Any cheap descent arch top guitars out there?

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by Hybrid138, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Hybrid138

    Hybrid138 SS.org Regular

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    New or something I should keep an eye out for on the used market. I'm looking for an all acoustic archtop without any cutaways for a low price. I'm helping my brother look for one. He used to have one but it had major neck issues. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Bigfan

    Bigfan sixstringer

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    Godin 5th Avenue. With or without pickup:

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  3. Hybrid138

    Hybrid138 SS.org Regular

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    We actually tried one of those out in the used section at GC. I don't know if it was a dud, but we didn't like it. That was the first model we were intrigued by. I want to believe it was a dud.
     
  4. Trespass

    Trespass AEADGBEA

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    5th Avenue sans pickup, get a custom Kent Armstrong if he wants to electrify it.

    The P90s in the 5th Ave Kingpin aren't great, and it's basically a completely different model acoustically (thicker top etc.).

    --

    Real suggestion: Eastman or Peerless. Incredible bang for your buck.

    A 17" Eastman AR805 without pickup/cutaway would be the way to go.


    What's your budget?
     
  5. Trespass

    Trespass AEADGBEA

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    Edit: Double post
     
  6. Hybrid138

    Hybrid138 SS.org Regular

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    probably around $300
     
  7. SirMyghin

    SirMyghin The Dirt Guy Contributor

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    I will say it is very unrealistic to get anything passable for 300$ in the arch top world, they are like acoustics, more difficult construction than electrics, and consequently more expensive. Eastman are 'cheap' arch tops, that are all told very good, they are cheap only as they are a china based company. They cost about 1700-2k iirc.

    Acoustic instruments aren't as black and white as electrics, where you can just replace stuff and improve them highly. The construction is extremely important.
     
  8. Trespass

    Trespass AEADGBEA

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    I would argue that a "decent" archtop (sans Eastman/Peerless) would cost around 5k-6k.

    In high school, I knew several violinists who hit that price range on their primary instrument. A violinist in a difficult violin performance program might spend up to 20k on their instrument, especially if they were planning to audition for long term orchestral work afterward.

    I own an Eastman, play several different archtops on a regular basis, and I'm a friend of a professional luthier. The Eastman is great, I'd put it's value as defined by it's performance at $3k. I look forward to designing and/or purchasing a Solomon or Trenier etc.

    =======

    Archtops take an incredibly long time to make, and are an art of carving and acoustics unto themselves. Someone like Solomon (who charges around 5.5k for a base model) might be only making $20-$25/hr put into the guitar.
     
  9. yingmin

    yingmin Parker über alles

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    Michael Kelly Heirlooms are the next best thing to Eastmans. They're under $1000 for an all-solid archtop acoustic that sounds really good. I have one on layaway at GC that I get to take home in a few days, and although I still would like to have an Eastman, the Heirloom is good enough that I won't regret buying that instead of saving up for an Eastman. Don't let either the brand name or the price fool you; they're surprisingly good guitars.
     
  10. possumkiller

    possumkiller SS.org Regular

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    The Loar LH-300
     

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