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  #1  
Old 01-17-2021, 05:31 AM
jimi junior jimi junior is offline
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Default Something fun & different (not a flattop) for fingerstyle folk, blues, Travis, Celtic

I'm looking for ideas for an instrument to add some variety to my collection.

My acoustic playing is a mix of fingerstyle Celtic (open tunings), blues, classic American folk (Travis picking) occasionally a little claw hammer...

All styles for a flat top acoustic.

But I also love the sound of those melodic open tunings on an electric (es style) with reverb and a little drive. And I love electric blues too.

It's made me hungry for something a little different. Maybe something which bridges the acoustic and electric world - something with a unique voice. Perhaps something that can get a little skanky for fingerstyle blues and slide, but something which can also sound big and pretty for more delicate playing.

I'm considering an electric archtop with 1 3/4 nut and 12s so it feels more like an acoustic. Maybe something from Eastman, or the Gordon 5th avenue. I'm assuming a true acoustic archtop might lack the sustain for those music styles, but I don't know, I've never tried. I could consider going down the resonator route I suppose too. Or even a Taylor T5?

But above all else, I'm just looking for something different and interesting that could handle those styles.

So what is your 'oddball' guitar which you use for playing the 'wrong' genres but which sounds unique and great? Does anyone here use an archtop for those styles with success? I'm not a jazz player, and it's hard to find examples of players outside of that genre... But I firmly believe you can use any guitar for any style and often get really unique and lovely sounds.

Thanks in advance

S
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2021, 05:41 AM
Coler Coler is offline
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I went with my national and love it as my oddball guitar. Especially for something different in the Irish trad/folk groups I play with. I wouldn't use it to back a set of traditional tunes but it gives a different voice playing solos in sings. We to a fairly eclectic mix including bluesy/country/bluegrass/folk/rock numbers.
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2021, 06:40 AM
KarenB KarenB is offline
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Check out Veillette Flyer radius top acoustic/electric
http://www.veilletteguitars.com/home_flyer.shtml

They make a lot of interesting guitars and do custom work too.
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Old 01-17-2021, 06:40 AM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
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I'd first think of a wooden-bodied resonator. It will do wonderfully for the blues, though not quite the same as a steel-bodied one, but be more adaptable to other styles. In Celtic, for instance, it will sound "different" - but not necessarily out of place, the kind of thing that might make someone look up from their reverie and think "Whoa, what is that; its pretty cool?" They are really great for ragtime and work for old timey as well.
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:19 AM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Speaking of wooden-bodied resonators, this past fall I bought a Gold Tone Paul Beard round neck resonator. I don't do much slide guitar and have kept it in standard tuning so far. Single cone spider bridge.

Its great for fingerpicked blues, and with a little finger or palm muting works well for folk and bluegrass flat picking. I find it to be very versatile

It can be ordered with two different pickups (or none at all). I went with the passive piezo option; sounds great through my Carvin AG300.
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:03 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimi junior View Post
I'm looking for ideas for an instrument to add some variety to my collection.

My acoustic playing is a mix of fingerstyle Celtic (open tunings), blues, classic American folk (Travis picking) occasionally a little claw hammer...

I'm considering an electric archtop with 1 3/4 nut and 12s so it feels more like an acoustic. Maybe something from Eastman, or the Godin 5th avenue. I'm assuming a true acoustic archtop might lack the sustain for those music styles, but I don't know, I've never tried...

But above all else, I'm just looking for something different and interesting that could handle those styles...
The Godin 5th Avenue - either the (discontinued) all-acoustic version or the Kingpin single-pickup electric - should be right up your alley; while there's a bit less sustain - characteristic of the breed and, in this case, less dramatic than you might think - your playing will also sound more focused and "cleaner" (provided, of course, that you've got a clean technique to begin with - archtops of any cloth can be merciless in exposing technical deficiencies). I have the acoustic version which I fingerpick regularly, and it has much the tonal vibe of a 00/000 but with the mid-focused punch and projection of an archtop - good for the older styles you're interested in, perhaps less so for modern Celtic (but FYI great for trad Irish pub/rebel songs)...
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:52 AM
TBman TBman is offline
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I don't have one, but I've always wondered what those 8 string baritone guitars sound like. They are a 6 string with the treble added to the D and G strings. I play a lot of Celtic music and often thought about getting one. It is a flat top though. I broke the rule

Alvarez 8 String Baritone
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:57 AM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimi junior View Post
I'm looking for ideas........Maybe something from Eastman, or the Gordon 5th avenue. I'm assuming a true acoustic archtop might lack the sustain for those music styles, but I don't know, I've never tried. I could consider going down the resonator route I suppose too.
I've played the Godin 5th ave and was unimpressed. It sounded quite dead acoustically. I have an Eastman archtop AR605 to which I added a piezo SBT and floating magnetic pickup.

