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  1. #1

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    I am new to this site, I started visit this site to get better player with your help (hopefully). I have built number of guitars last years and wanted to share my building experience with you.

    A while ago I decided I need one more guitar: archtop. But I have problem with those nice archtops - they are quite big, uncomfortable and expensive, so I decided to build my own archtop. I already built some guitars from scratch (board, actually), so I thought, why not make my own archtop.

    Since I like tele forms I decided to make tele-archtop. Searched the internets for inspiration, but found only couple of guitars, one by Fender CS and some others, so there are no ready plans, pdfs, dwgs or any other thing too get inspiration how to build/create/carve/route/sand one.

    Great thing today is available for free 3D software where you can create any crazy idea. I went with Fusion and created 3D model of what I thought is great arctop tele and run into some geometry problems, like neck in this case should be angled, more arching meant bigger angle, I didn’t want to route pickups into the top, planned to use only neck attached pickup, for that the top needed to have specific form near neck. So after number of nice models I settled with something which I liked and thought will work. Then usual routine started: wood and all the parts sourcing. I know great guys who run sawmill and has a nice ash, maple and other woods.



    Got maple for top and back, ash for middle frame, but, since I wanted to build 2 guitars, I needed 2 tops and 2 backs, but at somehow got maple only for one guitar. When I realised that, I went to some small shop, asked for maple boards, they didn’t have any, but they had 20 year old siberian spruce boards, light and resonant. I was sold, got the spruce and building started. 3D model was loaded into CNC, some 1:2 scale models were created



    then we went for the full scale guitar. Top, back and middle was routed.





    a lot of sanding (burned fingers) and the top was glued to to the middle frame; as soon as I could, I attached the neck to check the geometry, it was correct, and stringed the half-body to check if the spruce will not crack under the pressure.



    My calculations were spot on, nothing cracked and the guitar came alive. Now the back has to be glued, guitar needs some finish and I will have my own archtop guitar.

    The back is being glued



    Here is exploded 3D model



    Boring part of the finish process:



    Almost ready to be played:



    Finished guitar:


  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Here is short video with sound, guy who plays is much more talented than me


  4. #3

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    Beautiful guitar - I wouldn't mind one. Well done!

    In the video, I was surprised by the sound. The bit of acoustic sound at the beginning sounds quite impressive for a tele-sized guitar. Amped, it sounds quite electric. The Marshall amp woldn't be my first choice for jazz, but there you go.

    Compliments!

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by docsteve View Post
    Beautiful guitar - I wouldn't mind one. Well done!

    In the video, I was surprised by the sound. The bit of acoustic sound at the beginning sounds quite impressive for a tele-sized guitar. Amped, it sounds quite electric. The Marshall amp woldn't be my first choice for jazz, but there you go.

    Compliments!
    This one was built as a proof of concept guitar to see if something like this works, now small things in the model are corrected and I am ready to build a proper axe
    I was surprised by the acoustic sound as well, this thing is quite loud, of course, not as loud as acoustic guitar, but enough loud to be used as acoustic at home. Regarding the sound via amp, I loaned it to guys who play jazz gigs and am waiting for the video from the last gig, I will upload it later. And yes, it sounds great even via Marshall.

  6. #5

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    You ARE talented - congratulations. I love your work!

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raimonds View Post
    Here is short video with sound, guy who plays is much more talented than me

    I really like the sound of this guitar! Well done!
    Best regards, k

  8. #7

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    Very nice! I am learning Fusion360 as well and so far modelled a solid body tele. Did you use the sculpt feature to make the arch or did you sketch the planes and project them to the desired height?
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  9. #8

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    waiting for jazz sound...:-)

  10. #9

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    Great job there! Guitar sounds amazing!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigToe View Post
    Very nice! I am learning Fusion360 as well and so far modelled a solid body tele. Did you use the sculpt feature to make the arch or did you sketch the planes and project them to the desired height?
    I used plane, first I made the contour of the top and bottom plate outer edges and then repeated (cloned) it using the body outline as a guide. Of course I needed to scale it near the lower horn, but that wasnt difficult. Then I used some other planes in the middle, connected them to outer edge to create the top and bottom plates and made smooth transitions. I made number of models and at the end I was able to create top in less than hour.

