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  1. #1

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    Hi guys,
    I am thinking about buying my first archtop because I fall in love with Peter Bernstein’s sound.
    There is something I really like about the balance and the acoustic voice of his guitar but I don’t know what to look for.
    I always play my 15’ Semihollow guitar that I really love but I’d like to play something different sometimes.
    Do you have some advice about where to find something similar?
    I am in Europe and my budget is around 4000€.
    Thank you!

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    For that amount you might find a used Collings Eastside, a Gibson L-4 / L-7 (with added pickup), look along those lines. Also possible (with a little luck and patience) is a used Elferink, Stefan Sonntag, .... Bernstein's tone is indeed nicely balanced, also because he has a very controlled right hand touch and the guitar is set up accordingly. Where in Europe are you ? Good Luck !

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    For that amount you might find a used Collings Eastside, a Gibson L-4 / L-7 (with added pickup), look along those lines. Also possible (with a little luck and patience) is a used Elferink, Stefan Sonntag, .... Bernstein's tone is indeed nicely balanced, also because he has a very controlled right hand touch and the guitar is set up accordingly. Where in Europe are you ? Good Luck !
    Thank you!
    I was looking at Elferink guitars and maybe for something really good I could add something to the budget.
    Do you think there is something in the construction features of Peter's guitar that I have to look for?
    I'm in Italy.
    Thank you!

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave93
    Thank you!
    I was looking at Elferink guitars and maybe for something really good I could add something to the budget.
    Do you think there is something in the construction features of Peter's guitar that I have to look for?
    I'm in Italy.
    Thank you!
    Bernstein's guitar is a little unusual -- it's an acoustic archtop with a full-sized floating humbucker (I believe it's a Gibson pup). Usually, a full-sized pickup won't fit in the space at the end of the fingerboard and most floating pickups are either mini-humbuckers, something as wide as full-size but flatter, or something along the lines of a DeArmond RC-style pickup. Think of someone like Ron Affif or Martin Taylor -- that's the almost stereotypical floating mini-humbucker sound. But the neck on Bernstein's guitar is built a little further above the soundboard than is typical, so a PAF style pickup fits. It was made by a Luthier named John Zeidler, who passed away quite young, so there aren't many of his guitars around, and they're very expensive. But if there's one construction detail to look for I'd say it's room for a full-sized Gibson-style humbucker.

    Anyway, one of the effects of this is that Bernstein's electric sound is a little closer to the sound of a set-in pickup than one usually hears in a floating pickup. So I would suggest considering carved top guitars with set-in pickups (such as the L4 suggested above) to get closer to that sound. The other thing is Bernstein's amp of choice is a Fender Vibrolux Reverb, turned up to the point that it's distorting a little (he uses other Fender amps on the road, but that's what he records with and performs with in NY). His amp is giving him a little bit of extra sustain and midrange sweetness because of that, So, to really nail that sort of tone, you need either a tube amp, or something that does a good job of emulating one (e.g., one of the new Quilters, some of the modelers). One of the more hi-fi sounding "jazz" amps is not exactly the right sound because they're cleaner than and have different "tone stacks" from BF and SF Fenders.

    In the end, though, I think there's more than one way to skin this cat, and I'm going to contradict what I said above and say that the real secret is to have the sound in your head that you're looking for. Then develop an understanding of how tone controls and gain work on amps, get a feel for different styles of pickups and guitars, and just keep trying stuff until you figure out how to get what you like. Sounding like Bernstein (or Wes, or Pass, or whomever) is something of an exercise in futility since their sounds come more from how and what they play than their equipment. Basically, if you have a neck pickup and an amp, all the rest is commentary, and it's up to you to get the sound in our head out of your equipment.]]

