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  1. #1
    Hi, I own a Gibson Tal Farlow and have been considering selling it for a while now to switch to another instrument. I love the sound of this guitar, but I need an instrument that has a vintage acoustic sound on which to eventually apply a floating pickup.


    I'm trying to understand what are the alternatives in the price range that I could identify by selling the TF or alternatively understand how good the entry level products of D'angelico or Eastman can be.


    Some time ago I wrote to the great Matt Munisteri, according to which the guitars with the best value for money in this segment are the L7s of the 40s or alternatively the Loar in particular the LH 700.


    Has anyone experience with the new D'angelico, from Premier EXL to Excel Throwback?


    Can you alternatively suggest me luthiers who build this type of instruments in the style of the D'angelico New Yorker for example?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    If you want the vintage acoustic archtop sound on a budget and you don't want to hunt for a good price on a used instrument, in my opinion, Loar is the only choice.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Francesco Chieffo
    Hi, I own a Gibson Tal Farlow and have been considering selling it for a while now to switch to another instrument. I love the sound of this guitar, but I need an instrument that has a vintage acoustic sound on which to eventually apply a floating pickup.


    I'm trying to understand what are the alternatives in the price range that I could identify by selling the TF or alternatively understand how good the entry level products of D'angelico or Eastman can be.


    Some time ago I wrote to the great Matt Munisteri, according to which the guitars with the best value for money in this segment are the L7s of the 40s or alternatively the Loar in particular the LH 700.


    Has anyone experience with the new D'angelico, from Premier EXL to Excel Throwback?


    Can you alternatively suggest me luthiers who build this type of instruments in the style of the D'angelico New Yorker for example?
    Mr. B. is right, in my opinion.

  5. #4

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    Finnish saying: if you want it good and cheap, you have to buy two. I'm actually suggesting that you get a decent electric and a true acoustic archtop rather than a compromise. If your Tal is in good shape, it should fetch up to 4,000 euros in Europe. That will buy a lot of used guitar, even new. Apart from the Loar (of which I have no personal experience), the other entry-even guitars you mention are of laminate construction, with acoustic properties secondary to their electric sound. A used Vestax/Terada D'A NYL-2, for example, is more acoustic and can be found for 2,500-3,000 euros. On the other hand, there are many perfectly good electric archtops around, even under 1,000 euros new or used. That would leave you enough cash for an authentic, carved European archtop (Levin, Hoyer, Höfner etc.) begging to be loved and equipped with a period-perfect PU such as a DeArmond reissue.

    I don't think any qualified luthier with an inventory of properly dried tone woods will offer you a D'A clone for under 5,000-6,000 euros. And it would still be a compromise between acoustic tone and feedback. A less expensive option: There are luthiery schools and colleges in many countries - certainly also in Italy - where students build instruments for customers as part of their training. The prices are sensible but the waitlist may be long and the end result less than guaranteed. A friend of mine - a lefty, povero lui - has a carved 17" archtop from one such institute. We both agree that my all-laminate Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin sounds louder and better than his.
    Last edited by Gitterbug; 05-03-2021 at 03:29 PM.

  6. #5

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    Consider a Dupont Lloyd or Lloyd plus.

  7. #6

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    The Gibson L-7 is a good value for vintage acoustic tone, but if you can find a vintage Epiphone, they are typically an even better value. Some vintage Epiphones are among the best guitars of the era and at least in the US can often be had for much less than a comparatively inferior Gibson.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatRhythmMan
    The Gibson L-7 is a good value for vintage acoustic tone, but if you can find a vintage Epiphone, they are typically an even better value. Some vintage Epiphones are among the best guitars of the era and at least in the US can often be had for much less than a comparatively inferior Gibson.
    This is all true, but having owned a few vintage Epi's, I would caution that the neck profile on Epi's is different than a Gibson from the 1940's onward and may not be to everyone's liking (Epis mostly have a soft V and tend to be on the chunky side).

  9. #8
    Thanks everyone, I will definitively look into Loar and Vestax. Any suggestions about luthiers around that price range?

