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  #16  
Old 09-02-2022, 12:03 PM
Lucy_Strat Lucy_Strat is offline
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Oh yep that was my take away to Jeff the sound is so detailed on the 1940s Epiphone very clear to doing the clip really helped it's interesting how listening to them in isolation your mind can play tricks but listening to them like that really hammers it home the difference with the carved top ones tone wise they did want more than an l7 for it though was 4kgbp n not mint with some repaired cracks was interesting to try though can't wait to get my hands on an l5 this week gonna do a long drive to try one

I'm also an idiot that was a Triumph from 1945 not a Zenith. What was your fav from the best of the rest?

Just fixed the video link

https://youtu.be/tQsHyU9aTuw

Thanks RJVB great info

Last edited by Lucy_Strat; 09-02-2022 at 01:21 PM.
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  #17  
Old 09-02-2022, 07:26 PM
loco gringo loco gringo is offline
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Epiphone Triumph by a mile. Gretsch from the lessers.
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  #18  
Old 09-03-2022, 02:52 AM
Lucy_Strat Lucy_Strat is offline
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Thanks Loco it's really interesting to see what everyone likes and prefers who are more experienced with listening to the nuances.
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  #19  
Old 09-03-2022, 07:22 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucy_Strat View Post
Oh yep that was my take away to Jeff the sound is so detailed on the 1940s Epiphone very clear to doing the clip really helped it's interesting how listening to them in isolation your mind can play tricks but listening to them like that really hammers it home the difference with the carved top ones tone wise they did want more than an l7 for it though was 4kgbp n not mint with some repaired cracks was interesting to try though can't wait to get my hands on an l5 this week gonna do a long drive to try one

I'm also an idiot that was a Triumph from 1945 not a Zenith. What was your fav from the best of the rest?

Just fixed the video link

https://youtu.be/tQsHyU9aTuw

Thanks RJVB great info
I was pleasantly surprised with the Epiphone master built. I never encountered one in person, but I thought all of the online demos I heard sounded terrible.
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  #20  
Old 09-03-2022, 08:23 AM
loco gringo loco gringo is offline
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Originally Posted by Lucy_Strat View Post
Thanks Loco it's really interesting to see what everyone likes and prefers who are more experienced with listening to the nuances.
After listening again, I have to go with the Epi Masterbuilt. I think I was listening to the Gretsch with a pick.
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  #21  
Old 09-03-2022, 08:31 AM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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I was pleasantly surprised with the Epiphone master built. I never encountered one in person, but I thought all of the online demos I heard sounded terrible.
Yeah, it does sound the best of this lot, but if these acoustic samples are all "phone on knee" recordings they're probably representative of that the player hears and maybe not much more.

I'm lost in the Epiphone names; have there not been Masterbuilts before that had much better specs on paper than the current model? The current ones only sound bad if you compare them to peers that are known to be properly carved and voiced (that includes the Loars). Otherwise they're just quite bland/uninspiring IMHO.

The "Broadway Mic" through the hot rod sounded quite juicy too - added reverb or so?
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  #22  
Old 09-03-2022, 08:37 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by RJVB View Post
...@Steve: how symmetric is the carving of the top, and isn't there a difference between the parallel treble and bass braces?
This might help:

https://dutcharchtopguitarmuseum.nl/epiphone-bodies/
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  #23  
Old 09-03-2022, 08:37 AM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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Just because I saw it again in my saved videos:



recording quality is sadly not up to par with the playing but IMHO you can still hear how amazingly clear and ringing that guitar sounds all the way up to the edge.
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  #24  
Old 09-03-2022, 10:03 AM
Lucy_Strat Lucy_Strat is offline
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Thanks everyone great info yep I was mainly interested in what I'd hear as a player as I'm still just learning I did get my dad to sit about 6 foot away and listen

I'd say my favourites in order were:

1945 Epiphone Masterbilt by a country mile. I certainly need a new york epiphone in my life at some point an I understand Steve's love and recommendation for them. At 4k though she's outta my price range.