    John

    John

  6. #5

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    It is a Gibson pickup

  7. #6

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    I don't think there is one special feature in Peter's instrument that would make such a big difference - as far as I know he plays a Zeidler guitar , a "normal" 17" wide acoustic archtop with a full-size humbucker pickup mounted at the end of the fingerboard. If you listen carefully to players like Anthony Wilson, Larry Koonse, Pat Kelley or you italian colleague Gaetano Valli they all get a more or less similar tone even though they often use plywood-topped instruments. Flatwound strings will yield a smoother tone without finger-noise, a nickel/roundwound string will give you more brilliance and sustain. The D'Addario haldrounds are a useable compromise.

  8. #7

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    I like the analogy of fruit and winemaking. You can't make good wine with bad fruit, but you can make bad wine from great fruit! There are a lot of great archtops, but knowing how to make the sound is a sine qua non. Cheers!

  9. #8

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    This here in GB is an unbeatable deal :
    1989 HERITAGE Eagle (entspricht einer Gibson l5-c) Electric Tele Guitar | eBay

    I doubt that you'll find a better offer for a solid wood archtop in that quality-bracket !

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    It is a Gibson pickup
    do we know if PB's pickup is off a Gibson Howard Roberts
    or if it's a normal HB ?

  11. #10
    Thank you all!
    I have a Fender Tonemaster deluxe reverb that I really love and I know that the sound is in our head and fingers but with a Semihollow is a little bit difficult to achieve an acoustic sound, don’t you think?
    Also we can hear a big difference between Peter’s sound on his L5 and on his Zeidler.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave93
    Thank you all!
    I have a Fender Tonemaster deluxe reverb that I really love and I know that the sound is in our head and fingers but with a Semihollow is a little bit difficult to achieve an acoustic sound, don’t you think?
    Also we can hear a big difference between Peter’s sound on his L5 and on his Zeidler.
    You can dial in extra brilliance and cut some mids so your semi will come a bit closer but since it's a shallow and stiff soundbox you won't get the depth and resonance like with a full hollowbody.
    There is certainly an audible difference between PB's L5 and the Zeidler - one has a thick spruce top with 2 heavy pickups built in and the other is a lightly built acoustic guitar with nothing mounted directly to the top.
    However, listen to Tuck Andress (of Tuck and Patti) and you'll hear him coaxing a VERY bright and acoustic-sounding tone out of his L5 ! He uses an active pickup (plus an onboard preamp) and always goes directly into the board/mixing console, no guitar amp.... go and experiment !

  13. #12

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    Nico Moffa is in Italy and you should check him out. Moffa guitars have floating humbuckers like Peter Bernstein's.

    Moffa Guitars |

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    Nico Moffa is in Italy and you should check him out. Moffa guitars have floating humbuckers like Peter Bernstein's.

    Moffa Guitars |
    I like Moffa guitars but the are way out of my budget.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    I don't think there is one special feature in Peter's instrument that would make such a big difference - as far as I know he plays a Zeidler guitar , a "normal" 17" wide acoustic archtop with a full-size humbucker pickup mounted at the end of the fingerboard. If you listen carefully to players like Anthony Wilson, Larry Koonse, Pat Kelley or you italian colleague Gaetano Valli they all get a more or less similar tone even though they often use plywood-topped instruments. Flatwound strings will yield a smoother tone without finger-noise, a nickel/roundwound string will give you more brilliance and sustain. The D'Addario haldrounds are a useable compromise.
    I’d suggest a Benedetto Bravo or similar?

  16. #15

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    If that’s a bit pricey, Eastman is probably best bet...

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by skykomishone
    I like the analogy of fruit and winemaking. You can't make good wine with bad fruit, but you can make bad wine from great fruit! There are a lot of great archtops, but knowing how to make the sound is a sine qua non. Cheers!
    And you can make great distillates from bad wine.

  18. #17

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    I know, but it's not wine, It's brandy, with endless varieties and qualities. I prefer to look at the progression of wine to brandy as reincarnation.

