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  1. #151

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    The rise of many of the great independent archtop luthiers predated the diminution of Gibson archtop production by several decades. From the 1960s onward, Gibson did not make many carved archtops, and there was plenty of room for independent luthiers to operate. Gibson's focus on solid body and semi guitars was well-established in the 1960s, and set in stone in the 1970s. Even after Gibson started to bang the drum a bit with Custom Shop carved archtops of one sort or another, they made very few of them, and the market was able to support many other builders.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 02-20-2021 at 09:11 AM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #152
    Apologies if already mentioned, but Steve Laury and Andy Brown are L-5 players.

  4. #153

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    Andy plays an old Tal Farlow iirc but it's a Gibson anyway.

  5. #154

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    Teemu Viinikainen plays '45 Gibson L-4 and 1959 ES-125T.


  6. #155

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Another contemporary player using a Gibson L5 don't know if CES or WesMo is Roni Ben-Hur.
    Roni Ben-Hur’s guitar is a Gibson Johnny Smith.
    Keith

  7. #156

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    When I was a kid, I watched Roy Clark on Hee Haw every week and dreamed of someday owning a Gibson Byrdland.

    I have owned a bunch of Gibsons, hollow, semi, and solid - they were all fine guitars.

    But I don't care a whit about a Gibson logo on a headstock, for at least a couple of decades. There are too many great options available now that didn't exist when I was a twelve-year-old sitting in front of the TV on Saturday night.

  8. #157

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    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup View Post
    Roni Ben-Hur’s guitar is a Gibson Johnny Smith.
    Keith
    Thank you. I've been encouraged at the number of Israeli jazz guitarists I'm seeing. Several do play full-depth archtop Gibsons:

    Yotam Silberstein
    Ilya Lushtak
    Elon Turgeman
    Ofter Ganor

  9. #158

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Thank you. I've been encouraged at the number of Israeli jazz guitarists I'm seeing. Several do play full-depth archtop Gibsons:

    Yotam Silberstein
    Ilya Lushtak
    Elon Turgeman
    Ofter Ganor
    I just bought Yotam's new album of duets with Carlos Aguirre: "En El Jardin". Really lovely stuff.

  10. #159

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway View Post
    I just bought Yotam's new album of duets with Carlos Aguirre: "En El Jardin". Really lovely stuff.
    I saw Yotam perform live with his trio a few years ago. They had a date in a small jazz club here in Ontario. He was great, and so were the others in his band. He was no longer playing the L5 by then. He was playing a small bodied Comins guitar, which I believe is his main guitar now.
    Keith

  11. #160
    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon View Post
    Andy plays an old Tal Farlow iirc but it's a Gibson anyway.
    I could swear I've seen him with an L-5? Maybe a one-off? In any event, I sit corrected.


    Thanks wintermoon and

  12. #161

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    No big deal MB, it's a Gibson which is the point of the conversation

  13. #162
    Very true wintermoon.



  14. #163

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway View Post
    Just curious ... how many prominent CURRENT jazz guitarists can you all name who play a Gibson archtop. Lee Ritenour is the only one I can think of off hand. (And Tuck, but I think his are over 50 years old)
    Coming to jazz in the last decade, the modern players inspiring me are guys like Rosenwinkle, Scofield, Julian Lage, Gilad Hekselman, Romain Pilon, Yotam Silberstein, Hristo Vitchev. As far as I've seen none are playing the dusty old Gibson big boxes. Who aspires to recreate 1965? The edge of jazz cool lies with shops like Victor Baker, Westville, Moffa, Slaman, etc. who produce guitars that look/feel like they fit in the 21st century.

    I feel Gibson was trapped by it's past, couldn't innovate, lost its relevance.

  15. #164

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    Quote Originally Posted by HighSnows View Post
    Coming to jazz in the last decade, the modern players inspiring me are guys like Rosenwinkle, Scofield, Julian Lage, Gilad Hekselman, Romain Pilon, Yotam Silberstein, Hristo Vitchev. As far as I've seen none are playing the dusty old Gibson big boxes. Who aspires to recreate 1965? The edge of jazz cool lies with shops like Victor Baker, Westville, Moffa, Slaman, etc. who produce guitars that look/feel like they fit in the 21st century.

    I feel Gibson was trapped by it's past, couldn't innovate, lost its relevance.
    Slaman's Jazz Pauletta is cooler than the other side of the pillow.



