MISC ARCHTOP GUITARS
(Others may be located on Gibson/Epiphone pages, Ibanez, Misc. Electrics, etc.)
Accessories: DeArmond Model 41 "Toaster" Pickup w/Controls. Very well preserved, chrome plating shines like new. The Model 41 was available as an add-on to any guitar, and was stock some high end archtops like the Swedish-made Levin 300 series, which used the Model 41 from '57'-58, before switching to Dynasonics in '59. All original including the clear acrylic tapered knobs, mini pots, and 1/8" output jack. The Model 41 has a very thin base which allows mounting to both flat top and archtop instruments. I can't get a true reading but it measures 7.53K at two lugs of the volume pot, most likely higher if metered right off the pickup lead. These are great sounding pickups which are highly regarded and can easily be permanently mounted, or with a little effort adapted as a floating unit. Beautiful shape, works great, $175.
1. 2002 Ibanez AS73-BS - Brown Sunburst, (front), (back/side), (headstock). Excellent value in a quality "Dot" copy. This is the 4th one of these I've had recently and I can safely say that they're exceptionally nice guitars, the best in their price point. Since their imitation years of the 60's and 70's, when they were building great quality Gibson and Fender copies, Ibanez has made it on their own designs, eventually becoming the most innovative Asian builder. A few models have stayed in their catalog since their "copy days", such as their ES-335 style, now known as the AS73 from their extremely popular Artcore line. It retains the basic design of the 335 including semi-hollow body with center block, laminated maple top/back/sides, set in mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard, bound body and neck, dual chrome-covered humbuckers with 3-way switch and dual volume/tone controls, 3+3 tuners, 24 3/4" scale, tuneomatic bridge with stop bar tailpiece, and of course the "Dot" inlays. Ibanez used the ACH1 and ACH2 humbuckers for this model, which are clean sounding, with a slight overdrive. The pickups are mounted into a sustain block for increased sustain and feedback elimination. It also features a 17th fret joint for more comfortable access to higher notes. This is a very comfortable neck, that's thin and fast, with a flat 12" fretboard and medium frets. It plays beautifully from the first fret to the top, and has a quality tone that can go from jazz to blues, to rock. These are made in China now but from my observations the better Chinese factories are on par with the Korean guitars in past years. The gloss finish is applied perfectly, binding is done beautifully, and the overall fit and finish is on par with the best Korean guitars. Just a reminder that it's not the country that builds the guitars, rather, it's the quality control used within the factory to ensure only good guitars leave the plant. This one's in beautiful condition, set up to perfection, and a bang-for-the-buck winner for semi-hollow thinlines at $339.
2. 60's Egmond (Holland) Acoustic Archtop, (front), (back), (headstock), (neck attachment). Nice playing budget archtop from ca. 70's, made in Holland. Egmond was one of the premier builders of Dutch guitars, opening their factory in 1932, closing down in 1983. None of these were imported into the USA so the few you see probably came into the country via returning military members, or perhaps a vacationing uncle. Now in the age of easy international shipping, a few more are making their way to our shores. I don't have a lot of info on this model, but it's obviously a no-frills, plain archtop. It employs a unique "floating" neck attachment, with a dovetail neck joint, employing a spring-loaded screw to easily change the neck angle when needed. This is a fantastic innovation, used only by Egmond, which eliminates costly neck resets. The body and neck are both stamped "184" inside the neck joint which indicates quality not found on cheaper archtops built in recent years, i.e. the neck and body were custom fit during construction, rather than a body and neck pulled from bins during final assembly. A few interesting facts about this brand: Bran May used to play an Egmond; George Harrison's first guitar was an Egmond, although it was branded Rosetti, which Egmond used for guitars destined for UK sales; Paul McCartney played an Egmond "Solid 7" 6-string, that he strung with piano strings to make it a bass. Egmond built many guitars under different brands including Alberti, Miller, Hi-Spot, Lido, Alpha, Rosetti, and many more. You can find more info on these interesting guitars at Egmond's site here. This guitar is very playable and sounds great for that Delta blues sort of tone. It appears to be all original, with a proper vintage patina, and is overall in nice vintage condition except for a small piece missing from the tip of the pickguard. Cool vintage archtop for $250.
