The Parker Guitars Forum

General Discussion => GENERAL DISCUSSION => Topic started by: loumt123 on November 17, 2007, 10:09:07 PM

Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: loumt123 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.
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: jazzrat 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
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: davecan 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).

Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: loumt123 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.
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: Strandwolf 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.
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: loumt123 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)
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: Strandwolf 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.
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: loumt123 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.
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: Strandwolf 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.
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: uburoibob 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

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
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: uburoibob 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
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: Strandwolf 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.
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: loumt123 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.
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: Strandwolf 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....

Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: Yoyo 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.
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: uburoibob on November 19, 2007, 07:03:43 AM
Yup. Pisano is playing an Eastman John Pisano model, oddly enough!

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
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: Yoyo on November 19, 2007, 07:25:10 AM
In that case 98 per cent is good enough for me.
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: Strandwolf on November 19, 2007, 12:40:31 PM
How about the Cort Larry Coreyll model, a jazz box new @$900 or a bit less?
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: uburoibob on November 19, 2007, 03:13:01 PM
I've played the Cort. It feels a few notches below the Eastmans. In roughly the same league as the D'Angelico imports.

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
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: jazzrat on November 19, 2007, 04:01:51 PM
We should probably make a distinction between solid carved vs. laminated jazz boxes. In the laminated category there are lots of servicable instruments out there for not too much money. Many, like the Cort, D'Angelico, Samick, Epiphone and others are made to spec by a couple Korean factories so the quality level will generally be comparable.
If you are interested in carved, solid wood then the ranks of affordable guitars thin out.
As Bob says Eastman will get you very close to the small shop custom builders for decent money. I'd have an Anderson if I had the scratch but I don't so I play an Eastman 805CE. It is a terrific guitar. I like the Heritages also and recently had a 575 Custom, however the Eastman is a superior instrument.

As far as Ted Greene goes, he did use a Telecaster a lot but he also played Guild and occasionally Gibson archtops.
I love Ed Bickert's tone and he is a Tele guy. It does work but it is not moving air or adding that percussive thump you get from an archtop.

I think the context in which you are using the guitar is important too. I love a full acoustic archtop in a small duo or quartet format but once you add drums and crowd noise I'd rather use my Parker(in spite of the weird looks from my snobby jazz friends).




'02 Fly Classic Hardtail,'07 NiteFly Alder, Ibanez AS80, Eastman 805 CE Archtop,  MIM jazz bass, Takemine '95 SC-132EC
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: loumt123 on November 19, 2007, 05:23:06 PM
Hollowbodies can be tough to use live...I had a problem with feedback at one point in time. I've used my parker and Eastman live...both have their disadvantages and advantages. However, when I hammered out all the issues, I gotta say a hollowbody just sounds right chuggin' rhythm behind a big band. If I'm playing jazz it's gotta be on my hollowbody. Plus, it just feels right [;)]
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: davecan on November 20, 2007, 06:13:50 AM
I used to have a pretty nice Centura made by some dude named D'Aquisto, but when I went away to college my mom sold it in a garage sale for $25. [:(]








Psych.
(These guitars are currently worth about $120,000.00 and rising)


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).

Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: loumt123 on November 20, 2007, 01:51:41 PM
I think D'aquisto remakes them now along with the teardrop, but they can't possibly be anywhere close to what an original was like.
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: Paul Marossy on November 20, 2007, 02:04:02 PM
quote:
We should probably make a distinction between solid carved vs. laminated jazz boxes.


Yeah, it's easy to blur the lines.

quote:
If you are interested in carved, solid wood then the ranks of affordable guitars thin out.


Yeah, and pretty fast, too.


quote:
Hollowbodies can be tough to use live...I had a problem with feedback at one point in time. I've used my parker and Eastman live...both have their disadvantages and advantages. However, when I hammered out all the issues, I gotta say a hollowbody just sounds right chuggin' rhythm behind a big band. If I'm playing jazz it's gotta be on my hollowbody. Plus, it just feels right  


Yeah, if you're playing loud, it'll probably start squealing. [xx(]

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
www.DIYguitarist.com
www.myspace.com/j201jams
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: laughinglarry on November 20, 2007, 02:34:08 PM
The Ibanez George Benson GB-10 is on my short list (like, it's the ONLY one on the list!) for affordable archtops.  If you consider roughly $1500 used to be affordable.  [:(]  GB designed the thing to NOT feedback at concert volumes.  In a funny twist, the NEWER GB-200 is much more prone to feedback.  But you get some Ebony and detail that the GB-10 lack.  (I'd rather have the performance than the bling.)

Actually, the other Ibanez Jazz boxes are the John Scofield JSM-100 (based on their old Artist) and the Pat Metheny PM-100 and 120.  I've never played an Eastman, and I've only heard wonderful things about them.  But it's GOT to say something that 3 of my favorite jazz guitarists have Ibanez signature series guitars...

