Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Posts 51 to 100 of 113
  1. #51

    User Info Menu

    Knowing your budget is critical to answering this question. Small-bodied archtops (15" or smaller at lower bout) are available from about $700 to $7000, and more if you want a custom-made instrument.

    Knowing your desired application would be helpful.

    Do you want a primarily acoustic archtop (fully hollow, spruce top) or would a semihollow be more in your line (typically but not always plywood with a center block)?

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

    User Info Menu

    A GB10. 14.5 by 2.5”. Might be found at the high end of the budget.

  4. #53

    User Info Menu

    If you're in no big hurry, you can get a very nice custom guitar from Wu or Yunzhi, through Yolanda Team, for ~$1500 shipped. You can get whatever size you want, for any part of the guitar. I have a couple of Benedettos, a Bambino and a Bambino Deluxe, which are probably about the right size, but I rarely play with them because I prefer my Wu. Lead time is ~3 months for a custom build. I don't know how long the wait for a Yunzhi is, but almost certainly no more than that, perhaps less. Several people here have Wu guitars, and I've heard of no bad experiences.

  5. #54

    User Info Menu

    Would a Godin 5th Avenue be too unfathomable? It's pretty acoustic, especially without but also with pickup(s). It's also very light. Used ones available for well under 500 clams.


    "Best" Small Jazz Guitar (Archtop)-godin-5th-avenue-jpg

  6. #55

    User Info Menu

    The Ibanez Artcores have small, very comfortable necks. The AF series have several models with floating pickups (AFC95, etc) which are better at amplifying the natural acoustic sounds.

  7. #56

    User Info Menu

    I second the recommendation for Wu/Yunzhi, especially if you primarily want an acoustic archtop. Most of the others mentioned here have very little acoustic output, from dead to marginal.

    "Best" Small Jazz Guitar (Archtop)-15inch_hollow_body_handmade_jazz_guitar-jpg

  8. #57

    User Info Menu

    Hellena, what exactly is your "small stature?" I am barely 5-7, and mostly legs, with a short trunk. My wife is quite a bit shorter than me, but when we sit she sits a tad taller. So when sitting, even a 16" guitar is a bit uncomfortable. My main archtop is a Sadowsky Jimmy Bruno, 15". But I think that's out of your price range.

  9. #58

    User Info Menu

    Peerless Martin Taylor Virtuoso:


    "Best" Small Jazz Guitar (Archtop)-peerless-martin-taylor-virtuoso-jpg

  10. #59

    User Info Menu

    Mary Halvorson (recent MacArthur Foundation awardee) appears from her photos to be on the small side. But she uses a Guild Artist Award - a 17" archtop. I don't think one's physical size is a barrier to using a large guitar, as evidenced by several players. However, I know from personal experience that a guitar that is subjectively too big can be a trial - so it's a personal choice.

    For the cited budget a good sounding acoustic archtop might be hard to find.

    I'm pretty sure I wouldn't trust AliBaba as a vendor, which someone above recommended, but that might be just me. I certainly have a negative impression of that company.

    Perhaps a good bet for the OP would be to contact Guitars'n'Jazz and talk to them about what small, primarily acoustic archtops they have. Often they have 15" versions of Eastman models, or maybe a 16" would suffice, like an Eastman ER4 or one of the Eastman archtops.

    Another promising vendor is SoundPure; they also have various sizes available.

    I have not purchased from either Guitars'n'Jazz or SoundPure, but they seem to have good reputations and might be able to assist the OP.

  11. #60

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug
    Would a Godin 5th Avenue be too unfathomable? It's pretty acoustic, especially without but also with pickup(s). It's also very light. Used ones available for well under 500 clams.
    The Godin body size is very comfortable, the neck is pretty chunky.

    John

  12. #61

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellena
    a primarily acoustic, I think, I am a singer/ songwriter and I play acoustic guitars like Taylor/ Baton Rouge. I tend to use jazz chords in my new work and looking for a more suitable sound. It is hard to find smaller models if you don't know what to look for
    It's going to be really hard to find a small-bodied, slim-necked archtop that sounds good in your price range. In terms of what's currently being made, the only things that are anywhere near your price range with a real acoustic sound are Eastmans (used) and Loars (LH 600 or 650 new), but they're not so small, and do not have slim necks. There are also the recent Epiphone Masterbilt archtops that sound OK-ish acoustically, but the necks are kind of chunky. Somebody upthread suggested a Godin 5th Ave acoustic model, which sounds pretty decent. But it's not terribly loud (any Taylor flattop will be a lot louder), and has a chunky neck.

