Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Posts 1 to 50 of 61
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I've recently been listening to some Frank Vignola music and really like the look of his guitar.It sounds pretty awesome too.It somehow manages to sound like an acoustic too even though it has a neck pickup. How does that work.

    That guitar is probably going to be megabucks so I was wondering if you guys could recommend an archtop guitar (preferably with a more manouche styling) with a neck pickup that can sound acoustic as well. Preferably one thats less than £1K.... Does anything like that actually exist?

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Brother, if it did, I'd have two of 'em!

    Actually, as far as Benedettos go, the FV model isn't too expensive...saw one go for about 3500 on djangobooks.com

    For now, I'll have to settle for my Gitane lightly amplified with a "Peche a la Mouche" pickup...if you keep the amplification low enough that the listener can still hear the acoustic "attack," that's the basic idea...

  4. #3
    I've got a vintage (as in the company) petite bouche manouch guitar which sounds pretty cool. It even as a piezo in it although it is passive so very quiet. Maybe a different pickup for it would do the trick.

    Why is it that archtop guitars are so bloody expensive in comparison to other electric guitars?Not just that but hardly anywhere seems to stock them.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    "Why is it that archtop guitars are so bloody expensive in comparison to other electric guitars?"

    They, like violins and mandolins (both very expensive) have carved top and back plates. Lots of hand work is involved and since no two pieces of wood are the same each instrument has to be tweeked a bit differently.

    They aren't stocked because the demand is lower than other electric guitars and they are expensive for the store to buy.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by elinfoot
    I've recently been listening to some Frank Vignola music and really like the look of his guitar.It sounds pretty awesome too.It somehow manages to sound like an acoustic too even though it has a neck pickup. How does that work.

    That guitar is probably going to be megabucks so I was wondering if you guys could recommend an archtop guitar (preferably with a more manouche styling) with a neck pickup that can sound acoustic as well. Preferably one thats less than £1K.... Does anything like that actually exist?
    I agree with the sounds pretty awesome part:


  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Isn't FV playing a Thorell guitar these days?

  8. #7
    As far as I know . It looks lovely,I suppose I'd better get saving up

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    This is my fav. (tico-tico!)



    Check the ending

  10. #9
    That was Great! Amazing what 2 guitars can do.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    This isn't a Selmer-type guitar, but you can get some great sounds from it, and it's only about $600! It fits perfectly in a dreadnought case.

    I own two Loar guitars, an LH-600 and an LH-700, and they're as good as I've seen, for strictly acoustic 14-fret-to-body F-hole archtops. The YouTube guy "polkzoo" demonstrates both, and you have to remember, this is the natural sound of these -- there's no electronic reverb or chorus -- this sound comes out of them naturally.

    The LH-350, demonstrated here, has a cutaway and a pickup. It's amplified in the video, but I doubt there's much if any effect stuff going on. Solid top, lam sides and back, but listen what a sound.

    If you take an interest, watch the whole 8-minute video, cuz he puts the guitar right up in the camera, and you can better appreciate the craftsmanship, and real beauty of these things. The 350 might not be a professional-level instrument, but if you have only a few hundred to spend, this guitar will take you a long way. The 600s and 700s most definitely ARE professional-quality. I've stopped looking.

    N.B. I play heavy-ish strings and had to sand away a bit of wood from the top piece of the adjustable bridge in order to get the action down low as I like it, on both my 600 and 700. This is the only gripe I have. But it took about five minutes. (My strings are 14 - 56/58, and yep, the guitars will no doubt explode one day.)

    Here it is:
    Last edited by Kojo27; 08-17-2011 at 09:49 AM. Reason: fix link

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by elinfoot
    ...I was wondering if you guys could recommend an archtop guitar (preferably with a more manouche styling) with a neck pickup that can sound acoustic as well. Preferably one thats less than £1K.... Does anything like that actually exist?
    Oh yeah -- turn the amp off and this guitar is still loud as hell. Great acoustic guitars that happen to have a pickup. Like Charlie Christian's. Sort of.

    But JEEZ: the LH-600s are under a grand! Barely - I think $899. Put a pickup on it, and voila. The LH-700s are almost all gone, but a few are left, usually $1199. Add pickup, and there you go - professional-quality archtop, solid AAA wood, etc., blow yer mind sound.
    Last edited by Kojo27; 08-17-2011 at 10:00 AM.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    "there's no electronic reverb or chorus -- this sound comes out of them naturally."

    Maybe it is the way this was recorded but I hear echo. Doesn't sound like just the room but I could be wrong.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    I got to see him open and play with Tommy Emmanuel here in KC a little while back. Him, Tommy, and his accompanist Vinny Raniolo are amazing guitar players.

    I've been striving for that hybrid acoustic and electric sound a lot lately. About the only way I can reproduce it is with piezo pickups on an acoustic. I think when I get my next archtop, I'll go for that style of pickup rather than the neck (or at least a combo of both).

    ~DB

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Gramps
    "there's no electronic reverb or chorus -- this sound comes out of them naturally."

