Archtops vs semi-hollow

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Shredkratcher, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. Shredkratcher

    Shredkratcher Member

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    I have a Heritage Eagle archtop. Great guitar with an awesome jazzy sound. The problem is while playing with my drummer and bassist it feeds back easy. Perhaps if I could get the guys to turn down slightly but I don't see that happening any time soon. I had thought about trading the guitar towards a semi-hollow but don't have much experience with them. My question is, will I get more head room out of a semi-hollow vs a full hollow archtop?
     
  2. 6stringjazz

    6stringjazz Supporting Member

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    Yes, you will get more headroom. The tone will never be the same as the big box however. You might prefer the tone of the semi at higher volumes, as the big box gets "woofy" when played that loud. Also, you might consider "Doug's Plugs". They are custom made foam soundhole plugs that fit over your F holes, and they substatially reduce feedback. I have some and they work perfectly. They look like larger F holes when installed. Just do a search for them on google.
     
  3. Luke

    Luke Senior Member

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    I fought that battle last fall. I always wanted a true archtop, so I custom ordered one. I found it to be impossible to play the archtop in my context, I tried foam, balloons, electronic feedback eliminators, standing behind my amplifier, anything and everything I could find as a suggestion. I gave up, I sold the guitar at a significant loss and have returned to using a 335 inspired instrument combine with the balloon trick.
     
  4. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    I gig regularly with a '53 ES-175. It has a relatively thin -- and very lively -- top, AND we can get plenty loud.

    I had my guitar tech install sound posts under the bridge, and that helps tremendously. These are essentially tension-fit dowels that "connect" the top to the back, just under the bridge, at both the bass and treble sides.

    Of course, I still have to be prepared to mute the strings with my left hand, and watch my position relative to sound sources (stage monitors can be the worst), but it is a relatively painless, non-intrusive (and easily reversible) solution.

    Just a thought.
     
  5. Jim Soloway

    Jim Soloway Supporting Member

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    I've played archtops for about half my life. Never again. I got tired of the feedback, the fragility, and the size. I don't get as true an acoustic tone as I once did, but I can still get plenty of air and I love the added sustain and definition.
     
  6. Shredkratcher

    Shredkratcher Member

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    Thanks for the responses. Yeah I'm sure I'd lose some of that acoustic sound going semi hollow. Though our jazz combo is probably more leaning towards the rock side anyways...

    Maybe I'll check out Doug's Plugs first though. Thanks for the recommendation
     
  7. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

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    Lots of good suggestions already. A laminated box like an ES-175 will help some, and will have a much more traditional archtop tone than a 335 ever could. The Guild X-170 is a slightly shallower 16" laminated archtop with soundposts that could be a good option, too.
     
  8. exhaust_49

    exhaust_49 Member

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    I play classic rock and want a bit of a fuller, more woody sound without feedback. I've been told a semi hollow is perfect for that. I think I'm gonna try a cloud 9 Les Paul.
     
  9. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    Is your Heritage a solid top or laminated?

    If it's solid, you may have more luck with a lam top like a Gibson 175. You'll get a better archtop tone than a semi and less feedback.
     
  10. Shredkratcher

    Shredkratcher Member

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    I believe it is a solid top though I'm not sure.
     
  11. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    Got the Heritage catalog right here on my desktop. All Eagle models, and most of their other archtops, are solid carved tops.
     
  12. Shredkratcher

    Shredkratcher Member

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    Good point TravisE. I just don't think I'm ready to give up on this guitar yet. It really has a great sound and plays like butter. I'll admit I have some GAS for a semi-hollow lately but that can be an addition somewhere down the road perhaps.
     
  13. Notes

    Notes Member

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    Excuse my ignorance please. Could someone elaborate a little more about the differences between: ES-335 / ES-175? Thanks in advance.
     
  14. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    Re: ES335-175 differences

    Simplified answer--Completely different guitars. An ES335 has a thin body with a solid wood block running lengthwise through the body. The pickups and bridge are attached to this. Some ES335s can therefore have a stop tail bridge and tailpiece, though many also have trapeze type tailpieces. The hollow part is then above and below this block. More sustain, little or no feedback.

    An ES 175 is fully hollow with a much thicker body. The pickups are attached to the top, and the bridge is "floating" meanng it is not actually attached to the guitar, but is held in place by the strings. The strings attach to a trapeze type tailpiece which folds over the end of the body.

    Largely because of the difference is sustain, ES335's are more commonly used in blues and rock, ES175's in jazz--but of course either can be used quite well for the other. But when using a 175 or other hollow archtype for louder music in a band setting, feedback can occur, hence the point of this thread.
     
  15. gregit

    gregit Member

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    So what is this ballon trick?
     
  16. BuddyGuit

    BuddyGuit Supporting Member

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    I used to use a 1964 Howard Roberts Epiphone (I stillhave it by the way) then a mid 60's Gibson Super 400 (wish I still had it by the way) live. I just put rags in the body(s) one at a time till I found the righ balance ..... It worked for me.

    Buddy
     
  17. Notes

    Notes Member

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    Thanks Stevie!
     
  18. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

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    My X-500 has a funny thing that the F# on the A string goes into instant feeedback at moderate volumes but it is pretty well behaved in all the other areas. I fing that 10 inch speakers, stage position and eq make it managble.

    Steven Howe playes really loud (through two twins when I saw him years ago) and he manages to keep it undercontrol. Ted Nuggent also playes extreamly loud with a birdland (solid spruce top) and he was able to keep it under control.
     
  19. m_ujifusa

    m_ujifusa Member

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    dumb question, but I recently got an Epiphone Joe Pass (first Hollowbody type guitar) and have been having feedback problems. Any tips would be great..
     
  20. m_ujifusa

    m_ujifusa Member

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    no, I did read the thread. I guess I should have been more specific. What I was wondering is, is there a certain distance in front of my amp or place I can stand on stage that will help decrease feedback? Also, what are balloons? Any quick fixes besides sound posts or doug's plugs? Thanks for your help...
     

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