Page 4 of 12 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast
Results 31 to 40 of 111

Thread: Looking to be educated on Archtops

  1. #31
    Gilded's the guy to talk to on this, but I'll offer a (potentially inaccurate) rundown on archtop history.

    Archtop guitars kind of came into being in the '20s and were basically a rhythm instrument. They were mainly there to provide some chick-a-chick-a chords in the background -- horns were the melody/lead instruments. Horns are loud AF, so archtops like the Epiphone's Emperor or Gibson's Super 400 kept getting bigger and bigger through the '30s-40s, up to 17-18" and beyond in order to stay just audible in the mix. That tight, percussive, quick attack-and-decay sonic quality helped them stay in a pocket in the mix where they could be half-heard.

    With early electrics and guys like Charlie Christian, guitar began to expand into a melody/solo instrument and you start to see pickups and cutaways appear. Still, the carved top archtop guitar was seen as "proper" and amplification just a way to make it louder so it could sit in front of the mix and carry a melody. While western swing acts like Bob Wills and tinkerer weirdos like Les Paul were happy to break with tradition and adopt solid body electrics in pursuit of their ideal electric tone, jazz is kind of a stuffy world, where tradition carries and even a guitar used with amplification 100% of its stage life needed to look like a guitar was supposed to. And, despite concessions to size and feedback inherent to maintaining the big archtop form, some of that tonal character actually does make its way through the amplifier, even with conventional magnetic coil pickups, so the form isn't completely anachronistic in its utility as a jazz/swing/etc instrument.

    Basically, form followed function for a while, began to change as function changed, then sort of remained as traditional. Even the high tech modern jazz guitar makers who have non-standard f-hole shapes, sleek contours around the edges, new bracing patters, slick hardware, etc. are still following the traditional form and still trying to make the best possible version of the same kind of tone that's been around for years.

    This may be total BS and I'm sure Harry, Walter or others can come in here and clean up after me, lol.

    As for you, man, you might have a lot of fun picking up an inexpensive, acoustic, non-cutaway '40s carved top guitar, something like a Slingerland, Kay, Stewart, Orpheum or lower end Gretsch/Gibson/Epiphone. They can be a lot of fun to mess around with on the couch!

    '66 Starfire XII (sunburst) SOLD
    '71 S-100 (natural) SOLD
    '74 Starfire VI (walnut/mahogany body) TRADED
    '94 X-700 (natural)

  2. #32
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sillycon Valley CA
    Posts
    20,328
    Quote Originally Posted by kakerlak View Post
    This may be total BS and I'm sure Harry, Walter or others can come in here and clean up after me, lol.
    And I'm no expert but that's how I understood the history too.
    It's nice recap I would have been proud to write.
    And I was thinking of this specific quality myself, this morning:

    "And, despite concessions to size and feedback inherent to maintaining the big archtop form, some of that tonal character actually does make its way through the amplifier, even with conventional magnetic coil pickups, so the form isn't completely anachronistic in its utility as a jazz/swing/etc instrument."

    In fact for the best guitars I'd say a LOT of that "acoustic character" can get through.
    It gets me wondering if so-called "microphonic" tendencies of some pickups also play a role, enhancing that "acoustic" character in the signal.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by adorshki View Post
    And I'm no expert but that's how I understood the history too.
    It's nice recap I would have been proud to write.
    And I was thinking of this specific quality myself, this morning:

    "And, despite concessions to size and feedback inherent to maintaining the big archtop form, some of that tonal character actually does make its way through the amplifier, even with conventional magnetic coil pickups, so the form isn't completely anachronistic in its utility as a jazz/swing/etc instrument."

    In fact for the best guitars I'd say a LOT of that "acoustic character" can get through.
    It gets me wondering if so-called "microphonic" tendencies of some pickups also play a role, enhancing that "acoustic" character in the signal.
    I always like microphonic and/or otherwise "transparent" pickups. In fact, carrying that out beyond jazz guitars, the best "good" strats, teles, etc. sound like strats, teles, etc. unplugged.

    '66 Starfire XII (sunburst) SOLD
    '71 S-100 (natural) SOLD
    '74 Starfire VI (walnut/mahogany body) TRADED
    '94 X-700 (natural)

  4. #34
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sillycon Valley CA
    Posts
    20,328
    Quote Originally Posted by PittPastor View Post
    Annnnd now I want an F65ce. I'll bet you can get the perfect tone with that thing! After my bad experience with the Fishman Matrix, give me all the adjustments I can get on the sound coming from the pickup.
    Both humorous suggestion and cautionary tale in one, here's a D40 (I figured you could relate), that wants to be an archtop when it grows up:


    (From here:http://www.letstalkguild.com/ltg/sho...ist-is-awesome)
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by adorshki View Post
    Both humorous suggestion and cautionary tale in one, here's a D40 (I figured you could relate), that wants to be an archtop when it grows up:


    (From here:http://www.letstalkguild.com/ltg/sho...ist-is-awesome)

    There's a special place in Hell.....
    1958 CE-100 Capri
    1966 F-20
    1988 D15
    1994 F4CE
    1996 F4CE Sick puppy
    1996 A25
    2000 DCE5
    Several assorted DeArmonds
    The odd Epi
    A Dorado resonator

  6. #36
    ^Folk-rock has gone too far.

    '66 Starfire XII (sunburst) SOLD
    '71 S-100 (natural) SOLD
    '74 Starfire VI (walnut/mahogany body) TRADED
    '94 X-700 (natural)

  7. #37
    Senior Member walrus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    10,100
    Looks like Willie's guitar now...

    walrus
    1984 Guild D64
    2008 PRS Hollowbody Spruce

  8. #38
    Nutting in music can go too far.


    For some to comprehend - maybe.

    For the rest - never.

    Or are we all longing to hear 600 yrs old music ???
    First good guitar - GUILD Duane Eddy 400 - I was 3rd owner - used to have Artist Award and Starfire
    Present guitars - F50R 1975 - F512 1977 - F212CSB 1979 - all bought new - B30SB fretless and RED Songbird bought secondhand - Schecter Startocaster - Gibson 3/4-size acoustic 1957 - Carmelo Gonzales nylon string - old Levin Lute

  9. #39
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sillycon Valley CA
    Posts
    20,328
    Quote Originally Posted by Nuuska View Post
    Or are we all longing to hear 600 yrs old music ???
    Party animals is party animals, then as now:

    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  10. #40
    Senior Member PittPastor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    229
    I don't know if I'd have the nerve to charge $500 for my D40C due to the "Dog Wound" crack on the side. But compared to that poor thing, mine is "mint!"
    ----------------------------------
    1980 Guild D40C Sunburst
    1978 Guild Mark II Classical

    Soundcloud - Cat's In The Crade (D40C)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •