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  1. #1

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    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?

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  3. #2

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    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

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    "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

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    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

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    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

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    This is my fav. (tico-tico!)



    Check the ending

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

  11. #10

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    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

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    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

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    "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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    Kojo,

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

  20. #19

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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!!!