    But his "new vintage" line couldn't be more old school, eh? (In a good way):


  16. #165

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    Slaman's Jazz Pauletta is cooler than the other side of the pillow.

    But his "new vintage" line couldn't be more old school, eh? (In a good way):
    Totally agree! But there are small changes and appointments that make those guitars look fresh and part of the 21st century.

    Gibson just doesn't seem capable of movement...

  17. #166

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    So I compiled all our names for currently active Gibson archtop players, plus added a few that I have "liked" on the Jazzradio.com "Jazz Guitar" channel. I googled the player, and if I saw lots of pics featuring Gibson archtops, I included them. I doubt any player plays just one guitar or type of guitar exclusively, so I was looking for players that did not surprise me to see them sporting a Gibson archtop of some kind. I did no include semi-hollows, just the basic archtops. Some folks might not consider some of these names to be the hip young up and coming lions, but they are all out there recording and playing jazz on Gibson archtops.

    Of course, lots of other guitars are played by other players, which is totally fine. I love my Telecaster and Jazzmaster, and I think they sound great for jazz "stock." I'm just highlighting that the Gibson archtop has not vanished from the contemporary jazz guitar scene by a long shot.

    Andy Brown (Tal Farlow)
    Roni Ben Hur (Johnny Smith)
    Joshua Breakstone (L5)
    Royce Campbell (L5)
    Yotam Silberstein
    Bruce Forman
    Ilya Lushtak
    Elon Turgeman
    Ofter Ganor
    Teemu Viinikainen (L4, ES125T)
    Steve Laury (L5)
    Miles Okazaki
    Lee Rintenour
    Jonathan Kreisberg
    Chris Flory
    Martijn Van Iterson
    Frank Potenza
    Philip Catherine
    Thom Rotella
    Brian Setzer
    Will Bernard
    Peter Mazza
    Monroe Quinn
    Russell Malone
    Mark Whitfield
    Perry Smith
    Anthony Wilson
    Bill Frisell (reunited with his old ES175)
    Doug Martin
    Marc Schwartz
    Birelli Lagrene
    Joscho Stephan
    Alessio Menconi
    Ron Affif
    Jesse van Ruller
    John Hart
    Peter Mazza

  18. #167

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  19. #168

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I'm just highlighting that the Gibson archtop has not vanished from the contemporary jazz guitar scene by a long shot.
    No argument there, nor that the classics aren't fantastic guitars. But it seems to me the only segment of the market still relevant to Gibson is vintage - where they will always be King, because their aesthetic (which was NEW then) defined the era, and so its still cool and interesting that way.

    Conversely in the NEW market, doesn't Gibson's failure show that the buyer contemplating a $5K+ purchase of a NEW rig wants it to be something different than Gibson vintage? Something that reflects the post slide rule era? Try changing something. Change the shape, the tuners, the pickguard, the knobs, the binding, the finish, do something to make it fresh. Collings understood and took up the baton.

    Maybe Gibson tried with the 275 and the Modern Archtop but it was too little too late. Meanwhile the boutiques smelled opportunity and moved in to claim the high end, and China moved in to claim the value segment. Nowhere to hide.

  20. #169

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    Quote Originally Posted by HighSnows View Post
    No argument there, nor that the classics aren't fantastic guitars. But it seems to me the only segment of the market still relevant to Gibson is vintage - where they will always be King, because their aesthetic (which was NEW then) defined the era, and so its still cool and interesting that way.

    Conversely in the NEW market, doesn't Gibson's failure show that the buyer contemplating a $5K+ purchase of a NEW rig wants it to be something different than Gibson vintage? Something that reflects the post slide rule era? Try changing something. Change the shape, the tuners, the pickguard, the knobs, the binding, the finish, do something to make it fresh. Collings understood and took up the baton.

    Maybe Gibson tried with the 275 and the Modern Archtop but it was too little too late. Meanwhile the boutiques smelled opportunity and moved in to claim the high end, and China moved in to claim the value segment. Nowhere to hide.
    Actually I wasn't responding to you at all. I was responding to an earlier post that asked very simply what current jazz guitarists were playing Gibson archtops, indicating he thought there weren't very many. I'm just answering that question.

    BTW I have bought 2 factory-new Gibson archtops in the last several years, for what it's worth.

