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  1. #1

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    Looking at getting a Holst archtop.
    The price I can afford is the laminated top and bottom.
    Can someone opine on this option.
    Thanks
    Last edited by jazzimprov; 05-12-2022 at 12:21 PM.

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  3. #2

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    The solid carved archtop depends on the skill of the builder. They can be rather variable, depending on the luthier and the sound (s)he's trying for. Laminates tend to be somewhat less variable. If one plays mostly, or entirely, amplified, the laminate makes a lot of sense. It's more resistant to feedback, and the acoustic sound matters much less. If one intends to play mostly or entirely acoustic, then a solid carved instrument is probably preferable. You should ask yourself whether you're going to be playing a lot of purely acoustic rhythm guitar, or recording unamplified acoustic guitar. If not, a laminated guitar may be the best choice. Laminated guitars weren't introduced solely to produce cheaper instruments, they were made to solve specific problems with early amplified guitar, mostly the feedback problem. Playing in a loud situation with a solid carved archtop can be difficult. I can't speak to Holst specifically, because I haven't had the opportunity to play one of his instruments, just speaking in general terms. Individual specimens can vary widely.

  4. #3

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    sgosnell speaks the truth. Holst is a highly regarded maker, and a good laminate instrument is a very useful instrument. My ES-175 has never let me down, nor have my Ibanez Artcores, nor my Epiphone Emperor Regent. You are making a good choice. Looking forward to your NGD!

  5. #4

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    If you play at louder volumes go for the laminate! I believe Stephen Holst makes his own laminate plates as well?
    Carved top and back instruments are prone to feedback in louder situations especially with a loud drummer.

    You should talk with Mr Holst as he has a long track record of building both for many players. Definitely a very qualified luthier!

    One more thought is I had a carved Archtop built Frans Elferink Tonemaster. But I requested thicker top and back ala Gibson Johnny Smith as opposed to the newer Benedetto thinner plates.
    This definitely cuts down on feedback, but it doesn’t vibrate acoustically as well. It’s always a trade off!

  6. #5

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    Here's my laminate Holst; Steve was great to work with, and his instrument is wonderful!

    Holst guitars-holst-jpg

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy
    Here's my laminate Holst; Steve was great to work with, and his instrument is wonderful!

    Holst guitars-holst-jpg
    A beauty....

    Ray

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy
    Here's my laminate Holst; Steve was great to work with, and his instrument is wonderful!

    Holst guitars-holst-jpg
    Such a lovely looking instrument !!

  9. #8

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    Laminate is not a dirty word in the world of jazz archtops.

    In many ways, laminates are better.

  10. #9

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    Stephen Holst is a wonderful luthier. His guitars give value for the money. You could easily spend $5500 to $6500 on other makers' laminated archtop guitars such as Roger Borys Hoboken, Roger Sadowsky Japan and Robert Benedetto Savannah.

    A laminated guitar has its own virtues. A drier sound, for one. Steve Holst makes his own laminated plates.

  11. #10

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    I was surprised to find my all-laminate Dupont Saint-Louis which I got made last year to be about my as loud acoustically as my all-solid Eastman AR604 CE. Really good dynamics too, it can serve as an acoustic guitar in and of itself (which is how I use it a lot of the time - and of course plugged in with the Lollar P90 it's spectacular). Not everyone cares for that characteristic in a laminate though. FWIW, as admittedly I haven't played the Eastman regularly for a long time, so it might well "wake up" with more more use.

  12. #11

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    I tend to prefer the sound of a laminate.

  13. #12

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    Well each is different and have different characters. Best to own one of each if possible. But I agree if only one go laminate, for feedback issues.
    If you do own another guitar solid body, then maybe choose the carved top. Especially if it’s for studio, or small ensemble gigs only.

  14. #13
    First of all. Wow man, Nice, I mean Stunning guitar.
    How is the neck, and how did you describe to him what you wanted in the neck profile.
    I like the JH Sadowsky or Ibanez PM2 neck.
    Can you post a few more shots.....?
    And specs...
    I don't really play out, so feed back is not really a consideration.
    I love the sound on my JH Sadowsky.....so maybe laminate is the way to go.

    I did talk with Steve. He said it does have less overtones and a quieter sound but you can make the body thicker to compensate a bit.
    (not crazy about the 10 month wait at least).
    I have an AF2000 coming in around July so I have to decide.

    Last edited by jazzimprov; 05-07-2022 at 03:11 PM.

  15. #14

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    A person cannot have too many guitars, can he/she? Having said that, since you already have a Sadowsky Jim Hall, I wonder if having another in much the same vein is redundant to your requirements. There is really nothing to choose between a Sadowsky Jim Hall, Borys B120, Holst 16".