3. ca. 1951 Gretsch New Yorker 16" Acoustic Archtop, (pic2), (pic3), (pic4). "As is" special! Can't be set up with low action without some serious neck work so I'm offering this "as is" for the slide player or someone who plays only cowboy chords (action at 12th fret). Other than the action, this guitar is quite intact without extraneous rattles and no breaks, with a cool "Blind Willie Lemon" tone that's well suited for delta blues. I don't a lot about this model other than it has rather austere cosmetics for a Gretsch, with a painted on logo but it does feature a bound neck and body, and block fretboard inlays. Fretboard is Brazilian rosewood, which is a cool feature any day, and what appears to be original tortoise pickguard. Finish has a wonderfully aged patina, typical with nitro finishes (body pic) including nicely yellowed binding that's in remarkably nice shape for a 50's Gretsch. Serial 4779 stamped inside F-hole which should date it to '51. I'm into it for $400 and after talking to my luthier it's not going to be cost effective to make it a killer Spanish style player thus it's offered as is for $450.
4. Tokai ES-335 Copy, (front/back), (headstock). Excellent quality imported Dot copy. This is a recent model but Tokai's quality today seems to be as good as it's been for the last few decades, which is top notch. Plays fantastic with very low action and bends true and easy. Fit/finish are excellent as well. I'm not up on my overseas factories, but this guitar impresses me twice as much as Epiphone. Beautiful condition, perefect frets, and an excellent semi-hollowbody for $475. Includes the common "pleather" gigbag.
5. 1965 Harmony Truetone, (pic2), (headstock). Wonderfully preserved example, from Spring of '65, from the days when most of these were sold through mail order companies like Sears & Roebuck. These were definitely a case of style over substance with painted on flamed maple, inlays, and binding, but it's actually a nice sounding archtop with a rich tone that's clear with no rattle or nasty overtones. Exceptionally clean condition, very much an "under the bed" guitar with the only real flaw is a small finish chip in the middle of the back, visible in pic2 above. Has a very chunky V-neck, common on these older Harmony's so if you have small hands you should pass on this one. I don't know why there are no longer any inexpensive USA archtops being built today - I don't think you can touch one for under $2K. Back when this one was built, it was probably a $38 guitar. For a very playable USA vintage archtop in this condition, it's a pretty sweet deal at $299(HOLD-Jim H 8/1).
6. 1960's Sorrento Hollowbody, (pic2), (pic3), (pic4). "Lawsuit" headstock! A real "under the bed" beauty and a good quality Japan archtop. What sets this apart from its near pristine condition, is the Gibson "open-book" headstock, which was a no-no in terms of import shortly after this model was imported, the superb action - many of these don't have the best necks and are best used for slide guitar, and the obvious beautiful condition. No player's wear, very little finish checking, finish shines like new - a solid 9+ condition. A pair of single coil pickups sound very good and aren't prone to feedback with moderate gain settings. Just a sounding, killer playing vintage Japan hollowbody and quite a find in this condition. Vintage Japan guitars finally started taking off a few years ago but they're still quite affordable especially when you consider they can be had for LESS than new Korean Epi's, Deans, Samick, etc. $379 takes this one.
7. Teisco Del Ray EP-8T hollowbody (pic2), (pic3). Thinline hollowbody electric. Needs some attention. , Cracks visible in the pics are just lacquer cracks (i.e. finish checking) and are not in the wood. Gretsch bridge used for photo's only and is NOT included. You will need to supply a bridge. Make it your next project for $75/as is.
8. Washburn Oscar Schmidt OE-30 Semi-Hollowbody, NOS 2004 model, an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a decent ES-335 style for under $200. Factory setup left something to be desired but we touched up the fret ends and tweaked it all around. The result is an excellent playing guitar with good sounding Washburn 400-series pickups; quality Grover tuners keep it in tune. Never retailed and better than new since it'll be ready to play right out of the box. Lists at $349 but this one with a pro-setup is just $199.