Good Budget Archtop?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by progholio, Jan 12, 2008.


  1. progholio

    progholio Supporting Member

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    Sorry if this is a repeat thread but i am not find much information on this.

    Who makes the best archtop for well under a grand for someone who is a gigging rock musician but wants to study jazz as a hobby?
    I would like something that is a 2 pickup model since i can convert it into a rockabilly machine if the jazz standards don't work out for me. I will also consider a single pickup as i will mostly be using the neck pickup anyway.

    Models i am kicking around include:
    D'Angelico Excel series (new ones are very cheap right now from the importer)
    Cort Larry Coryell Signiture & Samick/Bennett Lasalle seem ultra cheap used.
    Older Korean Ibanez
    Epiphone Broadway or Emperor Joe Pass

    Or should i bite the bullet and go for something a little better like a used Hofner, Heritage or Eastman?

    Thanks
     
  2. Loni Specter

    Loni Specter Member

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  3. wrxplayer

    wrxplayer Supporting Member

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    I've got a Samick (Greg Bennett) RL5 that's akin to a es137 that plays really nicely and was not expensive. There's a line of jazz guitars that I suspect would also be nice playing and good value, but I've never played one. The JZ-4 in particular looks nice.

    http://www.gregbennettguitars.com/electricportal_lasalle.html

    Lots of reviews as well on HC.
     
  4. guitarfish

    guitarfish Member

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    The Grestch 5120's sell for $599 online. Can't beat it with a club.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. progholio

    progholio Supporting Member

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    That's a very cool looking instrument but i think i am looking for something a little more Wes and less Rev Heat.

     
  6. guitarfish

    guitarfish Member

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    Also check out the Epiphone Alleykat and Wildkat. Those are nice punchy little guitars. I this Alleykat below. The Wildkat's have a trem.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. frank62

    frank62 Member

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  8. johnzias

    johnzias Member

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    A few months back, and I would have recommended Tom DeVoe of Holiday, FL. I was about to ask him to build me my second DeVoe, but he seems to have disappeared from the face of the Earth! :-(

    An incredibly alive guitar for the mid 3k's.
     
  9. 900

    900 Member

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    Somehow, I wouldn't be surprised if he'd disappeared. He made me an archtop about six years ago. I was the worst guitar I ever bought. The guitar was 100% unplayable. The neck was warped like a rollercoaster. Filemarks everywhere. The nut a mess. I won't go into further details. Compared, you'd have to call an Epi Joe Pass a work of art.
    If I was living in the US, I would have traveled down to FL and broke that guitar on his head.
     
  10. leofenderbender

    leofenderbender Supporting Member

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  11. johnzias

    johnzias Member

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    I guess anyone can have a bad experience with anyone or anything. I'm sure the guy with a Porsche whose engine blew at 20k miles probably would like to drop his car on Porsche headquarters in Stuttgart too!
     
  12. dhdfoster

    dhdfoster Silver Supporting Member

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    Depending on what you mean by "budget" there are amazing deals to be had on Guilds. I just picked up a 1962 X175 for $1800. The one below is from the mid-70s and it only cost me about $950. Guild makes serious guitars. The budget imports are probably pretty good, but an older Guild will get you great construction, good, old wood, and probably real lacquer, depending on the year.
    [​IMG]


    This is my new '62. Sorry for the fuzzy pic, took it with my phone.


    [​IMG]


    Here's an X500, a more deluxe version of the X175 on Ebay.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-1970s-G...ryZ41436QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


    Or this?
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Rare-Vintage-19...ryZ41435QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    Okay, you get the idea.
     
  13. soldersucker

    soldersucker Member

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    I use a Washburn J-6 it fits your bill to a T.
     
  14. mrfjones

    mrfjones Member

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    I will second the old guild guitars. I have played lots and own none any longer but I wish I still did. If you really want a rockabilly guitar after the jazz guitar (which will work out for you by the way) try the DeArmond line. they have one or two with single coil pickups that are killer and one fully hollow with humbuckers. Replace the pickups with TV Jones and you will have a killer guitar for about $400-$500.
     
  15. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    I know a guy who has...and is looking to sell......a "lawsuit" ibanez L5 knockoff.

    Mighty fine pro-quality guitar. I think he wants $1K

    PM me if interested
     
  16. ddewees

    ddewees Supporting Member

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    Check out the Reverend Club King and Manta Ray models. Thinner than the other jazz boxes mentioned but the pups are very mellow. They also have the option of hum, p90 or filtron pups

    Heck even my Gil Parris with the chambered body seems capable of good jazz tones
     
  17. Boogs

    Boogs Member

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    I love my Ibanez AF105, though I did swap out the p/u to one that sounded darker than the stock one (which actually was quite lovely sounding in it's own right, just a different flavor).

    [​IMG]

    They also make a model with two pickups like a regular humbucker guitar, as opposed to the single "floating" pickup on mine.
     
  18. progholio

    progholio Supporting Member

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    Thank you to everyone who responded to this thread, i gathered lots of useful information. If anyone has anymore suggestions keep them comming, i am always interested in hearing them.
     
  19. mds

    mds Member

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    I'm not sure what your budget is, but old Japanese Ibanezes are amazing. Anything pre-1984 is superb. Anything at all MIJ by Ibanez is a great guitar, especially the archtops and semi-hollows...
     

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