    Maybe it is the way this was recorded but I hear echo. Doesn't sound like just the room but I could be wrong.
    Hey Gramps -- sorry about the confusing post.... I should NOT have written about TWO YouTube posts, and then posted only one of them. My bad.

    The "natural sound" is from the demos of the LH-600 and 700s, which isn't the guitar in the first video. You're right - the LH-350 could well have some echo or delay or something going on.

    Here's what I said about the 600s and 700s, which are strictly acoustic guitars, demo-ed by the same guy in other vids:

    I own two Loar guitars, an LH-600 and an LH-700, and they're as good as I've seen, for strictly acoustic 14-fret-to-body F-hole archtops. The YouTube guy "polkzoo" demonstrates both, and you have to remember, this is the natural sound of these -- there's no electronic reverb or chorus -- this sound comes out of them naturally.


    Very confusing - again, apologies.

    For completeness' sake, though, here's the non-amplified natural reverb of the LH-700, which is what I was talking about, Gramps. I've no idea how they get this tone; the tops are carved to the specs of some famous violin makers, and it's all AAA quality wood. I can't put mine down. They really do sound just like this - no electronic funny business. I've never played an Eastman that would get this sound. The LH-600s have it, too, but in a bit lesser amount. Same guy as above, with the LH-700:


  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by elinfoot
    Why is it that archtop guitars are so bloody expensive in comparison to other electric guitars?
    Because snobs are willing to pay the price.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Gramps
    "there's no electronic reverb or chorus -- this sound comes out of them naturally."

    Maybe it is the way this was recorded but I hear echo. Doesn't sound like just the room but I could be wrong.
    Exactly. There's a quite long, audible echo on it. EDIT: Never mind, Kojo explained it above.

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by lindydanny
    I've been striving for that hybrid acoustic and electric sound a lot lately. About the only way I can reproduce it is with piezo pickups on an acoustic. I think when I get my next archtop, I'll go for that style of pickup rather than the neck (or at least a combo of both).

    ~DB
    I'm not sure if it's really possible, outside of the studio that is.

    Some of these youtube vids you see they're really not amplified too heavily, so you get both sounds through the camera or whatever mic is set up.

    I kinda feel that if piezos in an archtop worked well you'd see a lot more of it.

    Now, I actually think I get a pretty "acoustic" tone with my old Kay archtop and my Henriksen. The archtop has a DeArmond "Guitar Mic" pickup...but again, I notice this effect the most when lightly amplified.

    I'll try to do a video with this setup soon and you can see what it sounds like...I think a floating pickup and an amp made for a very clean accurate response (probably solid state) can get you pretty close.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Kojo,

    Yea, that is a nice sounding guitar at any cost. I don't see many archtops strung with bronze strings.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Gramps
    Kojo,

    Yea, that is a nice sounding guitar at any cost. I don't see many archtops strung with bronze strings.
    Well, huh. See, I'm relatively new to the jazz guitar thing, and I thought all the acoustic, solid-wood, "L-5" sort of guitars had bronze strings! Shows what I know.

    D'Addario makes a set called "Flat Tops" - they're phosphor bronze, but polished smooth so they don't squeak (good for chord melody stuff - like flatwounds, or halfwounds), but they retain most of the volume of acoustic guitar strings. Love 'em, can't imagine switching.


    kj
    Last edited by Kojo27; 08-17-2011 at 06:32 PM. Reason: removed stupid question

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I'm not sure if it's really possible, outside of the studio that is.

    Some of these youtube vids you see they're really not amplified too heavily, so you get both sounds through the camera or whatever mic is set up.

    I kinda feel that if piezos in an archtop worked well you'd see a lot more of it.

    Now, I actually think I get a pretty "acoustic" tone with my old Kay archtop and my Henriksen. The archtop has a DeArmond "Guitar Mic" pickup...but again, I notice this effect the most when lightly amplified.

    I'll try to do a video with this setup soon and you can see what it sounds like...I think a floating pickup and an amp made for a very clean accurate response (probably solid state) can get you pretty close.
    Just curious, Jeff -- how did you record your little Larrivée for your awesome version of Wine and Roses? Straight to mic? Pickup? Man, that's a big sound. I first thought it was a Selmer!

    kj

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Little guy records a lot bigger than he looks, for sure.

    That's two condensors blended, a EV Cardinal pointed in the general area of the neck body joint about a foot and a half away, and a clip on audio technica (really) clipped in the soundhole.

    I'm guessing that's what increased the bass and made it sound bigger, but I've also done some scratch recordings with just the cardinal and it still sounds bigger than I thought it would.

    It's a fun guitar...sorry for the thread derailment, back to our regularly scheduled program

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Just a suggestion to the OP, you could take your manouche guitar into a shop and ask to try it with a preamp, you might find it boosts and tweaks enough to get somewhere near the FV sound.
    I use an Aphex pedal with under saddle and piezo type pickups, and find it tames the sound somewhat.
    As regards actual archtops - in the UK (you said £) Peerless, Hofner, Hagstrom and Ibanez all make archtops well under £1000.
    Don't know where you are in the UK, but Foulds of Derby have quite a good selection, as well as Mairants in London.
    Just to go nuts price-wise, I think this is the best sounding FV track, Nuages, using one of Mr Parkers budget models ($30,000 anyone?). JL is no slouch on his L5 either!

