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  1. #1

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    This Modern Archtop seemed like a good concept aimed at the growing segment of 15" bout archtops, in the vein of a Collings East-Side Jazz, or a Victor Baker 15", but outside of this Reverb listing it doesn't seem to exist. Solid carved mahogany, spruce top, wood bridge, trapeze. What's not to like? Oh ya, Richlite fretboard. The non-F holes? Anybody know the story or ever play one?



    Gibson Modern Archtop 2018 | Dave's Guitar Shop | Reverb

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Really curious to learn more about the specs. Is there a center block? What’s the depth?

  4. #3

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    I really like it, it’s gotten slammed on here but that was when it first came out for $5000. Also no one really discussed how it actually played and sounded. At the prices I’m seeing now it’s very interesting.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by MHoranzy
    Really curious to learn more about the specs. Is there a center block? What’s the depth?
    From the Reverb add:

    “Taking cues from classic Gibson archtops made nearly a century ago, this unique full-scale archtop uses modern construction elements while retaining a full, classic voice. It features a completely new, sleek design, a solid carved 15?-wide mahogany body, a tapered Apex headstock, and a carved spruce top with built-in braces. It is extremely resonant, lightweight and versatile and comes in two sophisticated color options. Don’t miss this modern masterpiece!”

    Excellent Condition, Argentine Gray, Gloss Nitrocellulose finish, Custom Shop, Carved spruce top on carved Mahogany back and sides, 12? radius bound Richlite fingerboard with Modern small pearloid block inlays and medium jumbo frets on a Medium C shape Mahogany neck, 25.5? scale length, 1.687? (42.85mm) wide Corian nut, The neck thickness is .88? at the first and .99? at the 12th frets, 57 Classic neck and bridge pickups with 3 way toggle switching and volume/tone controls for each pickup, Ebony bridge and base, custom trapeze tailpiece, Grover tuners, With the certificate and black custom shop hardshell case.

  6. #5

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    Does solid carved mahogany body mean it's been routed from one block, as a f-hole PRS? If so, what a waste of material! OTOH, the specs mention solid mahogany back and sides, less alarming. Nothing wrong with a Richlite fretboard, but Gretsch/German-style cat's eye/teardrop f-holes would have been far more appealing to me.
    Last edited by Gitterbug; 10-21-2020 at 06:07 AM.

  7. #6

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    Ugly jackplate, if you ask me.
    This one in Germany :
    Gibson Modern Archtop Argentine Gray, Gibson Custom Shop, | Reverb

  8. #7

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    I find the guitar quite attractive. But the tailpiece looks like a generic Asian copy, doesn’t even have the ‘raised diamond’. (Don’t get me wrong, the simple raised diamond tailpiece is one of my favourite tailpieces, even cheaper copies, but without the raised diamond it looks really cheap...)

  9. #8

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    It does not do a thing for me looks ugly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Pickguard too big and plain tailpiece. Just to me many other options.

  10. #9

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    Unattractive to my eyes, F holes look cheap, the cutaway yuk, IMO a MIJ Ibanez GB10 far better, yes scale length is different,
    Last edited by Durban; 10-21-2020 at 07:34 AM. Reason: a ps

  11. #10

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    bring back the ES175/165 tried tested and look good.

  12. #11

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    Looks somewhat like a hollow version of an ES-135.
    Gibson Modern Archtop 2018?-es-135-gibson-jpg
    Gibson Modern Archtop 2018?-gibson-modern-archtop-jpg

  13. #12

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    I like it! (Looks like a Gretsch) Would like to try one (not that I have any money.)

    I also really like the Les Paul ES line. Gibson get a lot of stick for coming up with crazy notions, but some of their less ... blue skies... product ideas have been really eerrr... solid?

  14. #13

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    I didn’t realise it has a carved top. You’d struggle to pick up a laminate Gibson for that much tbh. If it plays and sounds as good as it should, that’s a great deal for a working player who doesn’t care too much about it not being one of the classic models.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug
    Does solid carved mahogany body mean it's been routed from one block, as a f-hole PRS? If so, what a waste of material! OTOH, the specs mention solid mahogany back and sides, less alarming. Nothing wrong with a Richlite fretboard, but Gretsch/German-style cat's eye/teardrop f-holes would have been far more appealing to me.
    I believe that it does. I think that it is essentially a cnc carved guitar. The top is braced with cnc carved braces that are part of the top wood, not glued on. The bottom and sides are a tub from a solid block of mahogany with probably at least two pieces glued up to make the block.

  16. #15

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    I think it could use some cosmetic upgrades, but the knock on them new was the high price *without* those upgrades. FWIW, I like it a lot. But give me a nicer tail, a bound headstock, and a tortie, better shaped fingerrest. They were ridiculously priced new, maybe now at $3,000 they're worth it.

    ps - Interesting to see a small bodied arch with a 25.5 scale.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I didn’t realise it has a carved top.
    Well yes, but not carved by a human.

