The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Posts 1 to 25 of 40
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    US archtops, including used ones, have gone out the roof in price recently. Looking into alternatives to that market one might note that the yen has plummeted against the dollar. Makes Japanese sellers and guitars a lot more attractive. I've heard several times that Westville are among the better Japanese archtops in terms of construction. What do folks think about their necks, electronics, and most of all sound? I'm looking for something more the ES175 end of the spectrum.

    Last edited by Spook410; 06-13-2022 at 06:18 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Perhaps I shouldn't respond to this thread. I've never played a Westville guitar. But I have dealt with Masaki Nishimura who I believe owns and
    operates Westville Guitars as well as Archtop Tribute and Walkin Guitar Shop. Masaki is a class act and a pleasure to do business with.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    I have an Archtop Tribute AT105J that is a joy to play. Fit and finish are top shelf.


  5. #4
    I have got a solar model (15ish inch lower bout jazz box). Playability is top notch compare to traditional model from gibson, etc. Pretty loud acoustically. But very proud to finish damage.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Westville Aruba owner here with the CC style rail pickup. Lovely instrument, fine craftsmanship, sounds great, personalized and impeccable service. Ditto on the AT models that I’ve played. You can follow Walkin’ on FB for updates and new models.

    Japanese Westville Insights?-aruba-jpg
    Last edited by JazzPadd; 06-14-2022 at 08:16 AM.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    I visited Walkin while in Japan in 2019 and got to play a number of guitars across the range of their offerings. They were all excellent with top notch fit and finish. The Archtop Tribute 330 copy was one of my favorites. Masaki was really nice and great to talk to too. We happened to be there during Typhoon Hagibis and he gave us to some advise for staying safe and what to expect. A few friends out here have purchased Westvilles and had them shipped over. They're amazingly consistent.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    I've been eyeing the Aruba for years, with it's Borys B-120 ish configuration! If I didn't have my Holst laminate, I'd have one!
    Here's Jesse Van Ruler playing what appears to be a Westville Aruba ($3265 USD + shipping)! Solo starts around min: 2:25


  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    I own a Westville Corona Special YO (Yosuke Osuma). Great guitar. Friend of mine has a Westville Solar. Necks are Gibson late '59. I know Masaki well. He is a great guy and knows his stuff. Price/quality of Westville guitars is excellent.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Don't you get a price premium for the Made in Japan compared to, say, made in Korea?

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    I don't think so. These are handmade guitars with top quality woods.

  12. #11
    Thanks for the feedback.

    Sent in questions on the Aruba model. With a used Gibson ES175 going for $3.5K to $4.5K these are starting to look like a bargain. Won't have the resale but as I never seem to get around to selling guitars I think I care more about fit and function. Also.. yen won't stay at current values for all that long. And I do like the tone Jesse Van Ruler is getting.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    +1 on the yen situation. I was married in Japan almost 30 years ago, and I'm in Hamamatsu now. (Nicknamed "Music City Japan" by the city council, mostly because Yamaha Music, Kawai pianos, and Tokai and some other music companies are headquartered here. Roland also has a big R&D facility here.)

    Anyhow, in that time I've watched the yen swing from about 82 to I think it was 135 per dollar earlier this week. It's a really good time to spend US dollars here.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Flat
    ..It's a really good time to spend US dollars here.
    It's currently at 74 (.0074 to the dollar). If I can sort this out thinking now would be the time..

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    The actual numbers get confusing...things like interbank rates versus rates available to an average guy. But just for reference...

    Dollar Yen Exchange Rate (USD JPY) - Historical Chart | MacroTrends

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by stevus
    I don't think so. These are handmade guitars with top quality woods.
    I don't doubt that, and I don't doubt that an instrument hand-made in Japan will have a more beautifully perfect finish (overall, not just the varnish/lacquer) than one made in many other Asian countries. That doesn't necesarily say much about how they sound, and I do doubt that Japan ranks among the Asian countries with the lowest wages.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by RJVB
    I don't doubt that, and I don't doubt that an instrument hand-made in Japan will have a more beautifully perfect finish (overall, not just the varnish/lacquer) than one made in many other Asian countries. That doesn't necesarily say much about how they sound, and I do doubt that Japan ranks among the Asian countries with the lowest wages.
    True, but hand-build guitars from Europe and the US also aren't cheap. Before COVID -19 I spoke with Romain Pilon about my Westville guitar. He knows the model as one of his students has one. I think he nailed it when he said that when you take that guitar in your hands for the first time it feels as if you have played it already for many years. Sound, feel, build quality, everything matters (to me).

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    I recently had a Japanese Seventy Seven; the fit and finish was flawless. I'd imagine you can't go wrong.

    Perhaps the sound can be a bit crisp; I picked that up from listening to the video. The trebles seemed a little OP but I would expect that from a guitar of this size and origin.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by telephone
    I have an Archtop Tribute AT105J that is a joy to play. Fit and finish are top shelf.


    Something looks different about the shape of that guitar compared to a 175. Almost smaller, or maybe the f-holes are in a different position.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    I believe that model is based on the Gibson es 140. I’ve been wanting a single pickup version

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    I recently had a Japanese Seventy Seven; the fit and finish was flawless. I'd imagine you can't go wrong.

    Perhaps the sound can be a bit crisp; I picked that up from listening to the video. The trebles seemed a little OP but I would expect that from a guitar of this size and origin.
    What did you get?

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by marcocheng310
    I have got a solar model (15ish inch lower bout jazz box). Playability is top notch compare to traditional model from gibson, etc. Pretty loud acoustically. But very proud to finish damage.

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    What did you get?
    Just the Stork STD.

    I've been drooling over this for some time.

    Seventy Seven Hawk custom Sakura

    I think what Seventy Seven are doing in Japan (not the cheaper JT series), is some of the finest 'affordable' guitars, to come out of the country. Their paint jobs are some of the nicest finishes I've seen.

    That being said. all the Japanese guitars I've played, post 70's, tend to be a bit bright and quite crisp sounding. They are a different flavour to some degree.
    Last edited by ArchtopHeaven; 06-15-2022 at 06:08 PM.

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by JazzPadd
    Westville Aruba owner here ...
    So JP.. what do you think about the Westville CC pickup vs the Armstrong in the base model vs. a Gibson 57 HB? Guessing the 'PAF' pickup in the Sadowsky Jim Hall model the Aruba is patterned after is closer to the Gibson.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    I have Westville Vanguard , which is solid wood semi-hollow/chambered instrument. Can vouch for all the good words that people are saying: I love the design, quality and playability- all top notch. The neck is similar to 59 Gibson, truss rod is one way. Acoustically the guitar is quite dead, but this is not unexpected. Plugged in you have modern electric sound from Ken Armstrong handwound pickups, a lot of sustain and zero feedback. Masaki (the owner of the company) is super responsive - had to ask him for a bespoke spare part and he sorted it out in no time. The main criticism: the lacquer is super brittle- very easy to put a ding, the guitar is quite heavy for a semi, the wiring is a bit messy. Regardless, this is a top quality instrument that is quite unique, and a joy to play, and it came in a blue case

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Yes, the blue quality case is a bonus!