    Ken Parker Archtops Info

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Vihar
    Because snobs are willing to pay the price.
    What a sad, uneducated, biased, envious, presumptious, indignant and stupid post this is. (apologies . . . I ran out of pejorative adjectives, or I would have included more of them.)

    To the Admin and Mods . . . please note, that my comments were directed towards the post . . not the individual.

    Arch tops are more expensive because there is far more skill, time, talent, experience and work required to create a good arch top than there is to create a great solid body.

    I, and others like me own MANY arch top guitars. I guess, in your eyes we are just snobs who are willing to pay the price??? You probably need to think before you type!!!

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2
    What a sad, uneducated, biased, envious, presumptious, indignant and stupid post this is. (apologies . . . I ran out of pejorative adjectives, or I would have included more of them.)

    To the Admin and Mods . . . please note, that my comments were directed towards the post . . not the individual.

    Arch tops are more expensive because there is far more skill, time, talent, experience and work required to create a good arch top than there is to create a great solid body.

    I, and others like me own MANY arch top guitars. I guess, in your eyes we are just snobs who are willing to pay the price??? You probably need to think before you type!!!
    What a snobby post. Please note that my comment was directed towards the post, not the individual.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Vihar
    What a snobby post. Please note that my comment was directed towards the post, not the individual.
    Well . . . . your wit exceeds your arrogance. Bravo!! I think I like you!!! Cheers!!!

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2
    Well . . . . your wit exceeds your arrogance. Bravo!! I think I like you!!! Cheers!!!
    Thank you kindly, Patrick the 2nd.

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Vihar
    Thank you kindly, Patrick the 2nd.
    You're quite welcomed. Now .. . go out and buy yourself a good arch top and join our elitist and snobbish group!! By the way . . . I'll give you a pass on the "Patrick the 2nd" quip . . . but, only because you're on another continent. What the hell are you doing up at this hour?????? Just get done with a gig?
    Last edited by Patrick2; 08-18-2011 at 07:04 PM.

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    +1

    live and let live i say, including those of us that either can or struggle to afford an instrument of our dreams-one that is not only a joy to play and hear, but one that makes you smile just to look at it

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by elinfoot
    Why is it that archtop guitars are so bloody expensive in comparison to other electric guitars?Not just that but hardly anywhere seems to stock them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vihar
    Because snobs are willing to pay the price.
    Vihar, I wouldn't call people who buy expensive archtops "snobs," but in a very real way, you're right. If Eastman and "The Loar" (Music Link, Inc.) can turn out guitars like the LH-700 (see my video post above), for a reasonable price (LH-600 is $899, 700 is $1199, Eastmans are $2,000, give or take) -- and if these guitars can hang with the $8K - $25K guitars built "by hand" - one at a time (boutique guitars?) -- the question is valid, and I agree with you. As long as there's a demand for over-priced "handmade" guitars, there will be a supply. At the exorbitant prices *some* people, somewhere, are willing to shell out. Why would they sell them for $3,000 when people are lining up to pay $10,000? It's supply and demand.

    My Loar LH-700 is *SO* freaking loud, and so full of natural reverb and beautiful, sonorous tones (even though it's still green!) -- and I paid $1200 for it. I've played several of those outrageously-priced boutique archtops, and they simply do NOT sound or play any better, imho. Blindfold a veteran archtop player, put a Loar 700 in his hands, and I guarantee you he wouldn't know it didn't cost $8,000. How could he? How? They're almost exactly like a 1925 L-5, w/same wood (or better), compensated wooden bridge/saddle, buttery action, if that's what you want, and listen to the YouTube video above! I go to dreamguitars.com and listen to Al Petteway playing a $32,000 Ribbekke archtop -- and I swear, it doesn't sound this good.

    Loars and Eastmans are hand-carved, too! So, why is the Ribbekke $32,000? What's the big $30,000 difference? If anyone thinks the boutique builders don't use jigs and templates and every short-cut they can think of, think again. I do not want to pay Mr. Ribbekke a small fortune just because he makes fewer guitars! Now this *is* approaching snob appeal. If that's why people buy them.

    But yes - as long as people keep paying such prices, builders will be lining up to charge as much.

    kj

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2
    What a sad, uneducated, biased, envious, presumptious, indignant and stupid post this is. (apologies . . . I ran out of pejorative adjectives, or I would have included more of them.)

    To the Admin and Mods . . . please note, that my comments were directed towards the post . . not the individual.

    Arch tops are more expensive because there is far more skill, time, talent, experience and work required to create a good arch top than there is to create a great solid body.

    I, and others like me own MANY arch top guitars. I guess, in your eyes we are just snobs who are willing to pay the price??? You probably need to think before you type!!!
    Well, I think you both have a truth, though both of you have expressed it with a good deal of emotionalism, which may put many people off from the message at the buttom of your posts. As we say about soccer: Go for the ball, not for the man.

