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  1. #1

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    <Written while listening to Kenny Burrell go town live, while playing with Sonny Rollins - yeah!! >

    Recently I've acquired some extra funds, and I'd like to get back on track with another hollowbody, or just as good (as mentioned in another thread), another ES-135 with P-100s (after I foolishly got rid of my '97 ES-135 a few years ago). I don't want to spend a ton, but I don't want firewood either. ES-135s are looking a wee bit pricey at the present time (as in like several hundred dollars more than I spent for my '97 ES-135 several years ago), so I've expanded my search to 17" hollowbodies. I'd love to get an Eastman (I LOVE the nice and chunky neck my Eastman E8OM acoustic has, and their electrics have the same wonderful necks), but most of them have 16" lower bouts (and those that don't, cost a bundle), and after being a Gretsch Country Club nut for almost a decade, I've grown to find 17" hollowbodies more comfortable for my playing style (that larger body makes a nice armrest, while I'm resting my hand on the bridge, and picking from the wrist).

    I'd get a Guild X-175, but the neck dimensions on Guild's website, show their necks to be thinner than thin. I've read some things about ye olde DeArmond X-155, and it looks promising. My only concern would be the Gold Tone pickups, which can get a little bright sounding, if the amp settings aren't right. Has anybody played one? What are the necks like? Slim, Medium C, etc.?

    17" hollowbodies that don't cost $3000 or $4000 plus are a little thin on the ground, and those that cost less than this, all too often have pretty thin necks. If worse comes to worse, I might just grit my teeth and get an Eastman with a 16" body. Oh well.

    P.S. - I'm welcome to other ideas/suggestions (for instance, I've also considered Peerless guitars, but I remember being told that the necks are on a par with Ibanez hollowbodies neck thickness-wise - in other words medium-thin).

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Eastman is a great option based on your specs.

    Have you considered a D'Angelico EXL-1?

    D'Angelico EXL-1 Archtop Guitar | Guitars 'n Jazz

  4. #3

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    Check out the D'Angelico's. They have many variants to choose from. If you come to NYC, there is a DA Showroom. Nice place to hang out and it's not a store (very quiet).
    Also, I think DeArmond GoldTone p/ups are great. They deliver a lot of tone, and you can dial out some of the hi's.
    I have used several pairs on guitars, one of them being a Guild X170. The stock Guild hum buckers and I have rarely gotten along - usually too bright. Maybe that's how the GoldTones got lumped into that assessment, their Guild/DeArmond relation! Don't rule them out.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler View Post
    Eastman is a great option based on your specs.

    Have you considered a D'Angelico EXL-1? z

    Yes I have. My main concern is their necks. When I play, I use the entire neck. Most necks are adequately thick enough, when you get above the 5th or 6th fret, but get down by the first fret, and that's where they let me down. I don't need baseball bat necks. Typically .850" thick (21.5mm) or more is fine with me - about a Medium C. D'Angelico's, like the current Guilds, are pretty thin until you get to the 12th fret, where the thickness is 22mm (.866"). At the first fret, they are only 20mm (.787") thick. I'm not going there again with that kind of neck thickness. I play classical style, with thumb behind the neck, and necks as thin as the D'Angelicos and current Guilds, cause fretting hand soreness, and stiffness. I had to get rid of my Taylor acoustics (including my 12-string acoustic, that is my church band guitar) a couple of months ago, due to finding out the hard way after a couple of years of owning and playing them, that after an hours worth of playing time on them, I wound up with a stiff and sore left hand - and Taylor necks are a bit thicker than D'Angelicos. Conversely, I have no issues with my Fender Britt Daniel Tele Thinline, with it's chunkier Deep C neck, or my Eastman E8OM.

    So, I'm in a quandry. I'd love to have a 17" body size hollowbody, but it's turning out to be difficult to find one at a price I can afford, that doesn't have a thin neck. I'm getting the feeling that I'm going to have to settle for a 16" Eastman, since the 17" AR810CE is a bit out of my price range at the present time.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by EllenGtrGrl View Post
    Yes I have. My main concern is their necks.

    So, I'm in a quandry. I'd love to have a 17" body size hollowbody, but it's turning out to be difficult to find one at a price I can afford, that doesn't have a thin neck. I'm getting the feeling that I'm going to have to settle for a 16" Eastman, since the 17" AR810CE is a bit out of my price range at the present time.
    I agree completely with your wish list and can sympathize. I could use a 17 in cutaway archtop w/ a h/b, 1+11/16 neck. Then I add ' that won't weigh 8 pounds -- or close to it.'
    I missed the Guild train way back when, and their new single p/u models would be perfect - - but then yes, there's those necks. ( And they're L-5 heavy too - ask me how I know. )

    I've looked for older Epi Zephyr / Triumph Regents, and one or two got close - -but then come the potential for binding issues.

