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Showing posts with the label 5th Avenue

Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin Archtop

Archtops are an acquired taste. Many acoustic players try them out an think, "Yuck!" because there is a seeming lack of resonance, sustain, and low end. Young electric players try them and crank them up where they get nothing but feedback. These players are unfamiliar with the music and role the archtop guitar was designed to play, namely that of a tuned percussion instrument in a swing band.  The archtop guitar was designed to project a very narrow range of frequencies, but project them well in a precise way. If you listen to old swing recordings from the Forties, you'll hear the archtop player playing chunky quarter notes in time with the high hat. It's almost like the high hat and the guitar blend to create the rhythm for dancing. In those days, jazz was dance music. It wasn't until the invention of the 33 1/3rd RPM long-play disc that jazz became something un-danceable. Archtops have a pronounced midrange spike that doesn't necessarily sound nice on its ow