    It is true that an archtop takes much more work and skill than a solid body. It is also true that detailed inlay work takes a lot of work and skill. It is therefore no wonder that carved archtops are more expensive than solid bodies.

    That said, there are very fine carved archtops out there wihch can be had new from the luthier for around §4-6000 (including inlay work and fine workmanship). Jim Triggs and Mark Campellone are two fine luthiers who have chosen to offer their guitars at that price point. And then there are other archtops which cost §20-30000. The attention to detail may be even higher than in Jim's and Mark's instruments, and the wood may be even more pretty and perfect, but they are not necessarily better playing or sounding.

    The thing with archtops is, that they are at the bottom musical instruments for making music, but on top of that they are (sometimes) also pieces of art. Sometimes so much that the owners do not dare use them for normal day to day playing though they are utterly beautiful to look at in the living room just like paintings on the wall.

    Who can say what the correct price is for art? It's an old truth that "the right price is the price the market will bear". A maker making a few §30000 guitars each year may have a good income if the times and the market are with him, but it is also risky. If the times and his luck changes, he can not just step down in price level - that would be percieved as he has "sold out" and has become "commercial" (which he was all the time to a certain degree). Makers who charge §4-6000 for an archtop will have a better chance to stay in buisiness also when the times gets rougher. A broader selection of instruments also has that effect. These days Jim Triggs makes more mandolins to the bluegrass people than guitars to the jazz world. The exception is Bob Benedetto, who with success has managed to change a one man top end workshop into a small factory, which also offers more moderately priced guitars, but in his case, in addition to being a very talented luthier he is also a very adept businessman.

  32. #31

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojo27
    Vihar, I wouldn't call people who buy expensive archtops "snobs," but in a very real way, you're right. If Eastman and "The Loar" (Music Link, Inc.) can turn out guitars like the LH-700 (see my video post above), for a reasonable price (LH-600 is $899, 700 is $1199, Eastmans are $2,000, give or take) -- and if these guitars can hang with the $8K - $25K guitars built "by hand" - one at a time (boutique guitars?) -- the question is valid, and I agree with you. As long as there's a demand for over-priced "handmade" guitars, there will be a supply. At the exorbitant prices *some* people, somewhere, are willing to shell out. Why would they sell them for $3,000 when people are lining up to pay $10,000? It's supply and demand.

    My Loar LH-700 is *SO* freaking loud, and so full of natural reverb and beautiful, sonorous tones (even though it's still green!) -- and I paid $1200 for it. I've played several of those outrageously-priced boutique archtops, and they simply do NOT sound or play any better, imho. Blindfold a veteran archtop player, put a Loar 700 in his hands, and I guarantee you he wouldn't know it didn't cost $8,000. How could he? How? They're almost exactly like a 1925 L-5, w/same wood (or better), compensated wooden bridge/saddle, buttery action, if that's what you want, and listen to the YouTube video above! I go to dreamguitars.com and listen to Al Petteway playing a $32,000 Ribbekke archtop -- and I swear, it doesn't sound this good.

    Loars and Eastmans are hand-carved, too! So, why is the Ribbekke $32,000? What's the big $30,000 difference? If anyone thinks the boutique builders don't use jigs and templates and every short-cut they can think of, think again. I do not want to pay Mr. Ribbekke a small fortune just because he makes fewer guitars! Now this *is* approaching snob appeal. If that's why people buy them.

    But yes - as long as people keep paying such prices, builders will be lining up to charge as much.

    kj
    Thanks Kojo for wording my point clearly.

    I love guitars, all kinds of them, and appreciate the skills of a good luthier. I'm also glad that they can make a living on it - if people buy stuff at that price, it would be silly not to sell stuff for that much. That still doesn't change the fact that most of those boutique guitars are way overpriced.

    I'm sorry for thinking it was obvious for everyone else too.

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    To Kojo and Vihar; I often find myself wondering why this subject of "way over priced" guitars . . mostly arch tops . . comes up every so often. As a player and collector of some of the higher end arch tops, I also find myself a little perturbed . . maybe even angered by the perception that those of us who can afford to . . and choose to buy high end arch tops, are snobs or show off-ish. To Kojo; as to your blind fold comparisons . . blind fold a man and let him ride as a passenger in the back seat of a Huyndai . . then a Mercedes . . for 40 or 50 miles and he probably couldn't tell the difference in that either. If offered either for free Kojo . . which would you chose?? A $1,200 Loar can definitely get a competent jazz player through a gig . . or gigs just as well as an $8,000 Gibson L5CES. Is the player who choses and can afford the L5 a snob? If offered either for free Kojo . . . which would you chose?? A Holiday Inn can provide a traveling business man a very comfortable evening's rest just as weel as a 4 star Hilton or Hyatt. Is the more successful business person who choses the 4 star hotel a snob? If offered a free evening at either, Kojo . . which would you chose?? That list could go on forever.