1935 Gibson L50 I really didn't want to leave that one the way it rang out with the overtones and the natural verb for a 16" was amazing. I kept accidently catching the high e string with playing upside down and it was like someone hitting a bell. I wonder if dad would miss his antique house lights lol!

Could really see the difference of the Carved tops.

My next favourites were the pressed top guitars

Probably the Masterbilt made in China Deluxe first maybe but its very close with the gretsch probably edges it as I like the 17" body size an I keep looking at them and thinking Charlie Christian pickup.

Quite a nice big neck and ebony board to although I do think the recording sounded better but the shop was huge when that was plugged in on the later clip of them electrified that was into a jcm800 so hardly ideal.

I'd probably say the Gretsch with a plectrum got some nice tones as it seemed to drive the top I struggled a bit with my thumb to get the dynamics out but it did really Mellow off very nicely. Loved the V neck alot that was very nice.

I did play a modern masterbilt Zenith right at the start of the search but didn't record that as the shop was crazy noisy. Tend to remember it being quite strident sort of flat toppy but that was the first archtop I'd ever played so my mind may be playing tricks

The epiphone broadway was an interesting one actually played two one that's not on the recordings which was ok I guess and that one was something else quite loud in the room (tiny booth though) acousticly an it sounded lush full of detail and overtones but I think the reverb on the hot rod was having alot to do with it especially with the amp having a master volume. It would have been interesting to have tried that into a different amp.

The godin I'm not sure if there was something up with that it was a lefty and the bridge was sky high almost full adjustment compared to the rh ones I should have tried one of those to, looked like the action could have come down some for my liking. For some reason I struggled with the neck as well. Lovely package though an the plugged in p90 tone was very warm.

I thought I preffered the full depth 17" guitars but that 35' L50 really suprised me I didn't want to give it back lol

How does the flat back compared to the carved back alter things on the early archtops?

I think any of them are nice in isolation got my eye on a few different ones n just depends what else comes up.

I do keep looking at the loars though as a viable option.
String wise from memory

1945 epi Triumph had quite light guage strings roundwounds

Epiphone masterbilt modern Deluxe had bronze strings.

Godin had some very noisy stock strings which didn't help it so can't really judge that.

The Gretsch new yorker had semi flat rounds on it.

That link on the bracing is super interesting Steve thanks for sharing. I guess that's the risk in a way with converting an older one if it's one where the bracing was optimised differently for the Treble to the bass it might not get as good a sound with the strings set lefty but that's the price of being a lefty I guess sometimes unknowns can be fun. It's interesting that it was the same early 30s though

The loars are certainly an option to, I'm hoping to go try a Gibson l50 carve back this week to bit of a drive though but worth the experience

Edit: loving the sound of that Loar great playing to!

Last edited by Lucy_Strat; 09-03-2022 at 10:32 AM.
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  #25  
Old 09-03-2022, 06:06 PM
Lucy_Strat Lucy_Strat is offline
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Just been doing some 1am research and came across this gut shot in one of the modern epiphone masterbilt vids on the Deluxe looks like the braces are offset even though they are parallel to the Neck block, does anyone know what the idea of that is, is it Purley from a strength point of view or to do with tone? What does moving one of the braces away from the neck block emphasise it's really interesting to learn, also been listening to clips of original D'angelico's serious wow a girl can dream hey! Can't get the tone of those vintage archtops out of my mind the clarity and detail is just something else.




Edit: just found this interesting page about moving the parallel bass brace out to increase bass response.


So with that in mind with the above image of the bracing in the masterbilt I'm assuming reversing the string order lefty on the Masterbilt's so I'm assuming if what I've read is correct on the Masterbilt's that will reduce the bass as the new parallel brace on the new bass side f hole size will be further to the new bass f hole toward the neck block if I'm understanding it correctly.

Just going to re read the vintage epi info Steve posted.

I'll have to do some reading up on the position of X bracing it's really fascinating learning about what actually makes them sound how they sound.

