Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    A couple year ago I built a series of fully hollow telecasters. I love the form of the tele but also love the "attack and decay" envelope of the archtop. I know you can get kind a close with a light touch: I wanted to see if it was possible to cop some of the sound. So made a few till I got one that sounded like I wanted, which is something of the tone of an archtop, the sharp attack and shorter decay. I posted a thread about it which I'll try to dig up.

    Meanwhile I decided to try again. I reasoned like this: The archtop was originally designed to get loud acoustic volume for someone like Eddie Lang. when amps were invented they kept that form even though acoustic volume was not the main thing. An ES 175 substituted plywood for solid wood, for that reason, but still kept the form of a traditional acoustic archtop. Could I make something that got that tone easily and cheaply by ignoring the history of loud acoustic tone?

    I built a hollow guitar out of baltic birch plywood, using a mold I had from another project. It has an oversize neck and tailblock, partly so it won't be a neck-diver

    Experiments with archtop tone on the cheap-form-jpg


    It has one honkin big brace, because all the down force is at one spot, and also because there isn't a lot of down force. I deliberately made it with a shallow break angle, partly because I wanted to use a simple bolt-neck construction style

    Experiments with archtop tone on the cheap-brace-jpg

    Here you can see I just use a tele neck template I had on hand and built a two piece neck with a walnut fingerboard and a walnut center stripe

    Experiments with archtop tone on the cheap-back-jpg

    Here you can see I made the neck pocket shallower than typical, to account for archtop-style bridge


    Experiments with archtop tone on the cheap-rawtop-jpg

    Since this is an experiment, I went with quick and dirty
    Last edited by PB+J; 10-24-2018 at 04:03 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    It sounded pretty good "in the white," with no pickup. I was surprised how loud it was, actually. It's loud enough so that if I play it while my wife is asleep upstairs, it will wake her up.

    I forgot to add it's a shallow guitar, just a bit thicker than a telecaster.

    My model here is maybe those old Kays, or Danelectros, so I finished it in shellac with a retro vibe

    Experiments with archtop tone on the cheap-finishedtop-jpg

    I put a matte finish on the tailpiece and made a faux-tortoise pickguard out of casting resin and dye

    After a lot of deliberation I went for a Lollar "Charlie Christian for tele" pickup. I'm more and more thinking one or two dog ear p90s might have been a better choice

    Experiments with archtop tone on the cheap-overall-jpg

    Here is is overall. The tele neck is odd, but it's a very good neck so it's staying for now. If I build another one it will have a 3 on a side headstock and a neck heel, for a more conventional look.

    And here's what it sounds like, recorded into a Henricksen jazzamp 110 combo with a little bit o' reverb. Please excuse my sloppy playing. It's just a rough demo to give a sense of how the guitar sounds

    Travl'n light

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Thanks for this. I would be really interested to see your tele's as am thinking about getting/making a hollow neck pickup only Tele, cheers Simon

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by jockster View Post
    Thanks for this. I would be really interested to see your tele's as am thinking about getting/making a hollow neck pickup only Tele, cheers Simon

    Hi Simon:

    The whole process is detailed here: hollow tele version three | Telecaster Guitar Forum

    If you read that thread you can find links to thread that describe the earlier experiments.

    I made one more after that one with the spruce top, this time with a maple top and back. It's a bit less archtoppy" than the spruce one, but the spruce one is in the shop, because it was underbraced--as I feared, the string pull was warping the top, pushing it down at the front of the tele neck plate. I need to put a brace in there.

    It's not hard--the hardest part is probably routing out the body, which I really hate. With the tops I keep them thick, like 1/4, because I'm not gong for big acoustic volume and I'm assuming it will be played amplified when there are other people involved

    Below is a short clip of a maple body hollow tele with a 1/4 inch maple top and a p90 in the neck position. The clip was recorded through the henricksen

    Hollow body tele


    It's this guitar:

    Experiments with archtop tone on the cheap-blktele-jpg

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Even if it does look quite a bit like an odd bird, somehow my gut tells me it's a tone-monster! Just don't ask me why...

    Any clips?
    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy
    https://soundcloud.com/theodore-koja...hy-bro-project
    Hy-Bro Test Sound Files

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by LtKojak View Post
    Even if it does look quite a bit like an odd bird, somehow my gut tells me it's a tone-monster! Just don't ask me why...