    People like myself have devoted a great deal of our time, energy and talents to becoming successful enough, so that if we care to indulge ourselves in what we consider to be some of the finer things in life, we can do so. It's usually the people who can't afford much more than a $1,200 Loar, who coincidently can't seem to justify the price of a high end arch top to themselves. To some . . even those who can afford ANY guitar in the world, a guitar is just a tool of the trade and they couldn't care less if it's a $1,200 loar or a $12,000 boutique built guitar. To others, it's functional art . . . . and they collect/play the guitars for reasons other than their "snob appeal". Would you say that a wealthy individual, who is also a hobby driven jazz player, who might choose a $1,200 Loar is a cheap skate penny pinching spend thrift because he didn't choose the $12,000 to gig with . . . even thought the price is totally inconsequential to him?? I wouldn't.

    Each of you should probably consider how your words and/or your labeling of people might affect and offend those of us whom you reference.

    As to the matter of "way over priced" . . as each of you have stated . . the market will determine that. Peace man!!

  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2
    To Kojo and Vihar; I often find myself wondering why this subject of "way over priced" guitars . . mostly arch tops . . comes up every so often. As a player and collector of some of the higher end arch tops, I also find myself a little perturbed . . maybe even angered by the perception that those of us who can afford to . . and choose to buy high end arch tops, are snobs or show off-ish.
    You should just simply stop taking it on yourself if it doesn't apply. It's such a waste of energy to be angered over something that you don't even feel related to. Just because a serious amount of the Ferrari owners are snobs, it doesn't mean that the real car enthusiats should feel embarrassed about owning and riding one. Still, the majority dictates the market. I don't know what's so hard to get about it - unless you just happen to be one of those people who love to argue and make themselves seem important.

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    My teacher's long time best friend was the former CEO and President of Fender Guitars, who told him, that the total average production time for their factory-made solid body electric guitars (i.e., Strats, Teles, etc) was, from start to finish, three hours and thirty minutes.

    3:30! On the one hand, that's not a lot of time. On the other hand, the production process has become a science, ridiculously efficient.

  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    I don't begrudge luthiers for charging what they do for hand carved instruments. I'd bet there are few builders who are getting rich making fine instruments and if the public is buying them than the price is acceptable though out of reach for many.

  37. #36

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Vihar
    Thanks Kojo for wording my point clearly.

    I love guitars, all kinds of them, and appreciate the skills of a good luthier. I'm also glad that they can make a living on it - if people buy stuff at that price, it would be silly not to sell stuff for that much. That still doesn't change the fact that most of those boutique guitars are way overpriced.

    I'm sorry for thinking it was obvious for everyone else too.

    Heck, don't be sorry -- with every bit of due respect to "everyone else," I think some need to ask themselves why such guitars are being sold. Are they that much better? No way, imo. We're talking archtops, now. The prices of flattop guitars, for example, with some exceptions, are more in line with what they're worth. I would love to have a Collings 000 or 0M, but I do think they're over-priced. Martin has an "authentic" dreadnought, D-28, made *exactly* (well, almost) to pre-war specs, and they get $29,999 for it. Really! What was it P. T. Barnum said? There's a *what* born every minute? Oh yeah - a guy who falls prey to the delusion that he can *buy* musicianship. If his guitar cost $32,000, think how good he must be.

    Of course, some world-class guitarists are, somehow, rolling in money and $30,000 to them is like $3 to you and me. They don't even ask the price, don't even care. I don't begrudge them their costly guitars, but I do question whether they got what they paid for. Martin & Co. (et al) know this - so why NOT make a "D-100" or "D-50" and put as much abalone on it as possible without being legally forced to say it has an "abalone top" -- and sell it for $100,000? _Someone_, they KNOW, is going to buy the 100 or 50 guitars they make, at a hundred Gs a piece.

    I hope nobody thinks this Martin, which really exists (and C. F. Martin himself will present it to you if you buy one), is going to play or sound 50 times better than a $2,000 HD-28 -- cuz it won't. But Martin (and Taylor, and Santa Cruz, Collings, et al) know that one of these customers is born, if not every minute, then every few weeks -- so they'd be foolish not to take their money!

    The same principle applies with archtops, although with non-famous names ("Boaz" and "Bozo"), I think a slightly different dynamic comes into play. I could be dead wrong, but I think one reason "boutique" archtops have a market is because (think about it) - look at the posts here on this forum. Probably 95% of the players here are EDUCATED and really SMART. To blow well over jazz changes takes a good amount of brains. And a great amount of industriousness and perseverance and self-confidence, delaying of gratification, etc.

