#1
I'm getting a new acoustic soon and my range is around $500 to $700. I originally wanted a John Lennon Epi, but recently I've been flirting with an F-cut archtop. All the reviews I've read only talk about jazz, but I'm wondering how they are for just banging out some chords and singing along. I play mostly chord-driven stuff, like Dylan, The Beatles, The Libertines, Neutral Milk Hotel and whatnot. I've seen Pete Doherty and Jeff Mangum playing similar guitars, which sort of led me in this direction in the first place, but I've also heard that these guitars don't sound very good at all when strummed with a pick. Does anyone have any input?
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#2
I have an Epi ES-335 Dot that I'm pretty happy with. I played an Epi Sheraton as well that felt good. Your best bet is to go to a store and play some guitars, find one that suits you.
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#3
I've actually been to four guitar stores in the past nineteen or so hours and none of them had anything remotely interesting. The Guitar Center I went to only had low-end entry level stuff and ridiculously expensive Gibsons and Martins. The three mom and pop stores I saw had nothing but no-name $100-$250 crap. I really hate the state of the musical instrument industry. No one around here carries anything anyone is actually interested in playing anymore.
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#4
The Gretsch archtops are . . . not the best. They're a good entry-level guitar, but it doesn't give you much for the money. The tops sound dead, unfortunately. I've heard stunning things about the Godin 5th Avenue Archtop (new this year), but I haven't played one, yet.

Edit: also, an archtop simply has a different sound. It does not necessarily sound bad when playing chords.

Edit: Also, Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel played a Gibson ES-125 with the pickguard removed for a great part of the band's duration. It had a dog-ear P90 pickup in the neck position. These guitars were produced between 1941-1970, and are not considered collectable. It was more of a student model, though they can go from $750 to upwards of $1000, depending on the condition.
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Last edited by Chad48309 at May 17, 2008,
#5
If you're talking about a synchromatic without the pickup, whether they're worth the $600 is up to you. They are all laminated construction, and a solid rosewood bridge which will mellow the sound considerably. IMHO You can do much better for the money with a dreadnought. They are absolutely stunning though -- which is part of what you're paying for, and the gretsch name.
#6
Hmm, maybe I should go after the Gibson then. That's what Pete Doherty plays as well. I didn't know you could get them so cheap. In any case, the next few weeks will likely be full of guitar store runs.
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#7
Quote by VoodooChild15
Hmm, maybe I should go after the Gibson then. That's what Pete Doherty plays as well. I didn't know you could get them so cheap. In any case, the next few weeks will likely be full of guitar store runs.

I've always been a huge fan of archtops. Have you looked into Gypsy archtops? They're mostly for jazz style, but they have a great deal of projection. http://elderly.com/new_instruments/cats/45N.htm
Sincerely, Chad.
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#8
Yeah, I played a couple of those last night, but they're not really my style. I really like the F cut ones though. My friend's mom has an old Epiphone one, but I forget what the make was. Come to think of it, I might want to find out what that was and look for one of those. I'll be sure to let you all know what I end up with.
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#9
Just for clarification, are you looking at archtop acoustic guitars with f-holes or hollow-body electrics? Or both?
#10
Mostly straight acoustics, but maybe big fat electric that I can throw a heavy gauge of strings on and play acoustically (like the ES-125). I'm looking for something I can play on my own and do solo gigs with in college. With more research into the 125, though, it's looking less like I can work with it. Too much of an electric. The one on the far right in this picture is the Epiphone I talked about earlier, I think:

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Last edited by VoodooChild15 at May 18, 2008,
#11
Oh yeah -- they are gorgeous. Gretsch also makes a synchromatic with a pickup -- have you checked it out? Might be good to have electronics if you're planning on performing.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Gretsch-Guitars-G100CE-Synchromatic-Archtop-Electric-Guitar?sku=514649

I haven't played one so I can't speak to how it sounds, but it does have a height adjustable bridge so I would be skeptical about how much volume you could get unplugged.

I hope you find a good one!
#12
Quote by milagroso
Oh yeah -- they are gorgeous. Gretsch also makes a synchromatic with a pickup -- have you checked it out? Might be good to have electronics if you're planning on performing.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Gretsch-Guitars-G100CE-Synchromatic-Archtop-Electric-Guitar?sku=514649

I haven't played one so I can't speak to how it sounds, but it does have a height adjustable bridge so I would be skeptical about how much volume you could get unplugged.

I hope you find a good one!

We already addressed the Synchromatic series. They're poorly made, compared to the value of vintage archtops (which are entirely plentiful).
Sincerely, Chad.
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#13
Quote by Chad48309
I've heard stunning things about the Godin 5th Avenue Archtop (new this year), but I haven't played one, yet..


http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Godin-5th-Avenue-Series-Archtop-Acoustic-Guitar?sku=518494&src=3WFRWXX&ZYXSEM=0&CAWELAID=179066256

Its surprisingly cheap. I wonder if anywhere in the UK has one..

How does an archtop compare soundwise (tone, projection, picking response, etc) compared to a traditional acoustic?

Are all archtops laminate topped?
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#14
Alright, here's an update:

In my search for used archtops, I came across a flattop 1976 Guild F-30. These guitars sell for about two grand new, and this one's $700. I think that's just too good a value to pass up. I'm going to try to get up there again sometime this week to purchase it.
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