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  1. #1

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    I am new to jazz, and would like to buy an archtop. I like the look of the Peerless Monarch.

    My worries are:

    1. the lack of a tone control, although I saw the guitar in the states with a tone control!, Is this same guitar available in the UK?
    2. The floating pick up and solid top, does anyone have feedback issues, I don't want to play to loud , but heard that some people had issues even at lounge levels

    Has anyone replaced the pick up with the shadow Attila Zoller floating jazz guitar humbucker?

    Any comments on this guitar very welcome cheers


    Peerless Monarch-peerless-monarch-jpg

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  3. #2

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    I have also always liked the look of the Peerless Monarch! I can't talk from experience of actually playing it but just for what it is worth, if everything else about the guitar seemed to be right, I personally would probably go ahead and get one. You could always look to adding a tone control on the fingerboard at a later date. If you're just going to use it for solo playing at lounge level though, I would guess that you could pretty much get the tone you need just with the amp controls.

    But my (I admit limited) experience has been that for archtops, if the guitar has a poor tone acoustically, then this will have a negative impact on the amplified sound, and having, or not having, a tone control will do nothing to rescue the situation. So I guess what I'm saying is try to play the guitar a lot before you buy, and if everything else is good i.e. tone, playability, looks, quality, then it is a go-er, and if you want a tone you can always put one on later.

    The Shadow pickup looks nice, I'm sure someone have some info to give you on that one!

  4. #3

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    I recently was exploring buying an archtop. I orginally had my heart set on a floating pick-up and solid carved top. It just made good sense to me to let that solid top vibrate unhindered.

    But...

    I tested a bunch of archtops side by side thru the same amp and it turned out I didn't like the way the ones with floating pickups sounded when they were amplified. Too bright, too brittle for me. yomv

    So my advice is to make sure you play a bunch of guitars side by side. Until you do that you really don't know what you'll prefer.

  5. #4

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    I would agree with this advice totally - the amplified tone is important. When I say that the acoustic tone has to be good, I don't necessarily mean it needs to be loud, just good. And this should be reflected in the amplified tone, so of course this should be checked as well. And of course what fep says about the differences between floating and built in pickups is true too. There is no right or wrong, but different designs do have different qualities, so try a few guitars out to find out what sort of thing you like - this also applies to the carved vs. laminate top debate. I still think the Monarch is a nice looking guitar though!

  6. #5

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    Hi Kluson,

    it seems a shame to buy a midpriced jazz guitar expecting to have to swap the pickup out. I have a Vintage VSA 750 - and depending on who you talk to it is the same guitar out of the same factory - albeit with a tone pot.

    The sound of my Brooklyn is thinner than my humbucker loaded Ibanez and on most amps I play the Brooklyn with the tone rolled off. That was until I got a Jazz King. It suits the Brooklyn better than the Ibanez.

    It really depends what floats your boat. All I would say is the Brooklyn is more prone to feedback with a small amp. 200watt Kustom, 50 watt Sound City and Cube 60 it is fine with - Marshall MG 15 DFX and it howled like a good'n.

    If it has to be a full humbucker then why not go for the Jazz City by Peerless?

    It's 25.5 scale length but that isn't much of a problem for most and it does have a tone control

  7. #6

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    Peerless produce fine guitars - last year i bought a Renaissence and a Jazz City. Decent quality.
    Distribution nevertheless is very poor. Since a couple of months there's a new uk distributor ( Euromusic ) - but strange : almost no Peerless guitars in stock. ( some shops in the Uk even banned them )
    Service is also very dramatic.( one guy asked for a replacement : his guitar
    is still on the way, after TEN months )
    What started as a fairytale ( good sales ) is beginning to look like a nightmare.
    Peerless Korea ? ? ? ? : are they aware of the problems? ?
    Last edited by Aladin111; 12-20-2009 at 08:25 PM.

  8. #7

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    I bought a Peerless Monarch a month ago and can't fault it, probably the best value for money today.

    Can't comment on any feed back, don't have an amp yet - still looking, ... any suggestions ??
    André

  9. #8

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    I tried a Peerless Monarch a while back and couldn't really find any issue with it, apart from the lack of a tone control. I hadn't even thought of a guitar with a floater before that.

  10. #9

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    Peerless guitars are great value. They play very smoothly and they are priced right. I own a Monarch and GigMaster and I love both guitars but they are not 100% perfect. However, the imperfections are minor flaws in the finish, materials or construction that mostly do not affect the playing of the guitar. I recommend Peerless archtop guitars to anyone who is looking for a good sounding and a good value archtop guitar. I am likely to buy one or two more Peerless models. However, I am urging the Peerless company representatives, if they read these threads, to pay more attention to details when it comes to finish and construction and not get sloppy.