    I posit, then, that such people likely pass their time in the upper income brackets -- and, therefore, that they might comprise a good chunk of the wealthiest of all guitar hobbyists, semi-pros, and pros. Thus, perhaps, a demand for $32,000 guitars is born. Maybe. Just a thought. I know it's true that scores of one-man archtop-building businesses thrive, all across America and other parts of the world. It's about *perceived* value. It's about tokens of status; it's about simply being able to buy whatever damn guitar one wants, price-be-damned. I'd love to have the Bozo guitar at dreamguitars.com -- sounds awesome with Al Petteway playing it. It's gorgeous. It's $23,685. Does it sound *that* much better than an Eastman of 17" and a 25.5" scale? No! What do you actually get, that's demonstrable, for your extra $20,000? I don't know. It's pretty. Lookee: Dream Guitars- Fine Handcrafted Instruments, Vintage Guitars, Classical Guitars, Electric Guitars, Mandolins in Asheville, North Carolina

    There's a guitar, a "Samois" -- an archtop Selmer -- yes... trying to 'word-of-mouth' its way into the United States. Steve Perry at Gianna Violins (Friendsville, TN) had ONE. He might still have it. It's beyond description. Steve's buddy George is a champion flatpicker and fingerpicker, and he proclaimed, "It's probably the best acoustic guitar, period." George has played a Bozo. How much for the Samois? Last quote from Steve was either $1750 or $1550. It blows the Bozo away. But there are guitarists who wouldn't "stoop" to playing a $1750 guitar! Is this snobbishness after all? Jeez, I don't know. Go to dreamguitars.com and listen to Al Petteway play all those 'mortgage-your-house' guitars. (Click on "media".) Al could make a cigar box sound great. But these are great guitars. Are they worth the price, though? Or do the builders sell them at such prices because they don't need many customers (just the right ones) to score a heck of a great living? Rhetorical stuff for ya. : )

    Here's the Samois. It will break out your windows:






    Comments?
    Last edited by Kojo27; 08-19-2011 at 10:34 AM.

  38. #37
    What Have I started??

    Although I completely apreciate the beauty of these guitars ,I'm pretty much in the guitar as functional tool camp. I have this sort of debate with a (amazing)guitar playing friend of mine who's really into PRS guitars which are also mega bucks to buy. My view is if you compare a £500 to one that's £3000, are you really getting £2500 more guitar with the more expensive one in terms of feel,playability,sound. Looks is where it'll become more expensive with rarer exotic woods and long build time for hand built guitars. My friends view is:You could get run over by a bus tomorrow,why not just save up and get it if you want one.

    I remember when I bought my (at the time) £400 PRS SE Custom. I felt really guilty about spend 'so much' on myself. Saying that,if I had the money I would buy an expensive guitar and I'd put up with a bit of guilt. I would use it as an instrument though and not hang it on the wall like a piece of art.

  39. #38

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Vihar
    You should just simply stop taking it on yourself if it doesn't apply. It's such a waste of energy to be angered over something that you don't even feel related to. Just because a serious amount of the Ferrari owners are snobs, it doesn't mean that the real car enthusiats should feel embarrassed about owning and riding one. Still, the majority dictates the market. I don't know what's so hard to get about it - unless you just happen to be one of those people who love to argue and make themselves seem important.
    No . . . I don't see myself as "one of those people" who love to argue. But, I do see a need to respond, in a civil manner, to those who would generalize the entire population of high end arch top builders, collectors and players as snobs. Mainly because I am "one of those people" who chooses to own them. As for trying to make myself important . . . I really don't need to do that, as other have already done it for me . . much to my pleasure and enjoyment. It's clear, by your phrase . . . "one of those people" that you catagorize people into a certain type of class or position. That usually doesn't work out too well.

    If you "don't see what so hard to get about it" . . . just go back to your original reply to the OP's question of why arch tops are so expensive. You simply stated . . "because snobs are willing to pay the price". It seems that you've changed your tune a little since you were aptly called out on that reply. I'm done with this subject!! Have a nice day.

  40. #39

    User Info Menu

    in reading this very typical debate "why is such and such soooo much $$"

    i think there are several factors at play

    the first and foremost is tha price is about market-what people will pay, and
    fender takes 3+ hours and someparts- they sell for a great deal becuase th e company has worked to brand itself , have a reputation, a certain quality and status product etc-its got nothing to do with material and labor ie COST -thats HOW profits are made-gibsons biggest profit bread and butter is the Les Paul

    second, as a guy that competes with national professionals for the service i provide, i can absolutely tell you all that i have personally seen work that sells for twenty time what i charge, and it is nto simply less, its wrong-but nationals have a credibility as well as when you chose such and such-no one can doubt your judgment-theres a "presumption of legitimacy"- sort of the emperors new clothes-but.....at somepoint those entities earend the reputation and market-so you may indeed get equal talent and quality for a different price-its the old idea of volume versus margin -or whatever

    third-while there may be hair splitting in terms of a 34 super 400 and a manzer replica (or whatever you choose to compare ) there are factors , often small , incremental, that indeed merit geometric pricing-we are not talking simply a utilitarian tool (which i think is the premise) -this is why not all wines cost the same-and why would anyone want a mechanical watch instead of a digital in terms of utility

    beyond material, details, finish, inlay, and IMHO very very much woods-there is aesthetic-thats why a Louis Vuitton purse with a few bits of leather and plastic costs 200 times its Target equivalent


    if this offends your senses -it probably should-but there is a market (or was.....) and that all there is

    the car analogy is apt-means of transportation -or more

    as for guitars-im always leery of generalizations-since ther are so many factors that affect sound-i think that what you might get is that boutique builders account for this and factories do note


    and finally, sometimes you just decide its something you love and want-ONLY for YOUR OWN reasons-i think we can all think of something we dont like that has sold a great deal and we wonder -what are those people thinking?-well they're thinking differently than you do and thats all there is to it

    i buy certain make clothing, and shoes, -made from material i like-several times the cost that similar items are available at dept stores-why? because i think i look better, i think others that have an eye can tell, its says a lot about me, and im willing to pay for all of these perceptions-i could simply cover myself in anohter manner, but its a bigger deal to me than that-i don tthink the guitar thing is that far off from things like clothes or other stuff for which anyone has a particular love or appreciation
    and from this computer screen
    frankly i dont think its Patrick that loves to argue........................or otherwise
    Last edited by stevedenver; 08-19-2011 at 06:11 PM.

