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Old 12-15-2016, 08:46 AM
marshalluke marshalluke is offline
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Default Vintage Archtop

I had this to restore recently.
It was in pretty bad shape. The neck was off and the top stoved in where it had been left strung for decades. It was also in filthy condition.
I thought i might be able to get the top pushed back out if i took it off. It came off easily enough but then i discovered it was a laminate about 4mm thick. It was rigid so decided against doing anything other than cleaning. ( i was on a budget here!) Inside it was even blacker than the outside. Interestingly it had a soundpost!
I got it all back together including regluing the neck.
The bridge had been cut down presumably as the neck started moving - someone had attempted to glue that and failed.
Anyway when it was cleaned and strung up it sounded amazingly good, the dented top did not seem to make much difference and my client was delighted - it did not warrant any more sophisticated repair work.
Who made it? there was no identification inside and what had been some sort of inlaid decal on the headstock long gone.
My feeling is it was European build maybe French or Italian? Measurements seemed to fit metric rather than imperial.
Anyone seen anything similar? I would be interested to know more.
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Old 12-15-2016, 03:58 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Location: Staten Island, NY
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Body size/slotted head/12-fret neck/ladder bracing suggest to me that this was made by a firm that dealt primarily in student-grade violin-family instruments, as well as cheap flattop guitars - the internal construction (including the incongruous soundpost) exhibits a lack of real first-hand knowledge of archtop guitar construction methods, and I'm also thinking that the laminated top/back plates may well have been adapted from an existing 1/2 - 3/4-size cello mold and trimmed to fit. That said - and of course without the requisite hands-on examination - IMO you might also be looking at an early (pre-1955) post-war Middle/East-European (rather than French/Italian) instrument, built to a price to satisfy local demand and never intended for widespread distribution...
"They wouldn't bend, they wouldn't bow, they wouldn't burn"
- Johnny Cash
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Old 12-17-2016, 07:39 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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Posts: 5,958

I would guess what you are referring to as a soundpost may have been installed in an attempt to keep the top from sinking further.
"I play so rough - I stomp 'em"
Bukka White on playing his National

Last edited by zombywoof; 12-17-2016 at 07:47 PM.
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