  21. #170
    FYI:

    I happened to setup an appointment with Gibson's "Virtual Guitar Tech Service" for this morning to ask a question about the bridge on my WesMo L-5 and during the course of our conversation, I asked about Archtops and whether or not Gibson is producing them any more. The tech told me that they are making them, but only through the Custom Shop's "Made to Measure" program.

    Just thought I'd pass that along.
    Last edited by Midnight Blues; 02-19-2021 at 05:04 PM.

  22. #171

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    Sweetwater is selling Heritage 530s, 575s, and Eagle Classics. Not the same thing I know, but....

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/manufacturer/Heritage

  23. #172

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blues View Post
    FYI:

    I happened to setup an appointment with Gibson's "Virtual Guitar Tech Service" for this morning to ask a question about the bridge on my WesMo L-5 and during the course of our conversation, I asked about Archtops and whether or not Gibson is producing them any more. The tech told me that they are making them, but only through the Custom Shop's "Made to Measure" program.

    Just thought I'd pass that along.
    Thanks, an important post! They ARE making them.

    Now - What is the so-called "made to measure" program? No orders for store shelves, rather only for individual customers of the stores who have pre-paid? Just fewer orders entertained? In other words, how is it different from before?


    Never mind that in the tailoring world, "custom" and "made-to measure" mean two different things, neither of which is being done by Gibson AFAIK.

    1. Custom or bespoke suit: "The man spoke and the tailor listened". The idea and style are all from request - blank slate. Measurements are taken, fabric is selected and ordered, individual custom pattern is made for the customer by the master tailor ("cutter"), bastings with a throw- away fabric might be made if the fit is expected to be difficult due to body build/shape. Then the work starts on premises, multiple fittings of a partially through fully made suit are executed, the suit is finished, and the customer walks out with a hand made suit that fits him like a glove (if the master tailor and his team of tailors are good, that is).

    2. Made to measure: An existing suit model is selected, fabric is selected, measurements are taken, then the order is sent to a factory where the suit is made by people that never set eyes upon the customer. When it arrives, the customer tries it on, final alterations are made, and the customer walks out with a standard suit model in his choice of fabric that fits better than the off-the-shelf suit (maybe).


    Based upon experience and observation it seems to me that a guitar made by the Custom Shop is neither "custom" or "made to measure". Why? Because its already a given model (Wesmo for example), it won't likely be offered with a non-standard scale length or body size. But the customer can choose between one of their standard finishes for the model, and perhaps an existing finish color from one of their other models. They may also be able to choose woods. So it's somewhat like made-to-measure, except for the measure/size part.

    So, other than one of those over-the-top collectors guitars that you see Gibson make now and then, that's about as "custom" or "made to measure" as it gets for most customers or dealers.

    Or am I misinformed?

  24. #173
    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar View Post
    Thanks, an important post! They ARE making them.

    Now - What is the so-called "made to measure" program? No orders for store shelves, rather only for individual customers of the stores who have pre-paid? Just fewer orders entertained? In other words, how is it different from before?


    Never mind that in the tailoring world, "custom" and "made-to measure" mean two different things, neither of which is being done by Gibson AFAIK.

    1. Custom or bespoke suit: "The man spoke and the tailor listened". The idea and style are all from request - blank slate. Measurements are taken, fabric is selected and ordered, individual custom pattern is made for the customer by the master tailor ("cutter"), bastings with a throw- away fabric might be made if the fit is expected to be difficult due to body build/shape. Then the work starts on premises, multiple fittings of a partially through fully made suit are executed, the suit is finished, and the customer walks out with a hand made suit that fits him like a glove (if the master tailor and his team of tailors are good, that is).

    2. Made to measure: An existing suit model is selected, fabric is selected, measurements are taken, then the order is sent to a factory where the suit is made by people that never set eyes upon the customer. When it arrives, the customer tries it on, final alterations are made, and the customer walks out with a standard suit model in his choice of fabric that fits better than the off-the-shelf suit (maybe).


    Based upon experience and observation it seems to me that a guitar made by the Custom Shop is neither "custom" or "made to measure". Why? Because its already a given model (Wesmo for example), it won't likely be offered with a non-standard scale length or body size. But the customer can choose between one of their standard finishes for the model, and perhaps an existing finish color from one of their other models. They may also be able to choose woods. So it's somewhat like made-to-measure, except for the measure/size part.

