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  1. #1

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    Calling all Gibson Tal Farlow owners (past present and future)
    to share their love and stories about that great underrated instrument.

    There are plenty of threads praising (with good reasons) the iconic 175 and L5, but very few on the Tal itself.

    Lately the thread on the Booboo saga, JAZ quest for a 90's one, or Vinny's gorgeous Tal back from Gibson brought in other members input on their own love for their Tal and I suspect there are quite a few owners here.

    Basically that thread here is just an excuse to share pictures including the how, when and why you got a Tal... At the risk of making the price increase lol...

    My own little story starts in 1994 when I was looking into the Gibson Historic Art Catalogue of my music teacher and Gibson retailer drooling on all the great archtops in there I could only dream about as a student.
    The Tal was really catching my attention even if actually at the time I did not even know who TF was.

    That guitar despite its strange appointments left its mark in my mind...

    I ended up buying what I could afford at the time: an Epiphone Emperor Joe Pass (that I still have).

    After years of getting to know more about Tal and his recordings becoming available on CDs, my interest in the player, his tone and guitar became stronger.

    Around 2005-6 some videos on Youtube made by a player under the nickname of jazzerman (later would be known as DutchBopper and MrBebopGuitar) started to show up; I was really impressed by his playing and tone and was following him for a while. There wasn't much videos featuring Tal Farlow guitars being played at the time; still not much nowadays to be honest and his are still by far the best example of a good sounding Tal.

    I ended up on jazzguitar.be at some point; got interested in guitar tweaking and tried to get a tone close to a Tal tinkering with my cheap Epiphones; I did not really succeeded as I realized only a Tal sounds like a Tal.
    I could never convince myself to pay 3-4K for a guitar as an amateur player only but the GAS was there...

    That last year, it became more and more difficult to resist GAS attacks as members were posting PSA or For Sale Tal ads. There are not many Tal up here in Canada, much less good deal and our shitty dollar is pretty much a show stopper from buying from USA.
    Then one day of last summer, a great opportunity presented itself and this time against all odds, I decided to not ignore it; actually it is my wife who convinced me to do it. That would not have happened without her support and the reputable seller who made it possible (so grateful again Jack).

    It is by far the best sounding instrument I have played and owned, I love its woody and blunt tone and still wonder why they are not more popular...or is it changing?

    Was a bit surprised by what that Gibson representative told Vinny; Tals are becoming more popular? Maybe they will eventually get the love they deserve...

    In any case I got mine and pretty gorgeous one, I guess my GAS is cured

    Last edited by Dirk; 04-18-2020 at 05:47 AM.

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  3. #2

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    Vinlander, I think this going to be a great thread.

    I own Booboo. The guitar helped me forge a very close relationship with its original owner after the much storied incident. We joke about now but, it took of a lot for Vinny to pull off what he did. When I bought the guitar I had plans of getting it fixed and making booboo into a beater. You know, bring it to sessions. Leave it in the studio. Bring it on trips with me. Play racketball with it. You know, a beater...

    After getting the guitar back from Ronaldo, I immediately knew this guitar would not be the beater I expected it to be. The headstock repair is not noticeable at all. It has become one of my most cherished belongings. It is a bond between me and my buddy, Vinny.

    I played Booboo last night. Tals have a sound of there own, I can't explain it. The best I could put would be, It's a tightly compressed L5 sound. Single note runs on it are effortlessly executed. The feel of a Tal is very much like an L5 feel. The guitar is a virtually perfect Jazz Guitar. Where does it rank amongst the other guitars I own? They are all tied for 2nd, after the D'Angelico Excel.

    i love booboo.

    Gibson Tal Farlow Appreciation Thread-image-jpg
    Last edited by Max405; 03-12-2016 at 04:31 PM.

  4. #3

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    I have no way of knowing if there's a Tal in my future or not, but I sure hope so! The look is cool (and unmistakeable), they sound terrific (in the right hands- I could probably put a kink in that curve) -- what's not to like? It's good to have goals, even in dreams....


    Gibson Tal Farlow Appreciation Thread-gibson-tal-farlow-jpg

  5. #4

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    Up till a few years ago my interest in jazz and similar genre was limited to players like Les Paul, Wes, Carlton, et al. I had knowledge of the name Tal Farlow but not of the player or his signature git. The internet changed that.

