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  1. #1

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    I have been playing guitar for several years but recently started playing jazz.

    I want to buy a new guitar specifically for jazz and O like a nice warm/mid tone.

    The two guitars I have in mind are the Ibanez LGB30 (George Benson cheapest signature) and the Guild A-150 Savoy to be played through a Fender Princeton.

    I'd appreciate any advice as to which might be best. Thanks!


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    I'm in a very similar boat to you. I think about buying a new guitar and amp every day. I've had the same rig since high school, a les paul and a Marshall AVT-100, definitely not a typical "jazz rig". I've been subconsciously putting off investing in a jazz rig for a few reasons:

    1. More time understanding my rig and the various tones available at my disposal. I don't mean an hour or two, I mean months. I recall Barney Kessel stating in his book, The Guitar, that hollow bodies are more "personal" with their warm tones which I can understand but I think the nuanced inflections available from a solid body provide you with a different set of tools to add personality to your playing. I'm still working on that idea and I think it's paying off for my playing.

    2. More time to research guitars. There are so many out there and I'm a buy once cry once kind of guy. I know the guitar has to have a few things going for it like playability, beauty, character and value.

    3. More time playing and learning in general. Who knows, maybe in the next year you find a jazz guitarist you haven't heard of that dramatically influences your style. I found out about Tal Farlow, saw one of his guitars and automatically thought, "I want."

    4. Less money wasted on bad decisions.

    At any rate, those are my thoughts.
    Last edited by Thecytochromec; 08-13-2015 at 03:10 PM.

  4. #3

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    Pretty nice choices both. Right about 1k is your budget, I assume?

    If you go just a bit over, you might find a used Heritage 575 too. Just something to think about.

  5. #4
    Good advice. I have also a les Paul so maybe I should play around with it a bit until I learn different styles.

  6. #5

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    When you're just starting out playing jazz, the best jazz guitar is the one you already have. You might not get your ideal jazz tone out of it but initially it's more important to start learning how to play the music then fussing over tone. That said, of course, guitarists are guitarists and we do tend to love our gear. I am no exception to this, of course. Given that, there are many low-cost jazz guitars that are quite good. Many of the less expensive Ibanez arch tops, for example, are very good bang for the buck. But you can also get a great jazz tone out of a semi hollow body, such as the Epiphone 335 style guitars (or the Ibanez ones) or from a Telecaster.

    Before buying a guitar, I would suggest spending some time on YouTube listening to jazz guitarist a different type of instruments and see what tickles your fancy. Ed Bickert using a Telecaster, Jim Hall using an ES 175, Emily Remler playing an ES 330, Herb Ellis playing in ES 175, Gene Bertoncini playing a nylon string, Les Paul playing a Les Paul, Grant Green playing an ES 335, etc. There are a lot of different great guitarists playing a lot of different guitars and getting great sounds. While the arch top guitar tends to be perhaps the most traditional choice, it is not necessarily the right choice.

    I spent the first four or so years learning jazz guitar on a Martin dreadnought copy. It was actually fine and sounded surprisingly good for jazz. And I moved on to an Ibanez GB10, added a G&L F100 for a few years, a classical, a Frankenstrat, eventually a nice carvetop and then a Tele. For gigging I use the Tele almost as much as I use the carvetop- the portability of the telecaster is very helpful sometimes and the resistance to feedback is often a benefit. As much as I like the Telecaster, the archtop guitar remains a sentimental or emotional favorite of mine.

    I have always had some hope of being a guitarist with a single guitar. Many of my guitar heroes are strongly associated with a single instrument and I have kind of wanted to be that way myself. However that just doesn't seem to be the cards and that's OK too.
    Last edited by Cunamara; 08-14-2015 at 10:38 PM. Reason: Fixing the mistakes from using Siri I didn't catch.

