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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by GNAPPI
    what turns tire kickers into buyers (or not) always mystified me. IMO the visual part trumps sound in too many cases.
    Heh, as we used to say about my particular motorcycle model, the red ones are faster (but the silver ones you can take to the opera). Something like that?

    I was going to add a please don't tell me no one dresses up like their idols as you see with motorcycle fanatics ... and then remembered a certain Joe must be making a good buck selling just that...

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    I never had a Gibson HR. Wish I had bought one when they were unpopular and cheap. I'm curious what Eastman has experienced with their oval hole models. They sound really good but appear to be waning in the face of traditional archtops. Not to mention Eastman discovering they can make more money with less skill on rock guitars.

    I do have 4 oval hole archtops (counting the gypsy jazz model). At the volume levels I play at feedback isn't an issue. A sound hole (plus port) is a way to get a more complex and acoustic archtop sound without putting up the cash for a high end archtop maker.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    I never had a Gibson HR. Wish I had bought one when they were unpopular and cheap. I'm curious what Eastman has experienced with their oval hole models. They sound really good but appear to be waning in the face of traditional archtops. Not to mention Eastman discovering they can make more money with less skill on rock guitars.

    I do have 4 oval hole archtops (counting the gypsy jazz model). At the volume levels I play at feedback isn't an issue. A sound hole (plus port) is a way to get a more complex and acoustic archtop sound without putting up the cash for a high end archtop maker.
    if you look around you can get a 70s or 80s Ibanez model for around $1000 that's pretty much the same guitar

    Ibanez Howard Roberts Sunburst > Guitars Electric Solid Body | Imperial Vintage Guitars (gbase.com)

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    I never had a Gibson HR. Wish I had bought one when they were unpopular and cheap. I'm curious what Eastman has experienced with their oval hole models. They sound really good but appear to be waning in the face of traditional archtops. Not to mention Eastman discovering they can make more money with less skill on rock guitars.

    I do have 4 oval hole archtops (counting the gypsy jazz model). At the volume levels I play at feedback isn't an issue. A sound hole (plus port) is a way to get a more complex and acoustic archtop sound without putting up the cash for a high end archtop maker.
    Gibson has started marketing their sound port flattops quite a bit.

    Gibson debuts the Generation Collection, the company's first acoustics to feature its new Player Port secondary soundhole | Guitar World

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    if you look around you can get a 70s or 80s Ibanez model for around $1000 that's pretty much the same guitar

    Ibanez Howard Roberts Sunburst > Guitars Electric Solid Body | Imperial Vintage Guitars (gbase.com)
    Great suggestion. For someone looking in that price range, I'm thinking this would be a good way to go as a main instrument. While I haven't played one, would certainly be something to consider over one of the current Ibanez or Korean D'Angelico archtops.

    As for me, we have reached peak guitar. There is simply no space for more gear. I should sell some. But then I would have fewer.

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    I've been a little surprised the Martin and Taylor haven't done more of this. Sound ports make a huge difference. You lose nothing while gaining a lot. Would like to play one even though I find their 'secondary sound hole' nomenclature odd and the claim that a 'player port' is innovative a bit disingenuous.

  8. #57

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    Thank you Marty for sending the video of Howard. I loved it!

  9. #58

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    Speaking of Howard Roberts - Al Lubesjeski of WQLN radio Erie, Pa (91.3 FM) will play some of HR's music on his excellent "Jazz, Ballads, and Blues" program this Sunday evening. Al's broadcasts are always interesting, and I'm sure this will be no exception. Listen online at WQLN Public Media - Listen Live to 91.3FM .

  10. #59

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    Here's an Epi HR coming up for auction in Illinois USA in about a week (It has the wrong tailpiece maybe?)...
    Why didn't the Howard Roberts guitar design prevail?-3b26a9a8-af1e-4df2-a653-599a3399a857_1_201_a-jpeg
    1968 Howard Roberts Epiphone Electric Guitar (#0457) on Dec 12, 2021 | Leonard Auction, Inc. in IL

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Great suggestion. For someone looking in that price range, I'm thinking this would be a good way to go as a main instrument. While I haven't played one, would certainly be something to consider over one of the current Ibanez or Korean D'Angelico archtops.

    As for me, we have reached peak guitar. There is simply no space for more gear. I should sell some. But then I would have fewer.
    ”Peak guitar” LOL…

    So you say…

    Well I still have about 80% of the walls that don’t have guitars hanging on them, so I still have a ways to go…

  12. #61

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    BTW got this at an estate sale yesterday—some cool midcentury furniture, but WAY overpriced. The good stuff was sold before I got there at noon anyway.

    As you can tell from the back cover, Howard Roberts and the rest of the Wrecking Crew guys contributed. There are no individual credits on the album, so hope I can make out who was playing what.

    Why didn't the Howard Roberts guitar design prevail?-7b742d96-441c-4992-babf-795c6eaf341e-jpeg

    Why didn't the Howard Roberts guitar design prevail?-bb0731a4-8844-4f61-a441-b5ff89715d39-jpeg

    My cat seems to find it somewhat interesting, at least. Must be a Jazz Cat.

