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  #1  
Old 12-04-2019, 11:00 AM
gfa gfa is offline
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Default Most Recommended Starter Archtops?

I'm thinking about getting an archtop, and know nothing about them. What are the 3 or 4 most commonly recommended intro archtops? $500-$1k neighborhood. Some additional details: I don't need a p'up, will be using it for rhythm, not playing jazz, mostly interested because GAS. Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:05 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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In that price range, I'd be all about a Loar 600.
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Old 12-11-2019, 05:47 PM
1Charlie 1Charlie is offline
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A Ď50ís era Gibson L-50 can sometimes be found at the top end of that range. Or, barring that, an L-48.
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:37 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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In the under-$1K bracket there are some vintage bargains to be had, if you look around:
  • Epiphone ('40s/50s New York, '60s Kalamazoo) Zenith
  • Guild A-50 Cordoba
  • Gibson L-48
  • Gretsch New Yorker
  • Gretsch Corsair
  • Harmony Cremona
  • Harmony Patrician
  • Regal and National 16" instruments made by Gibson/Harmony/Kay
I've also seen the occasional Eastman non-cutaway AR605 - an all-solid/all-carved 16-incher - selling around $1K, and their 1920's Gibson L-4 clone AR400 in the $600-800 bracket; on the other hand, if you just want a comp box on the cheap the recently-discontinued Godin 5th Avenue acoustic can be had for as little as $250-300 used/$450-500 as new-old-stock, and while it won't sound quite like a carved-top jazzbox it'll give you plenty of classic archtop rhythm "bark" when set up with medium-gauge monel strings or heavy-gauge phosphor-bronze...
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:49 PM
PHJim PHJim is offline
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There are some nice Epiphone Masterbilt Zenith and Olympics for under $1000 Canadian. These have a really nice pickup system with the tone and volume controls hidden in the treble f-hole and easy to reach.
The Deluxe is a bit bigger, but a bit over $1000 (in Canada)

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Old 01-25-2020, 11:13 AM
Andy3Sheds Andy3Sheds is offline
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I hadn't appreciated appreciated that Godin had discontinued the acoustic 5th ave
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Old 02-03-2020, 03:51 PM
Londonlefty Londonlefty is offline
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Donít bother with the new Epiphones, picked up a Olympic converted to lefty and itís crap. Feels cheap and sounds cheap.
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:02 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Londonlefty View Post
Donít bother with the new Epiphones, picked up a Olympic converted to lefty and itís crap. Feels cheap and sounds cheap.
FYI the Masterbilt Century line (Olympic, Zenith, Deluxe) has been dropped from the 2020 product listings (finally!), along with the other full-size electric archtops (Broadway, Joe Pass, Swingster, ES-175) and the Century thinline - let's hope the long-rumored New York-style reissues aren't too long in coming...
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:03 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
FYI the Masterbilt Century line (Olympic, Zenith, Deluxe) has been dropped from the 2020 product listings (finally!), along with the other full-size electric archtops (Broadway, Joe Pass, Swingster, ES-175) and the Century thinline - let's hope the long-rumored New York-style reissues aren't too long in coming...
If they do New York styled reissues, I will not be able to resist.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:37 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfa View Post
I'm thinking about getting an archtop, and know nothing about them. What are the 3 or 4 most commonly recommended intro archtops? $500-$1k neighborhood. Some additional details: I don't need a p'up, will be using it for rhythm, not playing jazz, mostly interested because GAS. Thanks!
hi, as you mention dollars I'm assuming you are in North America.
my first arch-top was a '64 Harmony Monterey, whch I bought via Ebay and it was and still is perfect.
On the US ebay there is one in Seattle for $799 which has had a neck reset so should be good to go - metalwork looks a tad tired, but such things can be easily replaced.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1963-Harmon...IAAOSwe5peAB3f
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  #11  
Old 02-15-2020, 09:49 AM
Big Band Guitar Big Band Guitar is offline
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Go a little more and get any Eastman.
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2020, 06:31 PM
buddyrama buddyrama is offline
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I have two Eastman arch tops, one laminated and one solid wood. They are an incredible value.
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  #13  
Old 03-21-2020, 01:59 PM
mefoolonhill mefoolonhill is offline
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Default Loar 600

I second the recommendation of the Loar 600. Same design as a 1920's Gibson L-5, nice full neck, all solid woods. They sound really great if you add one of the repro DeArmond pickups, which cost about $120.
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  #14  
Old 04-02-2020, 07:31 PM
mefoolonhill mefoolonhill is offline
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Default Eastman 371

Can also recommend the Eastman AR-371. It's basically a Gibson ES-175, and the quality is right up there. I have the sunburst version with a single pickup at the neck (don't like too much hardware and weight on the face of a guitar. It's a total workhorse-- stays in tune, doesn't need any attention.
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