The Archtop Collection at TNAG
Here at The North American Guitar the focus is often set on exquisite steel string acoustics and inspired electrics of all shapes and sizes, but this week we want to hone in on a different side of the storied tradition of the instrument that often treads the line between these two worlds; The Archtop Guitar.
Predominantly popular with jazz musicians, the history of the Archtop stems from the 1890s when Orville Gibson applied ideas from Violin making to that of the 'Spanish' style guitars as well as mandolins. The now iconic arched back and top yielded a responsive and lively instrument that could cut through the mix of a then contemporary band, which has since evolved further thanks to the likes of notable New York luthiers such as D'Angelico, Jimmy D'Aquisto and John Monteleone, and become something entirely its own.
We are lucky enough to have a number of truly extraordinary Archtop guitars in our UK showroom right now, covering a wide range of styles and drawing from varied points in the wonderful history of the style, with each very much distinctive to the builders and their takes on this iconic form;
This truly astounding 16" Crossfire comes from the workshop of sensational New York based Luthier Christian Mirabella, and marries the storied and iconic tradition of builders such as John Monteleone, D'Angelico and James D'Aquisto with Christians own innovative ideas and designs.
After an almost 15 year long apprenticeship starting in the 1980s, working on and with some of styles greatest builders, he has since become one of the worlds foremost restorers of these remarkable instruments, and from there one of the premier contemporary builders as well as one of the last guitar builders of the new generation schooled in the traditional New York style.
The Crossfire combines the balance, clarity and response of a modern instrument with the depth and warmth of the classics, culminating in an extraordinary sound and feel. The emphasis with Christian is always to build guitars that can keep up with the level of ability and demands of the very finest contemporary artists.
The woods that make up this fine instrument are equally as striking, with the back and sides made up of seasoned, air dried European Maple and a German spruce top to match. The exquisite single piece of flamed maple for the neck came from the D'Aquisto workshop as did the ebony board and together with Christians masterful finishing makes for one of the most beautiful arch tops we've seen here at The North American Guitar.
The sound ports adorning the sides make the experience of playing the crossfire deeply immersive and with the output of the guitar being as vastly dynamic as it is, to be anything other than inspired and moved in playing or hearing the guitar would be no mean feat.
Lastly Chris supplies an optional pickup with the guitar, with a separate pick guard in the case easily interchanged to transform this magnificent, versatile Archtop into an entirely acoustic instrument.
- Hand Graduated Adirondack Red Spruce Top
- Figured Maple Back and Sides
- Flame Maple Neck
- Ebony Headstock Overlay
- Sunburst Finish
- Compensated Adjustable Ebony Bridge
- Custom Open-V Weber Tailpiece
- Bone Nut
- Ebony Pickguard
- 1 3/4" Nut Width
- 25.25" Scale Length
- 15" Lower Bout
This gorgeous 17" Archtop hails from the workshop of remarkable Swedish luthier Tobias Lindberg of TLL Guitars.
Built in a stunning set of figured European Maple for the back and sides paired with a deep Burgundy finished European Spruce top, this fetching instrument combines the tradition and artistic sensibilities of Archtop building with contemporary voicing and the instantly recognisable Art Deco stylings we love to see in Tobias' work.
Throughout the guitar, the build quality and attention to detail speaks very much for itself with the end result an alluring and enticing instrument that once picked up, proves exceptionally difficult to put back down.
The DeArmond Rhythm Chief pickup really works wonders in tandem with the acoustic identity of the guitar, and once plugged in brings out the most in both the range of the instrument as well as the dynamics and diversity of whomever is in the driving seat of this sensational piece.
- Top: European spruce
- Back: European Maple
- Sides: European Maple
- Neck: Khaya/EIR/Khaya
- Fretboard: Ebony
- Headstock overlay: Ebony
- Pickups: DeArmond rhythm Chief 1000
- Bridge: Ebony/Bone
- Tailpiece: Ebony
- Tuners: Gotoh 510 Cosmo Black
- Pick guard: Ebony
- Fret wire: Nickel Silver
- Inlays: MOP/Gold MOP
- Scale length: 25”
- Width at nut: 42mm
- Width at 12 fret: 52mm
For more information on any of the guitars mentioned above, please don't hesitate to get in contact by emailing us here or calling us on 020 7835 5597.
Have a great weekend!