If money were not a concern and I could spend $8K on a jazz box (sorry, even TYPING that brought on a spell of uncontrollable laughter [:0][xx(][V]), the Gibson L5CES is the one I'd want.  And no matter how much Les Paul bashing gets done on this forum, I've never seen an example of an L5CES that wasn't SPECTACULAR. [:p]

Larry

'97 Fly Deluxe (with GK-2A), '07 Steinberger GM-7TA, '89 Strat Plus, '89 American Standard Tele, '92 Les Paul Custom, '99 Ibanez JS-1000, Ibanez Silver Series (Strat), Epiphone Dot, '65 Mustang, Hohner G3T, Yamaha BB3000AF, Peavey Foundation, Hamer Cruisebass
http://www.myspace.com/larrysmithmusic
www.myspace.com/karmagenerator
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: Strandwolf on November 20, 2007, 02:44:12 PM
Serviceable solid body guitars are easier to mass produce than decent hollow body ones, and solid wood carved archtops are yet again a more laborious and skilled endeavor.

The main factors are tone, playability, and appearance...and price.

All of them have their "subjective" and "objective" aspects.

Computers and robotics and other recent technology will continue to push development of a superior instrument as far as the above factors go.

The best Strad violins have been exhaustively studied for their acoustic properties. Violins today have all of their aspects except age, but can't quite get to the desired sound--so far, apparently.

Pickups...pickups/amps...amps.
These are interesting times. I wonder if it will ever reach a final point? Music did, with Elvis, Muddy, and the Beatles.  haha
What happened to that Scandinavian guy who really invented a playable air guitar?
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: jazzrat on November 20, 2007, 03:11:04 PM
Larry I think the GB-10 is the only carved top on your list. I had one years ago. Fine, fine guitar!
I had a PM-20 which is the less expensive Pat Metheny model. It sounded great but was so, so in the fit and finish dept.
The PM 100 and 120 are definately a cut above.
I'd love to have a Scofield,or AS-200. I currently have a 2000 AS80 Artstar which is a very fine guitar and IMHO better than the current crop of ArtCore guitars though they are a decent value. I sold two ES-335's this year. Both were less guitar than the Ibanez.
The AF-120 Artstar can be found for not too much money and would be on my short list if i was looking for a used budget archtop. The Super 58 pickups in the Artstar line make them a standout among a lot of guitars in the same range.

FWIW I agree on the L5. It's on the list guitars I would like to have.

'02 Fly Classic Hardtail,'07 NiteFly Alder, Ibanez AS80, Eastman 805 CE Archtop,  MIM jazz bass, Takemine '95 SC-132EC
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: texasguy on November 20, 2007, 03:14:31 PM
Dave---I've been feeling sorry for myself all these years for selling an excellent pre-war D-18 for $1200 30 years ago. After reading about your D'Aquisto, I suddenly feel a little better.[:0]
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: laughinglarry on November 20, 2007, 03:36:15 PM
Okay, this is somewhat off topic, but my mind works like this.  [:p]  In mentioning the Les Paul bashing and in getting agreement on the L5CES, and Strandwolf's post on robotics, I was reminded of this clip...

Pay attention to the guy that cuts necks WITHOUT A TEMPLATE and the "buffer dancer".  [:D]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzxV1_ZGj4w&NR=1

Not everything is robotic - YET!

Larry

'97 Fly Deluxe (with GK-2A), '07 Steinberger GM-7TA, '89 Strat Plus, '89 American Standard Tele, '92 Les Paul Custom, '99 Ibanez JS-1000, Ibanez Silver Series (Strat), Epiphone Dot, '65 Mustang, Hohner G3T, Yamaha BB3000AF, Peavey Foundation, Hamer Cruisebass
http://www.myspace.com/larrysmithmusic
www.myspace.com/karmagenerator
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: jamrcat on November 20, 2007, 03:58:12 PM
quote:
Pay attention to the guy that cuts necks WITHOUT A TEMPLATE and the "buffer dancer".

That's pretty cool. What this video did for me was, to remind me of how unique and special my Parker really is! Thanks for sharing! [:)]

98' Fly Artist w/RMC (Thanks Dayn!)
93' Parker Fly Deluxe hardtail RP "Blackie" KP Signature (Thank You! Bob & Ken)
2FlyBob (Thanks Paul!)

jamrcat
Butte, Montana
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: loumt123 on November 20, 2007, 04:45:53 PM
I don't like alot of the newer gibson "archtops". I played a few. I was left unimpressed.
Title: D'angelico Archtop Review
Post by: Strandwolf on November 27, 2007, 10:23:25 PM
Peerless Guitars from South Korea. The factory cranks out budget guitars for many U.S., etc., labels, including Washburn.

http://www.jazzguitarzone.com/