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  1. #1

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    How are you? I'm searching for an Comins Archtop (Concert or classic) in a very good condition. I live in Europe and it's impossible get one here (I'm searching one for years....)

    Thanks my friends!!



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  3. #2

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    Good luck with your search. I bought Concert 266 with a Hoffee CF Case off an ubermensch here a few years ago. One of my best purchases ever. They are out there so I wish you patience. Keep on looking.

    A custom new Stephen Holst is in the ballpark of a used Comins Concert so I encourage you not to wait but to contact Mr. Holst. Holst flies much under the radar and in stock market talk, currently undervalued for what he offers.

    I love my Comins Concert but for the generosity of my ubermensch won't be able to afford one at its original price which I feel is fully justified for its quality. I am skint, that is all.

    Any Comins Archtop here?-ewh6dmczprul4mq5slls-jpg

    Comins 16" Concert Model Archtop Guitar No. 0266 | Sound | Reverb

  4. #3

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    By the way, you live in the British Isles, no longer in Europe. I hope you haven't been fiddling while London exits...

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    By the way, you live in the British Isles, no longer in Europe. I hope you haven't been fiddling while London exits...
    Still Europe,just not EU anymore(soon).

  6. #5

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    May I suggest Franz Elferink in the Netherlands. I've played many fine makers instruments D'Aquisto, Comins, Benedetto, Campellone, Buscarino, Megas, etc.
    And while all are excellent my Elferink is in that league of archtop build.

    I went with Franz since the Euro was very favorable to the US Dollar at the at time. I've gigged my Tonemaster for over 5 years and am still happy with my choice!
    Check out his website and listen to some audio clips as well.
    Very easy to deal with and will customize your build to your specs.

  7. #6

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    Hi people!

    Thank you very much for the answers. You help me a lot. The thing is that here in Europe only the GCS models are available ( ihave an GCS-1Es) but i really want to try an archtop from Bill!. It will be great!

    The problem too is that here the custom are about 25% and ordering direct is a really expensive thing.. (but i know Bill's guitars are the best of the best).

    Jabberwocky: I don't know anything of Stephen Holst. I will look their guitars.

    Jads57: thank for the recomendation. I asked a couple of things to Frank and i think it's more affordable buy from he here in Europe. What's your Tonemaster about? I saw an Moderne that was a beauty and the Jesse van Ruller model...

    Thanks for your support

  8. #7

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    I asked Franz to build me one of his Tonemaster archtop models models as the platform with some modifications as follows

    Depth 2&1/2" to 3" tapered body, thicker top and back in the Johnny Smith Gibson tradition, traditional 5 ply black and white binding. 25 & 1/2" scale length, 1&3/4" width neck, and a fatter depth profile. 5 peice maple neck as well

    The guitar came with Gotoh 510 gold tuners and a USA Kent Armstrong 12 pole peice floater PAF pickup. Hiscox case
    I opted for a Natural finish

    Sorry but not sure how to post the pic from Elferink facebook photos.

  9. #8

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  10. #9

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    Remember this guys in Europe and has to pay a hefty import fee, 25% is what he posted. That's why I recommended Franz Elferink to him.
    There are other fine archtop luthiers as well in Europe.

  11. #10

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    He has to pay VAT and import duty in the UK, too, on European guitars. Looking strictly at price alone, with VAT, Elferink's guitars aren't any lower priced than an imported Holst. A $4500 Holst and 20% VAT is $5400 = EURO 4580.50. Import duty is about 5% on both American and European guitars. I think only UK guitars are free of import duty.

    VAT or import duty, he has to pay one or the other or both.

    I am not saying that he should not consider an Elferink. He should not allow import duty to dissuade him from considering an American guitar because it all works out about the same at the end of the day once you factor in VAT. Elferink occupies the same price bracket as Holst.
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 11-11-2020 at 05:30 AM.

  12. #11

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    Thanks to all for your comments: you help me a lot!!

    jads57: thanks for the information about your custom Elferink but for me, all the measures that you told are alchemy (because i don't understand this level of detail) . How you learned what modificacions are the best for you?
    It's incredible all your Knoledge about archtops. Is It your custom guitar a night And day new compared to the normal Tone master? Thanks.

    Jabberwocky: did you play any Holst's guitar? They look incredible And It has a semblance with the comins concert.... In my case if i order an American guitar i Will have to pay the Usa VAT And the Euro customs (25%). If i order an European guitar, i Will have to pay the VAT (21%)

  13. #12

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    You need to get familiar with basic Gibson Archtops from L-5, Johnny Smith, etc. As well as play a few more modern Archtops in the Benedetto style 25" scale and thinner tops and backs. Eastman 810CE is a good basic Benedetto 17"×3" archtop designed guitar.

    Then figure out which you feel most comfortable playing body size 16",17" are the most common. But there are smaller from 14" to 18" as well available.
    Then figure which depth from 2" to say 3&1/2" for the appropriate body size.

    Neck shapes and widths are also a personal thing. 1&11/16ths Gibson, 1&3/4" are also common for most builds. Again narrower or wider are sometimes used as well.
    Back shape, thinner or fatter depending on width and left hand comfort. I like bigger or fatter shape necks personally. Generally .90" at 1st fret depth to 1.0" at 12th fret.

    Built in pickup or Floater? Each have their identities and tone associated with them as well. No best, just personal preference. I like both but built in is probably a good default choice, such as a neck humbucker.

    Then tail peice, tuners, bridge choices, etc. Everybody has their choices and string types from flatwound ,round wound, even bronze strings.
    This why we all compare our toys all day and night long around here LOL!

  14. #13

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    Thank you very much for the answer jade s57. It really is a great help to me!!!

    I have an ES175 1959 reissue from 2014 and I a year ago i sold a Godin 5th avenue jazz.

    When you mean "1 & 11 / 16ths Gibson, 1 & 3/4" is the same at 24.75 ", 25" and 25.5 inches?

    In relation to the pickup I think that with a humbucker it is a bit easier to mask the performance errors, right?

    Thank you very much for the help!!

    I will continue to investigate.


  15. #14

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    Width at nut 1&11/16ths" or 1&3/4"
    Scale length from nut to bridge. 24&3/4",25", 25&1/2"

    Your Gibson ES- 175 is 1&11/16ths " nut width and 24&3/4" scale length
    The body size is 16" at lower bout and deeper at about 3&1/2" approx.

  16. #15

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    Excellent!!!!! I Will compare my guitars width And i Will read a little about It.. Thanks jads57!!

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazznero
    Excellent!!!!! I Will compare my guitars width And i Will read a little about It.. Thanks jads57!!

    I am thinking to sell my Elferink Tonemaster, because I could actually use the money... And I was thinking of getting a Gcs Comins to get a cheaper guitar if you want to trade and compensate let me know! I can send you recordings and pictures if you're interested. I was thinking of selling it 3000 euros and it has Lollars Low wind imperials on it.
    I am living in France so I think it is doable...

    let me know!
    Attached Images Attached Images Any Comins Archtop here?-e29096e6-a7a1-4de1-9069-559f8f53d043-jpg 

  18. #17

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    Have you seen this 1998 Classic Comins on Reverb: Comins Classic USA 1998 Sunburst | Phil's Guitar Shop | Reverb It just came up in my feed. It looks nice except it has some dents, one of which looks like it penetrates into the wood. Not sure how much it would cost to get it to you with shipping and duties, etc.