    So one day I put my 335 and Les Paul aside and bought an Epiphone Emperor (pre Joe Pass badge) and found that my Fender amps had a few more surprises left in them.
    Well it's been three years since my Tal Farlow came home. Well he's now 20 years old and a perfect example why I regard Gibson as a company very highly.

  6. #5

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    Ahhh...another thread to drool over.
    Every time I wandered into the handful of vintage dealers I used to frequent around Sydney years back, I would always end my time by looking over the gorgeous hollow bodies hanging on the wall. And even then, when I knew what a Tal Farlow was though I may not have known who Tal Farlow was, it was undeniably my favourite. There was just something about those inlays and that scroll that simply did it for me.
    Hope there's a TF in my future.
    Last edited by Dedalus; 03-14-2016 at 06:38 AM.

  7. #6

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    I stupidly sold a Tal a few years back and have regretted it. I'll pick another up once I find the right one. They are killer guitars. I still watch Joe's Tal video as the tone he gets is so sweet, and of course his playing. Mine was wine red, but the next one will be Sunburst or Viceroy Brown.

  8. #7

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    I think JD nailed the description of the sound quite accurately as
    a compressed L5 tone, to me it hits the spot between the L5 and
    what I would wish a 175 to sound like, no fan of the thunk but
    a good tool for Bebop as Dick , the Dutchbopper has demonstrated
    brilliantly on his posts and blog.
    I would recommend obtaining one before the inevitable price hike
    if it is possible to acquire a used example at the ridiculously low
    figure that our very astute friend 2b did ,then grab it quickly.
    A TF is a joy to own and play. I'm on my third , a cross between
    Viceroy brown & Teaburst and not dissimilar to the Es350t sound .
    the tone is equally good through a Mambo, Evans, Fender 65 Custom 15,
    Good hunting , just wish my hands were like the "Octopus".( TF )

  9. #8

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    As a kid I stared at the Gibson catalog a lot. There were quite a few artist signature guitars then- Tal, Trini, Johnny, and Barney. They were all way, way too expensive for a teen to even dream of.

    To this day I've never played a TF or a BK. How do those two guitars compare in sound and playability? Both still get my heart rate up looking at them.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    As a kid I stared at the Gibson catalog a lot. There were quite a few artist signature guitars then- Tal, Trini, Johnny, and Barney. They were all way, way too expensive for a teen to even dream of.

    To this day I've never played a TF or a BK. How do those two guitars compare in sound and playability? Both still get my heart rate up looking at them.
    MG, not played the BK Gibson, always thought it to be unappealing., you probably know Barney's
    reaction when presented with it. Would much prefer the guitar he used with the CC pickup.
    Can only reiterate others views on the TF , if you like the L5 , and the Heritage similar models
    It's a fair bet that you'll like the TF. Slightly shallower in body depth than the L5 but still
    retaining a full time, slightly different timbre to the L5, would be interested in your assessment
    If you try one.

  11. #10

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    Hey Brothers,
    I threw this together this morning. Some oldies but goodies.





    Its been said here before, but if you only have one Jazz Guitar, the Tal Farlow could easily be the one..

    Thanks, Joe D
    Last edited by Max405; 03-13-2016 at 02:18 PM.

  12. #11

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    Beautiful playing Joe and a gorgeous tone.

  13. #12

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    The first time I saw a Tal Farlow guitar was many years ago. I thought to my shelf nice color, ugly guitar and who is Tal Farlow. Then in the 90's I read a GB interview and he said Tal was one of his biggest heroes. I immediately went out and started buying his music. Tal's playing and even more so his tone floored me. Around this time Gibson was making Tal's again. This time when I looked at one it was pure artistry. I have owned 3 Tal's since. The best one I had was a 2006. A ex friend begged me out of it for a cheap price and flipped it for a nice profit. We no longer talk. Then I got BooBoo in 2013 and we all know the story. The one I have now is a 2014 that Gibson had to refinish the neck. Another nice thing Gibson did when they refinished the neck was they hand crowned and polished the frets to a chrome like finish. It plays and sounds like a dream. I will always have a Tal. Love the guitar and the man.
    Last edited by vinnyv1k; 03-13-2016 at 02:44 PM.