    So, other than one of those over-the-top collectors guitars that you see Gibson make now and then, that's about as "custom" or "made to measure" as it gets for most customers or dealers.

    Or am I misinformed?
    If memory serves, I think the program started in 2015?

    I would have to say that I think it falls somewhere between your definition of "Custom" and "Made to Measure". There are a lot of options you can choose from, including I believe, scale length?

    Gibson has taken-down the details for the program on their website (at least I can't find it there), but this should give you some idea:

    https://www.musikhaus-hermann.de/med...erence_NEW.pdf



  25. #174

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    Most importantly, it means that the dealer who handles the order will charge you the full price for it instead of a discounted price. Gibson will build you the guitar with some minor custom touches to assuage the butthurt.

  26. #175

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    Cool, thanks. "Standard models with lots of options" is closer to reality, but not as catchy sounding.

    I can understand not messing with the basic specs of the L5, Super 400 and maybe the Byrdland, unless it's something that they think of/stand behind, like a Lee Ritenour or double-cut L5, etc.

    But it would be cool if the Legrand could flex a little given that it has no such legacy, or um, heritage (groan). Of course it's a cross between a Johnny Smith and an L5 (and the Johnny Smith was a modified L5 anyway).


    Such as the following options:

    Scale length: 25.5, 25.25, or 25"
    Nut width: 1 11/16" or 1 12/16"
    Body: 17x3, or 16x3.
    Wood trim and binding options vs. gold and plastic

    I believe that they could capture more of the modern archtop market with that approach. Vive la Gibson!

  27. #176

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    So... around 2003 or so I inquired at my local dealer about a brand new Custom Shop Byrdland and was told that I could NOT get the narrow nut and short scale... which, for me was the whole point of that axe. It would cost around $7k payable in advance, would take a year or more to show up, and if there was anything about it I didn't like.... tough sh--.

    So much for M2M. Within a year, I found a closet-queen '74 Byrd that plays like a dream (narrow nut, short scale), is in fantastic cosmetic condition, and cost me about $3500.

    This thread got me to wondering whether prices are up because Gibson stopped making archtops (I did see the post saying they are still M2M) or down because of the pandemic economy so I did a quick search on Reverb and ran across this!

    1980 Gibson Byrdland owned by Hank Garland

    As tempting as it would be to "stand just where he stood," anyone who has seen Crazy just knows that poor guitar has soaked up a lot of grief... I couldn't do it, even if I did have the $.

    And this made me throw up in my mouth just a little bit...

    Gibson Byrdland 1980 Greenburst

    Someone had more dollars than sense... that is one butt-ugly axe.

    And I gotta wonder how this has survived this long... my original pickguard is 7 years newer and is just a pile of tortie-colored pebbles now. Probably was a mistake to take it off the guitar and store it in a plastic bag :-(

    Gibson Byrdland pickguard 1967


    But I digress... the short version is that prices seem about the same. Searched L5s too, with similar results. It'll be interesting to see where prices wind up in 2-5 years.

    SJ
    Last edited by starjasmine; 02-20-2021 at 03:39 AM.

  28. #177
    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar View Post
    Cool, thanks. "Standard models with lots of options" is closer to reality, but not as catchy sounding.

    I can understand not messing with the basic specs of the L5, Super 400 and maybe the Byrdland, unless it's something that they think of/stand behind, like a Lee Ritenour or double-cut L5, etc.

    But it would be cool if the Legrand could flex a little given that it has no such legacy, or um, heritage (groan). Of course it's a cross between a Johnny Smith and an L5 (and the Johnny Smith was a modified L5 anyway).


    Such as the following options:

    Scale length: 25.5, 25.25, or 25"
    Nut width: 1 11/16" or 1 12/16"
    Body: 17x3, or 16x3.
    Wood trim and binding options vs. gold and plastic

    I believe that they could capture more of the modern archtop market with that approach. Vive la Gibson!
    Yeah, I think that' about right as it relates standard model offerings.

    Might be worth a call to Customer Service just to inquire about what features/appointments would be available on a M2M?



  29. #178

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blues View Post
    Yeah, I think that' about right as it relates standard model offerings.

    Might be worth a call to Customer Service just to inquire about what features/appointments would be available on a M2M?


