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Loubacca
LSU Fan
sittin on the dock of the bay
Member since Feb 2005
3890 posts

Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
My son has decided he wants an archtop electric for Christmas. He currently plays the saxophone in the school band but does not have any guitar experience. He really likes 50's/60's style music and jazz. He's got it in his head that this is the type of guitar he needs to start learning on. I play acoustic guitar at an intermediate level but I know nothing about electric or archtop guitars for that matter. Could someone please recommend a decent beginner that would be something he could play for a while. I would rather spend more for something decent. Hell, I might have to start messing around on it myself.

Thanks!


SEClint
New Orleans Saints Fan
New Orleans, LA/Portland, OR
Member since Nov 2006
41399 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
Archtop is the tone of jazz imo, and used well for blues.

I'm not a fan of them but if you love the sound, thats what you gravitate to and a good fuel burns a stronger passion.


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auggie
Auburn Fan
Opelika, Alabama
Member since Aug 2013
21846 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
I would try to steer him more towards something like this at first.
LINK -
Order%20-%20Squier%20Classic%20Vibe%20'70s%20Telecaster%20Thinline%20Maple%20Fingerboard%20Electric%20Guitar%20Natural%20by%20Woodwind%20%26%20Brasswind%20%7C%20%24479.99

They also have this model with p-90 pick ups, which will have more of a classic jazz type sound
LINK )
This post was edited on 9/17 at 1:47 pm


Loubacca
LSU Fan
sittin on the dock of the bay
Member since Feb 2005
3890 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
Those two are reasonable price wise. Are there any Gretsch guitars you would recommend?


auggie
Auburn Fan
Opelika, Alabama
Member since Aug 2013
21846 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
quote:

Are there any Gretsch guitars you would recommend?

The Chet Atkins model. Just kidding sort of.. I don't really know much about the Gretch guitars. I have a cheap Gretsch lap steel that has a great sound, but it's the only Gretsch that I have ever owned. I may be mistaken, but I think Gretsch is owned by Fender now. That means the quality is going to be consistent.


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Decatur
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2007
25253 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
Check out used Ibanez archtops that can be got for a reasonable price. I've never played them but Artcores look like a great value for archtops.

What's your price range?
This post was edited on 9/17 at 5:41 pm


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Telecaster
LSU Fan
Memphis
Member since May 2017
785 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
The D'Angelico reissue archtops look really nice and are reasonably priced considering.


54BogTiger
LSU Fan
Bogalusa
Member since Aug 2004
235 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
Epiphone Joe Pass

Good guitar and if you can find a Korean made thats a bonus.


TheFretShack
Member since Oct 2015
738 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
My vote is for D'Angelico as well.

Rather than a totally hollow big body archtop, I recommend you pursue a semi-hollow ES style electric for size, versatility (great for jazz, R&B, anything really) and especially durability.


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kingbob
LSU Fan
Sorrento, LA
Member since Nov 2010
60124 posts
 Online 

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
Firefly makes an incredible semi-hollow body for the price


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auggie
Auburn Fan
Opelika, Alabama
Member since Aug 2013
21846 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
quote:

My vote is for D'Angelico as well. Rather than a totally hollow big body archtop, I recommend you pursue a semi-hollow ES style electric for size, versatility (great for jazz, R&B, anything really) and especially durability.

No doubt those are great guitars. I just recommended the ones that I did because of it being for a new player, and having more simple controls.


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45acp
LSU Fan
The Deep South
Member since Jul 2007
495 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
just my $.02 stick with a semi-hollow, like an epiphone sheraton ii, if his mind is made up that he needs an arch-top. The block running through the center allows the les paul style bridge and tailpiece that's a lot more user friendly for a beginner, rather than a full hollow. If he sticks with it you can upgrade the electronics, hardware, and pickups over time. Avoid a bigsby at first as well.

But don't sell a telecaster short. simplicity is usually the best.


Loubacca
LSU Fan
sittin on the dock of the bay
Member since Feb 2005
3890 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
Thanks for all of the input. I will check these out and see what I can find. I wanted to stay in the $500 price range.


TheFretShack
Member since Oct 2015
738 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
If you want to get an incredible deal for around $500 ... and if you can shop patiently ...

Once every couple of months in recent times, Musician's Friend's "Stupid Deal of the Day" has offered some D'Angelico S/H model on which they are overstocked and/or got a great deal from their wholesale source at around half price. The con is it may be a singlecut in ocean turquoise (like mine, pictured), or it may be a brown doublecut, or a red smaller-bodied SH ... but it's a way buyers can get into the pro-caliber guitar price range for half off.

Now that you know that, CALL Musician's Friend toll-free number, 800-449-9128, to talk to a salesman in person. Ask him what they have in stock for unsold SDOTD guitars, upcoming overstock blowouts, factory seconds, as-new returns ... whatever he or she have that will get you within your price cap. I'll bet you they will create a deal for you in your price range if need be.

Image: https://scontent-dfw5-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.6435-9/93813667_2295122064123298_2754697027567747072_n.jpg?_nc_cat=109&ccb=1-5&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=_6pKfnF3hCAAX-hH6tY&_nc_ht=scontent-dfw5-2.xx&oh=7d5f50d2dcb13c5b01cf1a1018989298&oe=616C7598


This Premier SS was shipped to my door for $860 just over a year ago. It is SUPERIOR in every category in which I can grade a guitar and beats 90 percent of the Gibson ES guitars that cross my bench.

Later in the year, MF offered the Premier DC (double cut) version for $499 on two occasions in different overstock colors. Point that out to the MF rep while you're on the phone with him.

Image: https://media.musiciansfriend.com/is/image/MMGS7/Premier-DC-Semi-Hollow-Electric-Guitar-with-Stairstep-Tailpiece-Fiesta-Red/L00615000002000-00-500x500.jpg




SidewalkTiger
Southern Miss Fan
An undisclosed location
Member since Dec 2019
28990 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
Not sure if it's entirely what you're looking for as I'm more of an acoustic player myself but I used to have an Ibanez AF55 and it was a quality instrument and very affordable at around $350.


Image: https://i.postimg.cc/nV1XmvSX/201023170043-Banner-Cort-full.jpg


LINK


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deauxbreaux
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2020
27 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
Epiphone Casino


Loubacca
LSU Fan
sittin on the dock of the bay
Member since Feb 2005
3890 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
Great info Fret, I will give this a shot. Also, thank you everyone else for all of the feedback. I think I have some options that will work for me.


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auggie
Auburn Fan
Opelika, Alabama
Member since Aug 2013
21846 posts

re: Let's Talk About Archtop Guitars
quote:

Epiphone Casino

I have one of The Wildkats, which is the same guitar with a bigsby tremelo and different control placement. It's a great guitar, but honestly it's just has too many controls. I bought it several years ago and I bet I haven't played it 4 hours. I just always grab a telly instead.


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