    Anyway good luck and keep us posted. And maybe keep an eye on LaVonne's and Willie's Inventories............I'd stopped checking them out......They're both decent stores and who knows, sometimes things appear !

  7. #6

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    These Hofner "Blue Tone" guitars are made in China in a few different configurations, and are inexpensive, decent, 17", full-depth, 25 1/2" scale, all-laminated guitars. The ones I have played had larger necks - easy enough for a vendor to confirm the neck size for you:
    Hofner Quality
    Attached Images Attached Images DeArmond X-155 and other 17&quot; Hollowbodies-hct-sl-sb-0_1-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 04-23-2021 at 06:43 PM.

  8. #7

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    Gibson's 'Solid Formed' archtops would have been another 17" option. Their neck profile was reported to be a hand-filling .910" - 1.020".

    They discontinued production after 2015, but maybe one will come up on the used market.

    Gibson.com: Solid Formed 17" Hollowbody Venetian

  9. #8

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    Is the Solid Formed a floater ? Looks to be.

    Not sure about the Hofner.

    FYI there is a sf available at Daves.

  10. #9

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    I own a Squire X-155 I changed the pickups to a low output alnico 2 jazz set DeArmond X-155 and other 17&quot; Hollowbodies-squire-x155-2001-jpg

  11. #10

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    Great ideas guys. Hofners have not been ruled out. The Gibson Solid Formed's neck specs, are good, and it sure looks cool, but at $3000 (despite its cool Charlie Christian-style pickup), the one at Dave's is a bit out of my price range.

    BTW, I've been to the Dave's Guitar Shaop main store in LaCrosse (despite it being on the other side of the state from me). Dave's is where I bought the 1980 Gibson Howard Robert's Fusion back in the early 90s, that was my main guitar for almost a decade (I put in some serious gigging time with that guitar). The last time I visited Dave's was in 2011 (I bought a Classic Player Jazzmaster during my visit). I haven't been to the satellite stores in Madison, or Milwaukee. I've met Dave Rogers. He's a pretty nice guy (if you visit the main store in La Crosse, you can see his VERY extensive guitar collection [complete with very rare guitars] that takes up the entire 2nd floor of the building - you have to get permission to view it, and sometimes Dave serves as your tour guide), and I sold him a Brian Setzer Hot Rod in limed gold (one of the less common colors for that guitar model), in 2009 at the Chicago Guitar Show.

    JaxJaxon - what's the neck like on the DeArmond X-155? The longer I play guitar (I've been playing guitar for 42 years), the more I've realized that chunkier necks are what I prefer.

    As I mentioned in my original post, I like the necks on Eastmans, and thankfully, their electrics have the same chunky necks their acoustics have (I have an OM-style, Eastman E8OM, that is my favorite acoustic guitar). With that in mind, I sent an e-mail inquiry to the local Eastman dealer (Cream City Music), asking what they could do pricewise for me (as a regular customer [I only live 5 miles from the place], I get a discount from them on guitars) for the 3, 16" Eastman models below:

    Eastman AR 403CED



    Eastman AR503CE




    Eastman AR372CE


  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by EllenGtrGrl View Post
    As I mentioned in my original post, I like the necks on Eastmans, and thankfully, their electrics have the same chunky necks their acoustics have (I have an OM-style, Eastman E8OM, that is my favorite acoustic guitar). With that in mind, I sent an e-mail inquiry to the local Eastman dealer (Cream City Music), asking what they could do pricewise for me (as a regular customer [I only live 5 miles from the place], I get a discount from them on guitars) for the 3, 16" Eastman models below:

    Eastman AR 403CED



    Eastman AR503CE




    Eastman AR372CE

    I put the issue to bed. I got good quotes from Cream City music for pricing on all 3 guitars. For a little added versatility (yes still also play rock), I went with the AR403CED, with its 2 pickups. My price for it was $1000 out the door - cheaper than any of them on Reverb. Naturally with the Covid weirded out supply situation, there's going to be a bit of a wait for the guitar. Oh well. I put a $500 deposit down on the guitar to seal the deal.

  13. #12

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    No, the neck of a Peerless Cremona is equivalent to the neck of a Gibson L5. I don’t know where you got your information, but it’s wrong. I’ve owned 4 different Cremona’s. And I can’t stand thin necked guitars.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    No, the neck of a Peerless Cremona is equivalent to the neck of a Gibson L5. I don’t know where you got your information, but it’s wrong. I’ve owned 4 different Cremona’s. And I can’t stand thin necked guitars.
    Thanks for the info.

