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Old School Archtop

Archtop guitar, acoustic / electric with round sound hole, Inspired by the works of Orville Gibson.

Old-School archtop guitar by Thierry Andre Instruments

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.

Old-School archtop guitar by Thierry Andre Instruments


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.

Old-School archtop guitar by Thierry Andre Instruments
Old-School archtop guitar by Thierry Andre Instruments
Old-School archtop guitar by Thierry Andre Instruments
Old-School archtop guitar by Thierry Andre Instruments

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.


"That car is so radical that it looks like it was vaccuformed."
David Berkowitz

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