  14. #13

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    Here's my old baby. Shame it was so early on in my picture taking, wish I could have got some better shots (more shots too).

    She was a 96 with a tone to die for. Set-up wast perfect but you take the ruff with the smooth with old Gibson. Love a good Tal, I've had two ;-) (more in the future no doubt).

    Gibson Tal Farlow Appreciation Thread-gibson-tal-farlow-2-60-1-jpgGibson Tal Farlow Appreciation Thread-gibson-tal-farlow-2-60-3-jpgGibson Tal Farlow Appreciation Thread-gibson-tal-farlow-2-60-9-jpg

  15. #14

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    I have seen a couple Tal's in natural with gold hardware that were absolutely stunning. I used to be a carved top snob but no more. Sometimes plywood can sound far better especially at mid to higher volumes. People that have never played a "good" Tal are really missing out on a very unique and beautiful sound. A very tuff act to follow IMO. Not to mention TF actually played one till his death unlike the BK model and Barney Kessel. Archtop.com recently sold Tal's last TF guitar that Gibson sent him a few months before his death.

  16. #15

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    Awesome playing and tone, Joe! If I owned a guitar company, I'd want your endorsement and demos. Nice work!

  17. #16

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    Far and away the greatest best buy in the Gibson stable, imo.


  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    I have seen a couple Tal's in natural with gold hardware that were absolutely stunning. I used to be a carved top snob but no more. Sometimes plywood can sound far better especially at mid to higher volumes. People that have never played a "good" Tal are really missing out on a very unique and beautiful sound. A very tuff act to follow IMO. Not to mention TF actually played one till his death unlike the BK model and Barney Kessel. Archtop.com recently sold Tal's last TF guitar that Gibson sent him a few months before his death.

    A good Tal, is the best of both worlds. The slimmer body I feel drops off some of the bottom end, whilst the 17" bought keep the trebles nice and musical.
    The laminate maple delivers an instant duller more appropriate 50's bop guitar tone and the 25'5 scale keeps it from sounding too muddy.

    They are also very pretty regardless of what anyone else ses and it will always garner more attention in the flesh, than more common, more expensive alternatives.

    So all in all, several very good reasons as to why a 'good' one is near on unbeatable.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    As a kid I stared at the Gibson catalog a lot. There were quite a few artist signature guitars then- Tal, Trini, Johnny, and Barney. They were all way, way too expensive for a teen to even dream of.

    To this day I've never played a TF or a BK. How do those two guitars compare in sound and playability? Both still get my heart rate up looking at them.
    The tone of a TF is easily a poor man's L5CES. Actually, I preferred the tone of the TF to my last L5CES, which wasn't as smokey as my first CES. Only thing better for that price is one Heritage single pup SE!

  20. #19

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    I would really like to know how many a year are still produced since they started to be reissued in 1993.
    I asked the question to Gibson Customer Service but that information is unfortunately not disclosed to public it seems.
    A thing I realized while looking for used Tal ads, is they are very often if not all the time in excellent to mint condition with just a bit of oxidation on their nickel hardware, even the older 20+ years ones; late coming out!
    My 96 will get 20 years this coming summer and the closet is not where it will head to.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    Far and away the greatest best buy in the Gibson stable, imo.

    my god that's a beautiful guitar. Wow!

    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    The Gibson Joe DeNisco model. I'd buy one.
    Thanks Vinny. You wouldn't have to buy one..

    Quote Originally Posted by vinlander
    Beautiful playing Joe and a gorgeous tone.
    Vinlander, once again, great thread. The Tal Farlow deserves the recognition we give it. It's just loveable like the guy it was named after..
    Joe D

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven

    Gibson Tal Farlow Appreciation Thread-gibson-tal-farlow-2-60-1-jpgGibson Tal Farlow Appreciation Thread-gibson-tal-farlow-2-60-3-jpgGibson Tal Farlow Appreciation Thread-gibson-tal-farlow-2-60-9-jpg

    I'm definitely smitten by this TF. Is that a walnut finish? It looks like it has a little red in it. Wow!

    The styling of the TF is the sort of stuff the Gibson employees would create if the "suits" weren't in charge. The fretboard inlays, the scrolled binding and the pointy PG are Kalamazoo gaudy (which is the greatest compliment one can bestow an embellished tool of any kind).

