ordered in june, delivered in october : a 17" archtop by NYC luthier Victor Baker. i wanted a plywood-top archtop with a built-in pickup for gigging and went with Victor because i like his aesthetics and the fact that he is a gigging musician as well as a luthier with a good 10 years experience. he knows what counts on stage ... the guitar has a 3-ply maple top and back (he makes his own plates), solid maple sides and neck, ebony appointments, all maple binding. the sides are 2,5" so just a little more than on a Gibson Byrdland. this makes for a comfortable guitar despite the large 17" body width. the guitar has surprising acoustic volume, very nice balance and articulation and the Armstrong PAF translates this into a fat, balanced and warm electric tone- just what i wanted. strung with 013 - 054 Thomastik flatwounds it is very playable, both fingerstyle and with a pick. i will throw out the thumbwheel controls though because after 3 gigs with this instrument i now know that top-mounted controls are much more suitable for me. Victor got the color exactly right from the samples i sent him and the wavy grain of the maple has great depth - the second pic shows the color a little more accurately. my cost including shipping was just under 4 grand and i think that is a good and totally acceptable price for a custom made archtop. a carved top guitar with these features would cost 2 to 3 thousand more and would not necessarily give me the tone i want. i'm pleased with it and can only encourage others who are looking for a similar type of instrument to contact Victor.