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Author Topic: D'angelico Archtop Review  (Read 8081 times)

Offline loumt123

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D'angelico Archtop Review
« on: November 17, 2007, 10:09:07 PM »
Well, my teacher got endorsed by D'angelico. He had one of his D'angelicos in the lesson room, and I had a chance to have an incredible player demo it for me, as well as play it myself. It was one of the import excels, and to my surprise it sounded quite nice. It's not a handcarved, solid spruce top archie, and it doesn't try to be. It's hard to explain the sound, but I kind of want to describe it like a nice woody tone (almost like an upright bass being plucked, that kind of wood tone). It didn't sound like a cheap ibanez artcore laminate top; it had that very distinct, upright-bass woody vibe to it ( I wish I could describe it better). It played well, the neck was fast and easy, and the craftsmanship was nice for an import. This was the only one I played, and I know my teacher got to play a few before selecting one he wanted, but I left impressed.

   Certainly not a handcrafted archtop, but a very distinct, pleasant sounding laminate that played nice.
 

D'angelico Archtop Review

Offline jazzrat

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D'angelico Archtop Review
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2007, 10:19:55 PM »
They were all the rage for a while at the Yahoo jazz guitar forum. General concensus is that they are very nice guitars and a good value.

'02 Fly Classic Hardtail,'07 NiteFly Alder, Ibanez AS80, Eastman 805 CE Archtop,  MIM jazz bass, Takemine '95 SC-132EC
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D'angelico Archtop Review

Offline davecan

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D'angelico Archtop Review
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2007, 05:20:25 AM »
Hey Lou - slightly off topic, but wondering if you've played the new Hagstrom Viking?  It's a cheap "335ish" gutar.  Guitar Player TV has a demo of it - I thought it sounded very nice for the $$$.
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Hagstrom-Viking-SemiHollow-Electric-Guitar?sku=513354


WHO'S ON FLY?
Costello: "Hey Abbot, that guitar is soooo fly, what is it?"
Abbot: "It's a Fly!"
Costello: "I know it's fly, I just told you.  But what kind of guitar is it?"
Abbot: "And I just told you - it's a Fly!"
Costello: "Here we go again!"

Southern Nitefly/Nitefly Mojo (non-stock pups).

Dave

D'angelico Archtop Review

Offline loumt123

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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2007, 12:46:54 PM »
I've never tried it. Typically, though, I've never really been an "ES" style guy. If I see one at a dealer I'll be sure to pick it up and give it a whirl.
 

D'angelico Archtop Review

Offline Strandwolf

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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2007, 02:12:26 PM »
Or how about the newish Gibson ES 339 (a 335 type but smaller body, about the acreage of a Les Paul.)?

By the way, as I stated some time back in one of my informative but entertaining posts, I A/B-ed a new D'Angelico New Yorker and a (Ted) Megas. Totally no contest.

If you want a good cheap jazz box get a nice Telecaster and roll back the tone on the bridge pickup. Ted Greene proved that.
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D'angelico Archtop Review

Offline loumt123

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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2007, 02:33:16 PM »
A Ted Megas and a D'angelico are two totally different caliburs of archtop guitars. It's really impossible to compare the two.

 Also, I have to completely disagree with the telecaster claim. For you to say that a solidbody with the tone rolled back equals a decent sounding archtop makes it seem like you've never played or experienced a true archtop guitar. They sound completely and totally different IMO. Do you roll the tone back on your archtops, too? It really takes away from the sound and tone of an archtop guitar.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=zDuee6blvj8 this sounds completely different than this http://youtube.com/watch?v=eP7NlPbyVeg especially in the chord solo...two totally different beasts
and both sound different than pisanos archtop http://youtube.com/watch?v=JD4ktyEJw2I. there's just no comparing a solid body to an archtop unless you roll your tone off all the way (like some jazz guys do on an archtop, which I will never understand)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 02:48:05 PM by loumt123 »
 

D'angelico Archtop Review

Offline Strandwolf

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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2007, 02:51:27 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by cmpkllyrslf96

A Ted Megas and a D'angelico are two totally different caliburs of archtop guitars. It's really impossible to compare the two.

