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Jazz archtop guitar to play gipsy jazz/manouche?

245

Comments

  • ChiefbigeasyChiefbigeasy New Orleans, LA✭✭✭ Dupont MDC 50; The Loar LH6, AJL Silent Guitar
    Posts: 341
    Simply put, nothing's going to sound like playing on a Selmer or Mac style guitar than those guitars themselves (unless Roland guitar synths have added a Django mode). That said, my Loar arch top acoustic (copy of a Gibson L5) strung with bronze GJ strings sounds pretty good, especially for rhythm. Otherwise, Django himself moved on to electric sounds after awhile.
  • plexi69plexi69 New
    Posts: 75
    I have a 1920 Gibson O1 that sounds really good for Gypsy. I also have found that a National resonator sounds great for Gypsy, ala Oscar Aleman. Any good sounding guitar will sound good.
    I am sure Django would have kicked ass with a Les Paul and Marshall stack.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,154
    If you're talking about acoustic playing, then it's pretty tough to find an archtop with enough acoustic volume. Most archtops built after the mid to late 40s were constructed with the idea that they would be used with pickups so they tend to be fairly overbuilt and a bit dead when played acoustically.

    However, pre-war archtops can have quite a lot of punch. Especially Epiphones and the early 16" Gibson L5s. I find that having a cutaway really negatively impacts archtops acoustic projection (doesn't seem to matter as much on a Gypsy guitar.) So the non-cut models are usually best. I'm really partial to these Eastman acoustic archtops which are loud enough for Gypsy playing and have a nice tone too: http://www.djangobooks.com/Item/eastman-ar610
  • fourowlsfourowls Brisbane, Queensland, AustraliaNew Petrarca Grande Bouche
    Posts: 72
    Thanks Michael
    As usual a great response! I actually have eyed off the Eastmans too, oh and about a dozen guitars on your site!! Happy New Year to you!
    MichaelHorowitz
  • edited January 2017 Posts: 3,707
    There are some very nice modern archtops that are very responsive and as loud as a Busato. Unfortunately, they now are in the same price bracket as a pre war Selmac and go higher.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    edited January 2017 Posts: 357
    I'll second Michael's take on the Eastmans and add that the all-solid Loars are not bad, either, and siignificantly cheaper--they're roughly based on 16-inch Gibsons, while Eastman seems to have taken Epiphones as their inspiration, particularly in the Jim Fisch series. The Loars are not as refined sonically as the Eastmans, though--at least, based on my sample of one 16-inch example of each. (Eastman AR805CE and Loar LH-600).

    Oh, and a question for Michael--How do you have the archtops in the demo recordings strung? I've noticed a significant difference between lights and mediums and flat- and round-wounds on every archtop I've ever played. For purely acoustic playing, I find that 13-56 (or heavier) phosphor bronze sets are optimal for all my archtops. If I'm amplified, 12-54 DR Zebras work well and are not-too-bad for acoustic playing. But flatwounds and nickel sets don't cut it.
  • Like others said, if you're bitten by the bug, nothing will stop it but a GJ guitar. No need to fight it.
    Jazzaferri
  • fourowlsfourowls Brisbane, Queensland, AustraliaNew Petrarca Grande Bouche
    Posts: 72
    rgrice wrote: »
    Like others said, if you're bitten by the bug, nothing will stop it but a GJ guitar. No need to fight it.
    Ahhh Mr Grice...I fear that you are true! The GJ bug is a particular strain of musical affliction! However a lot of good advice out there though, and those people who can't afford a nice GJ guitar and have to make do (they probably spend more time practicing and are better than me anyway!). I have heard great music from many GJ greats on an archtop. At the end of the day, our mind is hard to please or fool! I have tried many times to get interested in an electric, but just lose the sense of legitimacy (for me anyway). Cheers!
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,154

    Oh, and a question for Michael--How do you have the archtops in the demo recordings strung?

    They just have the factory strings on them which are pretty well all D'Addario Nickel 12 gauge except for the AR610 which has bronze 12 gauge strings.

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    edited January 2017 Posts: 6,154
    Speaking of archtops, we have this super cool Collings AT-16 Koa model coming into the shop. Drop dead gorgeous...

    qas60ix3vwbq.jpg


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