    Otherwise, there is vintage stuff out there that might work, but that's a journey unto itself. There are some "parlor guitar" sized older guitars from companies like Harmony and Kay that have a sort retro-cachet, but they mostly sound like crap except for handful of models with carved tops that are pretty rare. There are also some acoustic Guilds and Gretsches from the 50s and 60s with skinnier necks (e.g., Gretsch Corsair such as this

    Archtops typically have a more midrangey, less boomy and trebly sound than flattops. If that's what you're looking for, I think you'll likely do better trying different strings (maybe even flatwounds) on a flattop you like and can play comfortably then going on a wild goose chase for an archtop.

    John

  13. #62

    User Info Menu

    I am a big fan of vintage Epiphones, from the '30's and '40's. I own a few, including a '43 Ritz, which is 15-1/4" wide at the lower bout. I think it's great for acoustic Americana and roots music, and is a very comfortable body size to hold. I think these 15" Epis(made from about '35 to '49) can be very good deals, although they often need a neck reset and or fret work to play their best. The necks often have an 1-5/8" nut, with a full carve, making them extremely comfortable to play. The 14" guitars, made until '35, would also be a good choice, but are much more scarce(and forget the 13" ones, they're very pricey). I paid $700 for my Ritz. Look perhaps, for a late '40's Epi Byron.

    You can see videos of me demoing the Epis I have repaired, including the Ritz, at my facebook page, 'David Richard Luthier', to give you a sense of how they sound.

    A Gibson L-50 might also be a good choice, depending on year, and condition, but Gibsons tend to be more expensive than vintage Epiphones.

  14. #63

    User Info Menu

    Part of the problem is that small archtops usually mean vintage archtops and they usually don't come with small narrow necks. A good size and sounding small archtop might be a 1930-40s Gibson L-30 or Epiphone Olympic. But then again, the neck might be too full for you. Here are some examples... (Remember, these are actual vintage guitars and not current reissues)

    Gibson L-30 Sunburst 1937-1940 | Victrola Syndrome | Reverb


  15. #64

    User Info Menu

    In that budget, a used Gibson ES-339 Studio with '60s neck.


    "Best" Small Jazz Guitar (Archtop)-gibson-es-339-jpg

  16. #65

    User Info Menu

    If you want a small guitar with a big sound the Ibanez AG86 is laminated bubinga and the lower bout is 14". It's amplified sound is Waaaay better than it's price and appearance would lead you to believe. But, even large bodied archtops have less than wonderful acoustic only sound. I think in the long run you'll have to go flat top acoustic and amplify it.


    "Best" Small Jazz Guitar (Archtop)-ibanez-ag86-jpg

  17. #66

    User Info Menu

    Worth investigating:

    Peerless makes or made a little fully carved (spruce/maple) acoustic jazz guitar called the "Serena."

    -Neck Scale : 24.60" | 628mm
    -Body Width : 12.8" | 325mm
    -Body Depth : 3" | 77 mm

    I'm not sure of the width of the neck, but I suspect it's not large.
    It comes with a floating pickup.
    Peerless has a presence in Europe, so you can perhaps find a used one at a retailer.

    I played one at the Peerless booth at NAMM a couple of years back (where I met Doc Dosco and the owner of Peerless) and it was quite a nice little guitar.

  18. #67

    User Info Menu

    As someone who has built dozens of guitars I can tell you that it is a much bigger challenge to build an archtop that has a good acoustic voice than a flat top. Most factories don’t bother.

    I think I know what you are looking for: a rich sounding acoustic guitar that has a separation of tones that keeps a 7th, 13th or 6th chord sounding like what they are and not mud, and a clean and balanced sound for single note runs. Me too. But most archtop guitars are meant as electric guitars with overtones, not as acoustic guitars. As a general rule they tend to sacrifice acoustic tones to fight feedback or make room for heavy hardware. Many will sound thin, tinny, harsh and nasally compared to the average dreadnought.

    Now look for a rare small one that does all that.

    So I would highly suggest playing as many as you can. Be flexible with form factor. It will be a rare individual gem that will fit the bill, not a particular make or model. And definitely look for used. Good acoustic archtop guitars are out there, but they are rare.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  19. #68

    User Info Menu

    Based on the OP's criteria, I'd recommend trying out a used Heritage H-575. They are solid wood; 16" bout; full hollow; excellent build quality and nice acoustic output. They can be found just under $2k USD on the used market, but are a great value.