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    This here in GB is an unbeatable deal :
    1989 HERITAGE Eagle (entspricht einer Gibson l5-c) Electric Tele Guitar | eBay

    I doubt that you'll find a better offer for a solid wood archtop in that quality-bracket !
    I like this guitar, do you think it could sound similar to what I am searching for?
    I am a little worried about the crack repaired, what do you think?

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave93
    I like this guitar, do you think it could sound similar to what I am searching for?
    I am a little worried about the crack repaired, what do you think?
    With the right set of strings, maybe a different pickup and PRACTICE this guitar will almost certainly deliver the type of
    tone you are chasing !
    Let the seller send you some close-up photos of the repairs so you can see if the repair is really as perfect as he claims.
    As per the stability and sound of the guitar : since it is a SOLID top I think a couple of small cracks are not problematic and these do not have any
    negative effect on the tone. Uncountable vintage guitars (archtop and flattop) have cracked tops and backs, sometimes with whole pieces replaced and they
    still sound and perform just fine.
    You should also ask about the pickup : he writes that it is a Kent Armstrong pickup with a tone control on the pickguard-
    however what I see looks like the original (Schaller ?) floating pickup with a VOLUME pot in the pickguard.
    Despite these (minor) issues I still think it would be worth your while to check this out. Be careful, prudent and sensible and
    you could end up with a fine instrument that will give you excellent service and make your music making a whole lot
    more fun ! Good luck !

  21. #20

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    Your best bet is probably a heritage, Eastman, or even a Gibson. Make sure it’s got a Gibson PAF. I also notice that guitars with no bridge pickup sound more acoustic and more akin to Peter.

    A second and equally important factor are your strings. Peter uses John Pearce strings exclusively. I’ve used them, they sound great but don’t last long (good thing they’re cheap). Important note - he uses 14s! This is a large part of his sound.

  22. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by MHoranzy
    Your best bet is probably a heritage, Eastman, or even a Gibson. Make sure it’s got a Gibson PAF. I also notice that guitars with no bridge pickup sound more acoustic and more akin to Peter.

    A second and equally important factor are your strings. Peter uses John Pearce strings exclusively. I’ve used them, they sound great but don’t last long (good thing they’re cheap). Important note - he uses 14s! This is a large part of his sound.
    Thank you!
    This is the information I need! Do you think it's possible in some way to put a Gibson PAF on a floating pickup archtop?

  23. #22

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    You still won’t sound like Peter obv

  24. #23

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    But there’s a certain bell like clarity in expensive archtops, particularly in the top end that I do think is down to the gear.

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    You still won’t sound like Peter obv
    Of course, I want to sound like myself but I like that kind of sound (I don't like the more modern Jazz guitar players sound) and I need something similar, like an Archtop.

  26. #25

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    I don't know about Italy import duties and all. Peter Bernstein's Zeidler is a high bar. If you are willing to settle for something close enough, a Kent Armstrong floating 12-pole PAF on a laminated archtop may do the trick.

    Give Steve Holst or Victor Baker or Ned Whittemore a shout. You can google search them. They may be able to give you what you want at your €4000 budget. Keep your eyes open for a used Moffa, too. They do come up now and then.

    Franz Elferink, Daniel Slaman and Stephan Sonntag are worth calling up, too.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    I don't know about Italy import duties and all. Peter Bernstein's Zeidler is a high bar. If you are willing to settle for something close enough, a Kent Armstrong floating 12-pole PAF on a laminated archtop may do the trick.

    Give Steve Holst or Victor Baker or Ned Whittemore a shout. You can google search them. They may be able to give you what you want at your €4000 budget. Keep your eyes open for a used Moffa, too. They do come up now and then.

    Franz Elferink, Daniel Slaman and Stephan Sonntag are worth calling up, too.
    When you have no special arrangement for shipping expensive gear from the US to Europe then it
    gets even more expensive - add another % 25 in taxes and tariffs. 4 grand € will get you a used Moffa
    with a lot of luck, much better chances with the afore mentioned luthiers, looking
    for used instruments. My guess is that in the coming weeks the market will be flooded with nice
    guitars because we players HAVE NO MORE GIGS so in order to pay the rent (etc.) things
    will have to get sold. Lord have mercy ......

