Mudcat Café message #2785759 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63780   Message #2785759
Posted By: Don Firth
10-Dec-09 - 06:57 PM
Thread Name: DeArmond archtop guitar -- opinions?
Subject: RE: DeArmond archtop guitar -- opinions?
I think that a lot depends on what you want to use a guitar for.

Since I was primarily interested in song accompaniment, I started out playing flat-top steel-string guitars, then switched to nylon-string classics. One of my favorite guitars for song accompaniment was a flamenco guitar. Nylon-string, with a real punch when you wanted it, but you could also mellow it out.

One of the big things with a guitar is the sustain:   how long do you want the string to continue to sound after you've plucked it? Classics (and flamencos) are especially good for fairly long sustain.

But I've read that the arch-top, f-hole guitar (modeled more or less after the look of a cello) was developed primarily for work with dance bands and jazz combos where they wanted to use it primarily as a rhythm/percussion instrument:   that sort of "chunk chunk chunk chunk" sound, played with a pick.

Especially with a pick. I've played a number of arch-top guitars, but I've never liked their sound when played with the fingers, even with finger-picks. Some of them may have a nice, warm tone, but it's the characteristic quick decay of that tone that doesn't work for me.

Your mileage may vary.

Don Firth