  11. #10

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    I have a monarch - great guitar for the money, regarding the feedback there is a sound post which is there to prevent it by syncing the vibrations of the top and the back. The stock pickup is a little hot but you can get a really good sound tweaking the amp.

  12. #11

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    I've tried the monarch and the manhattan side by side. My advice is to save up the difference (not many bucks) and go for the manhattan. It really sounds better, despise being laminated.

  13. #12

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    Would anyone care to comment on the differences in the sound of the "Monarch" as compared to the "Imperial"...I'm considering getting one or the other and there's no chance for me auditioning either one. I'm aware that one is laminated and the other is carved.

  14. #13

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    Hi there.

    I play peerless guitars exclusivly after finding them 2 years ago. The 2 models i own are the Manhattan and the Jazz City. They are fantastic guitars. The pickups are not too bright IMO. Just some clever tweaking on your amp should dial out any unwanted high frequencies. I am sure that i will be buying another when the tine is right...most likely the gigmaster jazz or the cremona...or the monarch.
    Bottom line... They are the best new guitars under £1000 IMO....although mine are bith second hand. Both of mine ae superb to play.
    Type in peerless manhatten into youtube and you can see a clip of mine in action.

    Best of luck

    ben

  15. #14

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    good morning from italy

    I found this about peerless monarch


    and my question is:
    is the monarch tone exactly like what I heard on this video?
    or is the great touch/technique of this guitar player to make this guitar sound so good?

    I own a gibson 175 that I love but I found the tone of this monarch really nice even if much different from my 175.
    maybe because the mine is laminated and the monarch is solid?
    or is the guitarist touch to make the difference?

    gianluca

  16. #15

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    Ah yes the Matt Otten clips. He does get a good sound out of the Monarch and also from other guitars he plays. If you go to his site you can read a description of how he got the sound. There is no amp involved. He goes from an interface straight into his computer. A touch of reverb and there you have it.

    BUT note well where Matt places his pick. Right above the pickup. The sweet spot. He also has a particular picking style. Quite even. This creates the sound as well.
    I bought a Monarch a couple of weeks ago and can plug it straight into my Deluxe Reverb and get the same sound.
    They just sound great.
    It's a big guitar though. 17" That's the style.
    I really don't like it because of this.....even though I'm over 6' tall. I just find it cumbersome and awkward to reach the top frets.
    The build quality on my Ibanez GB10 is much better so I also didn't like the step down in quality. But the Monarch eats the GB10 for tone.

    I'm going to sell this Monarch if any list members in Australia are interested.
    It's been played for 10 minutes!!
    Asking $1250 AU. with case.

  17. #16

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    In reading this thread it seems that the sound and playability of the Peerless guitars is generally very highly regarded, although the finishing quality seems to be sadly lacking (which might make it a great gigging guitar for the price).

    If this is the case, what guitars can be recommended as alternatives to the Monarch (for example) which might well be more expensive, but which offer the perfection of build quality as well as the tone that many of us are looking for?

    I, for one, am certainly looking for a guitar that will live with me as long as I continue to play guitars and am considering selling a very prized Collings (which is just stunning in every way - except it's no longer suited to my style) in order to help pay for an archtop.

  18. #17

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    Guys,

    Haven’t posted before but thought now was the time to say “hello and thanks ” to the Forum which I have followed for many many months.

    Have played since my teens and have, and still enjoy some classic guitars, my beloved “73” Strat and Les Paul Standard in particular. However I have always loved the voicings and chord melody which we associate with Jazz and felt an archtop in my “later“ years was long overdue.

    With heavy heart and to fund the next stage in my never ending guitar journey, I sold my Martin D28, a beautiful instrument, however one which deserved more “employment”. I will regret its departure but cash ain’t what it was!

    With my thanks to the Forum, I concluded that Peerless, and in my budget, the Monarch could be the one for me. I had tried a number of different Archtops , Ibanez Artcore range in particular. However , If The Monarch was good enough for Bill Nelson , who was I to argue?

    Problem was, like so many, finding a retailer (when based in the Scottish Isles) “wisnae easy” as we say in this part of the world.

    By good fortune, CC Music in Glasgow appeared to have the Peerless distribution in Scotland sorted. Steve Caban and his team are simply brilliant. Steve sourced one for me (without obligation) and as soon as the case was opened, I knew The Monarch was mine.