  41. #40

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2
    I also find myself a little perturbed . . maybe even angered by the perception that those of us who can afford to....

    ============

    [Kojo and Vihar] should probably consider how your words and/or your labeling of people might affect and offend those of us whom you reference.


    My response, Patrick2, is similar to Vihar's. With all due respect to you, I think it would behoove you to understand and begin applying to your life the fact that you *choose* to become "perturbed" and "angered" and "affected" and "offended" at others' words. Let it slide - it's just someone else's opinion! Judging from your words above, it appears that you value Vihar's, and my, opinion of you over your own opinion of you!

    Too many of us have been taught to value others' opinions that way. What will people think!? Very unhealthy, Patrick. Keep in mind that you don't have an "anger" button on your chin, or wherever, that Vihar, or I, or anyone, can push and "make" you become angry -- or offended. You ALWAYS choose emotions like these. And in saying this, I swear to you, I'm *not* trying to "make" you feel embarrassed, or condescended to, and I'm not lecturing. I say this only because so many have never considered the truth in this, and it's fundamental to being a happy (or happier) person. Next time you find yourself about to say, or think, something like, "You make me SO mad!" - STOP. Tell yourself, "I am choosing to become angry here. I can choose not to do so. I can respect my own opinion of myself, love myself, give peace to myself, change the atmosphere of this encounter, and have a better day."

    Read _Your Erroneous Zones_ by Wayne Dyer. It's short and about this one concept. Published in 1976 or 77, it has never gone out of print. This book changed my life forever, for the better, when my mom made me read it at age 17.

    If everyone who had, say, $32,000 to blow would join some effort to buy copies of that book and distribute them to graduating high-school seniors (with the $500 reward it would take to get most seniors just to read the damned thing) - wow. What a healthier world this could lead to.

    Now: honest-to-goodness, Patrick2: I'm delighted that you have the guitars you like! But for clarified thoughts on "snobbery" and guitar-buying, etc., see my next post. I'm separating these two on purpose.

    kj
    Last edited by Kojo27; 08-20-2011 at 04:20 PM.

  42. #41

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojo27
    My response, Patrick2, is similar to Vihar's. With all due respect to you, I think it would behoove you to understand and begin applying to your life the fact that you *choose* to become "perturbed" and "angered" and "affected" and "offended" at others' words. Let it slide - it's just someone else's opinion! Judging from your words above, it appears that you value Vihar's, and my, opinion of you over your own opinion of you!

    Too many of us have been taught to value others' opinions that way. What will people think!? Very unhealthy, Patrick. Keep in mind that you don't have an "anger" button on your chin, or wherever, that Vihar, or I, or anyone, can push and "make" you become angry -- or offended. You ALWAYS choose emotions like these. And in saying this, I swear to you, I'm *not* trying to "make" you feel embarrassed, or condescended to, and I'm not lecturing. I say this only because so many have never considered the truth in this, and it's fundamental to being a happy (or happier) person. Next time you find yourself about to say, or think, something like, "You make me SO mad!" - STOP. Tell yourself, "I am choosing to become angry here. I can choose not to do so. I can respect my own opinion of myself, love myself, give peace to myself, change the atmosphere of this encounter, and have a better day."

    Read _Your Erroneous Zones_ by Wayne Dyer. It's short and about this one concept. Published in 1976 or 77, it has never gone out of print. This book changed my life forever, for the better, when my mom made me read it at age 17.

    If everyone who had, say, $32,000 to blow would join some effort to buy copies of that book and distribute them to graduating high-school seniors (with the $500 reward it would take to get most seniors just to read the damned thing) - wow. What a healthier world this could lead to.

    Now: honest-to-goodness, Patrick2: I'm delighted that you have the guitars you like! But for clarified thoughts on "snobbery" and guitar-buying, etc., see my next post. I'm separating these two on purpose.

    kj
    I agree, kojo, that sometimes emotions like anger and frustration are choices that can and should be controlled. That's why my resonse was controlled, and did not reflect the anger I feel when someone . . . anyone, catagorizes collectors or people who can afford high price guitars, or high priced "whatever" as snobs. I also "choose" to not give these people a pass when they make an open post that reflects stupidity and envy and it seems to be pointed in my direction. If you're asking that we, any of us just turn the other cheek . . . save your council and lecture for someone who needs it. And PLEASE do not attempt to tell me what would "behoove" me. It gives the impression that you think you know what's right for people you've never even met. That's inappropriate and unwanted as it relates to me. You should probably spend more time counciling people to try not to offend with their posts .. . than you do counciling people to not let offensive posts offend them . . . with all do respect to you. Cheers!!!