    The deep cutaway and neck and body dimensions were well thought out.

    What I don't understand is how Gibson held back on the ebony fretboard and gold. That is uncharacteristic restraint. My guess is that Tal wanted rosewood and nickel. That's class.

    I played a 175 for years. I just didn't know any better!

  23. #22

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    Tal's look great with gold. TF's 2 prototypes had gold hardware. Maybe he thought it was too much bling for his taste.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    I'm definitely smitten by this TF. Is that a walnut finish? It looks like it has a little red in it. Wow!
    Mine is the same color, it's not wine and not brown, it's a really hard color to get in a pic. It's really darker than my pic. What year is the one you're looking at?

    Here's mine:

    Gibson Tal Farlow Appreciation Thread-tal6s-jpg

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by GNAPPI
    Mine is the same color, it's not wine and not brown, it's a really hard color to get in a pic. It's really darker than my pic. What year is the one you're looking at?

    Here's mine:

    Gibson Tal Farlow Appreciation Thread-tal6s-jpg
    I think its actually called 'claret' and that was a 96. Tal's look exceptionally classy in that colour for sure.

  26. #25

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    MG,
    I believe that the current TF's are available in sunburst or viceroy brown,
    the latter colour being a misnomer, more like a cherry sunburst, or
    teaburst. The wine/claret finish is not current I believe.
    It might be worth looking at the Natural finish also but both of these
    two colours will only be available as used models I suspect.
    I've had all three ( excluding sunburst., the fourth option)
    I a/b'd the TF with a 2008 L4ces, (blonde), yesterday, an interesting
    comparison as the latter is a carved top & ebony fingerboard, & as you will
    no doubt be aware , both are excellent.
    The TF owners here will be delighted if you join the party, I'm glad to be
    in their esteemed company .

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    I think its actually called 'claret' and that was a 96. Tal's look exceptionally classy in that colour for sure.
    Mine is a 96 also.

  28. #27

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    If it was mentioned I apologize for missing it, but how do the new TF's compare to the older models? I got to briefly play on a new one at a local shop and it was wonderful. I thought it sounded better than the 175, sorry no offense to 175 fans intended, and to me it just felt a bit better in the hand. Would love to add one to the collection some day. Have to wait a bit after the last buying flurry and work out a way to convince the other half that the need is real and significant. She's to sharp to try sneaking one in. Dang girl keeps a head count going.

  29. #28

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    I saw a 2014 black one with gold hardware recently at reverb. It was pretty sharp looking. You can get one in any color the Crimson shop offers which is VB, VS, wine, nat, or black. They won't do Memphis colors, I asked.

  30. #29
    Dutchbopper Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by vinlander
    Around 2005-6 some videos on Youtube made by a player under the nickname of jazzerman (later would be known as DutchBopper and MrBebopGuitar) started to show up; I was really impressed by his playing and tone and was following him for a while. There wasn't much videos featuring Tal Farlow guitars being played at the time; still not much nowadays to be honest and his are still by far the best example of a good sounding Tal.
    Glad I inspired you to make the TF plunge Vinlander. Over the years I seem to have inspired several guys to buy one. I have received several mails along that line.

    I ordered my Tal Farlow from Murch music in 2004 from a picture I saw online. It was a 1998 reissue. I had been a huge Tal Farlow fan for years and I just loved the way it looked. How it really sounded, I had no idea ... But if Tal played one, they had to be good. The one for sale was exactly in the right finish (viceroy). Somehow I wanted that finish and no other ...

    Since then - so for 12 years - I have been playing it to great satisfaction. Every time I pick it up I love it. It's a guitar best suited for bebop IMHO. It simply has that Tal bop thing going on like no other Gibson.

    I have been saying for years that a used Tal offers the best value for money in the entire Gibson offering. Way better in that respect than an L5 for instance. You get a lot of guitar for a great price. However I think sub 3K Tals are getting rarer and rarer. Prices are definitely going up fast. Usually 3k plus. Or 4 even.



