Secret

Which affordable archtop?

(15 posts)

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  1. JorgeRubiales
    Member

    Hello! Lately I've been looking for a better archtop (I currently have an Ibanez AF75 maple body, twin humbucker. Amazing neck, decent electric tone, but too bright sometimes). I'm needing a spruce top, floating humbucker, really resonant acoustic archtop.

    I must say that I've narrowed it down to 5 models, of which I've only played one of them. Where I live there aren't many options, so I must buy on internet, based on specs. That's why I seek help of people who actually have played some of these models, to see if the production have any consistency, and how are they quality-wise.

    The only guitar that I've tried is the Peerless Manhattan. Great guitar, and I could afford it at the price they have it in a local store if I save up a little. I found it as comfortable as my Ibanez, which is a really good compliment, and it had a wonderful sound. It even fooled us into thinking it was a carved top. That said, here's my list, from cheaper to more expensive:

    Hofner HCT-J17
    Aria FA 71
    The Loar LH-650
    Peerless Mahnattan
    D'angelico EXL-1DP (korean)

    So please, if you have played any of these, I will welcome your comments. Not only on sound and playability, but also on fit&finish areas. I don't want to spend a little fortune modding a guitar where I can have one already "finished", if you know what I mean.

  2. add4
    Member

    I'm fully aware that i won't be answering your question, and that you might have considered it, and discarded it for any reason, but in case you overlooked it : I tried the eastman 805 and it was really a very nice guitar to my ears. loved the feel, touch, dynamic, almost everything of it, except feedback.
    I don't know the other guitars you're mentioning and have no idea of their price too so i don't know if that's interesting or not.
    The eastman 805 goes for about 1700 euros here in europe.
    Hope that helps (or at least doesn't pollute the thread :) )
    have fun choosing, let us know what you choosed and why

  3. JorgeRubiales
    Member

    Thanks for the reply add4. Eastmans are harder to get here, and 1700 is over my budget. I could spend about 1000, so the dangelico is my top reach (about 1200 €). Thank you anyway!

  4. InWalked
    Member

    If you can find a Korean-made Epiphone from the 90s those are pretty nice. I have an Emperor Regent that I really like - floating mini-humbucker and only one drill hole in the body for input. I paid around $750 for mine back then so my guess you can find one used for less. The Japanese-made Epi Elitist that came out a few years ago were also nice but were almost as much as the Eastmans. Good luck with your purchase.

  5. fakejake
    Member

    I once tried the Loar at a shop. Didn't like it very much, it had a rather Django/ Gipsy Jazz sound to my ears, which I don' care too much about. But then, I generally prefer laminated tops with build in PU, so its really a matter of preference..

  6. JorgeRubiales
    Member

    Inwalked, I live in a corner of the world, so we have only access mostly to new guitars. And when it comes to archtops, the only way you can go is to get what they have here (1% of what's out there) or to bite the bullet and buy from internet (handling is costly though). I've never seen one of those sought after epis, so can't buy them either.

    jake ,I haven't tried the loars, but being acoustic it may be that it was setup with round wound strings and a low action.

  7. jorgemg1984
    Member

    Hi Jorge!

    I have the same problem you do, I live in Lisbon and there´s toans of gear I will never be able to try. I think giving advice on guitars its really hard, much harder than amps or pedals - its a much more personal choice and amps or pedals sound all the same which doesnt happen at all with guitars. I was really lucky to find a 1965 Guild X-500 here in Lisbon at a decent price (2000€) and I never looked back, its amazing.

    If I were you I would save more money. I dont think a 1000€ guitars will be a HUGE improvemet over your ibanez - save more money, wait for a good opportunity and buy something you really like and that will be really better than the guitar you currently have. But I know its tough to wait... You live in Spain right? Where exactly?

    Good luck!

    Secret
  8. JorgeRubiales
    Member

    Hey Jorge! I live in Canary Islands, so I'm nearer Morocco than continental Spain, which makes everything very difficult when it comes to commerce.

  9. jorgemg1984
    Member

    Hmm I assume its really hard to try things there... Be patient and dont buy a new guitar just for the sake of it! Buying online based on others opinions its realy hard on guitars... :/ When you travel abroad try to go to good music shops and try all the archtops you can!

  10. JorgeRubiales
    Member

    The thing is, having tried for a while the peerless manhattan, I have something to compare in case anyone has tried that guitar and another one in the list. I'll probably end up getting the manhattan if all things equal, but I don't want to spend 1k to realize that I could get a better guitar for the money. Anyway, I'll keep an eye on the thread in case anyone gets in the way on one of those guitars ;)

  11. david6strings
    Member

    1000 euros is not too much money, maybe you want think on the second market options

  12. JorgeRubiales
    Member

    That's the problem, there is barely none here. There are just a few jazz guitar players here, and the guitars they have they keep them or, if they sell them, they're mostly gibsons and ask more than 1500 for them.

    Sometimes I think I should take a plane to Madrid and buy a guitar there, it might be cheaper...

  13. Gibouille
    Member

    I'm in the same spot you are right now except that I'm looking for a more versatile jazz + fusion + blues guitar

    I think eastmans and peerless are pretty good value for the price

    Since you are in espana you might want to look up this site
    http://www.guitarrasjaen.com/

    Ask the guy his opinion he seems to know a lot.
    (I know I'm digging up an old post...)


  14. jhall8291
    Member

    Check out the new Eastman T386 : http://www.eastmanguitars.com/t386/

    and also, GTRstore.com is blowing out the D'Angelico 335ish thing and the NYSD-9.

    The Eastman is under $800 USD street price and the D'Angelicos are just above $800.

    Some Eastmans are great, some not so good. It's always best to try a guitar out before buying it if possible. I owned a pre-Comins re-design D'Angelico 335 that was a good guitar, but the Eastman T185 I had was a much better instrument. I hear the newer D'Angelicos are better, but haven't played them.

    Also, having a good luthier set up the guitar can make a HUGE difference in playability.


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