SOMEBODY needs to buy this archtop...

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Dave Orban, Jul 21, 2006.


  1. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,855
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Trenton, NJ
  2. HammyD

    HammyD Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,753
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Very, very cool!! i played a Lee Ritneour L-5 which is 15/5" and a 25-1/2" scale and absolutely loved everything but the price tag! (Which I would gladly pay if I could afford it!)
     
  3. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,855
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Trenton, NJ
    Believe me when I tell you, this handily blows away any contemporary Gibby you may have played...

    A 25-1/2" scale is the ONLY thing that would have "improved" this one, at least for me. (Oh, and MAYBE P90s...!) LOL!
     
  4. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,064
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Upstairs, L.A.
    I'm not an archtop guy so excuse me if I'm asking a dumb question...but what is the point of that type of wooden, non-stationary bridge if you're going to mount the pickups directly to the top? I thought the idea was, if you want the top to vibrate the most (and get the most acoustic resonance), don't mount stuff on it. Is the idea that you do want the top to vibrate but maybe not that much?
     
  5. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,855
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Trenton, NJ
    Like anything else, the whole is predicated by the sum of the parts.

    In this case, the hand-carved top is left thicker in the center, to accommodate the mounting of the pickups, and then t tapers dramatically toward the sides... The wooden bridge is favored by many archtop players for its very specific sound qualities.
    Some like it and others don't. But the ones who like it tend to love it. ;)

    Is it a true archtop, soundwise...? No. It's designed for electric play, hence the smaller depth, minimizing feedback issues. The body size was dictated, I believe, by Bill Frisell, for whom this is a signature model.

    It's certainly a "tweaked" recipe for an archtop, but a very nice one, indeed.
     
  6. Evan Gluck

    Evan Gluck Member

    Messages:
    142
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    nyc
    I attended a class Steve taught at the Guild of American Luthiers convention in Tacoma last month. He is a genius and a very interesting guy.
    Evan
     
  7. trisonic

    trisonic Member

    Messages:
    13,163
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    NJ out of England
    John's place is about 2 miles from me. I'll pop along - I owe him a visit anyway......

    Best, Pete.
     
  8. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,855
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Trenton, NJ
    Remember, it was developed specifically for a very specific gigging musician...

    I guess that's what he wanted...
     
  9. george4908

    george4908 Member

    Messages:
    2,017
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Bethesda, MD
    Interesting, haven't seen that one. It looks like a more conventional variant of the "Little Archie" that he developed for Frisell some years ago:

    [​IMG]

    I played the prototype of this model at the L.I. guitar show about 8 years ago. Surprising acoustic volume unplugged; plugged in it was gorgeous, everything you'd want in an amplified archtop. And cute as the dickens. I would love to have been able to buy it on the spot, but the price tag was $5k at the time, even more now.
     
  10. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,952
    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    NoVA
    Man, I am so happy that I've never developed an itch for a jazz box.

    :)
     

Share This Page