    Regards,

    DB

  31. #30

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    Al, I cant imagine sneaking a Tal Farlow in. It is too strikingly beautiful to not be obvious.
    It is not an acoustic instrument. A 175/165 is more of an acoustic instrument believe it or not. It has a similar unplugged volume and projection as an L5 with inset pickups. Where it differs is in the feel and the amplified tone. It has a very elegant feel to it. The guitar oozes class from what you see to what you touch. It is a substantial guitar that makes you feel like your money is well spent. Its tone is powerful, warm and rich.
    Because I have a Tal, I don't feel the need to own an L5. Don't get me wrong, if I could own an L5 you better believe I would have an L5 in my scuderia, but I have a Tal and I am happy.

    Joe D.

  32. #31

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    The price new unfortunately like the 175 has risen significantly in the last couple years which is also driving up the used market. Viceroy Brown finish which was the original color is now a $800 up charge. My 2006 was $2800 brand new and my 2014 was $4800. Well considering a new L5 is 10K I guess it is still a good deal ? Still priced equally with a 175.
    Well everything musical is very pricey now. A top of the line sax is just as expensive. Can you imagine what a hand carved acoustic bass costs these days ?

  33. #32

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    A couple of years ago, I took my bass player Shawn to a music store to pick up a brand new bass that he bought. I was SHOCKED by the quality of bass that cost him only $2000. I cant remember what it was, I think it was a Gamba or something like that. It was amazing and it was HUGE!! It barely fit on my SUV.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe DeNisco
    A couple of years ago, I took my bass player Shawn to a music store to pick up a brand new bass that he bought. I was SHOCKED by the quality of bass that cost him only $2000. I cant remember what it was, I think it was a Gamba or something like that. It was amazing and it was HUGE!! It barely fit on my SUV.
    Bro it was only $2k for a stand up bass ? Man us guitar players are getting ripped.

  35. #34

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    You guys have me convinced that my poor playing is more a factor of not having a TF than not having time to practice!

  36. #35

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    This Tal Farlow talk is giving me gas ....

    And there's a very nice new one within an hour or so drive from me

    And I'm sure I can get a good price on it

    But I ain't got no money for another guitar at the moment

    I'm starting to look at my solid bodies and amps to see which ones can go ... LOL

  37. #36

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    So all the recent talk about Tal’s got me very interested. Read all of the posts, watched the You Tubes, checked out the listings on the usual sites, etc. I had thought about these before, but never really considered them as a possible addition to/substitutionfor my L-5 Wes or 175. I probably would have done nothing, but then…

    One showed upon Craigslist about an hour from me. A pretty rare opportunity, so I had to gocheck it out.

    It is a 1998 blonde. Some fret wear, finish checking, a few dings, badly tarnished tuners,binding cracks at every fret end, and a general “funkiness” from not having been played much recently. The owner used this in his university music studies.The case is also really beat up (doing its job). However, the neck was straightand the action was terrific.

    I really liked the feel of this guitar, and the unplugged tone was great. The dimensions and the familiar L-5 neck worked really well. I brought along my small Jazz Kat, but the acoustics were crummy and I didn’t have much time, so the electrified tone wasn’t what I believe it can be. I think the guy is on the high side price-wise ($3,600), but I think he’d come down a bit in spite of being “firm”, especially as I went over some of the issues I was seeing.

    Going to have to offload something to be able to get one, and I’m not sure this is the one. But I really appreciate all of your insights and comments about this model, guys. So much spot on analysis. Thank you.

  38. #37

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    don't pay more than 3K for one w/those issues.

  39. #38

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    For $900 more you can get a brand new one.

  40. #39

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    Good 4 U Larry, for taking the opportunity to check out a local TF.

    I had a similar experience of examining my first TF via a local listing. The owner and I each drove 50 miles to meet each other in the middle of a Burger King parking lot. But having owned L5's I could sense the neck and build quality were so similar I was impressed with the guitar to buy it without being able to sample it.

    That seller is dreaming to get that price. There are so many nice TF's available for much less. If you're not opposed to buying on the web, and being patient, you'll easily find a TF in fabulous condition for $3200, or less. A sunburst '05 ? model TF sold to a forum member a few months back for $2800. Good luck in your search!

  41. #40

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    for the price of a Tal you can get a barney kessel. Blows the tal away in almost every respect. Talk to Dutchbopper who has a Tal and a Kessel. I owned both and there's no comparison. But , I know folks on this forum like shiny-new instruments...

