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Old 03-18-2022, 09:02 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Default New Taylor Archtop Guitars

OK, so it's a bit premature, but I noticed that the Andy Powers interview in the the new "Wood & Steel" trade publication from Taylor relates that he has been "playing a lot of different kinds of instruments lately".

Given Taylor's success with 3 layer arched / shaped back plates featuring great looking outer thick veneers such as Koa, Mahogany, and Maple I wouldn't rule out Andy Powers designing a new inexpensive line of arch top guitars.

The Taylor braceless arched laminated back plates are certainly part of their "secret sauce" for making their lower tier acoustic guitars sound great. It's not a great stretch of the imagination to conjure up the image of beautiful Taylor archtops in great looking wood combinations and using steel or synthetic strings with an adjustable bridge and that fabulous NT neck joint!

"Andy, are U listening?"
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Old 03-18-2022, 09:05 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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I think Bob back in the day said that an archtop was one of his ultimate goals...

I'd be amazed if they were affordable, though...If they pulled off some kind of 300-400 level archtop my wallet would instantly catch fire.
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Old 03-18-2022, 10:43 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
I think Bob back in the day said that an archtop was one of his ultimate goals...

I'd be amazed if they were affordable, though...If they pulled off some kind of 300-400 level archtop my wallet would instantly catch fire.
If they made them with shaped 3 layer tops and backs (like the GS Mini) then we could be looking at a Taylor archtop in the $750 range.
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Old 03-18-2022, 11:05 AM
CoastStrings CoastStrings is offline
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Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
I'd be amazed if they were affordable, though...If they pulled off some kind of 300-400 level archtop my wallet would instantly catch fire.
The Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin sells for $700 street so I consider it unlikely that Taylor would bust through that floor.

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Old 03-18-2022, 01:56 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Originally Posted by CoastStrings View Post
The Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin sells for $700 street so I consider it unlikely that Taylor would bust through that floor.

Oh I wasn't thinking 300-400 dollars, I was thinking around the price of a 300 or 400 series Taylor.

The Godins are very cool, they don't make that model anymore, or the all acoustic...

I would think Taylor would go for something with a real acoustic voice.
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Old 03-18-2022, 02:19 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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I guess we will see...

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Old 03-18-2022, 05:37 PM
1after909 1after909 is offline
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That would be very 😎🖖
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Old 03-18-2022, 06:46 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
Oh I wasn't thinking 300-400 dollars, I was thinking around the price of a 300 or 400 series Taylor.

The Godins are very cool, they don't make that model anymore, or the all acoustic...

I would think Taylor would go for something with a real acoustic voice.
I wonder if the Godin archtops have the same epoxy-bonded non-resettable neck joint as many of the A&L family guitars do?

The NT neck joint would be a very nice feature on the Taylor arch tops.
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Old 03-18-2022, 07:03 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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The Godin archtops are bolt on.
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Old 03-18-2022, 08:09 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Don't know if Bob T. and Andy have thought of it yet, but the old 114ce slimmed down front-to-back and fitted with a slotted headstock, appropriate bracing, and a tailpiece could make for one heluva affordable Gypsy guitar with a minimum of retooling...

As far as archtops are concerned they could easily cover the 15" and 16" notches with their existing -12 and -14 Series molds, but they'd need to resurrect the old -15 Series for an appropriately sized/proportioned 17-incher - the -18 Series won't cut it here aesthetically...
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Last edited by Steve DeRosa; 03-18-2022 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 03-18-2022, 09:02 PM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
I wonder if the Godin archtops have the same epoxy-bonded non-resettable neck joint as many of the A&L family guitars do?
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
The Godin archtops are bolt on.
Yep, bolt on.

I really don't think that Taylor will ever build an acoustic archtop. Particularly not a cheap mass produced one. For one simple reason. At present there are 5 of us viewing the archtop section of AGF, whilst 200 view the general area.
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Old 03-18-2022, 09:34 PM
The Growler The Growler is offline
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Originally Posted by Robin, Wales View Post
Yep, bolt on.

I really don't think that Taylor will ever build an acoustic archtop. Particularly not a cheap mass produced one. For one simple reason. At present there are 5 of us viewing the archtop section of AGF, whilst 200 view the general area.
Yeah, I gotta think they won’t roll this out as low end model. The Tecate plant is running full tilt and the demand would be lower than most would think. I’m thinking the first out would be a 600 series Builders Edition and an 800 model.

Here’s to hoping.
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Old 03-18-2022, 10:00 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin, Wales View Post
...I really don't think that Taylor will ever build an acoustic archtop. Particularly not a cheap mass produced one. For one simple reason. At present there are 5 of us viewing the archtop section of AGF, whilst 200 view the general area.
Archtops are indeed largely a niche instrument these days, since relatively few players born after the Eisenhower Administration really understand how to get the best out of them...