Anyone ever had a mid 30s Cromwell in comparison to a l50?

Last edited by Lucy_Strat; 09-04-2022 at 02:37 AM.
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  #26  
Old 09-04-2022, 06:02 AM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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I think you can think of the braces as part of the top (once glued properly), so their shape and location are part of the top's voicing.

I notice that Epiphone talk about "longitudinal" bracing, which is more appropriate to parallel (because there's nothing parallel in that gut shot).

Did you consider how much a proper lefty conversion might add to the price of the instrument? Custom build archtops start at about 4k from what I've seen, and there is no hard reason why the build of a non-cut lefty would cost significantly more than a "normal" instrument.
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  #27  
Old 09-04-2022, 07:58 AM
Lucy_Strat Lucy_Strat is offline
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Hi RJVB that's a very good point I actually spoke to a Luthier near where I'm moving about converting a Broadway and that came in at about 150 or so from memory.

I'd probably do it myself though replaced nuts on my epiphone les paul an after that its just sorting the tail peice n Bridge I'd love to learn skills so no better time than to have a go when it comes to vintage though as you say I might look at weighing the cost up of a new build.

Weirdly from a lefty point of view I don't think it'd be to bad cutting a bit of bass and emphasising the Treble on the modern Deluxe might not be to bad for its tone.

Got my eye on about 3 guitars I'm gonna enquire on now.

A couple of modern masterbilt Deluxe's
Modern Masterbilt Zenith
An hoping to play a Cromwell from the 30s this week that's just about affordable curious how itl differ to the l50 I played in tone.
An a couple of Loars although those are really stretching the budget out.

Gonna get a go on another Godin to

I think the biggest difference I've noticed in person is the clarity to the older guitars like the Triumph an L50 I've played really high fi like a sparkly tone that I've not heard on the modern stuff but I've not played a loar or Eastman yet. I did see a none cutaway eastman 610 but it had some binding damage on the top of the neck which would be my bottom of the neck.

But I've not played a modern carve top by the same rule.

I think once I've got something affordable got the house move done I'm gonna try get a period Epiphone Triumph/Deluxe or an L7 none cutaway all of them inc the modern stuff is so amazing
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  #28  
Old 09-04-2022, 10:42 AM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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Doing a proper conversion would also mean changing the fretboard, if it is higher on the bass side than on the treble side (as I think it will be)! I don't think the cited 150$ can include that, even if he just alters the tilt of the original fretboard by shaving and shimming (supposing that's possible).
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  #29  
Old 09-04-2022, 11:23 AM
Lucy_Strat Lucy_Strat is offline
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Ah I didn't realise the fretboards were angled not got up to that bit in my Benedetto book yet! I'll have to have a closer look at some of my current guitars something I've never noticed didn't think there was a difference with the actual fretboard. Really appreciate all the replies btw everyone it's awesome to learn about all the differences. Just spent that past few hours reading about the bracing and differences. I guess with being a lefty there's an element of making the best of a situation.

Which has made me change my later buy when I eventually go Vintage towards a NY Epi I think.

At the moment though I'm thinking the most likely and cost effective option is a modern Epi Deluxe / Godin acoustic / the Gretsch New yorker. Looking forward to playing some guitars again this week bit of a weigh up between body size and neck profiles.

I keep trying to remember what the tone was like on the modern Zenith to the Deluxe I tend to think the 16" Zenith had a bit more output such a shame I didn't record it when the shop had it.

I'd love that Epiphone Triumph but alas is something to hunt down in the future

When Gibson went to the X bracing on the advanced did they go back to solid bracing?

Last edited by Lucy_Strat; 09-04-2022 at 11:36 AM.
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  #30  
Old 09-05-2022, 05:22 AM
Lucy_Strat Lucy_Strat is offline
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Made a choice All being well ill have an update tomorrow ^_^

Thanks again for all the advice everyone.

Last edited by Lucy_Strat; 09-05-2022 at 01:05 PM.
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