  28. #27

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    As far as I can see there is ONE used Moffa for sale right now from a pro player/producer/movie score composer in Hamburg - it's a Lorraine model so more like a semi-hollow.
    It's been up for sale since december if I remember correctly......

    Moffa "Lorraine" semi-acoustic Jazz Guitar | | Reverb

  29. #28

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    Bernstein's guitar is a little unusual -- it's an acoustic archtop with a full-sized floating humbucker (I believe it's a Gibson pup). Usually, a full-sized pickup won't fit in the space at the end of the fingerboard and most floating pickups are either mini-humbuckers, something as wide as full-size but flatter, or something along the lines of a DeArmond RC-style pickup. Think of someone like Ron Affif or Martin Taylor -- that's the almost stereotypical floating mini-humbucker sound. But the neck on Bernstein's guitar is built a little further above the soundboard than is typical, so a PAF style pickup fits. It was made by a Luthier named John Zeidler, who passed away quite young, so there aren't many of his guitars around, and they're very expensive. But if there's one construction detail to look for I'd say it's room for a full-sized Gibson-style humbucker.

    Anyway, one of the effects of this is that Bernstein's electric sound is a little closer to the sound of a set-in pickup than one usually hears in a floating pickup. So I would suggest considering carved top guitars with set-in pickups (such as the L4 suggested above) to get closer to that sound. The other thing is Bernstein's amp of choice is a Fender Vibrolux Reverb, turned up to the point that it's distorting a little (he uses other Fender amps on the road, but that's what he records with and performs with in NY). His amp is giving him a little bit of extra sustain and midrange sweetness because of that, So, to really nail that sort of tone, you need either a tube amp, or something that does a good job of emulating one (e.g., one of the new Quilters, some of the modelers). One of the more hi-fi sounding "jazz" amps is not exactly the right sound because they're cleaner than and have different "tone stacks" from BF and SF Fenders.

    In the end, though, I think there's more than one way to skin this cat, and I'm going to contradict what I said above and say that the real secret is to have the sound in your head that you're looking for. Then develop an understanding of how tone controls and gain work on amps, get a feel for different styles of pickups and guitars, and just keep trying stuff until you figure out how to get what you like. Sounding like Bernstein (or Wes, or Pass, or whomever) is something of an exercise in futility since their sounds come more from how and what they play than their equipment. Basically, if you have a neck pickup and an amp, all the rest is commentary, and it's up to you to get the sound in our head out of your equipment.]]

    John
    Best advice overall! Also, heavier picks (pro plec) and strings (13 or 14 to 50 roundwounds as I recall) and a firm touch for string sustain helps. It’s a great learning experience, trying to phrase like Peter, regardless of your guitar, and worth the effort. But, having spent years listening, there is still something unique and wonderful about the tone of that guitar, regardless of the amp. Good to have some mysteries in life!

  30. #29

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    Archtop is archtop!


    I found that worrying less about which one exactly it is, but instead go after good deal has worked for me.


    My Ibanez PM100 came at a great price. I've seen some nice offers on Ibanez GB10s as well. A bit rarer a Heritage will show up. Gibson's less often unless we're talking about 50s/60s ES-125s, which always seem to be available at not too much €€€


    And if you want really bang for dollar guitars then Godin Kingpins are fairly common. Eastmans I don't see a lot of used.

    Anyways .. as said I really like the Ibanez archtops .. and they are often priced to sell.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    When you have no special arrangement for shipping expensive gear from the US to Europe then it
    gets even more expensive - add another % 25 in taxes and tariffs. 4 grand € will get you a used Moffa
    with a lot of luck, much better chances with the afore mentioned luthiers, looking
    for used instruments. My guess is that in the coming weeks the market will be flooded with nice
    guitars because we players HAVE NO MORE GIGS so in order to pay the rent (etc.) things
    will have to get sold. Lord have mercy ......
    Hang in there, guys. I know it must be tough. Against this backdrop, it is surreal to talk about $7225 laminated guitars, over $10 000 with VAT/MwSt in the EU.

    https://news-af.feednews.com/news/de...03?client=news

    Let's hope he gets it right! 29th May!

