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  1. #1

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    There are 3 different styles currently for sale at Dave's. Anyone know anything about them ? Sorry if I missed any discussions....No affiliation w/seller, etc.

    Thx.

    Archtop Prototype '19 - Dave's Guitar Shop

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  3. #2

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    Call Dave Rogers directly, he's really knowledgeable and honest.

  4. #3

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    The Florentine 17 with the L5 tailpiece is pretty cool. Go Gibson !!!

  5. #4

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    I was more interested in the 16 in. non-cut. And someone already grabbed it !

    Hope it's someone here !!

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k View Post
    The Florentine 17 with the L5 tailpiece is pretty cool. Go Gibson !!!
    How do you view the other ones? I only see the sold non cutaway and when I search for Gibson archtop prototype it shows now results.


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  7. #6

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    just only use the word "prototype".

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis D View Post
    There are 3 different styles currently for sale at Dave's. Anyone know anything about them ? Sorry if I missed any discussions....No affiliation w/seller, etc.

    Thx.

    Archtop Prototype '19 - Dave's Guitar Shop
    hey Dennis they are in Madison...
    you’re in wisconsin...summer drive?I would love to hear actual in hand description.
    ??????

  9. #8

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    It’s the first most of us have heard of the new “Prototypes”
    puzzling tho ‘ that the dealer has sold two “ used” models !!
    Perhaps Gibson has listened to the torrent of criticism ( ??) and produced these as
    appeasement.
    The two models shown do not IMHO have great appeal , the dark burst finish is unattractive
    The reinstatement for eg .of an ES175 ( eg Steve Howe model) would stir interest,The reintroduction of their superb Archtops of yesteryear would most certainly regenerate enthusiasm
    Alternatively , it’s over to Heritage to pick up the pieces.
    I will hang on to my couple of Crimson Customs for dear life.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverfoxx View Post
    It’s the first most of us have heard of the new “Prototypes”
    puzzling tho ‘ that the dealer has sold two “ used” models !!
    Perhaps Gibson has listened to the torrent of criticism ( ??) and produced these as
    appeasement.
    The two models shown do not IMHO have great appeal , the dark burst finish is unattractive
    This may help -
    Dave's inventory 'sweet spot' - recently anyway - has been late model / barely played Gibson archtops. He had as good an inventory of new Custom Shop Gibsons as anyone, and was among the first to advertise them as discounted / used, even though they were unsold new inventory, back in 2014.. His current inventory includes ( Collings ) competing entry level flattops including the Waterloo's, who have just introduced a budget archtop. These particular Gibson prototypes may have some cosmetic issues, and probably need to be sold as used. Gibson wisely gives Dave a chance to buy these and he wisely does just that. When I was looking for a '34 L-5 R/I, he told me he was always bugging Gibson to make those again.
    As far as lacking great appeal, there certainly is a market for these budget archtops. As a place to start, I played a Waterloo flattop, ( anticipating their archtop ) and for me as much as I wanted it to be, was a 'never mind'. I suspect their archtop will sadly sound the same. I know there are Loars out there, but if these Gibsons can be had for around this price, they'll sell. The finish isn't a deal breaker at all, for me anyway. I would sure look into changing that pickguard, though.
    Case in point - - someone has already bought that 16 in., and it's been listed for what 2 days ?

    Just my 2 cents, and hope it helps.
    Last edited by Dennis D; 07-10-2019 at 09:54 AM.

  11. #10

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    Dennis ,
    i appreciate what you say ,but the prototypes , pale into insignificance compared to the L5, Wesmo, L4, Byrdland, Tal Farlow, 175 etc , which now , in used condition are commanding almost astronomical prices due to their scarcity. Not everyone could afford these guitars new at the MAP . But the desire was there, a top quality Archtop bears semblance to a masterpiece, a painting, but is more useful. Pride of ownership
    and the satisfaction of playing the very best
    instrument one can afford is a joy, ( maybe a few
    sacrifices are required but
    what the heck? we’re only here once.)

  12. #11

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    Sorry but not every Gibson archtop has to be a Super 400 or L-5CES! These acoustics tick all my boxes... They are very 1930s in vibe, with beautiful authentic dark sunbursts, proper tailpieces and rosewood compensated bridges, stylistically appropriate tuners and headstock logos. They have spruce tops and rosewood boards and mahogany or maple parts, and elegant dot inlays.

    Geez, there's a round hole early L-4 style with a floater!

    Plus they are in the $3K range and brand new! What more could you want?? Geez I can't believe I'm so tempted... ugh.
    Permanent favorites: 2016 Gibson L-5 WesMo, 1999 Gibson L-5CESN, 1928 Gibson L-5
    Play more, buy less

  13. #12

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    The first archtop with a full-size round hole -- not oval -- Gibson has made since 1935?

    Is the back carved or flat?

    Were the Epiphones so successful that Gibson felt the need?

    Dagnab, I used to really, really like 20s/30s L4s and L75s.