    Standard 17” x 3” with floating pup. Bang it through my new AER 40 (the balance of the D28) and I have never put it down.

    Having read many posts , some thoughts on common threads..

    Volume control on the p/guard - How convenient.

    No Tone control - No need, roll volume back a tad and tone softens beautifully.

    17” lower bout - Snug as a bug in a rug. Body depth is less than 3"

    Wouldn’t have known about Peerless without the Forum.

    Great stuff guys and hats off to Peerless.

    Just have to learn A BIT MORE jAZZ

    Have a great 2013

  19. #18

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    Welcome to the Club! I have had a lot of archtop guitars during my playing life( I am now 82 yrs)- Gibson -Epiphone-Guild Borys-right back to my first which was a Hofner "Committee" circa 1949 @£65 inc hardcase brand new! I am a committed Peerless fan as to my mind, construction wise- materials-build quality- playability and above price/value are practically unbeatable. So enjoy your Monarch (of the Glen) as I am sure you will have many great days playing it.By the way I have had a "New York" for about 4yrs now.

  20. #19

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    Peerless are great jazz guitars.
    I use my D'Aspiranta model New Yorker/Peerless factory/ over 6 years.
    Very nice jazz box!

  21. #20

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    Great buys and very solid players those Peerless are. Enjoy yours!

  22. #21

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    Thanks for the comments guys.

    Jazzuki, we have some more in common. My first axe was also a Hofner - a Galaxy - thought that was some time ago

    Away for a wee play - again - Must take a duster to the Strat & Les Paul !

  23. #22

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    Robjazz. Woodshedding doesnt mean sneaking away for a" wee dram"to see the Monarch I hope?

  24. #23

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    Jazzuki,

    Wouldn't you ?


    Peerless Monarch-img_2261-jpg

    RobJazz

  25. #24

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    Good choice.....about the Monarch,I own one,great stuff! I made a little change,put in an Aaron Armstrong pickup,now it's even better!!

  26. #25

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    peterpanico,

    Cheers my man,

    I hesiatte to change something I'm enjoying so much but we all seek the Holy Grail as it were .

    What did you feel the Aaron Armstrong brought to the sound ?


    RobJazz

  27. #26
    Rob Jazz: congradulations on the new guitar. I too have been thinking about the Monarch but I have heard different stories about the acoustic value of the Monarch. I am sure you have tried that out so maybe you can give us some information on the acoustic play. I have a playing situation where I need to keep it down a little.

  28. #27

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    richard,

    Nice to hear from you.

    Before i entered the "world" of jazz , I had little experience of the subtleties of the instruments other than observe , listen and enjoy a few combos that played in our area ( Listening to Jazz generally being a given )

    The Monarch is solid wood (pressed rather than carved). Despite the acoustic characteristics , don't confuse the volume output with , say , a dreadnought. The combination of the flatwounds and the "f" holes lift volume above a semi acoustic ( say Gibson ES335 ) but to a level where you can enjoy the sounds without amplification and, in my opinion, the acoustic quality is very pleasing, very different from an acoustic , or unamplified electric.

    The Monarch that we get in the UK, has a floating pup. I know that alternatives in the States are available with a routed humbucker but the floating pup essentially amplifies the natural tone of the guitar from "above" so the natural acoustic qulaities are important .

    At a certain time of night, I often play away without any amplification though I have to say the superb reverb on the AER Alpha does take you into a surreal world of contentment - even at the lowest volumes.

    That, however is the icing on the cake. Unamplified , I find it very pleasing, very "jazz", will not disturb those in the next room..... very enjoyable.

    Hope this helps


    RobJazz

  29. #28
    RobJazz: Appreciate the explanation. I wasn,t looking for a booming sound,just one that is pleasant an can be appreciated without amplification. You have answered my question perfectly. I THink I will prefer the New York as opposed to the monarch since i want the natural color.The specs. on both are the same so the new york will be my choice, again thanks for the prompt reply- will talk to you later

  30. #29

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    When I got my Monarch from "Guitars 'n Jazz" - the guy there told me that you can get Monarchs in the "natural color" but they cost more than the sunburst model.

  31. #30
    Roughrider: Thats who i intend buying from Lou. When I priced the guitat the monarch and the new york were the same. I wonder why they would say one was more than the other. The only appreciable difference i could see was the color. How did they handle the delivery? Everything ok??? How do you like the guitar after this time span??

