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  1. #51

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    in my opinion - see recent Eagle Classic review - the boutique guitars are not at all like Gibsons and Heritage guitars. The most obvious thing is that they are built to be played by bank managers etc. in their living rooms - so they are expensive, light weight, very acoustically responsive, thin sounding when you plug them in. If you want a mainstream jazz guitar you have to get gibson or heritage (maybe too, guild, Sadowsky, collings).

    I spent thirty grand on boutique archtops to find that out. (luckily I managed to sell them all for decent prices too).

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Groyniad
    in my opinion - see recent Eagle Classic review - the boutique guitars are not at all like Gibsons and Heritage guitars. The most obvious thing is that they are built to be played by bank managers etc. in their living rooms - so they are expensive, light weight, very acoustically responsive, thin sounding when you plug them in. If you want a mainstream jazz guitar you have to get gibson or heritage (maybe too, guild, Sadowsky, collings).

    I spent thirty grand on boutique archtops to find that out. (luckily I managed to sell them all for decent prices too).

    So, all those Benedetto and Buscarino players are bank managers? I'll bet that's news to them. Anthony Wilson and Tim Lerch - bank managers? Jesse Van Ruller?

    The Collings AT-16 and AT-17 archtops are boutique guitars, are they not? Are you referring to Collings thinline guitars?

    And boutique luthiers make laminates too, ya know.

  4. #53

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    I think there are a few options to consider. I own a Heritage 575 and it is a great guitar. Most come with two set pickups, though a few are out there with just one neck pickup. On occasion, I have even seen a couple with a floater For the price range you are talking about, you should be able to find one in very good to excellent condition. I believe that Heritage still makes the 575 (tell me if I am incorrect) so that could be an option, depending on your budget. Another Heritage option is the Johnny Smith model, though they seem to be rarer than the 575. Carved top, floating pickup, 17 inch, ebony board - a light guitar.

    Another Gibson option might be a used Gibson CES 4. Carved top, two set humbuckers - an upscale version of the venerable ES 175. Within your price range, you would have a few to consider as well. You might also consider a used ES 175, generally well within your price range. You might also consider an L7 C. Made between 1947 and 72, they were reissued around 2007 and made for a couple of years. Essentially an acoustic guitar, but many on the used marked have added Johnny Smith style floaters. A really nice guitar, 17 inch, carved top, 25.5 inch scale (on the older ones) essentially an L5 without all of the extras.

    Another "American" option, as opposed to guitars made in the U.S.A., is Godin guitars - made in Canada. They make a whole range of different guitars, but two discontinued models are the Jazz and Composer, both variations of the Godin 5th Avenue series. Both are advertised as jazz guitars. I have not played a Composer, but I recently bought a NOS Jazz model. It is a really nice guitar - it is not Gibson, Heritage quality - but mine is well made and plays surprisingly well. Cherry top and back (I believe), short scale, a light weight guitar with a nice acoustic sound as well. The floater is okay - its a Johnny Smith style - but certainly doesn't compare to the more expensive JS style pick ups. And it is affordable! If you can find one, $750 - 1400.

    Good luck with your search. I can understand not waiting to have one custom made. At our age (I am 72), you always know how much money you have (or don't), but YOU NEVER KNOW HOW MUCH TIME YOU HAVE! So buy it and enjoy it.

    Fred

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by thelostboss
    Are you not "close enough" to USA to put together an excellent European-parts guitar "made in North America" that would satisfy his needs and actually be musically functional? THere must be some lingering in the parts-cave surely?
    I do have enough guitar bits around here to put together many fine archtop guitars. I even have a plan to do so in the not-too-distant future. But, I'll take the OP at his word - he wants an American-made instrument. Come to think of it, I do have a lovely old used American-made archtop listed for sale on this very forum for well under his $5,000 threshhold.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 10-28-2020 at 09:54 PM.

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    So, all those Benedetto and Buscarino players are bank managers? I'll bet that's news to them. Anthony Wilson and Tim Lerch - bank managers? Jesse Van Ruller?

    The Collings AT-16 and AT-17 archtops are boutique guitars, are they not? Are you referring to Collings thinline guitars?

    And boutique luthiers make laminates too, ya know.
    Face it. When he said your Buscarino was thin sounding you went to war to defend it. Your ego lost.

  7. #56

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    Excuse me, but not enough is said about Steve Andersen. One of the finest. Made in America! Check it out.
    New 2020 Streamline 16

  8. #57

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    What would I do?

    fws pointed out the used collector's condition Andersen Model 17 at Golden Age Fretted asking for $5300 or best offer. Steve has a new 2020 Andersen Streamline 16 for sale directly asking for $5600.

    Can't get any better than a Steve Andersen guitar especially in that price bracket. Available now.

    $5000 can buy you a very nice American archtop, new or used. Steve Andersen, Victor Baker, Roger Borys, John Buscarino, Mark Campellone, Bill Comins, Stephen Holst, Bryant Trenier, Ned Whittemore, in alphabetical order of surnames.

