Discussion in 'Jack's Place' started by platypus, Feb 4, 2011.
There is one in the local store that is plaguing me..... Tell me about them!
You have to judge each one on it's own merits.... I've played some that were really really nice... and others where the action was so high I can't imagine using it for anything but slide.
Kerouac has one....he likes it IIRC.
Yup... I have one in Cognac Burst. Love it.
I played it and the action is low, and has some nice slick flatwounds on it. I am resisting plugging it in because I know I will be unable to resist it....
I should know better than to go into music stores
I've had GAS for one lately, in no small part because I've been watching a lot of videos of David Rawlings lately, because of a thread that was posted at GJ last week, and his 30s Epiphone is the same style of archtop as the 5th Avenue. Not very logical, I know. But I'm definitely going to have to try a few more out.
I love that you've caught the bug. He's superb.
I have the black one. Most people find them to be a love it or hate it type guitar. I go back and forth.
On the plus side, it's my best player by a mile. I had the action so sick low at one point it was like a Jackson. Have since raised it some and I'll tell you why.
The sound that comes out of any archtop is not particularly subtle. They were made to bang out chords in a big band and cut through. You gotta play em hard and use some heavy string to really get em going. When you do, they will bark out a lovely punchy fundamental sound. There's not much going on in the way of thumpy bass or overtones though. I like the sound, but if you're only going to have one acoustic, it's not the most versatile guitar on the planet. It won't shimmer like a Taylor or thump like a Martin dread. It WILL drown out a dread if it comes to a strumming contest, though. They can get absolutely LOUD when you get after em.
So, it's loud and a little rude. Very percussive. If you're a real archtop snob, you'll look down your nose at the laminate top, but that also makes it damn durable and pretty insensitive to temp and humidity changes.
If you like the sound, it's great. If you don't you'll hate it.
Godin necks seem to be the same way. The 5th has a very skinny neck compared to the old archtops with tree trunk necks. I was on the fence for a while, but I've come to like it a lot. The satin finish is really slick and the rolled edges are comfortable.
When it comes to archtops, only you can judge if you like it or not. Don't judge, however, based on a couple of minutes of light strumming. Bang the hell out of it to see what it can do. I damn near nead earplugs when I play mine. I got it set up with 13s now and that SOB is LOUD.
It's odd, he's one of those guys that, whenever I've heard him play in the past, I've though "wow, this is some really fantastic guitar playing", but it was definitely that thread that made me think "ok, this guy is seriously one of the best guitarists around today."
I love the way he thinks and the way he purposely swerves and sways towards resolution. That New Yorker article touches on that -- the woman in the crowd who's clearly seen him many times watching the solo and saying, "Of course he ends like that." Brilliant melodic and harmonic sense as well.
thank you, I appreciate your thoughts on this.
Are those more of an electric archtop, or can they be strung as a steel-stringed acoustic? I'm looking for a nice acoustic to replace the cheap one I've had forever, and at one point these piqued my interest.
Godin offers an acoustic (no PUs) model, and it's relatively quiet, but that's what you want in an archtop, anyway (along with darker tones)... plenty of vids on YouTube, if you wanna take a look. What do you mean by "strung as", though?
I mean, "can you put steel strings on it?" My suspicion is that the increased tension might damage some guitars that don't have the proper bracing for it.
Is the Kingpin just the regular 5th ave. with a P90 stuck in it?
The ones that I've played have all had roundwound steel strings on them.
Pretty much, AFAIK.
That sounds kindof perfect for me. I've been thinking about getting rid of my guitars and just getting one acoustic/electric. I'll have to check one of these things out.
They also offer a model with 2 P90s and a cutaway, if that works better for you.
I am generally anti-cutaway. The standard Kingpin looks like just what I need.