    "Don't worry about that. Everybody talks about finding your voice. Do your homework and your voice will find you." - Branford Marsalis

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob taft View Post
    just only use the word "prototype".
    Thanks a lot, that worked. I also really like the one with the L5 tailpiece and Florentine cutaway. Main reservation would be with the pickup since it has no pole pieces but I guess that is not too hard to swap out. I wonder what pickup they are using.


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  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverfoxx View Post
    Dennis ,
    i appreciate what you say ,but the prototypes , pale into insignificance compared to the L5, Wesmo, L4, Byrdland, Tal Farlow, 175 etc , which now , in used condition are commanding almost astronomical prices due to their scarcity. Not everyone could afford these guitars new at the MAP . But the desire was there, a top quality Archtop bears semblance to a masterpiece, a painting, but is more useful. Pride of ownership
    and the satisfaction of playing the very best
    instrument one can afford is a joy, ( maybe a few
    sacrifices are required but
    what the heck? we’re only here once.)
    I agree SF that these prototypes may pale when compared with those masterpiece models you mention. I own a WesMo and have owned L-4's & currently own 2 acoustic L-7'S. But with * used * street prices starting at $4500. and up - - - where can you ever go with them ? Are we going to bring one to a park or take one to a family picnic ? I doubt it, at least I know I never will.
    All these prototypes have to do is sound reasonably good acoustically, and we have something reasonably affordable, that wasn't made in the '30's and probably needs a neck reset, and/or the truss rod nut is stripped broken etc etc - -and the guy selling it still wants $4500 +. for it 'cause it's 'vintage'.
    And now another of those at Dave's has sold. I hope that buyer is a member here too !!
    I think results like that tell a pretty compelling story.

    Just MHO.

  16. #15

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    These all appear to be variations of the solid formed model. I owned a solid formed and it was a stellar sounding and playing instrument. The 17 Florentine model would float my boat with the pickguard single bound or a 5 ply beveled. The solid formed died from the start from the price tag. $3400 is a different story.

    The fact that Gibson is dabbling with archtop designs is encouraging.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by rio View Post
    Thanks a lot, that worked. I also really like the one with the L5 tailpiece and Florentine cutaway. Main reservation would be with the pickup since it has no pole pieces but I guess that is not too hard to swap out. I wonder what pickup they are using.


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    It is a BJB pu. On the solid formed I had pole pieces were not needed. It was perfectly balanced.

  18. #17

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    Interestingly, these have "spruce" tops, not "carved spruce" tops. That choice of language is often carefully intentional. If so, it lends credence to the solid formed hypothesis. I have no personal experience with those, so would need to defer to those here who have.
    Permanent favorites: 2016 Gibson L-5 WesMo, 1999 Gibson L-5CESN, 1928 Gibson L-5
    Play more, buy less

  19. #18

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    The one with the oblong sound holes certainly has some of the most stunning maple ever.

    2019 Gibson Prototype Archtops ( ??? )-prototype-jpg
    -- Isn't it crazy that "archtop" and "luthier" are spelling errors on this forum?

  20. #19

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    I just called Dave’s. These are solid formed guitars. They are actually the prototypes for the solid formed 17 that had a retail run a few years ago. They are not recent builds and are not carved.

  21. #20

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    I think the current Gibson ownership is looking for short term profits and archtops are not part of that equation.

    At some point new owners will take the helm and the classics are probably going to reappear. Whether they reappear as expensive US made instruments or imports is a matter for speculation.

    Until then, I plan on keeping and enjoying my Super 400 CES, my L-5 Wesmo and all three of my ES-175s.
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57 View Post
    Call Dave Rogers directly, he's really knowledgeable and honest.
    And check out his private collection. I assume there is still a link on the web site.

  23. #22

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    Off topic, but checking out Dave’s site I see a 2014 Super 400.

    Super 400 CES '14 - Dave's Guitar Shop

    I know the $$$ is up there, but...

    Every time I worked on an L5, Byrd, or 400 and was surprised by the complex and responsive sound, it turned out to have wood that looked like the 2014 super 4 on Dave’s site. Wide grained (by silly modern aesthetics) with varied light and dark bands.

    “Toothy” comes to mind as a description.

    I have ABSOLUTELY no theory as to why. Just the repeated (over decades) and remarkable coincidence that tops that looked like that one always jumped out as remarkable in sound. First acoustically while working on it, and then plugged in because it was a “wait, listen to this” guitar.

    (L-4 CES-es may be the same. It is just that I have played maybe a total of four in my life, so no actual significant experience regarding sound and the general character of the spruce on the L4.)

    The “crimson” 2014 and 2015 blondes seem to have many such “toothy” spruce tops. If you want a top that looks like a stick of butter, or smooth mashed potatoes, then maybe not a good choice. But if complex sound and response to your playing is the idea, then these relatively modern battleships maybe represent a mini ‘golden era’.