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by agentsmith
    for the price of a Tal you can get a barney kessel. Blows the tal away in almost every respect. Talk to Dutchbopper who has a Tal and a Kessel. I owned both and there's no comparison. But , I know folks on this forum like shiny-new instruments...
    I can't speak for everyone, but perhaps there are others like myself who are risk averse to buying vintage archtops.

    Buying vintage requires far more skill and knowledge. And how many Kessel's, as opposed to TF's, are there available to purchase?

    Not only that, but how many Kessel's does one have to purchase until they find the one that's "acceptable?" Didn't you go through several before finding a guitar that suited you?

    I applaud those with your skill set, but buying used guitars is challenging enough...I've bought my share of used archtops, and still haven't taken that vintage plunge.

  43. #42

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    I can't deal with the Kessel's double cutaways, unfortunately, but the one I heard in person sounded absolutely fabulous. And agent smith's and Dutchbopper's videos are great demonstrations. If one can deal with the aesthetics, the BKs are a serious contender.

    As for "blows away the Tal," though, that depends on what you are looking for.

  44. #43

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    Agreed. As for the Kessel's aesthetics, ironically that's what kept me from purchasing a TF for so long!

  45. #44

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    I don't suggest to the OP he buy the Tal he saw, quite the contrary if the git as described was less than ideal for him:

    "It is a 1998 blonde. Some fret wear, finish checking, a few dings, badly tarnished tuners,binding cracks at every fret end, and a general “funkiness” from not having been played much recently. The owner used this in his university music studies.The case is also really beat up (doing its job). However, the neck was straightand the action was terrific.

    I really liked the feel of this guitar, and the unplugged tone was great. The dimensions and the familiar L-5 neck worked really well. I brought along my small Jazz Kat, but the acoustics were crummy and I didn’t have much time, so the electrified tone wasn’t what I believe it can be. I think the guy is on the high side price-wise ($3,600), but I think he’d come down a bit in spite of being “firm”, especially as I went over some of the issues I was seeing".


    Was not meant to go home with him.

    THE single biggest mistake I made on not buying a git was a ratty blonde ES-175 with shoddy case at a silly high price. It was THE 175 I dreamed of and I still kick myself for not buying it. To make matters worse, I had several 175's in my hands that day in the same store proving to me that the ratty one was a keeper.

    I can fix or mitigate ugly... I can make more money... but you can't make a dog hunt that will not hunt.

    So, "I" NEVER EVER say, "A new one can be had for X dollars more, or a ANIB used for Y dollars less" IF, it played and sounded great.

    The mystifying thing about the OP's (Larry) comment is the sound, I have yet to play my Tal in an amp that didn't reach into the wiring and pull pleasant sound from it I never heard before.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    I can't deal with the Kessel's double cutaways, unfortunately, but the one I heard in person sounded absolutely fabulous. And agent smith's and Dutchbopper's videos are great demonstrations. If one can deal with the aesthetics, the BKs are a serious contender.

    As for "blows away the Tal," though, that depends on what you are looking for.
    If one is looking for great/ultimate archtop tone, I think one would prefer the kessel to the tal. I have owned a maple and spruce kessel, both with mahogany necks but the ones with the 5pc maple necks sound even better IMO.

    I think part of it is just that the old wood sounds so much better but the other factor is that the tal is very heavily built like a late '80s 175. I loved my '89 175 though. The Tal sounded similar but with the brighter attack you'd expect of the maple neck and longer scale. It didn't quite have the old guitar vibe though.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by agentsmith
    If one is looking for great/ultimate archtop tone, I think one would prefer the kessel to the tal. I have owned a maple and spruce kessel, both with mahogany necks but the ones with the 5pc maple necks sound even better IMO.