  7. #6

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    Gabor Szabo got a great tone from a roundhole flat top acoustic with a sound hole p.u. As did McLaughlin on his early album Extrapolations. I've got an early 60s Gibson LG1. I've done some recording with a soundhole p.u. going direct with a vintage Fender amp patch and it sounds like a vintage archtop. You can buy them for a grand if you look. The upper mid range sounds really good. The low range is a little woofy. I've got bronze roundwounds on it which may not work as well as nickel with the magnetic pickups. Some of those early 70s Yamaha lawsuit Martins may sound good through the right amp.

    Last edited by mrcee; 08-14-2015 at 04:05 PM.

  8. #7

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    When it comes to playing the old standards (I don't really play lead, I'm horrible at it) I like to play my Mossman Flattop. It has a great sound and also the neck is narrower across the width than most guitars and so playing the jazz chords are easier for me. I did buy an Eastman acoustic archtop but prefer that more for the things I play out of Leavitt or Mel Bay books - that kind of style of music suits it great. I've not tried to get a pick up for either one yet, so no advice on the amp.

  9. #8

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    Sometimes we get a bit too caught up in the gear and not the skill that we need to develop as a guitarist. I'm guilty of that as much as the next player. I simply love all things guitar!

    For now get the best guitar and amp that you can afford and continue studying your craft. You've selected two great, modestly priced guitars for playing jazz. Either will make playing more enjoyable. That in itself might encourage the practice that it takes to reach the level of musician you aspire to become.

    Enjoy the ride!

  10. #9

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    Every guitar is a jazz guitar.

  11. #10

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    I'm getting into jazz guitar, and need recommendations for a first instrument. Budget is not a huge constraint, but I would prefer not to pay over $2000 (but can go over if you think it's a good idea). I'd like an instrument that does not constrain my progress, and that I can keep for a long time if it grows on me. I'm undecided between archtop or semi-hollow (or even solidbody, but I have a couple as you can see from below).

    A little background:

    I have a couple of Ibanez 7/8-string Prestige-class solidbodies for other genres (metal/prog) and appreciate their craftmanship and necks/fretboards. I also have a Taylor 214ce Koa for "campfire" applications and which I'm currently using for learning jazz stuff (with Mickey Baker by my side). I still have my first solidbody, a USA Gibson Les Paul Studio, that I don't like (thick neck, difficult access to high frets, unergonomic shape) and am planning on selling. In the past, I owned an Epiphone Dot which I sold as I did not find the fretboard/neck feel and sound appealing. Also, I had a Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin which I used basically as an acoustic guitar, but somehow didn't like the feel of it - it wasn't quite loud and bright enough as an acoustic, and the access to higher frets was very limited.

    I mostly practice at night acoustically or through iRig and AmpliTube amp simulators and headphones. I don't have a fancy tube amplifier so matching the amp is not an issue.

    I am a lifelong jazz fan, and have some experience playing jazz with other instruments (piano, clarinet) from years past. Now that my kids are a bit older I'm starting to have more time to devote to music again.
    Last edited by takku; 03-10-2017 at 03:58 PM.

  12. #11

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    Ibanez makes excellent products .. both their cheap and expensive. I'd recommend finding one on the used market, that way you can always sell it again if you find that jazz is not your thing.

    String it up with flats and you're ready to go!

  13. #12
    joaopaz Guest
    The thing is... many guitars can and do work perfectly as jazz guitars. In your post you mentioned a Les Paul, a Dot, the Kingpin.
    You could build a solid jazz guitar career on any of those.

    My advice is... listen to your favorite jazz players, check their instruments, start from there... try as many as you can - as you already rejected some based on your experience.

    Try to recreate the sounds you like, with your fingers and pick, on any guitar that comes around. As Lobomov mentioned, flatwound strings are a great and obvious starting point.

    2000k is a lot of money, so once you have your priorities set, you'll have a lot to choose from!

  14. #13
    Flip the Les Paul Studio for a Fender Telecaster.

    Unless you want to go for an archtop. For $2000 you have a lot to choose from. I like the looks of Eastman and Loar archtops in the over $1000 range. I have no personal experience with either of these brands but I do read good things about them.

