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Archtops for Gypsy Jazz

MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-10, Altamira M-01D, Epiphone Joe Pass

I wonder if any of you regularly use archtops on your gigs/jams? I have an old Epiphone Joe Pass that I've used a few times. During the week, sometimes I'll practice with it & I'll think I'll use it on a gig on the coming weekend. But more often than not, when the gig night comes, I'll grab one of my trusty Altamiras. I do like the sound of it, I play it through a tweed Fender Blues Jr. I really like Django's electric stuff, so I see it as having a place in this music, if tastefully employed. I wonder what others think about it.


  • vanmalmsteenvanmalmsteen Diamond Springs ,CANew Latch Drom F, Paris swing, Altamira m30d , Altimira Mod M
    Posts: 234

    I had a Ibanez arch top that I really liked, it was maple with a floating pick up. I played it through my Blues junior as well and it sounded really good. I would always play gypsy jazz to backing tracks and I always thought to myself that I wouldn’t hesitate to play it in a live context. As much as I liked it, I sold it so that I could buy another Altamira. No regrets

  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 114

    Bireli has played, and plays, electric archtops, acoustic flattops, strats, and gypsy jazz guitars. He doesn't think in terms of "gypsy jazz," and neither did Django. They just play(ed) jazz. I would say to use your ears, and strive to express yourself with whatever tonalities appeal to you.

    vanmalmsteenBucoswiesslerChris MartinAndyW
  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 182

    Check out this gypsy jazz top ten in amplification. The number 3 from the top says it all.

  • B25GibB25Gib Bremerton WA✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 165

    I set aside my Holo Busato and Dell 'Arte Hommage over the last year and played my 2004 Eastman AR805 pickup model(non-cutaway) in a restaurant/bar with upright bass, another quality GJ player guitar and ukulele(when available). Nice tone difference! Using a LR Baggs Para Acoustic D1 to main board PA. Enjoy it alot.

    Now with music venues not available and virus concerns, I'm jamming/practicing outside when weather permits with a very good chromatic harp player using my 1994/5 Gitane D500 with an incredible Josh Hegg bridge(compensating for structeral change) because it has more drum/low end thump while having fundamental top string clarity and is a better choice for this duo work!

    Nice to have multiple guitars to pick from when matching sound with different musicians!

  • MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-10, Altamira M-01D, Epiphone Joe Pass
    Posts: 54

    Thanks Twang. I saw this "Top 10" a few years ago & forgot about it. Your reminder has inspired me--I'll break out my archtop on my gig this weekend & see how it goes. Pdg (and others involved in this thread), thanks for your input as well.

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