  32. #31

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    Richard - When I got my Monarch I wanted to get the Blonde color and Lou told me that the natural ones cost more but I've forgotten how much more it was. It's been about a year and a half since I got the Monarch. At that time I had never seen or played a Peerless in person, so I was hesitant to put so much money into a guitar brand that I no experience with. But natural color guitars are usually higher in cost than a sunburst instrument because the wood used has to be more appealing because the grain is exposed more without the sunburst stain covering it. He also mention that the natural color guitar had a tone control also - which would add to the cost.
    The guitar was packed very well and shipped in a timely manner. I don't remeber if it was handled by Fed Ex or UPS.
    I like the Monarch very much, but I changed the pickup to a Kent Armstrong 12 pole pickup. (The large black floating pickup).
    That pickup makes a really big difference.

  33. #32

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    Hello Rob,

    i perfectly understand your point,me too I'm not the "Mad modder" myself,but after awhile playing it,I felt like there was the need for a more complex sound,the usual OEM pickups for the Monarch line,is Epiphone with the regular humbuckers,and asian "made on a budget" Kent Armstrongs,for the floating minihumb just like the Monarch's one;

    I don't wanna talk about the Epis since they are the first thing to swap ever,the OEM KA on the Monarch it's not that bad,but it lacks "something",you get accustomed to it and it's not bad,but if you listen to something better...well....
    my luthier made an archtop for a guy,and I happened to visit him( he is a friend from old times) and tried that baby,and he had put in there an Aaron Armstrong custom made,handwound ( he can make them to your specs,he' a very nice guy also)
    and it was like switching from 16.000 colrs depth to 16 million.... what I felt was lacking on the other one,was just there;

    so I contacted him,we talked a bit and he made me one,a bit overwound so to lose some higher frequencies,well I do not know how to define a sound in words,but now I like it better!

    The original sound was duller and flatter,with the new pickup looks like it went 3D,something like that,without losing definition or clarity,also has a bigger voice,clear clean but "bigger",it made her really sing,even my friend the luthier,said that
    after having tried it ( he made the change for me) another thing I swapped were the strings,I went for Thomasticks 12 gauge.

    not bad I would say,but the next change will revert back to 11s and probably old D'Addarios,but that's very personal you know Happy good vibrations with the Monarch!!

  34. #33

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    Peerless Monarch-pickup-jpeg

    That's it the old one and the new one's box

  35. #34

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    Peter/Ruffrider,

    A change of the pup seems a not uncommon thread with these guitars.As Jazzuki commented earlier, Peerless offer superb value for money and in The Monatch and New York among others , offer a quality workhorse guitar.

    Comments on the pups most welcome. Will bear these in mind and maybe have a word with our Glasgow luthier , Jimmy Moon of Moon guitars.

    All the best

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard vandyne
    RobJazz: Appreciate the explanation. I wasn,t looking for a booming sound,just one that is pleasant an can be appreciated without amplification. You have answered my question perfectly. I THink I will prefer the New York as opposed to the monarch since i want the natural color.The specs. on both are the same so the new york will be my choice, again thanks for the prompt reply- will talk to you later
    Richard,

    I appreciate that some prefer the natural look.3 of my own guitars have a natural finish. However whilst the Monarch & The New York look very similar, I think you'll find the Monarch is spec'd with a "solid" spruce top - though I belive this is pressed, whilst the New York has a "laminated" spruce top.

    There will be tonal differences so best to try both ( if you can ) before you buy. I believe however that the New York having a laminated top will have greater resistance to feedback than the Monarch , though in fairness, I haven't had any problems with mine, certainly at "cafe" levels of volume.

    Good luck


    RobJazz

  37. #36

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    Yes they are different,Monarch top is a piece of solid spuce, Hot pressed to the arched shape,also sides and bottom are solid maple,the New York it's all laminate,top sides and bottom, so they "sound" a bit different,one should try them both,otherwise you'll never get the idea.

  38. #37

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    Nice!

    If they ever do a seven string, I will have a very tough time resisting...

  39. #38

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    Peerless.Re Monarch or New york.As I have said many times on this site PEERLESS are grear guitars.The reason I preferred the New York was because out of all their archtops it was the loudest acoustically. As I like to play certain tunes they sound better this way than through an amp. Re natural v.sunburst here in UK its the other way round with sunburst generally being dearer! Anyway,whatever model you play you have a great instrument so enjoy it.