  15. #14

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    This is a vestax D'angelico 17 inch that was from the great years. It probably could be had for much less money on a cash transaction. I would avoid going through Reverb they are not a good outifit. But if you can get in touch with seller these a fine guitars. In fact can get the fancy New Yorker's for sometime the same price. I have an 18 inch for earliest years 1999 and it is a killer guitar for everything including sound acoustically.
    D'Angelico NYL6 Vestax Special 2002-2005 Sunburst | ALUMPSTER'S GUITARS | Reverb

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by EllenGtrGrl View Post
    I put the issue to bed. I got good quotes from Cream City music for pricing on all 3 guitars. For a little added versatility (yes still also play rock), I went with the AR403CED, with its 2 pickups. My price for it was $1000 out the door - cheaper than any of them on Reverb. Naturally with the Covid weirded out supply situation, there's going to be a bit of a wait for the guitar. Oh well. I put a $500 deposit down on the guitar to seal the deal.
    That's exactly what I got from SoundPure in NC. I like it a lot, you will enjoy that guitar. Commandable acoustic volume despite laminates. I was already planning to replace the pickups with humbucker sized P-90s (my first "real" P-90 guitar) but even with the original pickups and D'Addario roundwounds, it sounds nice and jazzy (a tad metallic on the roundwound strings which should go away with flatwounds or some other warmer strings).

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by medblues View Post
    That's exactly what I got from SoundPure in NC. I like it a lot, you will enjoy that guitar. Commandable acoustic volume despite laminates. I was already planning to replace the pickups with humbucker sized P-90s (my first "real" P-90 guitar) but even with the original pickups and D'Addario roundwounds, it sounds nice and jazzy (a tad metallic on the roundwound strings which should go away with flatwounds or some other warmer strings).
    Thanks for the info.

    Unfortunately, due to my severe nickel, and major chromium allergies, I'm very limited for what electric guitar strings I can use. For a week or two after being diagnosed with the allergies I just mentioned (I got such severe dermatitis all over my body, I looked like a burn victim), I was beginning to think that I might have to either stop playing electric guitar, or (of all things - it does happen) use phosphor bronze acoustic guitar strings, due to the difficulty with finding strings that were both nickel and chromium free. I ended up researching anywhere from 200-300 different electric guitar string product lines, by every manufacturer, before I found 2, that would work for me:

    1. Rotosound British Steels - strings made out of plain old steel, that Rotosound started making again after ceasing production of them in the 70s. Rotosound advertises them as being hypoallergenic.

    2. Ernie Ball Cobalts - cobalt alloy strings, that I confirmed via e-mail with Ernie Ball, are hypoallergenic.

    I went with the Ernie Ball Cobalts, due to them being available in more string gauges, and the fact that while they may come with a plain 3rd/G string, you can buy single wound cobalt strings (I've preferred using wound 3rd strings for decades) of the gauge that a typical wound 3rd string is. F.Y.I. - Cobalts are roundwound strings (nobody makes flatwound strings that meets my criteria for being hypoallergenic).

    P.S. - I've been asked why I don't wear thin gloves to play. I don't like the playing feel. As for coated strings - I don't trust the coating to NOT peel off, and expose the nickel strings underneath.

  18. #17

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    I admire your persistence (I would have switched to entirely nylon strings or keyboards).

    Rotosound is a good company with reasonably priced high quality strings.

    Have you tried or considered LaBella tape wound strings ?

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by medblues View Post
    I admire your persistence (I would have switched to entirely nylon strings or keyboards).

    Rotosound is a good company with reasonably priced high quality strings.

    Have you tried or considered LaBella tape wound strings ?
    Hmmm, I never thought of those. I guess it would depend upon how well, they hold up. If the tape is pretty durable, I could see giving them a try.

  20. #19

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    LaBella tapes are relatively durable, provided you never release the tension, and provided they fit your guitar. The thuddy sound is an acquired taste, and I could never acquire it, but YMMV.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    LaBella tapes are relatively durable, provided you never release the tension, and provided they fit your guitar. The thuddy sound is an acquired taste, and I could never acquire it, but YMMV.
    I will admit, that is also my concern (I'm not a big fan of thumping/thudding sounding guitar). I think I'll stick with the Ernie Ball Cobalts for now. Thanks for the sound information about the tapewounds.

  22. #21

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    If you want to hear how they sound, listen to the Pizzarellis. They've been using them for years.

  23. #22

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    The DeArmond is a rather different sounding git, and if you're a purist who won't use the tone controls or the amp EQ they can be a bit bright. I wouldn't say the necks are thin, nothing like some Fender solid bodies I've had anyway. Chunky? Def not.

    The big body has nice acoustic properties, can be had at fair prices and I've never read a bad review on them. This site has several owners commenting on them, google them.