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    My guess is that in the coming weeks the market will be flooded with nice
    guitars because we players HAVE NO MORE GIGS so in order to pay the rent (etc.) things
    will have to get sold. Lord have mercy ......

    Yeah lol .. I have 10k tied up in used guitars .. All of which I've bought cause hey! .. They are good deals and can quickly be liquidated without loss if need be

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    do we know if PB's pickup is off a Gibson Howard Roberts
    or if it's a normal HB ?
    I had an extensive conversation with John Moriarty of Moriarty Guitars in Ireland about this about five years ago; he was apparently quite familiar with Pete's guitar. He indicated that it is a humbucker off of a Gibson Howard Roberts model, the one with the oval sound hole. I believe that this was wound with a higher DC resistance than a PAF style humbucker. John also noted that balancing the output of the pickup is a frequent problem; Pete apparently often has to adjust the pole pieces of the pickup to accommodate different amps, different rooms, etc. It's not quite as plug and play as one might hope.

    However, Pete's sound is one of my favorite jazz guitar sounds. It's articulate and bright, yet manages to be warm with a rather plummy sustain; a lot of that probably has to do with the amp and settings rather than the guitar itself. And of course Pete would sound like Pete on any guitar. His touch is a huge piece of that. Listening to him converted me from trying to find a dark Jim Hall type sound to something that was more naturally how the guitar tends to sound.

    I have a 17 inch carved top arch top that I struggled with finding an electric sound for a long time. Great acoustic sound, absolutely love the guitar, but getting that out through an amp was a challenge. It variously had a mini humbucker, a Kent Armstrong PAF-0, a modified Gibson Classic 57 turned into a neck mounted floater, a monkey on a stick style Kent pick up and finally has a neck mounted floating Charlie Christian style pick up. Now I am very happy with the electric sound of that guitar. I also experimented with a lot of different amps and the one I like best with that guitar is a clone of the Fender 5E3 tweed Deluxe.

    In the process of all this I came to the conclusion that mounting the pickup to the end of the neck a la Pete's Ziedler, the Gibson Johnny Smith and the Ibanez GB10 rather than to the pickguard was essential for getting a decent tone. I have a whole theory about this that probably isn't worth the paper it's not written on, and not worth going into here.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave93
    Do you think it's possible in some way to put a Gibson PAF on a floating pickup archtop?
    yes. It is a matter of whether it will fit between the top and the strings, however. I modified a Classic 57 into a neck-mounted floater, but it was a very very tight fit:

    Looking For Archtop (Peter Bernstein Sound)-119de7a9-d73b-4df1-97e6-7618f195b860-jpg

    I have since replaced it with a Pete Biltoft HCC.

  35. #34

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    There are probably many guitars that will get you in the ballpark....if you're happy with the size, a 17'', full depth archtop with a solid spruce top would be a good choice in my opinion, even with different pickups. Here's someone who gets pretty close to PB's sound (but who's also obviously put in the hours of practice ). That's a great channel for Pete's fans, by the way, and his videos definitely deserve more views.

    The guitar is a Hofner Chancellor-I have a New President that is not entirely dissimilar but the Chancellor seems to get even closer:



    Edit to add that obviously this is a discontinued model which had a list price over your budget, however they can be found for a lot less (with a bit of patience), and the main point is that maybe there are some less obvious options....best of luck with your search.
    Last edited by IbanezAS100; 03-30-2020 at 04:51 AM.