    Quote Originally Posted by lammie200
    {E}ssentially a cnc carved guitar. The top is braced with cnc carved braces that are part of the top wood, not glued on. The bottom and sides are a tub from a solid block of mahogany with probably at least two pieces glued up to make the block.
    My Tacoma AJ-28 has CNC-carved top and back plates and the neck probably got a CNC boost too. That's not as much CNC as the Gibson Modern Archtop; the Tacoma has normal bracing and the sides are separate from the back. I liked it enough that this is my second spin with the model.

    CNC-built acoustic string instruments are all about the bell-curve. They program in a carve which will work well with most wooden plates. With some few plates at the right end of the curve it's spot-on and an outstanding instrument. With some few plates at the left end of the curve it's bass-ackward and that dog won't hunt. When you add in computer-carved bracing that tendency is even more pronounced.

    So I'm not saying that the Modern Archtop is bad. What I kept saying is a) Gibson missed the chance to charge less for a guitar with less hand-work and b) statistically, a lot of them will sound fair-to-middling because nobody can step in to say, "Aha!" at the right moment.

    As the Taylor folks put it in a rare burst of truth-in-adertising years ago:

    Gibson Modern Archtop 2018?-robot1-jpg

  18. #17

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    It's interesting to me how the ES-275, also a 15" bout and marketed as hollow, established at least a bit of a foothold while this design, arguably as good or better on paper, appears to have been practically a stealth entrant, seemingly unsupported by Gibson or the industry. I find no reviews or comments about it anywhere, and barely any aftermarket action.

    It's as if Gibson saw the 15" bout trend from shops like Westville, VB, Sadowsky, Collings, and decided to dip their toes in the water, knowing the conservative Gibson archtop customer would likely reject almost any departure the from classic form.

    Indeed I wonder if this model would have been better accepted if the headstock read {insert Collings et al above} where the customer accepts and maybe even invites deviation from Gibson classicism. Is Gibson trapped by its history, not allowed to innovate?

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by HighSnows
    ...Indeed I wonder if this model would have been better accepted if the headstock read {insert Collings et al above} where the customer accepts and maybe even invites deviation from Gibson classicism. Is Gibson trapped by its history, not allowed to innovate?
    I am wondering if it would have been better received if it were marketed more comparable to the Les Paul semi-hollow. Pretty sure they weren't MSRP'd at $5k.

    USED Gibson ES-Les Paul Special Iced Tea Burst for sale online

  20. #19

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    I think Gibson is trapped by the new owners and funding covenants more than anything. Thinking the new owners would be happy to produce a 175 if it can be done at the production costs they deem appropriate. After all, they are KKR people and those are some incredibly focused folks on ROI. I have seen funding of companies tied to limitations on costs and ROI. A 175 may simply be over the per unit allowed cost. We sure won’t know those details, but I’d bet my stock of Manny’s NY heavy picks on it!)

    You can get an Ibanez MIJ, great ebony board and real f holes for less

  21. #20

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    So I played one at Dave's Guitars in Lacrosse Wisconsin last year. I was not impressed by it unplugged. It felt and sounded like nasally mid heavy cheaper Ovation thin body guitar.

    I don't remember plugging it in,so it may be good that way?
    I used to own a Benedetto Bambino Std which I really liked for comparison.
    And that's a laminate construction as well.
    I also am not impressed by Gibson ES-275 variants either. And I'm a Gibson Fanboy,LOL !

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    I also am not impressed by Gibson ES-275 variants either. And I'm a Gibson Fanboy,LOL !
    Man, as they say, to each his own, I had an ES275 and it sounded FABULOUS. Just couldn't get on with the skinny LP neck.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    So I played one at Dave's Guitars in Lacrosse Wisconsin last year. I was not impressed by it unplugged. It felt and sounded like nasally mid heavy cheaper Ovation thin body guitar.

    I don't remember plugging it in,so it may be good that way?
    I used to own a Benedetto Bambino Std which I really liked for comparison.
    And that's a laminate construction as well.
    I also am not impressed by Gibson ES-275 variants either. And I'm a Gibson Fanboy,LOL !
    It's great to hear from someone who actually played one of these odd ducks. Too bad you didn't get to plug it in.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    I think Gibson is trapped by the new owners and funding covenants more than anything. Thinking the new owners would be happy to produce a 175 if it can be done at the production costs they deem appropriate. After all, they are KKR people and those are some incredibly focused folks on ROI. I have seen funding of companies tied to limitations on costs and ROI. A 175 may simply be over the per unit allowed cost. We sure won’t know those details, but I’d bet my stock of Manny’s NY heavy picks on it!)

    You can get an Ibanez MIJ, great ebony board and real f holes for less
    Gibson does not have new owners.

  25. #24

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    I wish someone that actually owns one would chime in.

  26. #25

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    There are a couple at Dave's Guitars in Lacrosse Wisconsin at the moment. They are asking around 3$ k for one. Call them they are really nice folks and easy to deal with!