 Also, I have to completely disagree with the telecaster claim. For you to say that a solidbody with the tone rolled back equals a decent sounding archtop makes it seem like you've never played or experienced a true archtop guitar. They sound completely and totally different IMO. Do you roll the tone back on your archtops, too? It really takes away from the sound and tone of an archtop guitar.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=zDuee6blvj8 this sounds completely different than this http://youtube.com/watch?v=eP7NlPbyVeg especially in the chord solo...two totally different beasts
and both sound different than pisanos archtop http://youtube.com/watch?v=JD4ktyEJw2I. there's just no comparing a solid body to an archtop unless you roll your tone off all the way (like some jazz guys do on an archtop, which I will never understand)


How much do they want for a "De Angelico"? I agree that it has precious little in common with any guitars that were made by Mr. D. but that is not due to cost alone.

As to the second video, it sounds like Pizzarelli is playing a banjo from 1:00 to near the end, when I bailed. The third link is kaput but I found a Pisano duet with Rich Severson on YouTube, whom I met at a guitar show a few years ago. I bought his course, but haven't gotten into it (I've been busy up at the 20th fret). At that time Severson was pushing the Hofner import jazzers. He's a great player and demonstrated biggo chops with the help of a Boomerang. He's one of those Christian-types, as I recall. Enough sidetrack, back to the issue. Pisano's tones are unpleasant to me, but I think the recording has some major glitches. It shouldn't have gone up on YouTube like that.
comekillyourself, you and I are on different planets musically.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 03:03:30 PM by Strandwolf »
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D'angelico Archtop Review

Offline loumt123

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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2007, 02:58:33 PM »
The import I played would have gone for 700 I think. I would never even consider a new solid carved D'angelico...you could get a nicer carved archtop in that price range.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 03:00:49 PM by loumt123 »
 

D'angelico Archtop Review

Offline Strandwolf

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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2007, 03:12:31 PM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD4ktyEJw2I

That should get any or all concerned to the Pisano thing, or one of them.
Bad sound mix.

How the D'Angelico heirs allowed the name and look to go on a budget import is kind of depressing. Whether or not someone is continuing, after a fashion, the high quality domestic lutherie.
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Offline uburoibob

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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2007, 07:08:58 PM »
Lou, I think what Jim was saying is that Ted Greene could coax a great jazz tone out of his Tele. Not necessarily that it was an archtop sound. But, Ted Greene could coax a great jazz sound out of an iron or a balloon or a goat. The guy knew how to get the most out of each and every note he played.

For my money, there's nothing that beats an Eastman in the price range. They are great instruments that sell from about $1000 to about $2300 and they are worth every penny. The best thing about them, aside from enabling people on player's incomes to play real archtop guitars again, is that they are introducing archtops to an entire new generation of players. And that's the real prize. These players will find their way to the Ted Megass and Tom Ribbeckes and Steve Andersens and Ken Parkers of the world as they quest for more. Again it's like wine - the Eastman will get you to a 98 or 99 on the quest-for-archtop-excellence scale. It's that durned last one percent that costs sooooooooo much money, and looms so largely in your psyche once you recognize it. It's a true sickness...

Bob

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D'angelico Archtop Review

Offline uburoibob

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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2007, 07:11:50 PM »
PS: Eastmans are on sale at www.bernunzio.com for the month of November. Eastman made him pull the prices off the website as other dealers were getting upset with him for selling under MAP. But his prices are amazing. If anyone is thinking of an archtop for Christmas or sooner, call John Bernunzio. He's a straight up guy, he's Eastman's largest dealer and his prices are sane! If you are interested, email me. I have the email he sent around with the Eastman price in it..

Bob

2001 Parker Fly Single 2 Silver  â€¢ 1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
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D'angelico Archtop Review

Offline Strandwolf

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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2007, 08:25:08 PM »
uburoibob sez:
Lou, I think what Jim was saying is that Ted Greene could coax a great jazz tone out of his Tele. Not necessarily that it was an archtop sound. But, Ted Greene could coax a great jazz sound out of an iron or a balloon or a goat. The guy knew how to get the most out of each and every note he played.