  36. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by IbanezAS100
    There are probably many guitars that will get you in the ballpark....if you're happy with the size, a 17'', full depth archtop with a solid spruce top would be a good choice in my opinion, even with different pickups. Here's someone who gets pretty close to PB's sound (but who's also obviously put in the hours of practice ). That's a great channel for Pete's fans, by the way, and his videos definitely deserve more views.

    The guitar is a Hofner Chancellor-I have a New President that is not entirely dissimilar but the Chancellor seems to get even closer:



    Edit to add that obviously this is a discontinued model which had a list price over your budget, however they can be found for a lot less (with a bit of patience), and the main point is that maybe there are some less obvious options....best of luck with your search.
    Thank you!
    Really nice guitar and also really good player!

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave93
    Thank you!
    Really nice guitar and also really good player!
    These Hofners are definitively worthy contenders - the Chancellor being the more expensive and rare model,
    the President being very affordable and not too difficult to find on the used market.

  38. #37
    What do you think about the new president with a Kent Armstrong floating humbucker? The only thing I am worried about is the 16’ body and the 24 frets neck.

  39. #38

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    take look here at the specs :
    Hofner President 2014 NOS | North Shore Music | Reverb

    this model is 16" wide (22 frets) but has the full depth so I doubt that this difference in size will have such an audible impact , certainly not a negative one , just different - like every guitar has it's own unique sound and character and shares only a partial "identity" with it's brothers and sisters. An Armstrong pickup will sound great - as does this floater that's already installed.
    There are "President" versions out there with a 24-fret neck , not sure whether these are older or newer - just be careful and look closely. As always.

  40. #39

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    this is another option. these pickups are lush IMO and designed to fit with minimal clearance.

    Micro-Stealth PAF-Style Pickup for Archtop Jazz Guitar

    the advantage of this design is you can either install it permanently, or if you have an acoustic box, position where you like on the guitar top.

    Btw if you get a Kent Armstrong, make sure to get one of the real ones obviously, not the licensed made in China ones. Dunno what the Hofners come with. Real presumably?

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    I had an extensive conversation with John Moriarty of Moriarty Guitars in Ireland about this about five years ago; he was apparently quite familiar with Pete's guitar. He indicated that it is a humbucker off of a Gibson Howard Roberts model, the one with the oval sound hole. I believe that this was wound with a higher DC resistance than a PAF style humbucker. John also noted that balancing the output of the pickup is a frequent problem; Pete apparently often has to adjust the pole pieces of the pickup to accommodate different amps, different rooms, etc. It's not quite as plug and play as one might hope.

    However, Pete's sound is one of my favorite jazz guitar sounds. It's articulate and bright, yet manages to be warm with a rather plummy sustain; a lot of that probably has to do with the amp and settings rather than the guitar itself. And of course Pete would sound like Pete on any guitar. His touch is a huge piece of that. Listening to him converted me from trying to find a dark Jim Hall type sound to something that was more naturally how the guitar tends to sound.

    I have a 17 inch carved top arch top that I struggled with finding an electric sound for a long time. Great acoustic sound, absolutely love the guitar, but getting that out through an amp was a challenge. It variously had a mini humbucker, a Kent Armstrong PAF-0, a modified Gibson Classic 57 turned into a neck mounted floater, a monkey on a stick style Kent pick up and finally has a neck mounted floating Charlie Christian style pick up. Now I am very happy with the electric sound of that guitar. I also experimented with a lot of different amps and the one I like best with that guitar is a clone of the Fender 5E3 tweed Deluxe.

    In the process of all this I came to the conclusion that mounting the pickup to the end of the neck a la Pete's Ziedler, the Gibson Johnny Smith and the Ibanez GB10 rather than to the pickguard was essential for getting a decent tone. I have a whole theory about this that probably isn't worth the paper it's not written on, and not worth going into here.
    thanks for the info CM
    i’d be very interested in your
    floater neck mount thoughts / theory

    love to see a picture of your
    neck mounted CC style pickup
    too

    i also love PB’s sound
    agreed it’s seems to get the best of both the acoustic sound and a fat electric sound too , without feedback too

    a neat trick if you can do it !

    so yes , very interested in your thoughts ....