  15. #14

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    A Telecaster makes an excellent jazz guitar... unless, like me, you are looking for an ACOUSTIC guitar that inspires jazz.

    That is a much more challenging find. In general a 30's through 50's Epiphone Deluxe is what I think of as the standard. Unfortunately they can be quite spendy.

    I have heard glowing reviews of Loars as modern copies, but the one I played was total junk. There are the new "Masterbuilt Deluxe" with pressed spruce tops. Reviews seem favorable for the folk/country players but poor from the jazz players. I believe Eastman makes their equivalent of a Deluxe/Deluxe Regent. Generally the reviews for Eastman guitars are very favorable. Ibanez make nice guitars, but they tend to be heavy and work better as electric guitars.

    I make an under 4lbs acoustic archtop that makes extensive use of carbon fiber. I strive to give the voice of an old Deluxe but with modern playability. But mine are a good $1,000 more than your budget. Ken Parker makes his acoustic guitars, but at 15 times your budget. I can't think of another boutique luthier building acoustic archtops, but I imagine they will all be at least as expensive as mine, if not much more.

    You say you mostly play acoustically, so I hope that helps. In my experience archtops have a split personality, and by far the dominant one is as an electric guitar.

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  16. #15

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    Are you adverse to buying used and are you willing to drive a bit? Dropping 2k on a guitar, if I were you, I would be wanting to try as many instruments as possible and to buy used. Eastman, for example, you will save a ton buying a used instrument because their resale value is low. Between Eastman and The Loar I would choose an Eastman, although there are many kinds and it is worth trying them to see if you like the wider string spacing (1 3/4' nut) and light acoustic bodies they make.

    Where are you located? Any music stores nearby where you can try stuff out?

  17. #16

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    Three words: Gibson ES-165. (The full sized humbucker one!)

    It has the qualities for being a lifelong instrument.

    And if not, You should get Your investment easily back.

    Good luck and enjoy Your quest!

    First Jazz Guitar-gibson-es-165-jpg

  18. #17

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    Wow, I am blown away by all the great suggestions! Thank you everyone!

    My problem is that like so many different players and styles that just listing my favorites gets me right to square one - I like Luis Bonfa on his acoustics, Al Di Meola chasing the devil down a Spanish highway on his LP, Joe Pass on his archtops, Sco roughhousing his Ibby, Julian Lage on Tele, and Tosin Abasi's 8-string metal fusion. And everything in between. See my problem

    You guys are giving me a lot to think about. My head is going in two directions:

    1. Sounds like a humbucker-equipped Tele (with a coil tap if I want to thin out the sound) would get me to a pretty sweet place, and also serve as a blues machine on the side. I really like the sounds Julian Lage is conjuring from a plain Tele. I was actually thinking about exactly the idea of trading my LP for a Tele - I really like the neck and the feel of a Tele Special FMT we have at our local music store. Sounds like a no regrets move, and Teles are so cheap I would not feel bad about getting one + a more dedicated jazz box.

    2. Also, I'm sold on Ibanez quality and value, and either an AF or AS would get me a sound and a feel that would be different from my metal monster solid bodies on the one hand and my acoustic on the other. The only question is whether a true hollow body (AF) or a semi-hollow (AS) would be more appropriate. I'd really appreciate your thoughts on this (and I'm sure it's an evergreen topic on these pages). I tried an AF55 at a local guitar store the other week, and while the build quality felt a bit cheap, the body style and form factor felt very comfortable to me - so a bit higher build level AF might be a nice choice for me.

    I live in a large metro (Dallas) so I have a few guitar stores to go to. This does not seem to be a jazz mecca and jazz boxes are hard to come by even on craigslist, but I'll keep trying. I'm really intrigued by Eastmans that everyone keeps talking about in jazz circles - but I'm yet to see one live, hope to play one soon. In the meanwhile, I'm unleashing my internal Luis Bonfa on my Taylor - even my wife can agree to that sound :-)

    You guys really rock, thank you for all the advice and encouragement!

