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  1. #1

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    looking at maybe getting one
    (so i can play blues in F up at the 13th fret
    etc etc)
    and its got to be a full depth archtop

    i only can think of an Ibanez Pm100
    I want something a bit/lot more affordable
    pm120 too thin for me
    330 too thin also

    not keen on the Hofner sound
    no offence they’re beautiful
    but not my taste

    24.75” scale maximum

    is is there anything else out there ?
    (Apart from Howard Roberts 150 !)

    should I just save up for a pm100 ?

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  3. #2

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    Look for a used Paul Reed Smith Archtop or Hollowbody 1? My old guitar teacher had one of those and it had very good upper front access and an excellent neck. His other guitar was a Gibson Johnny Smith, which I preferred tonally but as I recall the PRS was pretty good. It wasn't thunky, though.

    probably should put this in the gear forum, though, for a chance at more responses.

  4. #3

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    The Barney Kessel model definitely comes to mind...a Gibson might be out of your range, but a "lawsuit" era Japanese guitar might.

    These were made with different types of neck heels though, so watch out. One design allows for much freer up neck access.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    looking at maybe getting one
    (so i can play blues in F up at the 13th fret
    etc etc)
    and its got to be a full depth archtop

    i only can think of an Ibanez Pm100
    I want something a bit/lot more affordable
    pm120 too thin for me
    330 too thin also

    not keen on the Hofner sound
    no offence they’re beautiful
    but not my taste

    24.75” scale maximum

    is is there anything else out there ?
    (Apart from Howard Roberts 150 !)

    should I just save up for a pm100 ?
    The Godin 5th Ave series guitars have very easy access to the upper frets because of the way they mount the neck. The fingerboard extension sits higher above the body than, say a 175, which makes the upper frets easier to get to, even on the non-cutaway version. Other than that, maybe a Gibson ES150DC -- these have the same body shape as a 335, but are full-depth. At a quick glance, prices seem to be similar to a PM100.

  6. #5

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    My 2005 Frans Elferink Excalibur has the body joining the neck at the 15th fret. Most archtops this happens on the 14th fret and for that reason this guitar makes going up to the end of the fingerboard a piece of cake. I can work with in either case the 14th or 15th but this does sit nicely. Here is a photo. I might add that it is for sale I just have no posted it anymore at various places. But if you need access this does it.

    Archtops with higher fret access-asswvxchhxxiizt2ge41-jpg

  7. #6

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  8. #7
    thanks all

    of all the suggestions an
    es150dc
    Archtops with higher fret access-d7947bd0-8b5f-4dc4-805a-20720855aba2-jpeg

    would work great
    but too much money for me

    its where the heel starts to swell
    is what’s important for me

    godin and loar look like conventional
    14th fret constructions

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark;[URL="tel:1147823"
    1147823[/URL]]My 2005 Frans Elferink Excalibur has the body joining the neck at the 15th fret. Most archtops this happens on the 14th fret and for that reason this guitar makes going up to the end of the fingerboard a piece of cake. I can work with in either case the 14th or 15th but this does sit nicely. Here is a photo. I might add that it is for sale I just have no posted it anymore at various places. But if you need access this does it.

    Archtops with higher fret access-asswvxchhxxiizt2ge41-jpg
    beautiful guitar
    but not in my price range

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont;[URL="[URL
    tel:1147807[/URL]"]1147807[/URL]]The Barney Kessel model definitely comes to mind...a Gibson might be out of your range, but a "lawsuit" era Japanese guitar might.

    These were made with different types of neck heels though, so watch out. One design allows for much freer up neck access.
    i see what you’re saying about the heels
    some of them would work
    (i do find them ugly though)

    thanks for all the suggestions tho folks
    i remember when those es150dc could
    be had for a song
    now everything old and gibson is crazy money

    I’ll probably have to save up for a
    beat up pm100

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara;[URL="tel:1147803"
    1147803[/URL]]Look for a used Paul Reed Smith Archtop or Hollowbody 1? My old guitar teacher had one of those and it had very good upper front access and an excellent neck. His other guitar was a Gibson Johnny Smith, which I preferred tonally but as I recall the PRS was pretty good. It wasn't thunky, though.

    probably should put this in the gear forum, though, for a chance at more responses.
    prs certainly has the upper fret access
    i need but too expensive again

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    thanks all

    of all the suggestions an
    es150dc
    Archtops with higher fret access-d7947bd0-8b5f-4dc4-805a-20720855aba2-jpeg

    would work great
    but too much money for me

    its where the heel starts to swell
    is what’s important for me

    godin and loar look like conventional
    14th fret constructions
    The Godins have the fingerboard elevated more than other guitars. It's kind of hard to explain, but the effect of it is that there's appreciably easier access to the upper frets than on a typical single cutaway guitar. I had the non-cut version, and didn't really miss having a cutaway because of this. Anyway, not trying to sell you on it, but if you have a chance to try one, you'll see what I mean.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    not keen on the Hofner sound
    no offence they’re beautiful
    but not my taste
    There’s definitely a Jazzica sound, which is characterized by an upper-midrange plinkiness, but the Chancellor doesn’t really sound anything like it—aside from having the same pickup—and neither does the Verythin JS. I have no idea which models you’ve played, and I respect your opinion, but it may be worth sampling various non-Jazzica models if you haven’t already and can find local examples. The upper fret access is really great.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    ...not keen on the Hofner sound
    no offence they’re beautiful
    but not my taste

    24.75” scale maximum
    Later New Presidents have a 22 fret neck as opposed to a 24 fret neck as found on the Jazzica and the older New Presidents. That changes the sound a bit. 17" fully carved Chancellors also have 22 frets and sound different from their smaller siblings. I was going to suggest you try any of those, or consider a Hofner with a different pickup or pickups - I've installed floating pickups from Benedetto, Buscarino, Dearmond and Shadow on Hofner archtops. However, all of these Hofner archtops have a 25 1/4" scale, so ... nevermind ...