  42. #41

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    PB does have trouble with feedback sometimes lol. He just rolls with it.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by IbanezAS100
    The guitar is a Hofner Chancellor-I have a New President that is not entirely dissimilar but the Chancellor seems to get even closer: Edit to add that obviously this is a discontinued model which had a list price over your budget, however they can be found for a lot less (with a bit of patience), and the main point is that maybe there are some less obvious options....best of luck with your search.
    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    These Hofners are definitely worthy contenders - the chancellor being the more expensive and rare model, the President being very affordable and not too difficult to find on the used market.
    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    Hofner President 2014 NOS | North Shore Music | Reverb this model is 16" wide (22 frets) but has the full depth so I doubt that this difference in size will have such an audible impact , certainly not a negative one , just different - like every guitar has it's own unique sound and character and shares only a partial "identity" with it's brothers and sisters. An Armstrong pickup will sound great - as does this floater that's already installed.
    There are "President" versions out there with a 24-fret neck , not sure whether these are older or newer - just be careful and look closely. As always.
    Some information regarding Hofner modern archtops:

    New President:
    -width at bottom bout @
    15 7/8" - under 16" - same for Jazzica
    -rim depth - somewhere @3 5/8" -
    3 9/16"
    -carved spruce top, laminated back plate & rims
    -originally offered with 24 frets, changed to 22 frets @2005, but some newer ones have been made w/24 frets

    Chancellor:
    -width at bottom bout 17"
    -rim depth - @3"
    -carved spruce top, carved maple back plate, solid maple rims
    -22 frets

    Common features:
    -single longitudinal spruce brace on the bass side of the top, @three small spruce pads on treble side
    -scale length 25 1/4"
    -ebony fretboard, ebony bridge base (with ebony or Schaller tune-o-matic bridge), ebony-capped metal tailpiece or metal "harp" tailpiece, bone nut, Schaller M6 tuners
    -neck/body joint at 16th fret
    -neck pickup attached to end of neck
    -single and double pickup versions available

    -single pickup version has controls on ebony pickguard, double pickup version has controls mounted on top plate
    -floating OEM Hofner mini-humbucking pickup. Early versions have various output levels, later versions standardized at 4K for neck pickups and 5K for bridge pickups, w/4 conductor wiring. The two can be swapped as desired.

    Availability:
    -most New Presidents made 2000 - 2010
    -most Chancellors made between 2004 - 2010
    -since then, a very few of each model have been made every year or other year
    -both models still shown on Hofner's website as of now

    Since you are in Europe, I recommend that you look for either of these guitars in Europe, and not bother with the additional cost of importing one from elsewhere, unless it is available at a low cost. I strongly recommend trying before buying.


    Last edited by Hammertone; 03-30-2020 at 04:33 PM.

  44. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone

    Some information regarding Hofner modern archtops:

    New President:
    -width at bottom bout
    15 7/8" - under 16" - same for Jazzica
    -rim depth - somewhere @3 5/8" -
    3 9/16"
    -carved spruce top, laminated back plate & rims
    -original available with 24 frets, changed to 22 frets @2005, but some newer ones have been made w/24 frets

    Chancellor:
    -width at bottom bout 17"
    -rim depth - @ 3"
    -carved spruce top, carved maple back plate, solid maple rims
    -22 frets

    Common features:
    -scale length 25 1/4"
    -ebony fretboard, ebony bridge base (with ebony or Schaller tune-o-matic bridge), ebony-capped metal tailpiece or metal "harp" tailpiece, bone nut, Schaller M6 tuners
    -neck/body joint at 16th fret
    -neck pickup attached to end of neck
    -single and double pickup versions available
    -single pickup version has controls on ebony pickguard, double pickup version has controls mounted on top plate
    -floating OEM Hofner mini-humbucking pickup. Early versions have various output levels, later versions standardized at 4K for neck pickups and 5K for bridge pickups, w/4 conductor wiring. The two can be swapped as desired.