  19. #18

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    A forum member (Agentsmith) has a nice vintage Herb Ellis archtop for sale.

    Agentsmith is a pro-level player, and he is demanding in his equipment choice. He has strong opinions about his likes and dislikes, but I think he is a person of integrity, and good faith in his opinions.

    Price is right, too, for an instrument of this vintage, and quality.

    (Northeast is about to get hit with a major snowstorm. Probably best not to be shipping instruments till the bad weather clears out a bit.)

    PS: RE: the full hollow body vs. semi-hollow issue, the semi is just going to sound a little less round & full, and probably more mid-rangy. For uptempo stuff and when played in a combo, it might make very little difference. Larry Carlton has a pretty fat sound on a 335. There is a thread here on Scofield's solo guitar playing, and you can hear him playing his Ibanez 335-like instrument. It's just different from a full hollow body. Some semis (a Howard Roberts Fusion) still sound pretty fat. It's a continuum.
    Last edited by goldenwave77; 03-13-2017 at 07:30 AM.

  20. #19

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    A Gibson 165/175 is a nice choice. It is 24-3/4 scale. The 135 and 137's are real nice too.
    But if you didn't like the chunky neck of the LP, Then you might not like those.
    You may want to check out an Ibanez GB10 or if you are lucky, a nice JP20. A lot of Heritage guitars offer less chunky necks, you just have to try them out.
    Your preferences will guide you to the right guitar. If you can, play it 1st.
    Best of luck and welcome aboard.
    Joe D

  21. #20

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    Speaking of the high end Ibanez I've just bought a 1989 AF200 and it's very high level.
    The neck is quite thin and the guitar is very comfortable and lightly built.
    I recommend you to try before, it has it's own sound.

    First Jazz Guitar-ibanez-af200-png

  22. #21

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    Just wanted to thank all of you for your advice and suggestions! Since I'm a man of action, I went ahead and bought a Fender Telecaster FMT HH based on your suggestions. Since I find myself gravitating to the electric end of the jazz guitar spectrum, I think that will be a great starting point for me. I found myself liking the Tele neck and the jazz sound you can get by dialing the tone knob to a 4 and rolling down the volume a bit - especially on a neck humbucker. I always associated a tele with Keith and Bruce and chicken picking country and never even considered owning a tele before, but this discussion has really opened up my horizons.

    I still think I may be an Ibanez AS guy at heart, but I want to take my time comparing ES-335 vs E-175 type instruments before committing the big bucks. The tele gives me the opportunity to play jazz while I figure out my next move.

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  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jx30510
    Speaking of the high end Ibanez I've just bought a 1989 AF200 and it's very high level.
    The neck is quite thin and the guitar is very comfortable and lightly built.
    I recommend you to try before, it has it's own sound
    I saw some YouTube videos of folks playing the AF200 and it may well be the best-sounding piece of kit I have ever heard I my life...

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  24. #23

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    Well here she is - I ended up getting a barely used American Standard Tele from Craigslist for a song (well actual US paper money exchanged hands). Set up the bridge and have been playing Robert Conti exercises ever since. Couldn't be happier :-)

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  25. #24

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    That Tele is a real beauty. You have chosen well. Congratulations, and play it in good health!

  26. #25

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    I have an opportunity to purchase a Yamaha SA-2200 used for a reasonable price. I've heard good things about it. Any love for that instrument out there? My primary competition for it would be Ibanez AS200 or AM200.

    First Jazz Guitar-yamaha-sa2200-jpg

  27. #26

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    Been playing for 50 years but just getting into Jazz. After a long search and many test drives, the Ibanez AG75 does it for me for $399.00. Actually got it for 349.00 on sale. Originally bought an open box Joe Pass Emperor II Pro but the fret ends ripped my fingers up. Poor finish for a Pro guitar. This is consistent with this model.

    the Ibanez is finished very well and the pups sound great. Pick up a nice dark sounding amp and away you go.