    "Best" Small Jazz Guitar (Archtop)-heritage-h575-jpg

  20. #69

    User Info Menu

    Please keep in mind that arch-tops project their sound forward very strongly and what you hear as a player is but a fraction of what the audience hears. This might cause you to sing more quietly than necessary to compensate for the perceived volume. Record your practice with a mic 15-20 feet away to see what I'm talking about.

  21. #70

    User Info Menu

    I LOVED the sound of my ES175 but sold it because I couldn't play the darn thing more than 30 minutes sitting because my arm would go to sleep. Chalk it up to user error or just being used to all electrics, but I want that sound in a small size... crazy I know!

    What are some good cutaway ones I should consider for under 5k? (Used is more than fine)

    I was initially thinking ES-140 but I think the thin nut would not work for fingerstyle. I don't want a thinline since I already have a Collings I-35.

    Fibonacci Chiquita?
    Victor Baker 14?
    Tim Bram Tribute?
    Benedetto Bambino?
    Eastman AR145? (don't see any used ones)

  22. #71

    User Info Menu

    I've played the FIBONACCI model and while it was very comfortable the lack of resonance in that miniature box made it sound small, too.
    IMHO there is no alternative : if you want a deep and full sound without relying on a large amp/speaker combo and amplified volume then you need a larger soundbox. If you have trouble with the depth of your 175 then you might want to try a 17" wide model that has a slimmer rim, like a Byrdland, slimline L5 etc. Have you considered an Epiphone Sorrento, Guild Starfire III ? Those are 16" wide and slim, also.

  23. #72

    User Info Menu

    I really like the sound of my Wu. It's 60mm deep (~2.38") with a carved spruce top, and sounds great both acoustically and amplified. You can order one to whatever specs you prefer. Mine was $1500 delivered. The coronavirus may have affected the price, but I don't know, because I haven't checked. It needed some minor nut work, but everything else was perfect. I have the action down to under a millimeter at the 12th fret. I also have two Benedetto Bambinos, a standard and a Deluxe. Both are great guitars, as is the Eastman T145 I have, but I prefer the Wu. It's the one I play every day. I have a DeArmond Rhythm Chief pickup on it, and I really like the sound. The lead time for having one built is ~3 months. I also have an Epi ES-175 Premium, and it's a fine guitar, but like you I find the depth uncomfortable. I find the smaller 15" bodies a little too small for comfort, because they seem to cause me to hunch over while playing. I think the ideal for me is in the neighborhood of 17" body, and 2.5" in depth. That can be hard to find in a factory-built guitar.

  24. #73

    User Info Menu

    Corona — Westville Guitars

    Corona is not the luckiest name for a guitar these days, but small and great for fingerpicking. Lots of money though worth every penny.

  25. #74

    User Info Menu

    Maybe a Peerless Martin Taylor Maestro ?

    Peerless Martin Taylor Maestro | Guitars 'n Jazz

  26. #75

    User Info Menu

    Your signature seems to indicate that you have a PRS Hollowbody. I'm curious what you're looking for in a small jazz box that the PRS doesn't deliver. Cheers!

  27. #76

    User Info Menu

    Just my experience and what works for me. The short answer is the Benedetto Bambino for your quest of a more refined ES-175.
    Thinner depth, ebony fretboard, 25" scale length, feedback resistant at high volumes, easy to transport,etc. They tend to be in the $3k range used.

    PRS Hollow body is another alternative. But the acoustic sound is small and stiffer totally to my ears. I also am not crazy about their smaller medium neck shapes either.
    But from a gigging perspective, one the most versatile guitars out there!

    I would love to try the Westville guitars as well as Victor Baker smaller jazz guitars. But they are $4 k and above!

  28. #77

    User Info Menu

    Assuming you're looking for is amplified, I would suggest the Ibanez GB10, preferably one of the older Japanese made ones. If you're looking for a good, small acoustic archtop guitar then I'm afraid I don't know. Many archtops, however, are 3 inches wide at the rims which is thinner than an ES175 and that might make the difference.

  29. #78

    User Info Menu

    Sadowsy SS -15 or Jimmy Bruno would do the job. Kinda rare on the used market, but they do occasionally turn up.