  40. #39
    Gentlemen: I will answer all at once. THose are the best and fairest responses i,ve gotten in a long time. It seems that all are in accord about the guitar being well worth the money and are a terrific value for the dollar.I thank you very much. I will make a decision soon and plan to buy my new guitar(peerless in april. Will let you know then. Again thanks

  41. #40

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    Hey. I had a blonde Monarch with lovely wood. It was a nice guitar and a good value. You know it has a poly finish which is sort of cheap feeling to me. That's just my personal feeling, no offense to anyone who has one. Like I said, they are nice instruments and well made for the money.
    My real problem was that it was neck-heavy. Not terribly, like a few other custom archtops I have owned, but the lack of balance bothered me.
    I would consider another one.
    Ordering "long distance" I would ask for an honest opinion about the weight and balance, and other things that might make a guitar uncomfortable for you.

  42. #41

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    If neck heavy is the only thing from stopping you from loving the guitar..... What are the tuners?
    They look like Imperials which are much heavier than the kluson keystones

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDJazz
    Hey. I had a blonde Monarch with lovely wood. It was a nice guitar and a good value. You know it has a poly finish which is sort of cheap feeling to me. That's just my personal feeling, no offense to anyone who has one. Like I said, they are nice instruments and well made for the money.
    My real problem was that it was neck-heavy. Not terribly, like a few other custom archtops I have owned, but the lack of balance bothered me.
    I would consider another one.
    Ordering "long distance" I would ask for an honest opinion about the weight and balance, and other things that might make a guitar uncomfortable for you.
    Of course anyone has the right of his/her opinions,but regarding what you wrote I disagree "in toto"
    Since I own a Monarch AND a top Ibanez AND a top Gibson and have held in my hands a lot of other archtops,the "poly finish" on the Monarch it is nothing lesser than what you find on 98% of other good high grade hoolwbodies,about being neckheavy...well...i did not get that feeling,but as Sam has said,big headstock and "really good working" big machineheads...
    But again it does not feel neck heavy at all to me.
    regards

    P.S.
    yes they are Imperials...and do their job,not "cheap stuff" like those on the "thousand dollars" Gibsons...

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDJazz
    Hey. I had a blonde Monarch with lovely wood. It was a nice guitar and a good value. You know it has a poly finish which is sort of cheap feeling to me. That's just my personal feeling, no offense to anyone who has one. Like I said, they are nice instruments and well made for the money.
    My real problem was that it was neck-heavy. Not terribly, like a few other custom archtops I have owned, but the lack of balance bothered me.
    I would consider another one.
    Ordering "long distance" I would ask for an honest opinion about the weight and balance, and other things that might make a guitar uncomfortable for you.
    PDJazz

    Got to agree with peterpanico re weight distribution and finish,though maybe I'm a tad biased as I, like I suspect most of us , tend to play this type of guitar sitting down !

    Re the tuners , they work like a dream. Will probably be changing the strings before I have to re-tune

    Robjazz

  45. #44

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    just out of curiosity,about keeping the tuning,well there must be a law that says " the more they cost,the worse stay in tune.."
    about my guitars,here is the chart:

    1st place: the "puny" ESP LTD Tele,it does not lose the tuning,even if you abuse her (when I tried it,before buying,I compared vs Fender MIM ,same type double cost,and Squier more or less same price even though onlt S-S,and I noticed a big difference in "feeling" about overall quality, and about the hardware in general!)

    2nd place (but nearly there) the Monarch and the Ibanez PM100

    3rd place the Strato,but that may derive from its bridge,not a fixed one so...

    4th place,and worst of all, the Gibson CS336....horrible,like all the Gibsons I had in time for that matter,they simply can't stay in tune.

  46. #45

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    I only have a serial number;

    PE3006365

    Any way to find out the year?

  47. #46

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    Hi,

    It is my understanding that the Monarch 16 model is exclusive to Guitars-n-Jazz, having been designed by Lou del Rosso and built by Peerless to his spec.

    Therefore, your best bet would be to contact him regarding the age of the instrument.

  48. #47

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    I did, he said he has no way of knowing--unfortunately

  49. #48

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    Afterthought:

    Lou is a nice guy, a good musician and apparently very knowledgeable about guitars. I don't think he's much of an administrator or record keeper. His website could stand an update/overhaul and I told him so during our phone conversation last week.

    Hey, ya' can't be good at everything.

  50. #49

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    I emailed Peerless last night with a question about another guitar and sent this serial. I asked about it and they said they had received your email and would look it up and email you back.

    Let me know if they do......

    Doc Dosco

  51. #50

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    Thanks Doc!!

    I sent it too....

    ....see if they respond (more likely to you) :-)

    ...going to look at tonight after work......

    ..should be interesting o compare to the PM2 Ibanez