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  1. #1

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    I get pm’s here from guys asking me questions. Now I don’t mind it but I wonder why they single me out. I thinks there’s guys here with a lot more experience than me on subjects. And posting these questions not only opens great dialog, but would teach a lot more guys stuff they always wanted to know about. Here’s today’s Mail Bag question from Joe2758


    Hey Big,

    Do laminate top guitars like 175 "open up" after time like a solid top would?

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  3. #2

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    Big Mike -- People know that your answer will be based on actual in-hand over-time experience with jaw-dropping instruments, as opposed to review of doctored online photos and hinky hyper-compressed online vids.



    As for the answer, I say: "Not in any measurable way."
    "Don't worry about that. Everybody talks about finding your voice. Do your homework and your voice will find you." - Branford Marsalis

  4. #3

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    a laminate top will not age in the same way as a solid (spruce) top...but all guitars have subtle changes with use and time...

    there's always going to be some movement due to factors like temperature and humidity (under pounds of string pressure!)...and ultimately that affects tone


    cheers

  5. #4

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    Maybe the bold text posts get more attention than the rest of ours!
    -- Isn't it crazy that "archtop" and "luthier" are spelling errors on this forum?

  6. #5

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    i trust guys who eat good food
    White belt
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  7. #6


    lol Joe

    Great comeback.
    Neatomic’s answer nails it.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigMikeinNJ View Post


    Neatomic’s answer nails it.

    It usually does...

  9. #8
    Wow on a day when my eyes are really kind of weak I get another. This is a good one.


    Yunzi questioHello Big Mike, my name is Matt. I just joined this forum and recently placed a deposit on a yunhzi guitar. I am having them build me one like the guy from phishes guitar but with only a neck pickup. I stumbled across one of your posts where you said you had a friend who had yunhzi make him one and it turned out bad or wasn’t right. I was wondering if you had the time you could share a little more with me as I am still early in the build and maybe there are things I should request. I don’t know, either way your time and wisdom would be appreciated. Thanks

    No problem Muzi... yeah a buddy of mine did order a couple of copies of Trey Anastasio's Langeudoc guitar. He had very complex mechanical drawings he supplied them but there were things about the build of the Langeudoc he didn't quite understand. That was like 8-9 years ago. He was a real perfectionist and wasn't happy at all. He tried to have a Langeudoc on the cheap, you get what you pay for.

    Now there are other builders that make their LIVING copying on the Langeudoc and really do great work. Look for an Equator guitar on eBay or Reverb. They're really custom made and though they cost less than a 10-15k Langeudoc they're still pricey... Have a look at those...

    Big

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigMikeinNJ View Post
    Wow on a day when my eyes are really kind of weak I get another. This is a good one.


    Yunzi questioHello Big Mike, my name is Matt. I just joined this forum and recently placed a deposit on a yunhzi guitar. I am having them build me one like the guy from phishes guitar but with only a neck pickup. I stumbled across one of your posts where you said you had a friend who had yunhzi make him one and it turned out bad or wasn’t right. I was wondering if you had the time you could share a little more with me as I am still early in the build and maybe there are things I should request. I don’t know, either way your time and wisdom would be appreciated. Thanks

    No problem Muzi... yeah a buddy of mine did order a couple of copies of Trey Anastasio's Langeudoc guitar. He had very complex mechanical drawings he supplied them but there were things about the build of the Langeudoc he didn't quite understand. That was like 8-9 years ago. He was a real perfectionist and wasn't happy at all. He tried to have a Langeudoc on the cheap, you get what you pay for.

    Now there are other builders that make their LIVING copying on the Langeudoc and really do great work. Look for an Equator guitar on eBay or Reverb. They're really custom made and though they cost less than a 10-15k Langeudoc they're still pricey... Have a look at those...

    Big
    Everyone knows you are the Yunzhi Guru!
    -- Isn't it crazy that "archtop" and "luthier" are spelling errors on this forum?