  30. #79

    User Info Menu

    Novice here so take my opinion with a grain of salt but, if you don't mind a tad brighter sound, I like my ES-275 ok. It's thinner, similar to a byrdland.

  31. #80

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarJay
    Your signature seems to indicate that you have a PRS Hollowbody. I'm curious what you're looking for in a small jazz box that the PRS doesn't deliver. Cheers!
    Oh man, I HATED the PRS. Had a singlecut HBI that was decent but the pickups were thin sounding. Thought I was upgrading to a HBII with the newest pickups and it was WORSE. Forget about the Piezo. It sounded like the Piezo couldn't be turned off. In studying up it seems a common complaint unless you rip the guts out and completely remove the board and effectively ruin resale. I took a big 2k loss to get away from it and will never go back to PRS. Great build quality but a very tin-y sound in their hollowbodies.

  32. #81

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Just my experience and what works for me. The short answer is the Benedetto Bambino for your quest of a more refined ES-175.
    Thinner depth, ebony fretboard, 25" scale length, feedback resistant at high volumes, easy to transport,etc. They tend to be in the $3k range used.

    PRS Hollow body is another alternative. But the acoustic sound is small and stiffer totally to my ears. I also am not crazy about their smaller medium neck shapes either.
    But from a gigging perspective, one the most versatile guitars out there!

    I would love to try the Westville guitars as well as Victor Baker smaller jazz guitars. But they are $4 k and above!
    I'm only seeing chewed up Bambino's for $2600-3300. Where are you looking for good used ones at 3k?

    I HATED my PRS HB's; stiffer I guess you could say but the sound was horrible. Loved their solid body's though.

  33. #82

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by coolvinny
    I really like my Collings Eastside Jazz, but they are expensive. Try to find a used one. They sound great with humbuckers too.
    That was one of my original ideas since I already have 2 Collings I like. No used ones on Reverb right nowthough.

  34. #83

    User Info Menu

    Am i the only person who liked the ES Les Paul? I played the studio version and it was a great jazz guitar for not that much money. The standards are obv a bit pricier.

    Not sure if they are still making them.

    LP Studios in general make great jazz guitars anyway.

  35. #84

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JMoto
    Oh man, I HATED the PRS. Had a singlecut HBI that was decent but the pickups were thin sounding. Thought I was upgrading to a HBII with the newest pickups and it was WORSE. Forget about the Piezo. It sounded like the Piezo couldn't be turned off. In studying up it seems a common complaint unless you rip the guts out and completely remove the board and effectively ruin resale. I took a big 2k loss to get away from it and will never go back to PRS. Great build quality but a very tin-y sound in their hollowbodies.
    Really? I tried a PRS hollow with a piezo that was startlingly good.

  36. #85

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by medblues
    Maybe a Peerless Martin Taylor Maestro ?

    Peerless Martin Taylor Maestro | Guitars 'n Jazz
    That and the Bambino are currently at the top of my list! Thanks for the tip!
    How do you feel about the solid vs laminate versions? I know the ES175 was/is laminate so should I stick to that?

  37. #86

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Really? I tried a PRS hollow with a piezo that was startlingly good.
    To each their own apparently. I completely understand now why people either really like or don't like at all the PRS'.
    It was stunning, a neat top, all satin guitar, korina back. Totally beautiful and wicked light. But, the sound was tiny and thin.
    My Collings I35 beats it in every way so it didn't get to stay on the island.

  38. #87

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JMoto
    That and the Bambino are currently at the top of my list! Thanks for the tip!
    How do you feel about the solid vs laminate versions? I know the ES175 was/is laminate so should I stick to that?
    I would certainly go for the Benedetto if you can afford and find one. A friend picked up a Bravo for 3000 gbp (and a flipping Sontag for 2 jammy git.) so they are out there ....

    I think Reverb is a bit overpriced. Lot of people in denial.

  39. #88

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Am i the only person who liked the ES Les Paul? I played the studio version and it was a great jazz guitar for not that much money. The standards are obv a bit pricier.

    Not sure if they are still making them.

    LP Studios in general make great jazz guitars anyway.
    Oh man... I wanted that Memphis Goldtop P90 one since the first time I saw it...

    "Best" Small Jazz Guitar (Archtop)-es-les-paul-p90-wow-jpg
    Last edited by ruger9; 05-15-2020 at 02:01 PM.