    Thanks, but I am doooone collecting or investing or GASing or whatever it was that I was doing.

  30. #179

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    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine View Post
    So... around 2003 or so I inquired at my local dealer about a brand new Custom Shop Byrdland and was told that I could NOT get the narrow nut and short scale... which, for me was the whole point of that axe. It would cost around $7k payable in advance, would take a year or more to show up, and if there was anything about it I didn't like.... tough sh--.

    So much for M2M. Within a year, I found a closet-queen '74 Byrd that plays like a dream (narrow nut, short scale), is in fantastic cosmetic condition, and cost me about $3500.

    This thread got me to wondering whether prices are up because Gibson stopped making archtops (I did see the post saying they are still M2M) or down because of the pandemic economy so I did a quick search on Reverb and ran across this!

    1980 Gibson Byrdland owned by Hank Garland

    As tempting as it would be to "stand just where he stood," anyone who has seen Crazy just knows that poor guitar has soaked up a lot of grief... I couldn't do it, even if I did have the $.

    And this made me throw up in my mouth just a little bit...

    Gibson Byrdland 1980 Greenburst

    Someone had more dollars than sense... that is one butt-ugly axe.

    And I gotta wonder how this has survived this long... my original pickguard is 7 years newer and is just a pile of tortie-colored pebbles now. Probably was a mistake to take it off the guitar and store it in a plastic bag :-(

    Gibson Byrdland pickguard 1967


    But I digress... the short version is that prices seem about the same. Searched L5s too, with similar results. It'll be interesting to see where prices wind up in 2-5 years.

    SJ
    What short scale? The 23.5 or whatever it was? I don't believe that I've ever seen anything resembling a long scale on that guitar. Just curious, what scale length did they offer?

    Oh, and BTW - they did NOT stop making archtops, they slowed down. That was assumption and projection.

  31. #180

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar View Post
    What short scale? The 23.5 or whatever it was? I don't believe that I've ever seen anything resembling a long scale on that guitar. Just curious, what scale length did they offer?
    I did not mean to imply a "long scale" just saying that some time ago GCS standardized on the scale and width that Les Pauls use - 24.5" IIRC. They just plain would not make a short-scale narrow nut Byrd neck for me. It would have been a Byrd body with a longer, wider neck.

    SJ

  32. #181

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    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine View Post
    I did not mean to imply a "long scale" just saying that some time ago GCS standardized on the scale and width that Les Pauls use - 24.5" IIRC. They just plain would not make a short-scale narrow nut Byrd neck for me.

    SJ
    OK. I was under the impression that Les Pauls had the same scale length as ES 335s etc, 24.75". If true them a 24.5" would be pretty darned short, even if not 23.75"

  33. #182

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar View Post
    OK. I was under the impression that Les Pauls had the same scale length as ES 335s etc, 24.75". If true them a 24.5" would be pretty darned short, even if not 23.75"
    you were under the right impression, they're 24.75"

  34. #183
    I just inquired about a new ebony L5. The best price I could negotiate was $9K plus tax paid in full at time of the M2M order. No cancellation can be done and ETA would not be given till after Gibson has the order in their system.

    Not a warm and fuzzy way to buy a L5 these days.

  35. #184

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    That price is pretty good. Fair for a non-sunburst.

    If they take less than one year they're beating many of the boutique guys. When they were going strong around 2006 they took six months for my new order, so if they can hit 9-12 months under current circumstances that would be pretty good.

    Paying all up front is not so great but they have to deliver, and they're Gibson so very likely will. So, if one really wants the guitar...

  36. #185

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    Not a very nice way to do anything: "Give me the bucks first, and then I'll tell you when you might get it. And if you don't like the wait, too bad. I'm keeping your cash. Deal?"

    Maybe they really are pretty much done with making archtops. Who's gonna buy under those conditions?

    Will they at least give some sort of estimate based on current turn times?

  37. #186

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    Again the good news is there are a plethora of excellent archtop luthiers both in Europe,Japan,Canada, and USA as well. And many build in the Gibson Tradition of Carved tops and backs being heavier like Mark Campellone, Franz Elferink, etc

    They are not cheap but cheaper than an equivalent Gibson Model archtop.