    Just check them out. Talk to people who play them.

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    Face it. When he said your Buscarino was thin sounding you went to war to defend it. Your ego lost.

    That's a personal attack, and is out of line.

    And I don't own a Buscarino archtop and never have. I own Gibsons, the very guitars that Groyniad was praising relative to boutique acoustic archtops. I have owned many Gibson carved tops and Custom Shop hollow bodies, as well as a solid body and flat top acoustic.

    It's just that I am also familiar with the sound of the light, woody, acoustic sounding archtops and love them too. As one Luthier put it "we're all making Johnny Smiths now". And it's true. If one wants a 3.5 inch depth, routed pick up, relatively thickly carved, heavier archtop guitar, they know where to get it.

    Variety is the spice of life.

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    That's a personal attack, and is out of line.

    And I don't own a Buscarino archtop and never have. I own Gibsons, the very guitars that Groyniad was praising relative to boutique acoustic archtops. I have owned many Gibson carved tops and Custom Shop hollow bodies, as well as a solid body and flat top acoustic.

    It's just that I am also familiar with the sound of the light, woody, acoustic sounding archtops and love them too. As one Luthier put it "we're all making Johnny Smiths now". And it's true. If one wants a 3.5 inch depth, routed pick up, relatively thickly carved, heavier archtop guitar, they know where to get it.

    Variety is the spice of life.
    It wasn’t a personal attack. You only took it personally for your ego got in the way, as it always does. It was simply an observation. Get over it.

  11. #60

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    I am reminded why GutterMan is on my ignore list.

  12. #61

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    Isn't it a big relief that Gibson admits "a great relationship" with Gibson Custom? But who's the boss?

  13. #62

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    It sounds to me like you are looking for a 50-s - 60's style archtop with twin humbuckers. If you could consider the previous generation, you can get an L-7 with a cutaway and a pickup for less than 5K, for example, an L-7 CE. The main difference between an L-5 and an L-7 is that the former has an ebony fretboard and bridge. Other than that, they are pretty much the same guitar. Even in the 30s and 40s, the L-7 was seen as a wise choice for a professional musician.

    I just went through the process of buying an acoustic archtop (1935 L-12) and while I was looking around, I came across more than a few really nice L-7's that were less than 5K. However, if your heart is set on the later dual humbucker archtops, then the L-7 is not for you. I think that the most modern ones had two P-90s but that is it.

    In any case, buy from a reputable dealer like Gruhn and others who offer a return policy, to minimize the possibility of "surprises."

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug
    Isn't it a big relief that Gibson admits "a great relationship" with Gibson Custom? But who's the boss?

    That was Sweetwater having the relationship...

  15. #64

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  16. #65

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    In addition to the H-575, Heritage is building the Eagle Classic in their regular, core lineup ($4,299). They will also build you an H-550, or even a Golden Eagle--but those will cost some more money. They are still being offered in the Custom Shop offerings at Heritage.

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    In addition to the H-575, Heritage is building the Eagle Classic in their regular, core lineup ($4,299). They will also build you an H-550, or even a Golden Eagle--but those will cost some more money. They are still being offered in the Custom Shop offerings at Heritage.
    Do they have anything like a ES-175 but with 25 1/2" scale? I know about the Sweet Sixteen, but how about one that's laminated?
    Last edited by BigDaddyLoveHandles; 11-04-2020 at 03:32 PM.

  18. #67

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    I presume that you mean an ES-175 but with a 25-1/5" scale. (or perhaps you mean with a 15-1/5" width lower bout)

    The Heritage H-575 has the same scale length as the ES-175. Its lower bout is the same 16" width as the ES-175, but the body depth is a bit shallower than that of the 175.

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    I presume that you mean an ES-175 but with a 25-1/5" scale. (or perhaps you mean with a 15-1/5" width lower bout)

    The Heritage H-575 has the same scale length as the ES-175. Its lower bout is the same 16" width as the ES-175, but the body depth is a bit shallower than that of the 175.
    yes, I meant a Fender/L-5/etc... 25 1/2" scale length. A ES-175-style guitar with an L-5's scale length. I can't think of a guitar like this.

  20. #69

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    The Heritage Sweet 16 has the 16" body with the 25-1/2" scale

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    The Heritage Sweet 16 has the 16" body with the 25-1/2" scale
    But it's not laminated like a ES-175.

  22. #71

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    Big Daddy,

    That's right. The 575, IIRC, is solid maple tip, sides, and back. This is less impactful than if the top were solid, carved spruce, which would put the guitar more in the Sweet 16 wheelhouse. The guitar manages--without having the laminations or the 3-1/2" body depth--to have a 175 vibe to most players.

    The 575 examples that I have played have been excellent, small-bodied jazz archtops in the ES-175 vein.