    OK, sorry to divert. Back to the formed (which seems a GREAT way to make a top) guitars...
    Last edited by ptchristopher3; 07-11-2019 at 08:58 PM. Reason: Wanted to

  24. #23

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    Those are very cool. Interesting since Gibson dumped Dave as a dealer late in the Henry J era. I guess he’s back in the good graces. He plays Fenders and PRS himself, but he likes having a huge inventory of Gibsons.

    Well I’m no business genius, but I don’t see why it hurts Gibson to make some fancy arch tops or boutique style guitars at least on a small scale, in addition to the big sellers.

    Heck, Honda/Acura still makes the NSX, and how many of those things do they sell a year? 0.1% of the number of Accords they sell?
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff View Post
    Those are very cool. Interesting since Gibson dumped Dave as a dealer late in the Henry J era. I guess he’s back in the good graces. He plays Fenders and PRS himself, but he likes having a huge inventory of Gibsons
    Gibson needs the blessings of actual serious people like Dave far more than Dave needs to be in the “good graces” of the ‘Narrenschip’ (google it) that is Gibson.

  26. #25

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    In the early 90’s, the Harvard Business School spit out a study of the high-end, low-margin products in the paper industry.

    When suppliers got rid of these high-end, low-margin products they found that the rest of their product line was suddenly in a “race to the bottom” with other commodity suppliers.

    The presumed lesson was, perhaps you may want to keep those high-end, low-margin products after all.

    *****************

    The Gibson ship-of-fools (saved you the google) seems to need to learn completely from the start, with each new set of faces, that they can not claim the cache they feel entitled to if they produce no actual, ostensibly high-end [at least in name] products.

    Hilariously, the fan-boy base will give them this cache with even the usual half-effort.

    Despite this, they seemingly wish to remove even that half-effort.

    ********

    Thinking maybe 1 2/3 years back to the CME blowout of a pile of truly crappy guitars from the Memphis facility - the desperate need for ‘true belivers’ to love these “Hondo II” quality guitars could have told the new Gibson management that all they need to do is show the intent of a high end product you line.

    There may be no actual need to deliver demonstrably good guitars.

    It will be interesting to see if this becomes clear to them or not.

  27. #26

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    This one, jeepers. Gibson channels D'Aquisto:

    Archtop “Fingerstyle” Prototype '19 - Dave's Guitar Shop
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptchristopher3 View Post
    In the early 90’s, the Harvard Business School spit out a study of the high-end, low-margin products in the paper industry.

    When suppliers got rid of these high-end, low-margin products they found that the rest of their product line was suddenly in a “race to the bottom” with other commodity suppliers.

    The presumed lesson was, perhaps you may want to keep those high-end, low-margin products after all.

    *****************

    The Gibson ship-of-fools (saved you the google) seems to need to learn completely from the start, with each new set of faces, that they can not claim the cache they feel entitled to if they produce no actual, ostensibly high-end [at least in name] products.

    Hilariously, the fan-boy base will give them this cache with even the usual half-effort.

    Despite this, they seemingly wish to remove even that half-effort.

    ********

    Thinking maybe 1 2/3 years back to the CME blowout of a pile of truly crappy guitars from the Memphis facility - the desperate need for ‘true belivers’ to love these “Hondo II” quality guitars could have told the new Gibson management that all they need to do is show the intent of a high end product you line.

    There may be no actual need to deliver demonstrably good guitars.

    It will be interesting to see if this becomes clear to them or not.
    I guess it must be trolling season here on Jazzguitar.be
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    This one, jeepers. Gibson channels D'Aquisto:

    Archtop “Fingerstyle” Prototype '19 - Dave's Guitar Shop
    I missed that one. With a soundport ?!! .......I hope they keep on trying !!

    And I'm hoping someone here plays one or two and posts his / her findings.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptchristopher3 View Post
    Gibson needs the blessings of actual serious people like Dave far more than Dave needs to be in the “good graces” of the ‘Narrenschip’ (google it) that is Gibson.
    Yes I agree.

    As I recall, within a short time of Gibson dropping DG, Dave picked up Heritage as a supplier. A few months after Henry J left, Gibson reestablished their relationship with DG.

    BTW that was not the first time Dave’s and Gibson parted company. I know it happened once before, maybe even twice.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff View Post
    Yes I agree.

    As I recall, within a short time of Gibson dropping DG, Dave picked up Heritage as a supplier. A few months after Henry J left, Gibson reestablished their relationship with DG.

    BTW that was not the first time Dave’s and Gibson parted company. I know it happened once before, maybe even twice.
    I have no idea how Dave is to deal with from a manufacturer’s point of view. But from a customers view he (and his employees) are particularly helpful, honest, and non-nonsense.

    I can see this being at odds with Gibson from time to time.

    But back to the “prototypes” - I can well imagine Gibson using the brand cache to establish formed tops as a very real part of the archtop line. No idea if they will really pursue this. But solid guitars and a genuinely top dealer like Dave’s could be a fine way to ease some new archtop designs into the market.

    I can hope, anyway.

    But it sounds like these are leftovers and not a new promising development.