    First Jazz Guitar-ibanez-ag75g-jpg

  28. #27

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    There are plenty who could make a Les Paul like yours work.

    But if you want jazz and high access, thin neck??

    The one that stands out to me is the Carvin Frank Gambale model. He went through five incarnations with thinner and easier increasingly higher fret access on each successive one. It's a semi hollowbody and around two grand.

    if you want a guitar in general that can give you all sounds, including a nice fat neck humbucker, and all important slender neck and high fret access, the Prestige Ibanez RG can be it. Accomplished jazz player and multi instrumentalist Carol Kaye does jazz on Ibanez RG. You don't have to sport f-holes to bop out.
    Last edited by 335dotfan; 04-07-2017 at 12:06 AM.

  29. #28

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    Thanks, really nice points!

    For the record, I'm really liking my new Tele for its neck and the deep clean jazz tones paired with a Fender [Deluxe/Twin] Reverb.

    But like you say I can get some nice jazzy tones out of my RG as well - for me the biggest issue was that I only have 7 and 8 string models and I am having a bit of a hard time fingering all these jazz chords on those wide necks. I know it can be done (Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes for example) but I find 6 strings easier to deal with for now. I am super comfortable with the thin Ibby necks but it is the width that is getting me right now.

    Part of my dilemma is that I don't know which direction I'm taking my jazz guitar playing. Part of me wants to introduce the more complex jazz harmonies to my prog metal playing on a 7/8 string RG, and part of me wants to prepare for my retirement days playing standards in a bebop band on an archtop. Right now I'm choosing - both :-) just kidding, I'm learning the classics starting from 50s/60s classic stuff (I have been listening to classic jazz since my teen years) and moving closer to present day as my jazz chops improve. I'm sure I'll meet Gambale (love his playing btw) when I get to Elektrik Band :-)

  30. #29

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    With that budget, my choice would be a used Ibanez PM100/120. If you like Ibanez already, the features (fret access, neck size) would be there + it's fully hollow. They aren't that common, but you see them occationally used.

    My choice would be the single pickup version, but I'm like that (my solid body guitars are all with only a single pickup also).

    First Jazz Guitar-ibanez-pm100-jpg

  31. #30

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    I am a rock and metal guy with a few solidbodies, but I have always enjoyed smooth jazz guitarists like Norman Brown and George Benson, so I am considering dipping my toes into the water for my first jazz guitar.

    I am not opposed to used, and I have had my eyes open on craigslist and pawn shops locally as well as hit a few music stores even ebay and reverb, but the pickings are slim to none locally to even see or play much so I am considering buying something online.

    I played an epi dot new it was ok but didn't scream buy me, and an epi casino at a pawn shop total mess, needed a setup and strings I wasn't impressed and they wanted $500 for it, with some work it may have been decent but most things I find are solidbody.

    The two main guitars I was looking at online were Ibanez Artcore Vintage AGV10A and Ibanez GB10SE.

    Maybe just as an entry $500 range type guitar that hopefully would give me an introduction to messing around with Jazz stuff.

    or if I can find one maybe used I have seen nothing but good about the GB line, I'd probably have to go with a used SE to stay under $1000 range but is it really twice the guitar as the artcore above?

    I would say my budget would range somewhere in that $500-$1000 USA range but never know with trades or finding something used what I could end up with.

    I know with the GB10's there are different models and countries made (Japan being more sought after from what I read) but in my budget finding a used SE China model would probbly be more in my price range.

    At this point the amps I have probably aren't even right for the sound I would want to dial in, I have a Blackstar and a Marshall for total rock sounding stuff, but the stuff I am digging sound wise I may have to look for a small amp too down the road, so I appreciate any input help or suggestions.

    First Jazz Guitar-ibanez-gb10-jpg

  32. #31

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    Why not just use one of your solid bodies and set it up for jazz, heavier strings maybe raise the action some. Jazz is about what you play not what you play it on.