  11. #10

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    I think all guitars open when played. Not the whimpy kind of playing I do. Strong hard rhythm playing. One night in a jam I had the Tal out (which is very laminated) and I was playing mostly rhythm (Mr Magic, LeFreak...). The next day I took the Tal out and was blown away by how loud and acoustically pleasing it was.
    They all open up.
    In the case of the Tal, it closed back up when I went back to playing lightly.
    Joe D

  12. #11

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    Guilty as charged..it's been a while though..your NJ reference probably got me. Looking for local guys to jam with or wheel and deal etc.

  13. #12

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    BigMike,

    You're going to start getting personnel relationship and braised Oxtail recipe questions like,
    Dear BigMike, my wife insists it's either my new L5 goes or she's leaving, what should I do? I really love my L5!, or,
    Dear BigMike, How much red wine to I put in the Oxtails, vs drink, while braising? I hate to waste good wine!

    You're awesome dude!

  14. #13
    Are you "asking for a friend" LOL...

    The Wife, well I'm sort of a bad person to ask about wives... LOL !!!!
    No, really the wife probably knows better. But that doesn't mean you would be miserable sleeping in the garage if it was heated and her BMR was in the driveway making room for your cigar couch and gear all setup the way you like it....

    The wine: it must be a decent to very good wine. For Sunday Gravy about half a bottle of good red wine and a 32 oz box of stock, cook for 3-4 hours at 325 covered. For Oxtails, well I was trained to use white wine for veal shanks, with a gremolata added over the shanks the last 20 minutes of cooking time. It's a personal preference.

    Big




    Quote Originally Posted by skykomishone View Post
    BigMike,

    You're going to start getting personnel relationship and braised Oxtail recipe questions like,
    Dear BigMike, my wife insists it's either my new L5 goes or she's leaving, what should I do? I really love my L5!, or,
    Dear BigMike, How much red wine to I put in the Oxtails, vs drink, while braising? I hate to waste good wine!

    You're awesome dude!

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigMikeinNJ View Post
    Are you "asking for a friend" LOL...
    Big
    In jest man! It's a happy place here, archtops are welcome, and my braised oxtail isn't bad either.

    Cheers

  16. #15

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    Thanks for the reply. I have already put money on the yunhzi, so I don’t think I will be looking as much for other brands. I have been playing Eastman’s for a while and thought I would pull the trigger on a yunhzi. I plan on having to do fret work and what not, but I thought I would just pick your brain for your knowledge on the subject. Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

  17. #16

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    Dear Big Mike,

    If a train left NJ on Tuesday headed west going 70 miles per hour and another train left California headed east going 65 miles per hour when and where will they pass?

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405 View Post
    In the case of the Tal, it closed back up when I went back to playing lightly.
    closed back up?! now that's interesting
    White belt
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  19. #18

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    Can you say "psychoacoustics"? I thought you could.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    Can you say "psychoacoustics"? I thought you could.
    "closing back up," or also "opening up"
    White belt
    My Youtube

  21. #20

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    All the above. Guitars do not, IME, open or close up in a day of playing. But our ears do open or close up in less time than that. My guitars sound different all the time, but only in my ears. Over a much longer time, yes, guitars can change.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    closed back up?! now that's interesting
    Honest. It really did. Without a doubt.
    JD

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    All the above. Guitars do not, IME, open or close up in a day of playing. But our ears do open or close up in less time than that. My guitars sound different all the time, but only in my ears. Over a much longer time, yes, guitars can change.
    i understand what you mean, but thats not really true overall ...a guitar can change overnite!...if you ever woke up after a nite of playing and checked your tuning to find all your strings have gone sharp...that's not a bad strings or a tuning peg issue...thats a temp and humidity issue acting on your guitars woods..causing the neck to move...happens all the time..and each time your action changes..even by the slightest bow or flattening..it does affect tone

    why setting up a guitar is an ever ongoing experience..and why when it comes to guitars, everything matters!!!


    cheers

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405 View Post
    Honest. It really did. Without a doubt.
    JD
    Yeah, that's what your brains heard. But would you say that humans are stable and well calibrated measuring instruments? Do we measure only what we want to measure?