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Francesco Chieffo
    Thanks everyone, I will definitively look into Loar and Vestax. Any suggestions about luthiers around that price range?
    If you want a vintage acoustic sound, the Vestax will disappoint for sure. They are really nice guitars though.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatRhythmMan
    If you want a vintage acoustic sound, the Vestax will disappoint for sure. They are really nice guitars though.
    I agree. Mentioned the Vestax NYL as a classy compromise: vintage looks, floating PU, some acoustic qualities but an electric archtop nevertheless. In fact, a Korean Epiphone Emperor Regent with a PU upgrade will do the same. Its a pity Furch stopped making archtops years ago. The price/quality ratio for a carved-top model was excellent, but I think the top was left thick to resist feedback. There's been a lot of talk on this Forum on older and newer L-5s and how different they are in this respect. The finest-sounding acoustic archtop I have ever tried was an early -50s L-7 at Matt Umanov's in NY about ten years ago. I just didn't like the triangular-shaped neck and, as an overseas tourist, had no way of spending the dough requested. Rudy Pensa allowed me to try some of his fabulous D'As on the same trip, but I was too thrilled and scared to be analytical about them. By all accounts, a carved Epiphone from the late '40s would be desirable. NY pro guitarist Greg Ruggiero uses one frequently on drumless trio and duo gigs, with the club audience hearing a mixed electric-acoustic vintage sound straight from the guitar and through one of my Toob or Metro cabs (Greg's got four, I believe).

  12. #11

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    I own both an EXL-1 and an Eastman AR810. Both are excellent, but do not inspire me. My favourite is my Eastman AR371, which is a real gem regarding its price, and Godin Kingpin which is a "toy" compared to the two, still has such a mojo, I always inspired when I play it.

    Back to the OP, here is the comparison I made. The mike is cheap, still good. Headphones recommended.


  13. #12

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    Mark Campellone.

  14. #13

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    +1 on Campellone.

  15. #14

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    Acoustic?
    Floating pick-up?
    Eastman solid wood carved top like an AR810CE is a very good choice.
    D'Angelico? Laminated electric guitars.

  16. #15

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    If you’re coming from a Tal to a D’Angelico Korean or an Eastman, that’s a night and day difference both in quality and tonal characteristics. I’ve owned the Loar 700 and the LH650, the best imo, a couple Vestax NYL2’s, too many Eastmans too mention including their 910 model. None of them approach the sound of a TF, imo.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Consider a Dupont Lloyd or Lloyd plus.
    I’m extremely curious about these. What were your impressions?

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    If you want the vintage acoustic archtop sound on a budget and you don't want to hunt for a good price on a used instrument, in my opinion, Loar is the only choice.
    The Loar 700 has a huge rounded V neck, just a warning.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I’m extremely curious about these. What were your impressions?

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    II was hoping you’d had some personal experience. On paper they look good.

    My impression re Duponts is always very favourable, but I’ve yet to play one of their archtops.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    II was hoping you’d had some personal experience. On paper they look good.

    My impression re Duponts is always very favourable, but I’ve yet to play one of their archtops.
    You are closer to France than I am. Perhaps a trip to try one is in order? Or has Brexit made that impossible?

    Michael Horowitz is a friend of mine and tells me that the Lloyd is great. I trust his judgment.

  22. #21

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    A new archtop like this is more of a challenge to the buyer's wallet than to a professional builder. The demo video does not exude something exquisite - in fact, I was annoyed by the strong presence of fretboard squeal, even in the swing comping section. I'd prefer a vintage acoustic archtop and buy a decent electric with the money saved.

  23. #22

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    For the price of a Tal Farlow you could get something from the Heritage Eagle family. I have what used to be called "Eagle" simply, an all carved mahogany 17 inch archtop. Strong acoustic voice.

  24. #23

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    Frans Elferink is your guy!

  25. #24
    Thanks everyone, I'm checking every alternative. A few days ago I found this:

    D'Angelico Guitars Used 2013 "Master Built" Excel | Rudy's | Reverb

    Can it be a good solution?

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Francesco Chieffo
    Thanks everyone, I'm checking every alternative. A few days ago I found this:

    D'Angelico Guitars Used 2013 "Master Built" Excel | Rudy's | Reverb

    Can it be a good solution?
    It could be a fine guitar but frankly I would never spend the money to get this particular guitar. Not to bash the maker or anything just that in my world it has no resale option that will be good. Far too many options at the price include Campellone. Buying boutique guitars is for someone who wants something in particular and does not care much about what happens down the road. Naturally there are some handmade guitars that are exceptions.