  33. #32

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    I have been messing with a few tunes I enjoy on my charvel a bit, I’ve not got much experience in setups for a jazz guitar but I read flat wound strings were used on a few I had read reviews on. Not opposed to trying that route either, I have a les paul goldtop I don’t use much took it as a trade so maybe that would serve my purpose for a bit.

    I think too I need to read up on and learn a bit more about amps and settings as I am used to the rock stuff and I always end up with some juiced up rock or metal sounds out of decades of playing only that music thru Marshall’s and Black Star amps.

    I only recently picked up an acoustic 12 string guild that has really been fun and I love all that smooth jazz stuff so I figured why not sell off a few and pick something up like one of the Ibanez mentioned above for fun

  34. #33

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    If you want to get your feet wet before going full out then just slap a set of flats on your les Paul and maybe turn down the tone knob slightly. While Marshalls are famous for rock I remember my own Marshall stack sounding great clean.

    While an archtop will sound more 'jazzy', it will get you in the ballpark.

    Here's George Benson on a Les Paul

    Also if you want cheap then a telecaster is also worth considering. A lot easier to find a nice cheap telecaster than ditto archtop. Plenty of jazzers sporting telecasters.

  35. #34

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    I second what everyone else said. New strings (flats, .11s or .12s) on your Les Paul, and a heavy pick, seems to be the right first step. Right now, I have an acoustic archtop with a floater pickup, a couple of nice teles, and an Epiphone ‘jazzbox’. I play almost exclusively jazz, and the Epi is sitting idly by. When I am playing early jazz, it’s the acoustic archtop. Anything beyond the early ‘50s, and my tele covers that perfectly.

    If after setting up the Lester for jazz you feel you still want a jazzbox, I’d say save up and wait until you have a better understanding (and the right amount of money) to buy the archtop that suits you. It might be an acoustic archtop, it might be an L5-CES-type, it might be a thinline or a semi-hollow… you just don’t know yet.

  36. #35
    I recommend to purchase an Epiphone Broadway and a Gibson 57 Classic Humbucker. Then you have a wonderful, Gibson L5 kind of sound.

    First Jazz Guitar-epiphone-broadway-jpg

  37. #36

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    I like my GB10SE. Though it is a very different guitar in size, scale and comfort it is about like playing an LP if slightly larger and a little lighter. They are 1299 new. I’ve seen them for 900 used but they don’t come up that often.

  38. #37

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    Use the Les Paul. That's a perfect "smooth jazz" guitar, and is great for other varieties of jazz as well. Many people have used them (Benson, Martino, Carlton, Wakenius, Danny Gatton, Les Paul to name a few, plus me and several non-famous friends of mine). If you're finding it thinner sounding or with a less percussive attack than what you hear with many jazz players, that's mainly a matter of set-up. Try some combination of heavier strings, flatwounds, or higher action. On the amp side, boost mids and cut treble and bass, use less distortion. If you have your heart set on buying new gear because you want new gear, go for it. But if you're only thinking about it because you think the gear you own can't be adapted to the music you're talking about, that's almost certainly not the case.

  39. #38

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    An Ibanez AF55 is great cheap way of getting into a Jazz Box.

    Put TI flats on there , set it up with a medium action.

    Comfortable to stand or sit with!

    First Jazz Guitar-ibanez-af55-jpg

  40. #39

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    I believe in the comfort almost above everything else

    If a LP is comfortable for you , sure go for that
    a jazz box can be played acoustic or electic

    Whatevs , put on heavy flat strings , adjust setup
    med action so you can get
    a good clean single note sound ...

    Also leave the Guitar out , so you can pick it up and play ....

    Play songs , play a lot ...

  41. #40

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    I second what others have said about the LP. One guitar I've never owned but have always admired.