  25. #24

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    "Mr. Magic!" Some guy from Philly!
    Those who don't understand this music - Are forgiven

  26. #25
    Hey Guys,

    I get PMs here from guys that lurked a long time and finally sign up - they may have only a few posts or no posts at all. Some want to buy a specific guitar, some want to know if I'm gonna be selling anything. I got one last night and want to share this, sort of get the new guy to say hello and participate a little. Maybe you guys have some advice on prices or perhaps have a Heritage arch top you might want to sell him... here goes:

    From new member Emmor

    Heritage Guitars: Anything Available?

    I'm new to the board. I signed up a week or two ago because I'm looking to buy my first archtop. In just a day or two it became obvious that you've got a messload of guitars. I have a max budget of $2500ish per guitar. I'm looking to buy one or two--likely a floating single PU and a double PU. Do you have any Heritage guitars that you'd consider selling? I like the clarity of carved tops so I'm focusing on Heritage guitars. I know that Eastman also makes carved tops, but the Eastman standard nut is too wide for me.

    I know that many of your guitars are out of my budget, but I'm just taking a shot that you might have something available that isn't. If not, no big deal.

    Thank you for reading!

  27. #26

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    there is a beautiful looking 2013 classic eagle with floating pickup on ebay right now for 2,699 that I wish I could buy
    White belt
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  28. #27

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    There's a steal on the Seattle craigslist. 1650, I think.
    Archtop Heritage Eagle - musical instruments - by owner - sale

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405 View Post
    Honest. It really did. Without a doubt.
    JD
    Last year I had an ES-Les Paul. Didn’t impress me. Changed pickups. Nah, didn’t help. Changed the bridgefir an ABM. Nah, didn’t help. Then I asked a pal to lend me a ToneRite vibrator, had it work out that guitar for couple days and ta-daa: that guitar opened up and played like a guitar, not a plank of cheap wood.

    Yes, guitars change, even the laminates. Even by vibrating imitation of playing.

    ToneRite: A Sound Decision

    (At the end I sold the ES-Les Paul. I have two LPs and an ES-175, don’t need something in between.)

  30. #29

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    At $150 for a ToneRite device, I'm surprised no enterprising person has come up with a "Rent-A-ToneRite" business.

    To me they are too expensive to justify as a one time purchase.

    Maybe if I looked at it as I view a boutique pedal or something, I could convince myself to invest in one. Maybe then I'd start my "Rent-A-ToneRite" gig.

  31. #30


    This one from RamonaGuy asks

    I respect your opinion as you seem to know what you are talking about. I have a 2016 AS200 and love it. The GB10, at least in the videos I have seen, seems to have a much more mellow sound, almost bell like, which is what I like.

    In you opinion, how does the sound of the GB10 compare ?


    ?Well it's pretty simple - the guitars are as different as apples and oranges. The AS200 is a fine guitar - Ibanez cranked out the first variations of their take on Semi Hollows in the late 70s and in the early 80s settled on the name AS200. It's got great woods, the Super 58 pickups, the
    Tri-Sound switch and beautiful inlays. Great guitar.

    The GB10 is a laminated smaller bodied guitar that has a thick top and slightly smaller size - the original floating pickups for these used
    Alnico III magnets. And with it's cosmetic appointments is TO ME the Tuxedo of Jazz Guitars.


    But they sound different - the AS200's pickups are set INTO that body with the center block.
    The GB10's float. I prefer the GB10, you can coax some of the best tones out of it. It's my choice over any Semi-hollow any day... BUT that is MY preference.

    Let's see what the gang says.

    Big

    (can't get rid of the 2nd pic (the backside of a lovely Heritage Johnny Smith)





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    Last edited by BigMikeinNJ; 04-10-2019 at 09:37 PM.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Runepune View Post
    Yeah, that's what your brains heard. But would you say that humans are stable and well calibrated measuring instruments? Do we measure only what we want to measure?

    I have a 1970s Howard Roberts natural that is deep yellow now from age. It looks like it opened up. The patina on the pickup and the yellowed binding tell me it must have.

    To be completely honest, I don't know if it has changed in its sound. But my ears definitely expect to hear something mature from it.

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