View Poll Results: How do you like your electric archtops?

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  • Carved spruce top. Lightly built. Floating pickup.

    16 24.62%
  • Carved spruce top. Heavily built. Mounted pickups.

    13 20.00%
  • Laminated top. Lightly buiit. Mounted pickups.

    21 32.31%
  • Laminated top. Heavily built. Mounted pickups.

    11 16.92%
  • Other.

    4 6.15%
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  1. #1

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    The poll is about the amplified sounds. Resonant archtops obviously feedback more easily but I'm more interested in hearing about tonal preferences.
    Lightly build ones sound a bit too bright for my taste. I find them a bit too thin on the treble strings and too boomy on the bass strings. Not very balanced. But it's possible I haven't tried one that I like yet. So I like laminate or heavy carved guitars with mounted pickups.
    Please discuss your preferences.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 07-18-2019 at 08:43 PM.
    Never play anything that's hard. If it's hard, don't play it. -- Joe Pass

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  3. #2

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    I have examples of all 4 types in your poll, but at the end of the day, the modern 175 is the best for real world gigs. They are the most feedback and weather resistant. For playing unplugged at home, the carved top with a floater is my choice. But I like the other two as well for quieter gigs.
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  4. #3

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    I much prefer a carved top built for acoustic sound but at the end of the day gigging in the real world, Stringswinger has hit the nail on the head. I probably would prefer a Tal Farlow to a 175 due to size and confort for myself. Sitting in my room at home is like going to your private stock of " getting away." It is not a gig, yet where I personally play the most and spend most of my guitar playing time. Even then at times a 175 through a polytone still gets the juices flowing.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  5. #4

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    I'll be that guy

    The more guitars I play, I'm realizing my 575 is pretty much perfect for me. Carved maple top, with is stiff and feedback resistant but allows the guitar to have a dark, yet sustaining, tone. (Thunks a little on the lower strings, but the treble really sing)

    Its "heavily built" without being "heavy."
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    I'll be that guy

    The more guitars I play, I'm realizing my 575 is pretty much perfect for me. Carved maple top, with is stiff and feedback resistant but allows the guitar to have a dark, yet sustaining, tone. (Thunks a little on the lower strings, but the treble really sing)

    Its "heavily built" without being "heavy."
    I guess I should've said "carved top" instead of "carved spruce top"
    It seems to me that carved maple top is a rarity. Do you think it's closer to carved spruce or laminate maple? Or is it right in the middle?
    Last edited by Tal_175; 07-18-2019 at 05:17 PM.
    Never play anything that's hard. If it's hard, don't play it. -- Joe Pass

  7. #6

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    An interesting topic. For me, having a fat treble sound is very important, and so I prefer heavily built carved guitars w' set-in pickup simply 'cos I get fatter trebles when plugged in. Yes, the heavier
    175s are ideal gig guitars, but for solo gigs a heavy carved-top can get fat trebles and tight basses ( and work well for louder gigs, with f hole blockers). Lightly-built carved tops aren't to my taste
    when amplified, but that's simply a preference.

    But....I'm lucky enough to have an early 6.5 lb 16" slimline carved Slaman that has fat, juicy trebles when amplified, and a loud and rounded acoustic tone - and another similar 6.0 lb carved set-in pup Slaman that has a quite different, more delicate and 'acoustic' sound when amplified. Both are the same dimensions and only 0. 5lb difference in weight. So weight isn't the only factor....
    175s and other laminates tend to be more consistent, of course

    I think many of us can "make do" with a 175 and a polytone if necessary..

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175 View Post
    I guess I should've said "carved top" instead of "carved spruce top"
    It seems to be that carved maple top is a rarity. Do you think it closer to carved spruce or laminate maple? Or is it right in the middle?
    Sounds much more like a laminated guitar, just with a bit less thunk and more sustain.

    Definitely NOT an acoustic instrument--though you can play it unplugged around the house, like a 175--but I'd say it's even quieter than some old lively 175's.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  9. #8
    How do you like your electric arcthops?-15634832780072078481106-jpg

  10. #9

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    Depends on what you're playing and who you're playing with. And you're considering only the guitar. Using a full range amplification rig with tools to mitigate feedback, an acoustic archtop works in most settings pretty well allowing for a less electric sound. Not as good as unplugged on the couch, but less electric. Playing solo or with a small group this works better for me. With larger groups and running a combo amp a bit louder I can't hear a whole lot of difference between Ibanez, D'Angelico, Gibson, or anything else with a hollow body and a humbucker.
    Hell is full of musical amateurs - George Bernard Shaw

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410 View Post
    Depends on what you're playing and who you're playing with. And you're considering only the guitar. Using a full range amplification rig with tools to mitigate feedback, an acoustic archtop works in most settings pretty well allowing for a less electric sound. Not as good as unplugged on the couch, but less electric. Playing solo or with a small group this works better for me. With larger groups and running a combo amp a bit louder I can't hear a whole lot of difference between Ibanez, D'Angelico, Gibson, or anything else with a hollow body and a humbucker.
    True. It seems like you prefer the more acoustic sound but use the more electric sound in band settings as a compromise due to feedback. But some people, like myself, actually prefer the electric sound. It's not because acoustic sound doesn't scale to larger groups and louder playing, some of us just like the electric sound more.
    This is sort of what I wanted to find out with the poll. What type of amplified archtop sound people actually prefer setting aside the feedback issue.
    Never play anything that's hard. If it's hard, don't play it. -- Joe Pass

  12. #11

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    My preference when shopping was the Carved top with mounted pup which is what I bought. The floating pups sounded a bit brittle to me. But I have a friend with a floating pup carved top that I really like the sound, much more acoustic sounding. I've had the privilege of sitting in that living room a few times hearing those two play.