Thanks, Bob, for pleading my case, except that I kind of pulled Greene out of the hat because I knew he'd often played a Tele. Someone told me long ago that Teles were paradoxically used by jazz players to some extent due to the tones enabled. I don't recall that Joe Pass played a Tele, although I know he played a Fender Jazzmaster (solid body, of course) for more than a momentary period, after he left Synanon, I recall. My claim, unsubstantiated personally because I don't strive for the stereotypical jazz full body archtop electric sound, although my old fart phase will most likely entail a complete abandonment of thrashy noizy shrieky bombastic metal pedal stuff in favor of mellow, sweet, smooth sounds, in which case I will strive for that tonality range. Just so you know. Anyway, if I were doing a jazz gig and I could sound like Barney Kessel or whomever by playing a kazoo, I would, with no embarrassment. Teles, set up correctly, are great guitars. Signal processing can work wonders, along with some smart and agile fingers.

For my money, there's nothing that beats an Eastman in the price range. They are great instruments that sell from about $1000 to about $2300 and they are worth every penny. The best thing about them, aside from enabling people on player's incomes to play real archtop guitars again, is that they are introducing archtops to an entire new generation of players. And that's the real prize. These players will find their way to the Ted Megass and Tom Ribbeckes and Steve Andersens and Ken Parkers of the world as they quest for more. Again it's like wine - the Eastman will get you to a 98 or 99 on the quest-for-archtop-excellence scale. It's that durned last one percent that costs sooooooooo much money, and looms so largely in your psyche once you recognize it. It's a true sickness...

Bob

I agree with what you say above as well, except that the Eastmans and other economy quality boxes (hey, what about Heritage these days?) come to more like 88 to 93 or 94% of the finest currently made archtop guitars, and therefore there is no sickness in lusting after them despite their much higher cost.[^] Besides, if you want to see mindless conspicuous consumption, check out Spago's or Puck's (or is Wolfgang Puck the proprietor of Spago's--anyway, whenever I see him I tell him I'd skip one of his meals for a PM20 Qubinga, and he just looks right thru me--big deal) restaurants or the massively overpriced autos in the parking lots nearby.
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D'angelico Archtop Review

Offline loumt123

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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2007, 08:46:43 PM »
Yea that's what I meant. Ted Greene can do whatever he wants..He's Ted Greene! But a solidbody doesn't and won't ever sound like a genuine archtop.

  I've never heard of that dealer...there are a ton of places I've heard claim to be Eastman afficianados, but never heard of this guy.

Bob, would you send the list my way? I can't say I intend on buying one...but I am curious to see his crazy prices, and compare to how much I payed for mine [;)]. Maybe I'll pass the list along to a friend or two who may be interested.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 08:49:21 PM by loumt123 »
 

D'angelico Archtop Review

Offline Strandwolf

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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2007, 09:11:17 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by cmpkllyrslf96

Yea that's what I meant. Ted Greene can do whatever he wants..He's Ted Greene! But a solidbody doesn't and won't ever sound like a genuine archtop.

I suppose not. But some can get close enough for lounge work.

  I've never heard of that dealer...there are a ton of places I've heard claim to be Eastman afficianados, but never heard of this guy.

John Rooker has praised the shop periodically. The establishment is in his city.

Bob, would you send the list my way? I can't say I intend on buying one...but I am curious to see his crazy prices, and compare to how much I payed for mine [;)]. Maybe I'll pass the list along to a friend or two who may be interested.
The website shows that he's cut the price to the bone, generally 50% of list, plus there are some factory seconds.... And then, the too hot to broadcast price for the rest of the month, until midnight November 30. I'm curious myself, from a broke point of view. Enough Eastmans there that it might be worth a day trip to test them out. Even though one bought through the mail from there could be returned, one could get "stuck" with a decent, adequate, nice one, when its neighbor on the wall is the instrument of your dreams, inadvertently passed by. Hmmm. I'm just next door to Larry and Sergey, between them and their 707 at Moffett Field. I'll bum a ride next time they hit the flesh pots of upstate NY. Or hire JR as a stand-in and let the decision fall on his shoulders. The whole process could be monitored with a videophone....

« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 09:15:29 PM by Strandwolf »
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D'angelico Archtop Review

Offline Yoyo

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« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2007, 06:39:36 AM »
I just got round to checking out the Pisano/Severson piece Strandwolf posted above. It totally blew me away. I wish I could play like that. Does anybody know what the guitar on the left is? The sound and look of it was gorgeous. Anyway that was an object lesson in musicality.
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