What's the best US-made hollowbody for under $4,000?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by JoeNewbie, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. JoeNewbie

    JoeNewbie Member

    Messages:
    658
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    I've been looking for a nice guitar to play jazz but just can't seem to find anything to my liking.

    I know THE classic is the ES-175 but I really dislike the modern flamed maple plywood top.

    I recently played a PRS Singlecut Hollowbody I with the Artist package and was floored by the sound and overall craftsmanship. However it lacks the vintage appeal of the ES-175.

    My next consideration is the Gibson L-4 CES but it is slightly over my bugdet.

    Any recommendations?
     
  2. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

    Messages:
    11,808
    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
  3. JoeNewbie

    JoeNewbie Member

    Messages:
    658
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Thanks for the tip! I'd never heard of Moll before and really like their line of guitars.

    The John Pizzarelli model is a stunner!
     
  4. Walter Broes

    Walter Broes Member

    Messages:
    356
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Does it have to be new?
     
  5. JoeNewbie

    JoeNewbie Member

    Messages:
    658
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    I'd consider vintage as well but it'd have to be near mint at worst... :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
  6. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

    Messages:
    34,718
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    In a van down by the river
    Many of the solidbody archtop makers now offer laminate versions. Of the ones I have seen/played, I think the Sadowsky Jim Hall is my fav. It is right at your price ($3999). Guy I was in an ensemble with this summer had one. Second one I had played. Wonderful guitar. It is not as deep as my 175, but shares the same lower bout size, 16".

    At 14 3/4" lower bout, the Jimmy Bruno model is also wonderful, but a bit smaller. Here is a link to a very reputable dealer.

    http://www.jhalemusic.com/pages/sadowsky.html
     
  7. sinner

    sinner Member

    Messages:
    3,687
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    The Expanse
    You could get a used ES-175 with a top you like for your budget, or other makes as well.

    Check out the 1989 Gibson ES-775 (yep, I said 775) and the 1981 ES-175 and more at archtop.com

    http://www.archtop.com/

    You also must see the Steve Howe model ES-175, now that's an old school top and sunburst worth checking out. They come up on the bay more than in stores, where there is a waiting time usually.
     
  8. itsjustgas

    itsjustgas Member

    Messages:
    119
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    southeast PA
    How 'bout the Gibson Johnny A model?

    _____
    jeff
     
  9. JoeNewbie

    JoeNewbie Member

    Messages:
    658
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Thanks for your response. I love the look of Sadowsky guitars. Terrific. The big minus for me though is that they aren't made in the US but somewhere in Asia. Too much money for a non-domestic guitar...
     
  10. JoeNewbie

    JoeNewbie Member

    Messages:
    658
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Very cool suggestions - thank you.
     
  11. JoeNewbie

    JoeNewbie Member

    Messages:
    658
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Wow, never heard of that one before. I like the headstock and all of the upscale appointments. It looks a bit too pointy though.
     
  12. JoeNewbie

    JoeNewbie Member

    Messages:
    658
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Any thoughts on the Martin CF-1?
     
  13. BluesyCat

    BluesyCat Staff Reviewer Bass Gear Magazine Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    228
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Torrance, California
    Oohhhno, no, no, no, so not the same as other foreign-made geeetars! I had originally thought and stated the above in the TB forum. Talk about putting your foot into your mouth....sheeesh.(My deepest apologies to Roger's Tokyo unit....http://www.sadowsky.com/pop/metro/tokyo_shop.html)

    THIS is what changed my stereotyped opinion:
    http://youtu.be/MBSg1_CRfWY
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  14. Den

    Den Member

    Messages:
    1,827
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Newport Beach, CA
    I love my Johnny A ... one of the most versatile guitars I've ever owned ... awesome from jazz tones to rock. I've had 335's, a 356, PRS Hollowbody (I, II and spruce) and have tried many others ... the JA to my ears is in another league. It's also the guitar that gets the most comments when I gig. I've never had more people telling me they love the tone as well as how cool my guitar looks.

    Quite a few players and dealers have commented that it's one of the best things Gibson has come up with in a long time. Definitely check it out.
     
  15. sinner

    sinner Member

    Messages:
    3,687
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    The Expanse
    JOeNewb--you mentioned you liked the L-4, did you see the old Ibanez copy on that archtop site? Real Spruce top, a great guitar. Other real wood tops like an old vintage Epi also look great--real jazz boxes for under $4 bucks (add some zeros)
     
  16. Trandy

    Trandy Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,205
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Location:
    Here and there....
  17. Bluedawg

    Bluedawg Member

    Messages:
    10,521
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    +1 on the Heritage Sweet 16

    Comes in several options .... single floating or non floating pup. The non floating will get you closer to the classic Wes sound IMHO.

    May even be able to find some double pup versions out there.

    I have a Sweet 16 with a single floater and it is a great guitar, especially after it is broken in and played a good bit.

    A good Sweet 16 will holds it's own with the best archtops out there IMHO.

    The L4CES is also a great guitar, but in your price range you need to find one used or settle for a solid color -historically wine red or ebony L4s can be had for less cash.

    A used L4 may be the best bang for the buck, a 175 would be a close second.

    :banana
     
  18. JoeNewbie

    JoeNewbie Member

    Messages:
    658
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Thank you for suggesting the Heritage Sweet 16. I've been looking at Heritage guitars for a long time but unfortunately never saw one at the local stores. I wish I could get my hands on one as I know they are high quality guitars - and I like the way they look as well.
     
  19. Bluedawg

    Bluedawg Member

    Messages:
    10,521
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Location:
    Arizona, USA

    Here's some in Florida

    http://www.gbase.com/Stores/DealerS...=2&Make=heritage&Model=sweet+16&Grp=5&Track=Y

    The non-cutaway will be haunting me for a few days .....

    :knitting
     

Share This Page