  43. #42

    User Info Menu

    Patrick, I never called you a snob, but I gotta say, you do protest almost too much.

    I don't believe I called anyone a snob. My first comment to Vihar was, "Vihar, I wouldn't call people who buy expensive archtops "snobs," but in a very real way, you're right."

    Vihar is right in that the prices of many archtops are "so bloody high" because the people who build them and sell them know that someone will pay them that much. And these luthiers aren't deaf: they *must* know that such prices are not in line with the relative utility of the guitars. People who have studied no more than Marketing 101 should know that the price of something is rarely determined by its real worth. This is a very simple fact, and if you choose to feel bothered by that, it's all your own problem.

  44. #43

    User Info Menu

    Is'nt all the above called 'highjacking the ops thread' ?
    Not sure why the protagonists seem to get so heated. Freedom of choice, etc.
    Chill, guys.

  45. #44

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojo27
    Patrick, I never called you a snob, but I gotta say, you do protest almost too much.

    I don't believe I called anyone a snob. My first comment to Vihar was, "Vihar, I wouldn't call people who buy expensive archtops "snobs," but in a very real way, you're right."

    Vihar is right in that the prices of many archtops are "so bloody high" because the people who build them and sell them know that someone will pay them that much. And these luthiers aren't deaf: they *must* know that such prices are not in line with the relative utility of the guitars. People who have studied no more than Marketing 101 should know that the price of something is rarely determined by its real worth. This is a very simple fact, and if you choose to feel bothered by that, it's all your own problem.
    Go back to your post number 15 on 8-17-2-11 . . . . then let's be done with this childish nonsense.

  46. #45

    User Info Menu

    It's kind of painful to see Kojo trying to explain his heart out to convince a now obvious troll.

  47. #46

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojo27
    Patrick, I never called you a snob, but I gotta say, you do protest almost too much.

    I don't believe I called anyone a snob. My first comment to Vihar was, "Vihar, I wouldn't call people who buy expensive archtops "snobs," but in a very real way, you're right."

    Vihar is right in that the prices of many archtops are "so bloody high" because the people who build them and sell them know that someone will pay them that much. And these luthiers aren't deaf: they *must* know that such prices are not in line with the relative utility of the guitars. People who have studied no more than Marketing 101 should know that the price of something is rarely determined by its real worth. This is a very simple fact, and if you choose to feel bothered by that, it's all your own problem.

    Apologies kojo .. .that was vihar's post . . (number 15) . . not yours. Excuse my mistake. Peace man!!

  48. #47

    User Info Menu

    Has anyone here ever met a rich luthier? I don't think they exist.

    Once you calculate the hours put into a hand crafted archtop you realize the people who build them aren't getting rich.

  49. #48

    User Info Menu

    Political posts deleted.

  50. #49

    User Info Menu

    I'm on both sides of this debate. I can afford a guitar in the $10k range. However, I have never spent more than $6k, and this is because at that price, the value for my dollar hits what I consider a point of significantly diminishing returns in terms of the instrument's musical qualities.

    Note that I said "musical." I believe that the price of extra-musical qualities like aesthetics and exclusivity climbs nearly endlessly from there. Some people are willing to pay for those things; some pay for them to extremes. But I wouldn't call them snobs. You know what? I judge a guitar player based on how well s/he plays the toys, be they expensive or not.

    So I admire a cat like like Metheny who built a career on that beat to sh*t 175, or Bickert and his Tele. I also admire a guy who posts on TGP who owns several boutique 7 string archtops, is clearly making money outside of music, but is a smoking hot and tasteful finger style player. All good.

    I'll sum up my current attitude this way: The more costly guitars I try and/or own, the less I feel that one needs costly guitars. Isn't that interesting?

  51. #50

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by rpguitar
    I'm on both sides of this debate. I can afford a guitar in the $10k range. However, I have never spent more than $6k, and this is because at that price, the value for my dollar hits what I consider a point of significantly diminishing returns in terms of the instrument's musical qualities.

    Note that I said "musical." I believe that the price of extra-musical qualities like aesthetics and exclusivity climbs nearly endlessly from there. Some people are willing to pay for those things; some pay for them to extremes. But I wouldn't call them snobs. You know what? I judge a guitar player based on how well s/he plays the toys, be they expensive or not.

    So I admire a cat like like Metheny who built a career on that beat to sh*t 175, or Bickert and his Tele. I also admire a guy who posts on TGP who owns several boutique 7 string archtops, is clearly making money outside of music, but is a smoking hot and tasteful finger style player. All good.

    I'll sum up my current attitude this way: The more costly guitars I try and/or own, the less I feel that one needs costly guitars. Isn't that interesting?
    me too-and as one poster mentioned somewhere-the more i practice the less i care about the guitars

    nicely said-and civily too