    Here he is playing with Mundell Lowe. A good example of the mounted pup tone vs. the floating pup tone. I'd go with Mundell's tone for single line stuff, and Bob's guitar tone for the comping. I've had the privilege of sitting in that living room a few times hearing those two play.

    Last edited by fep; 07-18-2019 at 08:59 PM.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  13. #12

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    In a perfect world, I 'd want them all carved. But in reality, carved tops have many drawbacks. First is the quality control. Hand carved tops will vary based on the wood and builder's preference and ear. In addition, carved top's expense, proclivity to cracking and feedback make laminates a great alternative.

  14. #13

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    In a perfect world I'd own all at least one of each type. But a Johnny Smith type build for a Carved instrument and a Benedetto Bambino for a Laminate are about as perfect as one can get in my book!

  15. #14

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    either over easy or medium rare....oh, not eggs and steak?, I'll be here all week, sorry.
    but seriously folks, I voted on the heavier build set pickup guitars, especially twin humbuckers [though I loves me a prewar Christian pu or postwar P-90]
    that said I dig the sound of say, a great D'Angelico w/ a floating Dearmond, Johnny Smith got a superb sound on floaters through most of his career, but it's less versatile than a twin pickup L-5 or Super 400.
    I've pretty much stopped playing guitars w/floaters though.
    if I want an acoustic sound I'll play acoustic though a mic, but for electric give me a good old built in pu L-5 or Super 400 and I'm good.

  16. #15

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    I voted "other" because I have no carved-top electrics (not for lack of desire). I find my heavily built ES-175, purchased in 2006 to be just the ticket for my performing needs. I varied the amps used depending on the rooms/spaces involved and was able to get a pleasing tone using a variety of ss and tube amps.
    Best regards, k

  17. #16

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    Thunky! Translating generally in a laminated top Gibson with set in pups.
    I chose heavy built having my Tal Farlow in mind, but lighter build like my '59 125 also fit the bill!
    Generally speaking, carved tops tend to not have as much thunk, are more expensive and less resistant to feedback and weather changes we experience up here...
    ...every note has an origin and a destination...
    - Tal Farlow

  18. #17

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    I play mostly 17 inch carved archtops. But I have a 575 and it really is a well balanced guitar. I have used it for a couple of recent gigs and it really does cut through the mix of other instruments. Its got a great neck, very resonant, comfortable to hold and just an all around great guitar. It is heavily built, but not heavy. Ironically, mine is a second, circa 2001, but in all the years that i have had it, I have never discovered why.

  19. #18

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    I prefer carved top built for best acoustic tone and volume. Most of my playing is recreational in a small room with no amplification. My best guitar for that purpose is my 39 D'Angelico Excel. I only have one gig and that's as a volunteer in a local cancer treatment facility. I do use electric amplification but very lightly applied mostly for tone than for volume. I don't even need a microphone when I sing. If I do need something more, I use a D'Angelico NYL-2 and a DeArmond pick up on a stick. I did have an ES-175CC which I sold a number years ago and I have regretted that decision every hour, minute and second since and will continue to do so as long as I can play a guitar. Dang, I loved that guitar.

  20. #19

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    When playing at home or solo at a dinner place/cafe etc. the volume is so low that the amp only functions as a monitor for myself. As long as the tone is balanced, the guitar speaks to me/is responsive to MY touch and has a warm and friendly tone I'm game. My Trenier 16" lamtop with a floater is the pretty much perfect instrument for these situations. Add a bass and sax and/or a singer then it's still my go-to axe. Add drums , organ, multiple horns then my Super-400 CES - a HEAVY mother with a thick carved top - is the weapon of choice.
    BUT : when playing more modern stuff like funk and soul etc. I might take my Tele or my venerable ES-345 since my comping role is different and the needed solo sounds too. If money were no issue then I'd love to have a Byrdland type guitar and a second Super-400, both strung with light gauge strings so I could cop some Eric Gale and David T. Walker sounds , yummy !
    When I am asked for acoustic sounds on stage in most situation I'd much rather take my nylonstring with a decent pickup/mic combo. I don't much care for the sound of a truly acoustic archtop except when I need to channel Freddy Green ....

  21. #20

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    I voted for a lightly built laminate, believing my dear ES 175 -59 VOS (2014) and Benedetto Bravo (#168 from Savannah) fit the bill. The Bravo's coil tap is great for switching between comping (single coil - quieter and brighter) and soloing (humbucker - louder, darker and fatter) modes. My previous 2004-2005 ES 175's, with a host of problems (that's why there were three), were on the heavy-built side IMHO.