    I think part of it is just that the old wood sounds so much better but the other factor is that the tal is very heavily built like a late '80s 175. I loved my '89 175 though. The Tal sounded similar but with the brighter attack you'd expect of the maple neck and longer scale. It didn't quite have the old guitar vibe though.
    It is more than just a concern about prefering shinny new thing over vintage checkered instruments.
    For 3K it might prove difficult for most of us to find more than just a Kessel shell that would need a refret, planning...not talking about risk taking regarding sunken top and so on. Even more worst when you are buying internationally...Our sucking dollar doesn't help neither.
    You offered your 2 BKs at such a fair price, I am still shocked they were not selling faster for such fabulous instruments particularly your spruce top one, knowing how critic you are. Don't know if you still have your Spruce top one, but it is a hell of instrument and not the typical in playing state instrument from the '60s someone can find easily for that price. Had I not already a fabulous even if imperfect instrument, I would have snagged that spruce top Kessel in a heartbeat...
    I won't lie I adore my Tal but I know it doesn't have that vintage vibe, it is clearly a modern instrument with its stiffer construction, but for the fair price I paid for it, despite its little imperfection I could not be happier

  48. #47

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    building upon your posting, I think most people are impatient. They want to just order their guitar with lifetime warranty and be happy with it. They don't have the patience to order an instrument, have work done on it and bring it back to playing condition if necessary. I did that on both my kessels (one a '63 , the other a '66) and they both worked out beautifully. I did that on my '72 Guild X-500 too. I lucked out on my '89 175 because someone had already planed and refretted it.

    To me, it's worth the trouble. The difference in tone and vibe between a new instrument and a 40-50 year old instrument is well worth it but I think most people don't care.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by agentsmith
    building upon your posting, I think most people are impatient. They want to just order their guitar with lifetime warranty and be happy with it. They don't have the patience to order an instrument, have work done on it and bring it back to playing condition if necessary. I did that on both my kessels (one a '63 , the other a '66) and they both worked out beautifully. I did that on my '72 Guild X-500 too. I lucked out on my '89 175 because someone had already planed and refretted it.

    To me, it's worth the trouble. The difference in tone and vibe between a new instrument and a 40-50 year old instrument is well worth it but I think most people don't care.
    You are absolutely right, I admit to being one of those, with reasons.

    I have no problem with condition issues at all, gits are tools and if used get issues from handling. No problem. Some see a freaking scratch and walk or ask for a huge discount. F'k that, those people need to buy new and not dream of mint condition and low prices.

    But some of us like myself are in the doldrums of qualified luthiers, with a plethora of "guitar techs" that were likely taking orders at "Whopping Burger" before being downsized by a voice recognition state machine in their last career :-)

    That said, the potential of severe problems for players like me is a large concern. A broken truss rod, warped neck needing planing and or a re-set, or a caved in top are not so much a matter of patience more a potential "boat in the water you throw money in" made worse by long distance shipping to unknown persons at a leap of faith cost.

    Regarding vibe, my second most loved instrument is a nearly 50 year old 1968 ES-150, it not only has the vibe (and a very few condition issues), it smells like my Grandmother's house which bring me good memories.

    We agree with the "vibe" thing for sure, but people who expect visual perfection should stick to brand new.

  50. #49

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    I love both old and new Archtops. I had my Guild AA and my D'Aquisto for over 30 years. My problem is where I live. No Archtop land. The risk of buying used sight unseen is of too much risk to me.
    Buying new has just as much risk as far as a good working instrument. I have bought countless new Gibson's with bad necks or trussrods that don't work.
    The difference being if new their is no risk getting your money back from a reputable dealer.
    Ebay and Reverb is not a option for me. I don't like the risk factor. Jack has had his share of headaches with both of these online sellers. In the end he always seems to overcome bad buys but not without some stress involved.
    I don't gamble. My luck is horrible.
    A new guitar will take a few years to open up I will admit. I am retired from buying finally and glad to have that stress behind me. Buying a new guitar is joyful and terrifying at the same time. Believe me when UPS drops off your new guitar your heart is pounding with excitement and fear.

  51. #50

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    I think I need to play a Barney one day. I've never even seen one in person.
    one of the great things here is the immense experience that our members have. And from every perspective too.
    Ill admit I like shiney and new, but my cheap ass likes "shiney, looks new, sounds good and heavily discounted" even better.
    Based on Agent Smith's recommendation, I'd really like to try a spruce Barney.
    To the OP, Larry, you did good by trying out a Tal. I agree with the brain trust here. $3600 for a Tal with issues is ridiculous.
    $3,000 for a nice Viceroy Brown would be all the Jazz Guitar one could ever want. The neck in Tals were made for god.

    Joe D