  38. #187

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar View Post
    What short scale? The 23.5 or whatever it was? I don't believe that I've ever seen anything resembling a long scale on that guitar. Just curious, what scale length did they offer? ...
    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine View Post
    ...They just plain would not make a short-scale narrow nut Byrd neck for me. It would have been a Byrd body with a longer, wider neck.
    Yeah, they've been known to make long-scale Byrdlands now and again.
    Attached Images Attached Images RIP Gibson Archtop guitar-l-5cestfl-front_01-jpg 

  39. #188

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone View Post
    Yeah, they've been known to make long-scale Byrdlands now and again.

    That's an L5, right?

  40. #189

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft View Post
    Not a very nice way to do anything: "Give me the bucks first, and then I'll tell you when you might get it. And if you don't like the wait, too bad. I'm keeping your cash. Deal?"

    Maybe they really are pretty much done with making archtops. Who's gonna buy under those conditions?

    Will they at least give some sort of estimate based on current turn times?

    Not quite. No one said it's non-refundable, they said you can't cancel the order. A refund occurs after receipt of goods.

    They aren't done making archtops. And who's gonna buy? Plenty of people, that's who. That's why they're still making them "every day".

    FYI - Some "custom" luthiers (who also aren't really custom) have wait times counted in years, not months.

  41. #190

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar View Post
    That's an L5, right?
    You are right! I guess the picture above shows a a thinline L-5CES with a Byrdland tailpiece, unlike the guitar pictured below, which has a long-scale neck as well. But, the one below one SAYS Byrdland on the TRC and the tailpiece (and, no doubt, on the label as well), so clearly it's ENTIRELY different from the thinline L-5CES:

    My god! If one takes an L-5CES, puts a different scale neck and a different tailpiece on it, and makes the rims shallower, and it becomes .... a Byrdland. Crazy! What will those wacky kids at Gibson think of next?

    Somewhere out there, there must be a Byrdland with 3 3/8" rims, or an L-5CES with a 23 1/2" scale neck.
    Attached Images Attached Images RIP Gibson Archtop guitar-byrdland-front_01-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 02-21-2021 at 11:17 AM.

  42. #191

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    As I get closer to retirement I had planned on getting some Gibson archtops to go with my other Gibsons. I want an L5CES, 400, Tal, Johnny Smith Byrdland. I don't know much about those off-brand guitars mentioned, nor do I have any interest in them.

    As I get older, the last thing I want to have to deal with is finding a used instrument, or wrestling one from a 'dealer.' So, yes, I'm very disappointed to hear Gibson is no longer selling archtops. I can't believe I'm the only one with theses sentiments.

  43. #192

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    Quote Originally Posted by icr View Post
    As I get closer to retirement I had planned on getting some Gibson archtops to go with my other Gibsons. I want an L5CES, 400, Tal, Johnny Smith Byrdland. I don't know much about those off-brand guitars mentioned, nor do I have any interest in them.

    As I get older, the last thing I want to have to deal with is finding a used instrument, or wrestling one from a 'dealer.' So, yes, I'm very disappointed to hear Gibson is no longer selling archtops. I can't believe I'm the only one with theses sentiments.
    Youve stated exactly why others arent that disappointed. Many others do know about the "off brands" and takes little investigation to see whats out there and how good those products are. Many high quality choices according to many with a lot more credible resume than i.
    Also it seems from what ive read around here is that everyone has been buying mostly used forever, particularly when it comes to Gibson archtops. Sans the CME blowout, i hardly recall a post of someone doing a factory new Gibson NGD in the last 3+ years. Maybe before my time on hear and before 2015 there were lottsa NGD brand new Gibson archtops. Its seems each one of the criteria you mentiined not wanting to explore eliminates many people who are content and even happy to do so.

  44. #193
    My new 2018 Tal Farlow was the last one made.
    No longer available. Also only certain archtops are available.
    Also the dealer MUST be a M2M dealer. There are 5 M2M dealers.RIP Gibson Archtop guitar-1d9ae086-582d-4fd1-a748-06449d898005-jpeg

  45. #194

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    Quote Originally Posted by icr View Post
    As I get closer to retirement I had planned on getting some Gibson archtops to go with my other Gibsons. I want an L5CES, 400, Tal, Johnny Smith Byrdland. I don't know much about those off-brand guitars mentioned, nor do I have any interest in them.