    Any clips?

    Yes see above and here:

    Travl'n light

    It has thomastick jazz flats on it, 12 on the top

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Thanks very much PB+J, much appreciated

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    nice work...looks & sounds cool!!


    cheers

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
    Yes see above and here:

    Travl'n light

    It has thomastick jazz flats on it, 12 on the top
    Well, it sounds EXACTLY as I've imagined: a thunky-prone tonefootprint, but with a elevated pitch-resonance, located roughly an octave higher than fx. a L-5, a by-product of the small-box, plywood concept, which puts bit of a "nasal" quality to the final outcome. The latter will change with time and playing-hours, I predict.

    Is it feedback-prone, may I ask? I don't expect it to be, but I'm asking anyway.

    I would happily take it to a studio to do some slow jazz-blues comps and vamps, (through a '65 Twinreverb would be ideal) the most adequate type of music for this guitar specifically, if I'm allowed to comment.

    Good job, man. Enjoy it for many years to come in good health!

    Yours very truly,
    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy
    https://soundcloud.com/theodore-koja...hy-bro-project
    Hy-Bro Test Sound Files

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Great job! Sounds fine, too! Thanks for sharing.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Love this kind of projects!

    I would be tempted to route some f-holes in the top (but the brace would be in the way I guess). I think it would look great with a snake-head tele neck, but hey, if this one works, it works!

    Sounds very distinct too! I love it quite a bit, great old school vibe. Good job!
    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post
    Love this kind of projects!

    I would be tempted to route some f-holes in the top (but the brace would be in the way I guess). I think it would look great with a snake-head tele neck, but hey, if this one works, it works!

    Sounds very distinct too! I love it quite a bit, great old school vibe. Good job!

    Thank you all, it's fun to experiment!

    Yes a snakehead neck would look better I agree. I also am bothered by the lack of a heel--it just seems wrong on this kind of guitar. I might make another one with a different neck attachment arrangement, maybe an attachment via the heel. I like the bolt neck concept.


    Here is another clip of the guitar, recorded direct into the computer with no eq, just a bit of reverb and very slight compression.

    Mostly hat, few cattle

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Fiddle, tone & playing: rabbit approves!

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Where did you get the control knobs?

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    Where did you get the control knobs?
    Etsy. Seller named “Leeds radio”

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Reminds me of Kay indeed, but even better!

    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    You pretty much built my dream guitar. Looks Great!

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    I've seen some of Leeds Radio's knobs, but that particular one. I'll have to look again. I like those.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Hey PeeBee 'n' Jay,

    Excellent work.

    Love it.

    Now the 'ole Jazzbow brain box is buzzing!

    Thanks for sharing
    “When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    That's really cool! and what most important (to me at least) - it sounds very very good! Congrats

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    I LOVE your guitar! Classic shape and design. Some reason, kinda reminds me of an early-60s Martin F-50 thin-line electric guitar but cleaner looking. You built a sweet guitar for sure.

    Experiments with archtop tone on the cheap-separated-birth-jpg
    Last edited by archtopeddy; 11-07-2019 at 12:16 PM.

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    That birch one sounds sweet. I'd love to hear that model with a somewhat thinner, lam spruce top. You're on to something here.
    MD

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Thread is already a good year old, so I am curisous if this guitar evolved further and if the experiment lead to another improved model?

    I love the concept! I don't have the skill to built a body like that, so I had to use a Thinline Telebody for my kind of similar experiment.

    I am curious how this guitar would sound with the made in China mahogany bolt on Les Paul neck that I used for my Tele (which turned out to be a very nice neck after some fret leveling and filing off the sharp edges):

    22 Frets Mahonie Nek Palissander Fretboard Toets voor Gibson LP Style Gitaar Vervanging - Cheaptech

    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post

    I am curious how this guitar would sound with the made in China mahogany bolt on Les Paul neck that I used for my Tele (which turned out to be a very nice neck after some fret leveling and filing off the sharp edges):

    22 Frets Mahonie Nek Palissander Fretboard Toets voor Gibson LP Style Gitaar Vervanging - Cheaptech

    hi LJ
    can you point me at the thread
    where you described building
    your Tele with this neck ?

    i might have a go at building one myself
    if i find a cheap Tele with
    a broken neck or something

    thanks man