The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Archtops

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 10-06-2017, 12:05 PM
Ammioz77 Ammioz77 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 1
Talking acoustic archtop for unplugged fingerstyle?

Just getting back into guitars and I need one for acoustic purposes for worship - strictly unplugged. Don't need to rock the room but maybe one or two singers (also unplugged). I just love the arch top - oval and f hole models. Would one be suitable for acoustic finger style playing? And if so, what would you all recommend?

I have to admit I'm looking at those Eastman AR 804's.. and something similar.. Seen a few used floating around but... I'm open.

thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-19-2017, 02:26 PM
pf400 pf400 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 711
Default

I see that you aren't getting any replies so, if only to keep your request "on the front page", here's a link to Reverb with what looks like a few acoustic archtops. Good luck sir.

https://reverb.com/ca/marketplace/ac...uitars/archtop
__________________
Neil M, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-19-2017, 04:26 PM
Cameleye Cameleye is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 702
Default

I play an Eastman 805ce fingerstyle. Since I also plug it in from time to time I use relatively light gauge nickel strings, so the volume is not as strong as it would be if the guitar were set up for straight acoustic playing. Nevertheless the tone is rich and detailed and the volume is fine by me when it's just me in the guitar room.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-19-2017, 09:09 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Staten Island, NY
Posts: 7,852
Default

Welcome to the forum...

A couple suggestions, depending on how much you're inclined to spend:
  • If you want to get into the archtop game on the cheap, the Godin 5th Avenue would my first choice. In spite of its all-laminated construction (not as detrimental to arched-instrument tone as to flattop - laminated Kay and Epiphone upright basses from the '30s/40s are highly prized by knowledgeable players for their tone, and command prices comparable to some carved instruments) it captures the archtop tonal vibe - punchy, throaty, and quick to respond, with the classic "bark" when set up as a comp box; one of these might be a good choice for a straight fingerstyle guitar - the body size and neck profile are virtually identical to the Seagull 16" mini-jumbo - but be aware that as with just about any other archtop, you'll need to set it up with medium-gauge strings in order to bring out the best tone. Although the comparably-priced (~$500) Loar LH-300 and Gretsch New Yorker boast solid tops there are no real tonal benefits IME, and the neck geometry on the former (very important on any archtop, BTW) can be iffy...
  • $1500-2000 gets you into fully-carved instrument territory - and while you can find some decent vintage player-grade 16" Gibsons and low- to midline New York Epiphones (the latter usually of better quality - and a great value by any reckoning in a vintage collectible American guitar) I'd be looking at one of the Eastman non-cutaway models, like this:

    https://www.soundpure.com/p/eastman-...15652057/18815

    The Loar LH-700 - a virtual line-for-line copy of a "Mother Maybelle" '20s Gibson 16" L-5 - might also be a good choice; be aware, though, that it boasts a period-correct chunky, thick. deep-V neck profile that might not be suited to your needs as a fingerstylist...
  • If you're in a position to spend $3000 or more - about what you'd sink into a good fingerstyle flattop from a major maker - you'll be getting into some of the nicer non-cutaway Big Band-era Gibson and Epiphone 17" comp boxes, as well as the occasional player-grade 18" Gibson Super 300 (think upsized L-7) or Epiphone Emperor; crack the $4000 mark and you might be able to commission a custom-build from an up-and-coming luthier, and $5000 will get you a built-to-order instrument from Mark Campellone...
There's an old saying in the legit drag-racing community: "Speed costs money - how fast you wanna go...?"
__________________
"They wouldn't bend, they wouldn't bow, they wouldn't burn"
- Johnny Cash
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-21-2017, 08:21 AM
gmr gmr is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 291
Default

I'm not a jazz guy at all, so my opinions are more "Mother Maybelle" in nature. I love the look of the Loar archtops, and I think they may come as close to sounding like a new Gibson L5 might have sounded in 1928 than just about anything else on the market.

As Mr. DeRosa mentioned, the Godin 5th Avenue acoustic archtop is really nice. To me, it seems to ring a bit more compared to the fast decay of the classic archtops. That might not be a bad thing for your purpose. The Godin is also very reasonably priced.

I'm guessing since you mentioned fingerstyle guitar playing in worship services, you might not be intent on playing the typical jazz comping, chunky rhythms that are normally associated with archtops. If you haven't had much experience with these guitars, you may initially find yourself a bit at odds with their nature.

One more thought. The Epiphone Masterbilt Century archtop line might be of interest to you. These are almost an archtop hybrid, from most folks' perspective. There is a certain coolness about them. They seem "not quite archtop, but not a flat top". But they are well built. I really like the big chunky neck profile, though would have preferred the 24.75 scale length. I had the little Olympic. I liked it but could not bring out the best in mine. However, with the right touch from a skilled player, it sounded great. I never liked their plugged in sound until the day I traded mine in...in the right hands it was very, very good.
I think, for finger style unplugged playing, the new Deluxe model might be a fine choice. Here's a finger style, mic'd up example. If you can find acoustic archtops to play, that would be a very good thing. My local GC now almost always has a couple of the epiphones in stock.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6RhA9M0OmM
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-21-2017, 08:28 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,261
Default

I think an archtop sounds lovely fingerpicked.

I owned a Loar 600 for a while, sold it because the V neck was uncomfortable to me. That guitar was a force when played though...loud, clear...you could fingerpick it for sure, but that guitar really wanted to be bashed with a good heavy pick. I assume that as it got older it would mellow out a bit and become more versatile, but as a young guitar it was brash and loud.

Eastman makes guitars by the "Benedetto" model, which are a little more polite sounding--I think they'd be great for fingerpicking.

And yes, do't rule out the Godin. They're surprisingly loud and nice sounding for being so small, and laminate. Definitely worth a look.
__________________
Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-21-2017, 12:58 PM
Cameleye Cameleye is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 702
Default

If you go Godin consider replacing the plastic bridge with a wooden one.
Really improves the tone.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-21-2017, 01:14 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,261
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameleye View Post
If you go Godin consider replacing the plastic bridge with a wooden one.
Really improves the tone.
Big +1 on this. Also gets rid of the "ping" you hear on notes with the TUSQ bridge.
__________________
Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-21-2017, 02:57 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Staten Island, NY
Posts: 7,852
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameleye View Post
If you go Godin consider replacing the plastic bridge with a wooden one. Really improves the tone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
Big +1 on this. Also gets rid of the "ping" you hear on notes with the TUSQ bridge.
First thing I did with my acoustic 5th Avenue - kept the TUSQ bridge on the CW II to give a little more clarity when plugged in...
__________________
"They wouldn't bend, they wouldn't bow, they wouldn't burn"
- Johnny Cash
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Archtops

Tags
acoustic, arch top, fingerstyle, oval, soundhole

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=