That said, Bob and Andy historically have a way of seeing things like this as a challenge rather than a deterrent: with Robert Godin having already paved the way with his 5th Avenue latter-day rendition of a postwar jobber-line archtop, Eastman and Loar enjoying sufficient success to maintain steady if modest sales, and nobody else producing a decent-sounding acoustic jazzbox in the under-$2K bracket (unfortunately the long-standing rumor about a revived line of historically-accurate MIC Epiphone comp boxes seems to be just that ), the market is wide open - and if anyone could make an instrument that would appeal to both the archtop stalwarts and the flattop crossovers attracted by the cool visuals and dry tone (possibly with a pressed solid mahogany top - Heritage had a solid all-carved all-hog jazzbox in the '80s-90s that sold for $1K at the time), at a price that would put it in the same "tone arsenal" category as a bread-&-butter line 12-string, resonator, or acoustic-electric bass, it's Andy...
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Last edited by Steve DeRosa; 03-18-2022 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 03-19-2022, 02:34 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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Hi Steve,

I ran a resonator guitar company for 8 years, Busker Guitars, and was Michael Messer's partner for his guitar brand. We were certainly "niche" and I knew that our customers were all multiple guitar owners already but probably coming to the reso for the first time. So I geared everything around great setups and timbre on £500 to £600 gbp instruments, that players could gig without worry. Never advertised beyond my website and always had a waiting list.

I tried to find a metalwork factory in the UK to build bodies and a wood shop to make the necks but, even using the gov scheme to partner businesses, no one wanted the relatively small orders we would be placing. So we used a family owned workshop in China, who did have access to a metal working plant with some tooling already and neck making workshops. We paid for some new tooling, sent out detailed designs, Michael visited the workshop, and went from there. All the guitars would come to me and I would do the full set-ups, inside and out, of the guitars and sell directly to blues musicians around the world (mainly EU but some North America, South America, Africa and Australia). It was hard work but a lovely project, particularly talking with all the musicians we were supplying.

Working with Michael Messer was delightful, he has such in depth knowledge of reso guitars from a professional musician's perspective and personally knew all the collectors and aficionados of these instruments. I learned a lot from him.

The pricing was something Michael and I agreed on when we very first met. We took the early 30s National catalogues and worked out what it would have felt like to by a Duolian and Style 0 in the 30s (it worked out around £500 to £600 in the UK) and set that as our retail price then worked backwards to budget. We wrote our business ethics the same day and made a list of essential features the guitars must have and desirable features we could compromise on if we needed to.

So, someone could do something similar with archtop guitars. You could pick something like the Epiphone Olympic and one of the 16" birch "catalogue" guitars of the 30s, do the detailed design drawings, then look for an OEM factory somewhere to build them. Then bring the guitars to one point for final set-up and direct sales (cutting out distribution and retail and using that margin to fund the hands on set up work and inevitable q/a write off of some guitars).

Anyone fancy having a go? I'm retired now but a few years back I may have considered the project. I actually moved from reso guitars to mountain dulcimers, running Bird Rock Dulcimers along the same concept, and found a couple of lovely instrument making family workshops in the Ozarks and Southern Appalachians to build for me, and I then sold directly to players in Europe.
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I'm learning to flatpick and fingerpick guitar to accompany songs.

I've played and studied traditional noter/drone mountain dulcimer for many years. And I used to play dobro in a bluegrass band.




Last edited by Robin, Wales; 03-19-2022 at 04:00 AM.
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Old 03-19-2022, 09:21 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin, Wales View Post
...You could pick something like...one of the 16" birch "catalogue" guitars of the 30s, do the detailed design drawings, then look for an OEM factory somewhere to build them. Then bring the guitars to one point for final set-up and direct sales (cutting out distribution and retail and using that margin to fund the hands on set up work and inevitable q/a write off of some guitars).

Anyone fancy having a go?....
Sounds basically like what Robert Godin did with the all-acoustic 5th Avenue which was, for all practical purposes, the latter-day counterpart of those postwar student archtops - it's just a shame that it never found the popularity it deserves...

As far as developing an instrument for production/distribution in the European market, you might want to reach out to noted Guild expert Hans Moust, just across the Channel in the Netherlands and a fellow member (if somewhat infrequent poster) of the AGF. FYI there's significant overlap and cross-pollination between Epiphone's postwar New York operation and Guild's early days - in addition to the fact that Guild marketed a little-known (outside the US Northeast Corridor) all-laminated acoustic archtop known as the A-50 Cordoba, similar to Gibson's L-48 - and he might be able to provide valuable hands-on input/advice on period design and construction methods, that would lend that final air of authenticity...
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