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DeArmond archtop guitar -- opinions?

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Gary T 20 Oct 03 - 06:30 PM
Gary T 20 Oct 03 - 06:33 PM
DonMeixner 20 Oct 03 - 07:16 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 20 Oct 03 - 11:20 PM
Green Man 21 Oct 03 - 07:19 AM
Willie-O 21 Oct 03 - 09:51 AM
Mark Clark 21 Oct 03 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,jafellabaum 10 Dec 09 - 05:26 PM
Don Firth 10 Dec 09 - 06:57 PM
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Subject: DeArmond archtop guitar -- opinions?
From: Gary T
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 06:30 PM

In another non-music forum I visit, someone recommended a DeArmond guitar at shown this site:

I play left-handed guitar and I've been wanting an archtop for a while. Most of them are priced beyond my wildest dreams. The X-155 is one I could afford, and Googling a bit found a number of positive reviews on it. I'm getting very interested.

I'm mainly an acoustic player, and would want reasonable tone and volume unplugged, as well as good sound amplified. What I've read so far indicates that the X-155 would meet those criteria.

Does anyone have any experience, knowledge, or opinions to share on DeArmond guitars, the X-155 in particular, and/or Southpaw Guitars?

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Subject: RE: DeArmond archtop guitar -- opinions?
From: Gary T
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 06:33 PM

Sorry, I thought the URL would automatically make a link. Here's the blue clicky:

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Subject: RE: DeArmond archtop guitar -- opinions?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 07:16 PM


I usually see De Armonds along side Guilds. The relationship is unknown to me but those I have played I liked.


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Subject: RE: DeArmond archtop guitar -- opinions?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 11:20 PM

The relationship between Guild and De Armond is the same as that between Gibson and Epiphone. De Armond and Epiphone instruments are made in Asia and are usually mid-priced copies of their parent companies' own US-made products. That doesn't make 'em bad, just a lot cheaper. The De Armond X155 is a copy of Guild's own "Savoy" guitar.

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Subject: RE: DeArmond archtop guitar -- opinions?
From: Green Man
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 07:19 AM

I had a De Armond solid back in the 60's it had a very curved neck and was rhombiod in shape. The pickups were fantastic, the intonation wasn't. I eventually bought a left handed strat which I kept for a long time and it still plays like a goodun.

If you like it buy it it's you that's important here.
GM (Not Food)

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Subject: RE: DeArmond archtop guitar -- opinions?
From: Willie-O
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 09:51 AM

The Twelfth Fret has one new today and says this:

"This original series of Fender/Guild/DeArmond guitars with the American made GoldTone pickups are getting highly sought after. They were VERY well put together and these pickups are big, beefy while maintaining clarity."

Their price on this used year 2000 X-155 is equivalent to $649 U.S., but it's not a lefty.

I wonder how Fender got their oar in there. Do they own Guild now?


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Subject: RE: DeArmond archtop guitar -- opinions?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 12:43 PM

Fender owns and or distributes Fender, Squier, Guild, DeArmond, Gretsch, Sunn and Rodriguez. The Guild site implies that Guild instruments are built in the Fender factory but no mention is made of it's location. They want us to believe they are once again building the quality instruments they were known for and their material includes nods to their past but they don't really say where they're built or by whom. I think it's a safe bet that other brands, including DeArmond, are built outside the U.S. (not necessarily a bad thing).

I'm not familiar with the DeArmond archtops but if they have carved tops, not just pressed plywood, they probably have a bass bar running under the bass side of the bridge. You'll want make sure that any left hand versions are braced left handed as well.

If you're looking for an archtop guitar with actual acoustic tone of its own, you might want to think about a strictly acoustic archtop and add a vintage DeArmond floating pickup designed for archtops. Those sometime show up on eBay and I've seen them at vintage guitar shows.

      - Mark

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Subject: RE: DeArmond archtop guitar -- opinions?
From: GUEST,jafellabaum
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 05:26 PM

I have run into a beauty in Sarasota, Fl. The neck is wonderful and the pick ups are outstanding with a definite bell tone.

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Subject: RE: DeArmond archtop guitar -- opinions?
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 06:57 PM

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

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