The Eastman is a more modern archtop. Unplugged with phosphor bronze strings or even Newtone archtop strings it has lots of sustain. If you want a more classic archtop tone Ernie Ball aluminum bronze will get you mostly there.

And in my case either pickup (or a blend of both) with some reverb can provide sustain into next month.

I posted earlier about my Gold Tone resonator, which IMO provides the greatest variety and counterpoint to a standard flattop of any guitar out there.
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Old 01-17-2021, 11:37 AM
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I've been advised by the experts I trust here that the Eastmans are modern sounding, and if you want an old Gibson type sound the higher end Loar models are the way to go.

Unfortunately I have had to rely on the experts, because I've only encountered lower end Loars, and never an Eastman locally. The lower end loars were not inspiring.

Since you mentioned electric and overdrive there are some things to consider. I have both a National Resotone and Resolectric Revolver. The Resotone can probably be found for around $1000 used. The higher end Resolectric? You know the old saying... Even used, if you have to ask, you better WANT it...

But Eastwood will get you in the door for a decent price...

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Old 01-17-2021, 01:44 PM
jimi junior jimi junior is offline
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Thank you for all the suggestions,


The Gold Tone Beard resonator looks sweet. That Eastwood electric reso is also very cool if I choose to go with something more electric.

And thanks also for the tips on the archtops. I love playing fingerstyle on my ES-style guitar, but just wish it felt more like an acoustic (1 3/4 nut), and had more acoustic vibes in the tone - less of a 'nomal' electric guitar.

The hunt continues.
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Old 01-17-2021, 02:43 PM
nickv6 nickv6 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimi junior View Post
Thank you for all the suggestions,


The Gold Tone Beard resonator looks sweet. That Eastwood electric reso is also very cool if I choose to go with something more electric.

And thanks also for the tips on the archtops. I love playing fingerstyle on my ES-style guitar, but just wish it felt more like an acoustic (1 3/4 nut), and had more acoustic vibes in the tone - less of a 'nomal' electric guitar.

The hunt continues.
Curved ball... Have a look at a LAG HYvibe. All the effects you can want, including distortion, coming out of the guitar. A built in equaliser changes the sound too....I can get a Maccaferri type sound for that stuff and change with one press of a button to a bass heavy sound for travis stuff. An excellent guitar, lovely neck and full acoustic.
Nick
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Old 01-17-2021, 02:43 PM
DukeX DukeX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
The Godin 5th Avenue - either the (discontinued) all-acoustic version or the Kingpin single-pickup electric - should be right up your alley; while there's a bit less sustain - characteristic of the breed and, in this case, less dramatic than you might think - your playing will also sound more focused and "cleaner" (provided, of course, that you've got a clean technique to begin with...
Exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 01-17-2021, 03:47 PM
jimi junior jimi junior is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DukeX View Post
Exactly what I was thinking.
Thanks

To those of you recommending the 5th avenue - would you say it's mostly a jazz box, or would it fit the bill of 'cool, unique sounding and versatile guitar for all kinds of trad styles' ?

I did see one youtube vid of a guy playing it in a range of fingerstyle styles, which is encouraging. And it looks cool.
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Old 01-17-2021, 07:17 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimi junior View Post
...To those of you recommending the 5th Avenue - would you say it's mostly a jazz box, or would it fit the bill of 'cool, unique sounding and versatile guitar for all kinds of trad styles?'
That's exactly how I use mine - and while I love the Eastman archtops (had my eye on one for a while now) they definitely have a "modern archtop" tone, which IMO doesn't lend itself too readily to your stated preferences...
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:31 PM
Martin Maniac Martin Maniac is offline
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speaking of electrified resonator guitars, I've seen a few with what looks like a humbucker pickup mounted in the neck position. is this a factory installed pick up or after market installation ? TIA for any info....
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