Holy acoustic archtop tone!

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jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2176
Why aren't acoustic archtops more popular? Listen to this with headphones.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOaXOXE9ITg

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  • LewyLewy Frets: 690
    I suspect they’re not so popular because to get that tone you have to drop serious £££.

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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 8564
    I gig with a flattop because they're easy to amplify, but my only purely acoustic guitar is a Loar LH300. 
    Cheap, with a real carved top, and a great pre-war sound. 
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  • TeyeplayerTeyeplayer Frets: 701
    edited January 6
    Had a loar lh600 for a while, hands down one of the finest recorded acoustic tones I’ve experienced, absolutely beautiful. There’s an increasing number of cheaper options rather than having to spend the big bucks on an arch top of late, just make sure it has a solid top.
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3379
    edited January 6
    I wish I could afford a 1930s Gibson "L" - mental money ! The cheapo Gretsch New Yorker archtop I added a pickup to does the 4-to-the-bar / Swing tone just fine and at a decent volume.
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16994
    Great video .. I love archtops.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2176
    Had a loar lh600 for a while, hands down one of the finest recorded acoustic tones I’ve experienced, absolutely beautiful. There’s an increasing number of cheaper options rather than having to spend the big bucks on an arch top of late, just make sure it has a solid top.

    I've heard good things about the Loars. May check out those and Eastmans.  
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  • TeyeplayerTeyeplayer Frets: 701
    jellyroll said:
    Had a loar lh600 for a while, hands down one of the finest recorded acoustic tones I’ve experienced, absolutely beautiful. There’s an increasing number of cheaper options rather than having to spend the big bucks on an arch top of late, just make sure it has a solid top.

    I've heard good things about the Loars. May check out those and Eastmans.  
    Played a few Eastman’s yesterday, admittedly not arch tops but what I played where very very impressive guitars. In terms of quality they were right up there. Those arch top Eastman’s will definitely be well worth a look. 
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  • MartinBMartinB Frets: 172
    He does have some really nice tones in that video.  I have a 1936 Kalamazoo KG-21 that I love, but it's an idiosyncratic beast and I can see why flat tops have broader appeal.  Some of the best sounds from an archtop really have to be coaxed out of them, and if you just pick it up and approach it the same as a flat-top it can sound thin, barky or underwhelming.  It does do certain things very well though, and it's nice to have something at hand which is a whole different character to a flat top. 
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  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 497
    jellyroll said:
    Had a loar lh600 for a while, hands down one of the finest recorded acoustic tones I’ve experienced, absolutely beautiful. There’s an increasing number of cheaper options rather than having to spend the big bucks on an arch top of late, just make sure it has a solid top.

    I've heard good things about the Loars. May check out those and Eastmans.  
    I had an Eastman a few years back and wasn't that impressed with it. Acoustic tone was pretty thin and the Kent Armstrong mini humbucker was also a bit poor plugged in, hence I struggled to get a warm jazz tone out of it. It was neck heavy as well.
    Apart from that it was a lovely looking thing.
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9005
    I neeed one of those
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • I have two Gretsch G400JV Guitars which have Fishman Archtop pickups built into the bridge and a preamp under the pickguard - staggering plugged in sound, I genuinely would not use anything else for live acoustic - often get very positive comments on their tone. Sadly much less exciting acoustically. 

    I’ve also enjoyed the Epiphone Masterbilt Century archtops, but I’ve resisted so far. 
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9005

    I’ve also enjoyed the Epiphone Masterbilt Century archtops, but I’ve resisted so far. 
    I've been sorely tempted, also considered Loar.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • KristoKristo Frets: 24
    I have a Korean made Loar LH-550 and can't speak highly enough of it; great guitar!
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9005
    So far, I'm torn between an acoustic archtop (or one with a built-in acoustic pickup like the Epiphone), and an archtop with a magnetic pickup on it. What I'd like, if I could get it, would be an acoustic archtop that can be played as such, but it's got a built-in acoustic pickup - like the Epiphone - and a magnetic pickup (or pair of them) like the Loar. Is that at all possible?
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 296
    love the classic jazzers on these guitars - always fancied one - BUT -
    I have always known that I'd have to dedicate more time than I've got to learning to play it
    in THAT classic roll - viz Jazz - not just finger over musical scores of 'jazz classics' but develop a
    sense of jazz interpretation - not enough years left !.
    Bensusan has that naturally and he can improvise even in dadgad - very important to be an authentic jazzer though he dosnt make a big deal off it.   
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  • jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2176
    Yeah, but Bensusan cheats....he plays a flattop :)
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  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 296
    jellyroll said:
    Yeah, but Bensusan cheats....he plays a flattop :)
    hu ? I know, I know - U cant play jazz on a flattop (in dadgad)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiVr89I7_0E