    Stephen Holst does make a carved top with laminated back and rim for $4500, the last time I checked. If I had a Sadowsky Jim Hall already I would consider going in that direction.

  16. #15
    Well, my wife may take issue with not having enough guitars....
    Buy otherwise $3500 is about my max.
    The other option is just staying with the Ibanez AF2000 incoming.
    Any thoughts on the 2?
    The Ibanez is a nice all wood guitar coming in around $2300

  17. #16

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    I've been eyeballing Holst for some years now. Thanks for the positive feedback on his guitars.

    stephen holst archtop guitar gallery

    I might want to do a splurge on some kind of art guitar, and he has some beauties on his site.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzimprov
    Well, my wife may take issue with not having enough guitars....
    I guess Pat Martino was a lucky man in that respect as his 2nd wife was also a very good player..... and also played a Bendetto as did Pat.....

    Ray

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzimprov
    Well, my wife may take issue with not having enough guitars....
    Buy otherwise $3500 is about my max.
    The other option is just staying with the Ibanez AF2000 incoming.
    Any thoughts on the 2?
    The Ibanez is a nice all wood guitar coming in around $2300
    Not a patch on the Ibanez but treat yourself to getting something custom made just for you. You could even ask Steve Holst if he would make a laminated spruce or cedar top for you since he makes his own plates.

  20. #19

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    I've had a couple of Steve's laminate guitars. He does a beautiful job. I can't say enough good things about him.

    He is great to work with and his process is very thorough. He doesn't make "standard" models. He'll build what you want, within reason. If he thinks some aspect of your vision is not the best choice he'll let you know, but he doesn't impose his will on you. You can choose color, binding, pickups, scale, size, depth, neck carve, bridge design, tailpiece, headstock... the list goes on and on.

    He's very organized. He sends the customer a detailed spreadsheet with all these variables to fill in so you both know exactly what you ordered. He really tries to be accommodating and he'll build you a great guitar. Check out the variety of guitars he's built on his website. It's remarkable.

    If you're seriously considering ordering a guitar from Steve, I suggest you write out all your questions and give him a call. He's easy to talk to and he won't pressure you. He basically runs a one-man shop, so build times can vary. You might want to ask about that too. When you talk to him, tell him I said hi.

    Holst guitars-61981871_2282420368502658_8056712366387101696_n-jpgHolst guitars-holst-final-1-jpg

  21. #20

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    Hey, a custom guitar in 10 months is pretty darn good, actually! Be patient, and you will be pleased!

    As Jonathan mentioned, Steve is quite detailed, and wants to make sure the customer is pleased!

    Mine is 16" lower bout; 1 3/4" nut width; 24.9" scale length; with a Bareknuckle humbucker (his recommendation, and I love it! I've since put Bareknuckles on another guitar, too!). The neck is "slimmer" as opposed to "chunky," and it's really comfortable! [he'll do whatever you want]

    [My room is kinda dark, but you get the idea]

    Holst guitars-holst-front-close-jpgHolst guitars-holst-back-close-jpgHolst guitars-holst-front-jpg

  22. #21

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    Well they certainly are beautiful.

  23. #22

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    More info here.

  24. #23

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    Stephen says he’s got a 10 month wait list for new builds. Seemed like a very nice guy. I’m going to start a build for either a 17” or 18” guitar. Haven’t decided yet. Thanks for this thread!

  25. #24
    Yeah 10 months is what he told me as well

    Mark Campellone is 4 years.

    I am getting the specs together for my 16" laminate.

    His prices are very reasonable!

    Cancel the Af2000 order next.

    Now that I am at the age where time flies by, it won't be too long.

  26. #25

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    Holst has so many fabulous builds. He only charges $5k for either a 17 or 18” carved archtop. I know of no one who can meet his prices.

    The Cocobolo inlays and tailpiece edges are a very nice touch!

    Here’s a few.

    Holst guitars-7dc8fd07-66e0-4fcc-b716-71e07dfa3e42-jpeg
    Holst guitars-349b6d3a-6e29-4988-98f3-d1a54135c6b4-jpegHolst guitars-9e7c9969-e973-41d5-b424-a6fd0092bc72-jpegHolst guitars-c5175a83-2114-4986-b794-fd537995b838-jpegHolst guitars-30c2c7f1-a24a-4db1-b067-c094224f07ad-jpeg
    Holst guitars-419d1bd9-71b6-4559-a476-eacaaad8c7ee-jpegHolst guitars-bc85d1c3-e3db-48af-b498-0d72cca56447-jpegHolst guitars-065b8567-b781-489f-8b7a-b3cdf9f1c307-jpeg
    Attached Images Attached Images Holst guitars-a7de2d8f-db5e-42dc-8dd2-8570dd8504d3-jpeg Holst guitars-21a975cb-e227-42c9-ab16-2fcd3c9bd960-jpeg