1. #1

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    Please choose which one of these pictures you like better!








    I have an Epiphone Masterbilt Deluxe that I love to play around the house. It occasionally gets used for jazz gigs (not now though...) and has a CHONKY neck that makes barre and jazz chords quite easy.


    I've modified it by adding floating humbuckers to it with an aluminum L rail for the neck and a tab so the bridge pickup can be superglued to the pickguard. Duncan '59N and Pearly Gates Bridge (bridge only gets used with the neck for Birdland and other more rocked up Jazz songs.


    I often find myself wishing I could do some more chordal stuff up high or allow runs to reach up past 15 comfortably so I've come to the conclusion I'd like a cutaway!


    This guitar was like $800 when I bought it. It's now $600 brand new. I've devalued it by adding pickups and drilling pot holes into the top. I'd say it's safe to add a cutaway for any kind of resale value but I've never done that sort of thing before. My main trepidation is I like Venetian cutaways better for style; however, the Florentine cutaway is easier here and is better for upper fret access.


    Please advise me if you've done this before. There's a great walk through on Youtube of a guy doing it to his friend's beat up Gibson.


    The drawing guitar would have X-bracing with a floating full humbucker (love Pasquale Grasso and love the full humbucker tone without interfering with the top vibration)

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Chop up the cheapy!
    It will be faster, cheaper, easier than building a whole new archtop, sheesh!

  4. #3

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    I have to say that even with a cutaway on an archtop, the neck heel is such a formidable part of the guitar landscape, that unless you dedicate plenty of time developing the technique required to actually overcome the awkwardness of playing beyond the heel, you'll go up there a lot less than you think.

  5. #4

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    I should also say, I've built several solidbody guitars, only one was a carved top so far but I found that process to be quite easy and fun actually.
    Last edited by Yazz; 05-30-2020 at 11:55 AM.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    I have to say that even with a cutaway on an archtop, the neck heel is such a formidable part of the guitar landscape, that unless you dedicate plenty of time developing the technique required to actually overcome the awkwardness of playing beyond the heel, you'll go up there a lot less than you think.
    Funny this topic came up because I just watched this youtube video yesterday. I also agree with what cosmic gumbo wrote. I suggest studying how smooth you could make the transition based on the neck heel design. If the neck heel won't transition to the guitar side smoothly without 90 degree binding edges the cutaway will be a lot less useful. A lot of the current Godin 5th Avenue designs have those edges if you want to see a reference.

    Attached Images Attached Images Building a New Guitar or Modifying One?-godin-5th-avenue-jazz-aaa-tric-large-3-129493-jpg 

  7. #6

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    Don't build a guitar for yourself because you think it is the cheaper/quicker way to go. It never is. Modify that existing one or order one to spec from one of the Chinese luthiers.

    Hand building a guitar is its own thing. Hollow bodied guitars are also an order of magnitude more complicated and time consuming than a solid bodied guitar. Just check out the recent build thread in the Builder's Bench section. That said, building a guitar from scratch is a VERY rewarding project. If building an arch top appeals to you as its own pursuit, I highly recommend it.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett
    building a guitar from scratch is a VERY rewarding project. If building an arch top appeals to you as its own pursuit, I highly recommend it.
    That’s the case I’ve come to see with all of my own solidbody builds. I think I’m on 8 now.

    The other forum I’m on a lot(offsetguitars.com) are pretty much all in favor of building the new body. They’re all tinkerers though. So am I.

    I will build!