Archtop Guitar

An archtop guitar is a steel-stringed acoustic or semi-acoustic guitar with a full body and a distinctive arched top, whose sound is particularly popular with jazz players.

The archtop guitar is often credited to Orville Gibson, whose innovative designs led to the formation of the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co, Ltd in 1902. It was later redesigned by Lloy Loar. Originally all of them were acoustic , from the XX century we start to see electric models.

Archtop guitar has arched top and back, not flat, and similar F-holes to the members of the violin on which they were originally based. On the other hand, it normally has 6 strings heavier for reasons of tone and its body needs to be solid due to the tension that has to support the neck.

Archtop Guitar 

Subcategories

  • Sides

    Archtop guitar sides estimated dimensions (825x125x4 mm)x2

     

    Sides are usually made of Maple, as well as backs. In Maderas Barber we sell them booked matched in order to get nice and good quality sets of backs and sides.

    Curly Maple is very much appreciated by the luthiers, archtop guitars are often made with Curly Maple or Quilted Maple. On the Maple the lack of straightness or uniformity in the growth rings is normally not considered as a defect, because the beauty of the Maple lies on its “flames”.

    In Maderas Barber we have sides for archtop guitar in different qualities , with more or less flamed. Choose the one you need.

  • Tail pieces

    On the archtop guitar, the tailpiece supports the strings so they do not touch the fingerboard and also hold them in place. It also transfers the sound of strings to soundboard.

    The tailpiece is inspired in the violin family instruments. You can find them in metal or wooden made. The use of the wooden Tailpieces has become more widespread. Actually, the Ebony ones are the most used.

    In Maderas Barber we have different dimensions of archtop tailpiece to meet the needs of luthiers.

  • Fingerboards

    Archtop guitar fingerboards estimated dimensions (500x75x9 mm)

     

    The fingerboard is usually made of Ebony but some modern instruments have other woods. In Maderas Barber we have a big variety of woods to offer you : Cocobolo, Indian Rosewood, Ziricote, Santos Rosewood, Ebony and many more….

    Actually, the most used woods are Ebony and Indian Rosewood, especially the Ebony. The range of choices is widening in the market and in Maderas Barber whether if you look for traditional wood or something different is likely that you will find it here.

  • Backs

    Archtop guitar backs estimated dimensions (600x230x25/8 mm)x2

     

    Backs are usually made of Maple, as well as sides. In Maderas Barber we sell them booked matched in order to get nice and good quality sets of backs and sides.

    Curly is priced higher. On the Maple the lack of straightness or uniformity in the growth rings is normally not considered as a defect, as wood in these trees grows very irregularly.

    Quarter sawing is the most usual cut for the backs in order to better display their curl and provide greater stiffness to the finished backs.

    On the other hand, that the back of archtops, in contrast with other types of guitars, has great importance in shaping the instrument's tone. A thick back or one without a good recurve

  • Necks

    Estimated dimensions for the archtop guitar neck (700x100x25 mm)

     

    Archtop guitar necks have been traditionally made from hard curly maple. This is a very tough wood, and is preferred for this application due to the high tension. However, other woods are used for necks, such as mahogany, which is much more stable wood. It is less stiff than hard maple, but this problem can be fixed with a slightly greater tension in the truss rod nut. Archtop guitar necks normally must have some internal reinforcement.

    In Maderas Barber we can offer you different woods for the neck, such us Maple, Honduras Cedar, Mahogany , Sycamore or Padouk.

  • Headplates

    Estimated dimensions for the archtop guitar headplate (220x90x3,5 mm)

     

    Headplate support the tuning machines. A secondary purpose of the headplate or also called headstock is identification. Many guitar makers choose to use a distinctive headstock shape often in combination with the name of the model and a trademark logo.

    Headplates can be made in Ebony or Indian Rosewood, although in Maderas Barber we offer a big range of woods to the delight of luthiers.

  • Bridges

    Estimated dimensions for the archtop guitar bridges (220x30x30 mm).

     

    The bridge is responsible for transmitting all of the strings energy into the body of the guitar.

    It has two parts: the foot and the saddle. The bridge is not glued to the top , it is fixed in its position by the pressure of the strings. The former adapts the bridge to the arched top surface, and has two posts that get into the saddle. These posts are threaded so that a thumbwheel can move up and down over them, rising and lowering the saddle to adjust the action of the instrument.

    The wood most used for the bridge is the Ebony, even though the range of choices is widening in the market . In Maderas Barber whether if you look for traditional wood or something different is likely that you will find it here.

  • Tops

    Estimated dimension of the archtop guitar tops: (600x230x25/8 mm)x2

     

    The top of the archtop guitar is either carved out of a block of solid wood. The belly has two f-holes, the lower of these partly covered by a scratch plate raised above the belly so as not to damp its vibration. The arching of the top and the f-holes are similar to the violin family, on which they were originally based.

    Wood for these tops has been traditionally spruce. In Maderas Barber we can offer you two species: European Spruce and Sitka Spruce

    A good top must have compact wood growth rings: the closer the rings are, the more resistant the top is, although the wood must not have unacceptable imperfections like resin pockets or knots. The grain must be as straight as possible.


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