Seeking recommendation on archtop good for GJ- Loar maybe ?

I would like to find an archtop guitar which would be good for rhythm guitar playing for GJ music...while I realize none of them would probably have the projection of GJ designed guitar, in my heart I really love the looks and sound of the archtop. In the past, I have owned a Gibson super400, but I am not willing to put out that kind of money (my limit would be $1k) I am curious about the Loar brand. I would appreciate getting responses from those of you who own or have owned a Loar or similarly priced guitar and what you thought of them. Thanks in advance.


  • geese_comgeese_com Madison, WINew 503
    Posts: 466
    It might be a little more than your budget but I would recommend the old Joe Pass signature Ibanez JP-20. I used to own one and I would practice gypsy jazz with it when I did not want to be very loud. It felt and sounded great for the style.

    Dorado Schmitt used to play one:

    Christophe Lartilleux plays one as well:
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,320
    I'd recommend a non-cutaway if you are looking for strictly rhythm. Something designed around the old 16" Gibsons. Try before you buy if possible. Some good some not so good.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,154
    It's actually very difficult to find a good acoustic archtop as most today are built more as electro-acoustic instruments, so they are more optimized for amplified sound and lack the volume and tone of the pre-war Gibsons, Epiphones, etc. The best choice under $2K is the Eastman AR805 or AR610. Both are fully acoustic and produce acoustic volume rivaling that of a Gypsy guitar. You'll find with archtops that the non-cutaway models are the way to go for acoustic playing. Archtops tend to loose a substantial amount of acoustic volume with a cutaway. The few other options in this price range I've found tend to be subpar, lacking the tone/volume as well as the meticulous build quality of the Eastmans.
    BonesMehran s
  • larryllarryl New
    Posts: 35
    Interesting ! I have an Epiphone Regent from 1997 or so...perhaps I should pull it out and give it a try. I also have a 70s Ibanez l5 copy that is a wonderful guitar plugged in, but not much volume acoustic wise. Thanks for your input...I have read a lot about the Loar 600 and 700s and there sure is a mixed bag of reviews about them, but I am still tempted by one of them..Paul Mehling sure liked them. Sounds as if with a proper set up they are decent for the money.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,320
    I love archtops especially for rhythm. They have this "thud" for lack of a better term that is really cool. But VERY hard to find one with the volume of a Selmac which is a problem especially if you are trying to amplify it.
  • larryllarryl New
    Posts: 35
    Michael, thanks for taking the time to give me your input...I have owned a couple of Eastmans in the past and was amazed at the quality of the instruments for the price. I will definately look into the two Eastmans you mentioned.
  • ChrisMartinChrisMartin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Di Mauro x2, Petrarca, Genovesi, Burns, Kremona Zornitsa & Paul Beuscher resonator.
    Posts: 959
    Depending on where you are I would recommend trying some of the old German archtops. They are plentiful in Europe at least. I have played a few and still have a Hofner Committee and a Hoyer Solist. Even with a cutaway these can be very loud, readily available as acoustic models (ie without pickup holes in the top) and well within your budget. Two points to check though, neck width can vary, my Hofner is 46mm at the nut, but I recently sold a Framus with a 42mm nut (felt like a Les Paul); and the other thing to check is the stability of the neck joint as these makers used traditional animal glue right through the '50s and '60s and they have a tendency to creep slightly. When that happens over time a common fix was to shave down the bridge to restore the action until eventually there is nothing left, but a neck reset on these is quite easy. A quick search for Framus, Glassl, Hofner, Hopf, Hoyer, Klira or Lang on ebay or Reverb should turn up a few.
  • swiesslerswiessler NorCalNew Dupont MD20,Gibson L5,Bumgarner F hole(DiMauro type)
    Posts: 76
    Don't forget the old 2nd tier American guitars! some of the old Kay, Vega,
    etc guitars were made with great tone woods and can be had for literally a song. I have a '40's Kay uncut arch top that is a top player. Yes I spent some money to upgrade, but it plays like many of the top guitars of the era. I have played that guitar for forty plus years. I have a '30's Gibson L5, and a '50's
    Gibson L5, but I still find reasons to play the Kay!
  • Posts: 283
    I have a loar 300. It it's pretty loud. Yes there are mixed reviews. But I got mine used for 300 CAD. Well wiorh the money.
  • larryllarryl New
    Posts: 35
    i just purchased a 60s Kay that I think will fill the bill for me..thanks for the heads up on going that direction.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Home  |  Forum  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  206-528-9873
The Premier Gypsy Jazz Marketplace
Banner Adverts
Sell Your Guitar
© 2024, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2024 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.016226 Seconds Memory Usage: 0.998657 Megabytes