    I will throw this out there--if you gotta have an archtop, 2 good ways to get into it with good quality but low price are the Godin Kingpin and Epiphone Joe Pass (older Korean models are preferred, but new is pretty good nowadays). Both are good quality, good platforms for modding if you want to go that route, and if you don't want to keep can sell for a decent price.

    I have a Peerless Sunset, well within your price range (can order through, which is the very definition of smooth jazz guitar. I mean, if you can't play Breezin' on that, with it's comfortable neck and mellow humbucking sound, you can't play Breezin'.

  42. #41

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    If you have a Les Paul you're not using much put it to use and re-purpose it for your Jazz guitar. Pat Martino, Jim Hall, and others have played Jazz on Les Paul's. They get a good full sound, plug in to your amp and dial up a cleaner sound and you're all set to learn.
    Last edited by docbop; 01-09-2018 at 02:55 PM.

  43. #42

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    The OP wants to buy a guitar, and wants some encouragement. If he wanted advice on how to make do with what he has, he would have asked his wife

    My advice would be to spend a month or so on this site, checking the for sale ads every day. There are some terrific deals there, and you will basically get to know the sellers by looking at their other posts.

  44. #43

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    This is a demo and review I made of the Ibanez Contemporary Archtop. It is a killer guitar for under 1000 bucks and feels like more of a premium guitar worth more than the cost. I ordered mine online from Sam Ash because I could just return it at the store if I didn’t like it that way but I loved it. I ended up selling it to a student because she needed a jazz guitar - she tried all of my guitars as we tried to figure out what kind and style of guitar spoke to her and she liked this more than my L5, es-175 and lots of other high end guitars. I don’t agree with her that it was better than those but I can see why she chose it - it is really comfy since it is a little more compact than most jazz boxes, it is simple, constructed well and has a good neck. Honestly I think she liked the red because she said it was the best looking of them all but still, it’s very good and my current recommendation for under 1000 because it is capable of traditional tone but also is unique.

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  45. #44

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    Hey guys thanks for all the replies, I thought I set this up to notify me of replies but I didn't get them for whatever reason, yeah I am going to setup the les paul for now just for fun with some flatwounds and who knows it may just be my go to for the jazz stuff.

    I did spend some time talking to an Ibanez rep and he was steering me to the Ibanez AG95 or the GB10SE, my sweetwater rep agreed on both choices and said nextime I am nearby to stop in which is dangerous LOL.

    I will be jumping on Amazon for some D-Addario Chromes for the Les Paul for now

    First Jazz Guitar-ibanez-ag95dbs-jpg

  46. #45

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    1), 2) AG-95 owner here - very well-built, comfortable, great playing hollowbody. Well worth a check-out, and a check.

  47. #46

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    Don't rule out used instruments... Keep an eye on your local Craigslist once you start building familiarity with model names and numbers. I'm on there more frequently than I care to admit, and my first three searches are; archtop, hollow, and jazz. What gets returned from those searches covers a lot of ground...

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  48. #47

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    The D'Angelico EXL-1 is very nice. Plays great, sounds good and is always (from what I've experienced) without fit & finish issue... great QC.

    First Jazz Guitar-dangelico-exl-1-jpg

  49. #48

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    I have both a new D’Angelico EXL-1 and the Ibanez model Rio talked about above (AFC-151) I’d consider selling (either guitar would be in the lower to middle of the price range you stated). I think they are both great for your purpose and I have too many guitars to fit in my office at the moment. DA has 25.5” scale while the Ibanez has the shorter 24.75” scale. That may be a consideration. PM me if interested. Otherwise, good luck in your adventures in jazz guitar!


  50. #49

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    Look for a Korean made Epiphone Emperor Regent. I've owned one since 2009 and I paid $700 for it brand new. I did eventually get the frets replaced and a new bone nut. It gets a really fat mellow sound plugged in, and it has a nice acoustic sound unplugged.

    First Jazz Guitar-epiphone-emperor-regent-jpg

  51. #50

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    I'll echo what a lot of other people are saying. I use 010's on a Tele and can play jazz with it. It's about -how- you play.