  12. #11

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    Hi Raimonds,Very nice! I was quite surprised at the acoustic volume. I bet she'd sell well if you could get a warm jazz tone from her. Perhaps a model with a rosewood fretboard and bridge foot. And naturally some flatwounds. This is a very promising project. Can't wait to see the next version. Congratulations.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archtop Guy View Post
    Hi Raimonds,Very nice! I was quite surprised at the acoustic volume. I bet she'd sell well if you could get a warm jazz tone from her. Perhaps a model with a rosewood fretboard and bridge foot. And naturally some flatwounds. This is a very promising project. Can't wait to see the next version. Congratulations.
    Thanks for encouragement! It has all the tones you need, I was afraid that it will sound too dark, but that isnt so, and there is tone knob, slight turn and you have more mellow tone. In the video guitar had 9-46 strings, now there are 12-52 and the acoustic sound is louder and more full.
    I thought about Rosewood bridge, but it is standing much higher and the neck angle would be too big, maybe I will figure out how to add wooden bridge (since rosewood is now banned). On the other hand I like the ability to properly intonate the bridge, regardless of string size, wound/plain 3rd.
    \
    Edit:
    Here is some sloppy playing, used unmodified clean guitar preset in LogicPro called Cool Jazz Combo, if someone wants to compare the sound, it is easy doable, load preset, record and then you can compare. My guitar controls volume - 10, tone about 8-9.

    Last edited by Raimonds; 09-21-2017 at 03:53 PM.

  14. #13

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    Raimonds, Very nice! I like the body style especially the top. If you ever decide to sell an unfinished body, shoot me an email or PM. I've got a True Temperament neck that is looking for a soul mate.
    Last edited by rob taft; 09-21-2017 at 04:40 PM.

  15. #14

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    You have truly squared the circle. I want one!

  16. #15

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    Here is the video with my guitar, sound is quite bad, but you can get how it sounds via Randall amp


  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raimonds View Post
    Here is the video with my guitar, sound is quite bad, but you can get how it sounds via Randall amp

    Sounds great man, nice playing too....

  18. #17

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    Thanks! Unfortunately thats not me playing, I cant play all that jazz

  19. #18

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    Nice sounding guitar1 Well done!
    Best regards, k

  20. #19

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    Here comes first videos with proper, it took me a while to find jazz player and time to sit together and record some short bits and pieces. Will wait for your feedback on guitar's sound.




    some gypsy jazz rhythm:


  21. #20

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    Sweet and clear. Very nice!
    Best regards, k

  22. #21
    It sounds good and also like a proper guitar. I'd prefer Tele's head.

  23. #22

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    here is mine (now for sale)



    all the best
    Tim

  24. #23

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    Very nice! It looks and sounds great, there arent many tele shaped archtops, I think this is 3rd I have seen. I like the small size and sound you get out of it isnt far from big boxes (amplified, of course). Good luck with sale, I am selling redish one as well

  25. #24

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    Here comes a bit unusual sound - RAT with delay


  26. #25
    Hi Tim !
    It's the timothy Bran tribute ,isn't ?
    A real beauty; can we know your price?
    all the best!
    HB

  27. #26

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    Its on Reverb, here is the listing
    Timothy Bram Tribute archtop (telecaster inspired) 2016 | Reverb
    thanks for looking
    Tim

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raimonds View Post
    Here comes first videos with proper, it took me a while to find jazz player and time to sit together and record some short bits and pieces. Will wait for your feedback on guitar's sound.




    some gypsy jazz rhythm:

    Very nice tone on these! What pick-up is used in the video on the reddish guitar?