    As I get older, the last thing I want to have to deal with is finding a used instrument, or wrestling one from a 'dealer.' So, yes, I'm very disappointed to hear Gibson is no longer selling archtops. I can't believe I'm the only one with theses sentiments.
    They ARE selling them.

  46. #195

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    To be clear, Gibson is still making archtops. They may not be making as many, they may not be hanging on the shelf in the Patinum Room at Guitar Center, and they may not be making all the laminate models, lower selling models, and models discontinued years ago (like a Johnny Smith, for heaven's sake).

    But they are making their classic carved tops like the L5 and Super 400. I'm not sure if they're making the Legrand but my guess would be that they are because the design is more current/relevant than the older, fatter guitars with set-in pickups (i.e. the L5 and Super 400). It's a beautiful cross between a Johnny Smith and an L5.

    The only "issue" I see is that the wood figuring is not as spectacular as it was prior to the bankruptcy. I don't know why that is, but will venture a guess that it has to do with cutting expenses to the bone and thereby using volume discounts on tonewoods. And if you aren't using lots of highly figured tonewoods you're not going to buy and inventory that stuff for a rainy day. The alternative would be to buy the highly figured woods in smaller quantities, pay more, and charge more for the guitar, which would alienate the Gibson buyer. But that's all speculation.

  47. #196
    I can appreciate the "cash-up-front" requirement. Can you imagine building a guitar, only to get stiffed in the end? No doubt other builders have similar horror stories.

    I would imagine that it takes them longer to build now since they don't have dedicated staff focusing purely on building archtops? Undoubtedly Gibson employs the "Do More With Less" philosophy, which means that those builders are off building other models for the Custom Shop like Les Pauls (not that there's anything wrong with that ).

  48. #197

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone View Post

    My god! If one takes an L-5CES, puts a different scale neck and a different tailpiece on it, and makes the rims shallower, and it becomes .... a Byrdland. Crazy! What will those wacky kids at Gibson think of next?
    Historically speaking, "those wacky kids at Gibson" have thought of naming a lot of variants with the tag "L5" on them, because it sold/sells.

    L5, L5CES, Wes Montgomery, George Gobel, L5S, L-5C, L5 Signature, Lee Ritenour L5 Signature, others???

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

  49. #198

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    Don you have a lot more faith in Gibson than many of us. If Gibson thought Archtops were a viable market we would see them on the website. There would be clear instructions, not disappearing M2M pages. And you can bet, as they’ve done in the past, the M2M dealers will have to fork up a load of LP and SG orders for the honor of accepting an archtop order.
    Do you have special insights into the mind of Gibson or is the speculation on your part?

  50. #199

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k View Post
    My new 2018 Tal Farlow was the last one made.
    No longer available. Also only certain archtops are available.
    Also the dealer MUST be a M2M dealer. There are 5 M2M dealers.RIP Gibson Archtop guitar-1d9ae086-582d-4fd1-a748-06449d898005-jpeg
    Y'know, Vinny, I've looked at this particular photo about a billion (give or take a million) times, and still to this day every time I see it, I've just got to go, "WOW! That's the most beautiful guitar I've ever seen!" Play that beauty in good health, for a long, long, time!

  51. #200

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter View Post
    Don you have a lot more faith in Gibson than many of us. If Gibson thought Archtops were a viable market we would see them on the website. There would be clear instructions, not disappearing M2M pages. And you can bet, as they’ve done in the past, the M2M dealers will have to fork up a load of LP and SG orders for the honor of accepting an archtop order.
    Do you have special insights into the mind of Gibson or is the speculation on your part?
    Faith? Who knows. I have ordered archtops from them that had to be made for me, so I suppose that gives me some "faith" compared to those who haven't. They are managing in very challenging circumstances however, and the future is more uncertain.

    People make a big deal out of the fact that you don't see the same kind of "line-up" on their website, and that's true. Putting all those sparkly pictures on the website would presumably generate more orders than they are satisfying now. (That's the purpose of a B2C branding website - sales baby, sales). They seem to be "throttling" incoming orders at this time. Given their circumstances that's not a surprise to me, is it to you?

    Seems to me if they're making more carved top guitars now than "boutique luthier John Doe", there isn't much to complain about, especilly if it's a Gibson that someone wants. (except those AA maple back and sides that is).

    The current guys may make it or not. Given the companies' history I would expect that the brand will live on past all of us, and with a series of owners over time. Orville passed a long time ago.