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Old 06-25-2019, 04:01 PM
eyesore eyesore is offline
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Default tele trade in

I play a telecaster at home , but i guess I'm just not a tele player . If I were to trade up on a archtop, what is a good recomenndation? It's an American Tele, very nice , I know I'll never get decent trade in value.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:06 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by eyesore View Post
...If I were to trade up on a archtop, what is a good recommendation?
Depends upon what styles you prefer and what type of tone you're after - around these parts "archtop" generally implies a full-depth hollowbody (rather than a thinline or semi-hollow), whether laminated or carved and with or without pickup(s), so I'm going to assume that's what you're looking for. Since you're coming over from a Tele (with its characteristic twang) you'll probably want to look at something with built-in single-coil or mini-humbucker pickups (in the mold of the first-generation Gibson ES-175, its '50s/60s Gretsch/Guild/Epiphone counterparts, or their modern renditions), if you're interested in similar clarity but with a more sophisticated and complex tonality - a good match for your new Bugera V5 IME if you like that Bop/rockabilly-era tweed-amp smoky smoothness...

While archtops are justly considered, in the words of a recent Ibanez ad campaign, "guitar royalty," it doesn't always take a king's ransom to obtain first-class tone, and there are many well-built/fine-sounding options in the under-$1500 bracket. Speaking as a happy owner - and there are a number of us here on the Archtop forum - my go-to jazz/blues/rockabilly box (and first-call backup guitar for any style I'm likely to play at my age) is the Godin CW II, a dual P-90 single-cut hollowbody reminiscent of the aforementioned ES-175 and Epiphone Zephyr Regent of the early-50's; at around five pounds on the strap this one handles like the well-respected Seagull mini-jumbo acoustics, boasts the QC all Godin products are known for (mine is one of exactly three guitars I've owned over the last 56 years that needed no setup whatsoever - see also below), and has a lively, airy resonance similar to a good vintage Brooklyn Gretsch - quite different from the "thud-&-mud" of many laminated archtops. Like many of its Seagull peers (as well as your Tele) it's a case of "everything you need and nothing you don't" - single volume/tone controls, 3-way pickup selector, satin finish - but IME it can go toe-to-toe with similar guitars well in excess of its $1K street price (often far less if you shop around, BTW - I got mine for a tick over $600 from Amazon during a Christmas Day 2012 flash sale); FWIW Tony Bennett's guitarist has been using one on tour for several years now - and I'd tend to think both he and his boss know a little something about tone...

If your tastes run to something a little edgier both visually and sonically - again speaking as a happy owner (check back on the Electric forum to see how many of us there are) - I'd recommend the Korean-made Gretsch Electromatic 5400-Series hollowbodies; not to be confused with their low-end Chinese/Indonesian 2500-Series stablemates, these are fully gigworthy instruments, and IME as a Gretsch owner since 1964 among some of the finest ever to wear the marque in terms of playability and QC - neither of my two late-model Gretsches needed any setup out of the box either. While their tone isn't everyone's cuppa tea - nothing else sounds like a Gretsch but a Gretsch - their unique sonic signature cuts across many musical genres, and if stylistic versatility is your criterion one of these may be exactly what you're looking for; they're also an excellent match for your V5 if you like things a little cleaner (if not quite as loud), as they don't hit the front end as hard as a P-90. In addition to their exceptional affordability - well under $1K across the board - they come in a variety of classic Gretsch cosmetic livery; if you've ever GASsed for a White Falcon (single- or double-cut), "King George" Country Gent, Duane Eddy-style 6120, Country Club, Nashville, or Viking (among others) but couldn't handle the price of either the current Professional Series or a Brooklyn original, here's your chance - factory-fitted with honest-to-Chet Filter'Trons, better-built than most of the vintage stuff in its day IME, and plays out of the box better than many similar instruments from the high-profile companies...

Finally, although they're a little harder to find (and a bit more expensive) Guild's Newark St. X-175/X-175B 17" dual P-90 jazzboxes have a classic mid-50's visual/sonic vibe that owes much to their original New York Epiphone roots, as do the similar D'Angelico Excel-59 and Deluxe-59 to the "entry-level" (if any original D'A could be considered such) laminated-body electrics produced by John D'Angelico around the same time; either one might be a good choice if your tastes run along strictly traditional lines - and with a set of flatwound 12's/13's they look/sound like veterans of the 1958 New Year's Eve "Rat Pack" show at the Sands Hotel...

Good luck and good hunting...
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Last edited by Steve DeRosa; 06-28-2019 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:24 PM
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BoneDigger BoneDigger is offline
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I would recommend a Guild X175. The new reissues are quite good and won't break the bank. The single coil P90s are nice and can give you a good crisp single coil sound but with just a bit of meat to it.
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Old 06-28-2019, 07:37 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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I would recommend a Guild X175. The new reissues are quite good and won't break the bank. The single coil P90s are nice and can give you a good crisp single coil sound but with just a bit of meat to it.
Amazon has been running flash sales on these for a while now - takes about $250-300 off the street rice and the HSC is included TMK, so it might be a good bet...
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