    Found it streaming on Youtube as well…nope can’t tell who’s playing what…


  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy2grasp
    Here's an Epi HR coming up for auction in Illinois USA in about a week (It has the wrong tailpiece maybe?)...
    1968 Howard Roberts Epiphone Electric Guitar (#0457) on Dec 12, 2021 | Leonard Auction, Inc. in IL
    Easy, that is the exceptionally-rare Epiphone Howard Roberts Custom.
    > Solid top
    > 25.5" scale with ebony fingerboard
    > Tree-of-life peghead
    > Extra binding around the soundhole,top and back

    I had a medium-long run through Gibson large-hole 1929-1935 L-4 and L-75 archtops. They are unique and hit the mark they're aiming for, which is more than can be said about many instruments. For that reason I've long been attracted to the Epi Howard Roberts even though I'm not drawn to solid top / laminated back & sides. But HR Customs were always out of my range and now even the Standards are more costly than I like to wager on. It looks like that ship has sailed past my house.

    As for "Why was the Gibson HR never successful?," the response is, "How big is the market for a pricey, outside-of-the-box plywood archtop?" The Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel, Al Caiola and Howard Roberts guitars are all well made and people say that they do well at what they do. But chances are very low that you'll simply stumble into one. You have to say, "I really want to pay to show up with that one!"

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Sherry
    Easy, that is the exceptionally-rare Epiphone Howard Roberts Custom.
    > Solid top
    > 25.5" scale with ebony fingerboard
    > Tree-of-life peghead
    > Extra binding around the soundhole,top and back

    I had a medium-long run through Gibson large-hole 1929-1935 L-4 and L-75 archtops. They are unique and hit the mark they're aiming for, which is more than can be said about many instruments. For that reason I've long been attracted to the Epi Howard Roberts even though I'm not drawn to solid top / laminated back & sides. But HR Customs were always out of my range and now even the Standards are more costly than I like to wager on. It looks like that ship has sailed past my house.

    As for "Why was the Gibson HR never successful?," the response is, "How big is the market for a pricey, outside-of-the-box plywood archtop?" The Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel, Al Caiola and Howard Roberts guitars are all well made and people say that they do well at what they do. But chances are very low that you'll simply stumble into one. You have to say, "I really want to pay to show up with that one!"
    In the scientific world we call those evolutionary dead ends. Kind of like the Dusk Tiger.

  15. #64

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    Now put one f-hole on that bad boy and you might have something!

    Why didn't the Howard Roberts guitar design prevail?-dusktiger-jpg

  16. #65

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    I picked up an Ibanez Lawsuit copy a few years ago and gave it to my father. It looked a lot like this, although not quite so mint. It sounds great, but has really small frets. Had I kept it, I would have to have needed to have it refretted for my heavy handed approach.

    Edit:Just found a picture of mine.

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by iowa
    I picked up an Ibanez Lawsuit copy a few years ago and gave it to my father. It looked a lot like this, although not quite so mint. It sounds great, but has really small frets. Had I kept it, I would have to have needed to have it refretted for my heavy handed approach.

    Edit:Just found a picture of mine.
    A beauty, for sure!

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    Rotem Sivan still uses his modded HR :

    Rotem is who I now most closely associate with the HR model. His YouTube channel is great btw.

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy2grasp
    Here's an Epi HR coming up for auction in Illinois USA in about a week (It has the wrong tailpiece maybe?)...
    Why didn't the Howard Roberts guitar design prevail?-3b26a9a8-af1e-4df2-a653-599a3399a857_1_201_a-jpeg
    1968 Howard Roberts Epiphone Electric Guitar (#0457) on Dec 12, 2021 | Leonard Auction, Inc. in IL
    It sold for just under $3000 with buyer's premium included. Somebody got a great deal and a cool guitar. Hopefully one of us!

  20. #69

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    A poorly digitized slide of my 1967 Epi HR Standard bought in 1982 if I remember correctly.
    Why didn't the Howard Roberts guitar design prevail?-epi-howard-roberts-2-jpg
    It had a spruce top, a comfortable neck (not the "pencil neck" usually found on Gibson/Epiphone guitars of these years) with a medium scale unlike indicated in the 66 catalog. The acoustic sound was very nice similar to any Gibson f hole spruce top of this size, perhaps a bit more perceptible by the player, but rather different from the Gibson HR . You can see strictly acoustic versions in Standard and Custom in the 66 catalog (never seen one other than in pictures) The pickup was a suspended mini humbucking, with, no wonder, a tad more high end than a Gibson HB.
    Afterwards I bought a 70 Johnny Smith and a 85 Ibanez GB10 with similar PUs. I sold them but kept my Epi. The only good reason to part with it was 12 years ago when I had the opportunity to exchange it for a 1938 ES150 !
    These Epi HR are great!