    Availability:
    -most New Presidents made 2000 - 2010
    -most Chancellors made between 2004 - 2010
    -since then, a very few of each model have been made every year or other year
    -both models still shown on Hofner's website as of now

    Since you are in Europe, I recommend that you look for either of these guitars in Europe, and not bother with the additional cost of importing one from elsewhere, unless it is available at a low cost. I strongly recommend trying before buying.


    Thank you!
    What do you think about the difference in sound between the two models?
    What do you think is a good price for a used one?

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave93
    Thank you!
    What do you think about the difference in sound between the two models?
    What do you think is a good price for a used one?
    This is a very attractive price :
    Hofner New President Archtop E-Gitarre in Bayern - Wendelstein | eBay Kleinanzeigen
    I have seen several President models on the market in the past couple pf years and they all tend to fall into
    this price bracket. A Chancellor is an absolute rare bird, almost never comes up for sale,
    since so few have been made and the owners tend to hold on to them.
    The difference in the acoustic response/tone will be noticeable since the Chancellor model is an all-solid-wood guitar but
    this difference will diminish more and more when you play the guitar(s) plugged in. Two of my guitar-friends have been sponsored
    by Hofner and both own a Chancellor model plus some others - the ones with the varnish finish don't look so good anymore
    since it is extremely sensitive and rubs off very easily. Not the best choice IMHO if you plan on using the guitar regularly/intensively.

    The Heritage Eagle on ebay is still the best choice RIGHT NOW , at a great price and it will most certainly get you a great tone -
    forget the notion of finding this guitar for a great price, that plays by itself, has no need for any mods or setup and does not require
    any adjustments from YOUR side....

  46. #45

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    Beyond emulating Peter Bernstein's playing style in order to sound like him, it makes sense to me to use gear similar to his as a starting point (not sure if this is Bernstein's current general setup, but it used to be):
    -Zeidler 17" or 17 1/2" carved archtop guitar with x-bracing and a full-sized floating pickup
    -blackface-style Fender tube amp (Vibrolux [his favourite] / Deluxe Reverb / Twin Reverb) or equivalent
    -big black Jazz III pick & John Pearse .14-.52 nickel strings.

    This is all pretty easy to do except for the Zeidler part, but there is no shortage of acoustically responsive carved archtop guitars out there, and lots of floating pickup options as well.

    As far as the Hofners go, I have no idea if they will get you close to what you want, but they are lovely guitars. I recommend playing them to hear for yourself. As far as finding a Chancellor to try, you could always reach out to find a Hofner artist who plays one, like Marcus Armani, Christian Eckert, or Marcus Fleischer - perhaps they are close enough for you to get together, or know someone close to you who has one. I have found the community of jazz guitar players to be very friendly and approachable for the most part, at least in North America.

    Of course, this may need to wait a bit, as Europe deals with the Wuhan Coronavirus.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 03-31-2020 at 02:19 PM.

  47. #46

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    Really neat find : it's got a solid spruce top, a good floater and looks well taken care of - someone will luck out with one .....

    The Heritage Eagle Naturelle 1997 L5 d’occasion

  48. #47

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    Does anyone know what scale length Bernstein's Zeidler is? 24.75?

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    t. these pickups are lush IMO and designed to fit with minimal clearance.

    Micro-Stealth PAF-Style Pickup for Archtop Jazz Guitar.

    does one have to have a clowns clothing to able to use this or can they look like me?

    Kind Regards
    Boris

  50. #49

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    Bump:
    Anyone know the scale length on Bernsteins Zeidler?

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Durban
    does one have to have a clowns clothing to able to use this or can they look like me? Kind Regards Boris
    Just keep a red foam clown nose in the guitar case pocket, along with an extra cable, 9-volt battery, spare set of strings and a few picks. One never knows.