    Yeah, the 16th fret neck/body joint is really quite brilliant.

    In the world of deep-bodied, hollow archtops, I've also seen various Victor Baker archtops with the 16th fret neck/body joint. Here's a small carved one for sale with a 25" scale:
    Victor Baker Jazz guitar model 14, 2016 | Boneworks Guitars | Reverb

    Steve Holst will build you one, or you can buy one used - he's also worked with extended access neck joints. Here's one for sale right now, but with a long scale:
    Stephen Holst 15" Asymmetric Archtop | Rocca Guitars, LLC | Reverb

    Fibertone is making some interesting archtops with carbon fiber. Here's one that might fit the bill:
    Fibertone SC 15 2020 Unidirectional carbon fiber | Rok 's | Reverb

    Plenty more out there, I'm sure, including some with 15th fret neck joints.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 09-23-2021 at 01:26 PM.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    beautiful guitar
    but not in my price range
    The Sadowsky Jimmy Bruno model also has a 15 fret neck, very easy to play in F, especially with the smaller body. You might be able to snatch one for around $3k if you're patient and negotiate a bargain.

    Sadowsky Jimmy Bruno - Google Search



  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    ... but not in my price range
    So what is your price range?

    It would have helped, perhaps, with suggestions if you'd actually said what your range is, rather than making vague allusions about it.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by dconeill
    So what is your price range?

    It would have helped, perhaps, with suggestions if you'd actually said what your range is, rather than making vague allusions about it.
    Kudos to you for using that right word.

  18. #17
    up to about £500

  19. #18

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    Maybe a used Chinese-made GB10? My MIJ GB10 has good upper fret access. In that price range I know of no 3" depth archtops with what you're looking for.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by dconeill
    So what is your price range?

    It would have helped, perhaps, with suggestions if you'd actually said what your range is, rather than making vague allusions about it.
    Right!

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    up to about £500
    Sorry to say so, but I think £500 isn't nearly enough for what you seem to have in mind.

    Maybe for £1500 or £2500 there'd be something that would suit you.

    The closest guitars I can think of that are even remotely what you're looking for, and close to your price range, would be the Ibanez AG95 (£474 by conversion from Sweetwater price, without a case) or GB10EM (£510 by conversion). If you could accept a thinner body maybe the Ibanez AS or AGS lines or the AMH90 (US$700) would serve.

  22. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by dconeill;[URL="tel:1148024"
    1148024[/URL]]Sorry to say so, but I think £500 isn't nearly enough for what you seem to have in mind.

    Maybe for £1500 or £2500 there'd be something that would suit you.

    The closest guitars I can think of that are even remotely what you're looking for, and close to your price range, would be the Ibanez AG95 (£474 by conversion from Sweetwater price, without a case) or GB10EM (£510 by conversion). If you could accept a thinner body maybe the Ibanez AS or AGS lines or the AMH90 (US$700) would serve.
    sadly
    I think you’re right
    one of these would be ok
    if it was hollow body
    17th fret body join would give me the room
    up there i want tho
    AGS73FM | AGS | HOLLOW BODIES | PRODUCTS | Ibanez guitars

    i might try one out anyway and see if it’s got
    enough hollow body resonance going on
    but I kinda doubt it ....

  23. #22
    Thanks everyone for the roundup
    of all the options

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    ... if it was hollow body
    17th fret body join would give me the room up there i want tho ...
    The Ibanez AMH90 might suit you at US$700 without case. It's not semi-hollow like a Gibson ES-335; it doesn't have a full-length centerblock. Instead, it has two small soundposts to support the bridge mounting (studs through top) but is otherwise hollow. I don't own one, but I've played one at a store; it has a nice open sound, somewhat similar in character to an ES-330 with humbuckers. It would be on my shortlist if I needed another guitar.

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by dconeill;[URL="tel:1148169"
    1148169[/URL]]The Ibanez AMH90 might suit you at US$700 without case. It's not semi-hollow like a Gibson ES-335; it doesn't have a full-length centerblock. Instead, it has two small soundposts to support the bridge mounting (studs through top) but is otherwise hollow. I don't own one, but I've played one at a store; it has a nice open sound, somewhat similar in character to an ES-330 with humbuckers. It would be on my shortlist if I needed another guitar.
    that might just do it .....
    thanks so much Dc !

    was it loud enough acoustically to
    practice without an amp late at night ?

  26. #25

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    The PM2 also has pretty good upper fret access. Used you could find one around 700 euro I think.
    You won't find a PM100 under 1400 I'm afraid. On average they go for 1800-2200