Old School Archtop
Archtop guitar, acoustic / electric with round sound hole, Inspired by the works of Orville Gibson.
Back in 2010, while located in Montreal and still doing restoration work, a German women who was slowly going blind because of a particular condition, came-in for repair-work.
She looked for some new -hobbies-
in her life, and decided to learn to play the guitar:
She happened to have her father's old guitar in a closet. She started to play it, and then some accident happened, and the guitar needed restoration.
It was a no name archtop, very intriguing.
It had to be open to re-glue some braces:
Notes where taken on its ladder bracing position before closing the box back to its original state.
When that guitar was finally strung-up it was pure magic. It was the most thrilling guitar encountered in a long time.
The guitar's role in this women's path all made sens as it was handed-back to her.
She had never played any other guitar.
So, the inspiration for the -magic- Old-school archtop had begun there.
It all came naturally : Since an OM shaped acoustic mould was already in process,
the old, Orville-oriented archtop idea evolved quickly into a build.
It all felt like a true gift from life.
About this guitar:
Its scale length is longer than usual, and of a full 26.00" to accommodate lower tunings.
It has a voice of its own, reminiscent of the lute and historic instruments. The ladder bracing yields a complexe and focused tone, similar to that of Selmer-Maccafferri instruments.
The guitar comes equipped with 2 pickguards:
1-One with a custom made, offset humbucking pickup, calibrated for bronze strings by MJS pickups:
Its 1/4" output jack (Thanks KP !) is built-in on top of the pickguard near the bridge, and there are no wires running inside the guitar: -The ground connection runs inside the neck and makes contact between the Waverly tuners and the threaded bushing holding the pickguard at neck extension.
2- The other pickguard acts as your standard finger rest. A dedicated tool is in the instrument's case.
Truss-rod / pickguard tools.
- Materials and construction : Douglas Fir top plate - Striped ebony back and sides - Modern laminated rim (ebony outer, indian rosewood inner) - Wide footprint tail block and neck block, torrefied rock maple, with neck -wings- support
attaching to rim - Torrefied rock maple neck, oil finished - Ebony bindings, fingerboard and appointments, with -retro-
orange/yellow purflings - Aged nickel plated Kluson type brass tailpiece, Nickel/cream Waverly butterbeans tuners -
As an innovation inspired by the quartet instruments, both neck block and tail block are beveled right to the kerfing line, giving the soundboard more longitudinal movement ; The arched top plate is (like on a cello) only touching the outer rim of the instrument.
To support neck pull, -neck wings- are used (Klein, Doolin), as they free the top to vibrate its whole length as on a violin or cello.