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  • jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2176
    I always associate him with Lowden
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  • jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2176
    So far, I'm torn between an acoustic archtop (or one with a built-in acoustic pickup like the Epiphone), and an archtop with a magnetic pickup on it. What I'd like, if I could get it, would be an acoustic archtop that can be played as such, but it's got a built-in acoustic pickup - like the Epiphone - and a magnetic pickup (or pair of them) like the Loar. Is that at all possible?
    Agreed. I'd like this too. Let me know if you find one.
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  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 296
    jellyroll said:
    I always associate him with Lowden
    yeah of course JR, just stumbled on that vid a while ago '09 and though the guitar was quite fitting for PB's style of playing.
    wish he'd gig with it.
    A Greenfield no less - whats was going on there - with AMcK  getting one in about the same time  -
     

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  • jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2176
    AG - that Greenfield is pretty. I'm not so familiar with Bensusan's stuff but seems as though he's playing it no differently from how he plays (acoustic) Lowdens.

    On why he doesn't gig it - if you owned a Greenfield would you gig with it????? :)
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  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 296
    jellyroll said:
    AG - that Greenfield is pretty. I'm not so familiar with Bensusan's stuff but seems as though he's playing it no differently from how he plays (acoustic) Lowdens.

    On why he doesn't gig it - if you owned a Greenfield would you gig with it????? :)
    absolutely, but only as a 'Pro' musician - which I am not - different rules apply (financial).
    I have a friend who's a freelance violinist, does a lot of work. His gigging fiddle is insured for 50k is from the early 19th century, he acquired it 'on expenses', knows all the tricks. As an instrument he says he can do / play anything on it but it's not replaceable like a Lowden or Greenfield.
    Doesnt AMcK tour with one ?, same deal.
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  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 497
    Here's a good example of an arch top and top player recorded with mic in a studio, a lot of people love this record but I find it a bit flat sounding, I think I might have preferred it through an amp then mic'ed.







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  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 296
    yup BL67, thats the real deal and what one would aspire to - with an F hole - quite perfect aint it.
    For me - I get lost in the music with players of this caliber - the 'sound' is merely a vehicle.
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  • jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2176
    Here's a good example of an arch top and top player recorded with mic in a studio, a lot of people love this record but I find it a bit flat sounding, I think I might have preferred it through an amp then mic'ed.







    Wonderful. Thanks for posting. Love the tone on that. And the playing is quite good too :)
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9005
    Here's a good example of an arch top and top player recorded with mic in a studio, a lot of people love this record but I find it a bit flat sounding, I think I might have preferred it through an amp then mic'ed.

    <snip>
    Excellent. I assume he wasn't playing an unplugged ES-175?
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 296
    Here's a good example of an arch top and top player recorded with mic in a studio, a lot of people love this record but I find it a bit flat sounding, I think I might have preferred it through an amp then mic'ed.

    <snip>
    Excellent. I assume he wasn't playing an unplugged ES-175?
    according to Lick's it is Joe's 175 acoustically into mic's -
    I believe it was a modified 175 - thinner body 'n maple neck.
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9005
    ylsned :)
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 497
    As far as I know it was a 175, although I have heard tell of a D'aquisto being used on some tracks.

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  • carloscarlos Frets: 1365
    It's funny you praise that tone on the Joe Pass record. The story of the recording according to jazzguitar.be
    I heard the story from Bill Thrasher back around 1980, a friend of Joe's and the author of the Joe Pass Guitar Styles book. They intended to have two tracks, one of the guitar mic'd and one of the amp mic'd. The engineer screwed up and for all the tunes except Here's That Rainy Day he only recorded the mic on the guitar. Since they had a philosophy of only one take on each tune, they just went with it. That's why the tone is so thin and tinny on that album. Who would only mic a laminated es-175? The playing is great though.
    Here's the track mentioned, with the mix of acoustic and electric tone. Same recording session:

    Speaking of good acoustic archtop tone:

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