2018, 08:39 AM
Richard Mott Richard Mott is offline
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Those instruments sound fabulous!!!
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