  40. #89

    User Info Menu

    I would first try to suss out whether the problem you're having stems from the width of the guitar or its depth. I have shoulder issues, and can't comfortably play 17" guitars at all, struggle with some 16" guitars -- the line between comfortable and uncomfortable for me is somewhere between 3" and 3-1/2", depending somewhat on body shape.

    I have a Godin 5th Ave (Kingpin), which I find very comfortable. The higher-end Godin 5th Ave models have the same dimensions (but with a cutaway). I recently tried a Comins GCS 16 (specs say 2-3/34"), and found it very comfortable (with a pretty big acoustic sound). Eastman makes a couple of different 16" guitars that are under 3" deep.

    If you definitely need a body that's smaller than 16", I'd suggest one of the Ibanez GB10 variants.

    John

  41. #90

    User Info Menu

    If you liked your ES-175, you could try an ES-175T.

  42. #91

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JMoto
    That and the Bambino are currently at the top of my list! Thanks for the tip!
    How do you feel about the solid vs laminate versions? I know the ES175 was/is laminate so should I stick to that?
    I did not play the laminate versions. I bought online from Doc Dosco who is one of the 2-3 Peerless dealers in the US. I have an Epiphone ES-175 Premium and it has a quieter acoustic sound. On the other hand, my Godin 5th Ave Jazz is laminate with a floating pickup and its acoustic sound has the same loudness of the Peerless but with a bit more sustain and a bit more bass than the Peerless.

    I like playing acoustically often so I wanted the carved sound and I also liked the aesthetics of the Maestro. It strives to be an affordable Benedetto with the 12th fret inlay etc. The Virtuoso model should get you the same electric tone and the playing comfort for $1000 less.

  43. #92

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Am i the only person who liked the ES Les Paul? I played the studio version and it was a great jazz guitar for not that much money. The standards are obv a bit pricier.

    Not sure if they are still making them.

    LP Studios in general make great jazz guitars anyway.
    I like mine a lot actually! The small body seems to produce a tad "trebely" tone than I really like. But if I am in the mood for a more modern jazz sound, it scratches the itch just fine. Plus (at least mine) is a gorgeous guitar!

    "Best" Small Jazz Guitar (Archtop)-img_0521-jpg

  44. #93

    User Info Menu

    jazzy tones on an ES-Les Paul...




    FFWD to 2:35


  45. #94

    User Info Menu

    FFWD to 2:15


  46. #95

    User Info Menu

    You like Gibson, you like hollow, you like humbuckers and to prevent your arm from going numb you need a thinline. I say the ES-330 with humbuckers: (I think it’s called Satin)






  47. #96

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JMoto
    To each their own apparently. I completely understand now why people either really like or don't like at all the PRS'.
    It was stunning, a neat top, all satin guitar, korina back. Totally beautiful and wicked light. But, the sound was tiny and thin.
    My Collings I35 beats it in every way so it didn't get to stay on the island.
    I had a PRS Hollowbody 2 very briefly. I think it sounds good (mine was an older model without piezos and the humbuckers were called "archtop" pickups) but I couldn't cope with the feel. It felt like it was always moving when playing standing up. Well, the back is convex and unfortunately so is my belly. And sitting down it felt very small. In theory a lightweight guitar is a good thing but this particular one told me that a little weight is not such ab bad thing.
    Eventually I gave it back and got an Ibanez GB10 instead – very solid feel and good tones so that's what I suggest to look at.
    Last edited by guavajelly; 05-17-2020 at 03:23 AM.

  48. #97

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Really? I tried a PRS hollow with a piezo that was startlingly good.
    I have a good friend(a former student) who plays jazz on his Hollowbody II. Great guitar. The thing I notice about those particular PRS guitars-they don't have the thump/low end that a bigger hollow body would have or even a semi hollow like a 335. But they are very articulate guitars. My friend loves his and it sounds great.

  49. #98

    User Info Menu

    Epiphone Uptown Kat ES


  50. #99

    User Info Menu

    JMoto,
    Check out Engel guitars. He has a 14" hollowbody that is nice. His approach is to get a nice, jazz sound at any volume without feedback, and they're great guitars!

    Marc

  51. #100

    User Info Menu

    Archtop tribute AT105M (2.5" Mid-Depth Model) NEW Natural / incl. Hard Case / Made in Japan

    Archtop tribute AT105M (2.5" Mid-Depth Model) NEW | Reverb