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Magnetic Pickups / Soundboard Pickups / Vintage Pickups and Cables / Controls and Wiring / Pickguards / Vintage Style Hardware / Hardshell Cases / Repair and Restorations / Appraisals and Research / Consignments

We are pleased to offer an extensive line of new and vintage parts for archtop guitar restoration or construction, including pickups, pickguards, controls, cases and other hard-to-find items below. Detailed specifications, measurement instructions, and installation guides are included below. Returned accessories are subject to a 10% restocking fee, so please measure your instrument precisely before ordering to assure proper fit. Please note: We are happy to build special order items like custom pickguards or pickups to your specifications, but these items are not returnable. If in doubt, please ask before ordering.

For information or ordering, please email [email protected], or call 206-325-3737. (US customers may call toll free for orders only: 877-850-1978.)

(Please note: we are happy to provide information and advice on our entire product line, but due to our volume of correspondence we sincerely regret that we cannot respond to general queries on wiring, installation or items not listed below. Thanks.)


Pickups

We have a variety of pickups, both new and vintage, magnetic and piezoelectric, specifically designed to provide faithful amplification of the acoustic archtop guitar. All are easily removable, and designed so as not to interfere with the acoustic tone or the original condition of the instrument.

Exclusive- Archtop pickup wiring and installation manual. Free with all pickup or wiring kit orders. Download sample here:

NOTE: Please measure string spacing of your instrument carefully before ordering. (Click here for measurement instructions.) We cannot accept returns for any item that have been mounted or soldered in any way.

 

Kent Armstrong Handmades

We believe these to be the finest jazz guitar pickups obtainable. All Armstrong pickups are fabricated with genuine Alnico V magnets for superior vintage style performance. (Please note that all these pickups are individually handwound in Kent's Vermont workshop, and should not be confused with the mass-produced models sold elsewhere under the Armstrong name.) Builder's Special: 15% off on all orders of four or more pickups.

Armstrong Handmade Adjustable Floating PAF - The Gold Standard

The state of the art floating jazz pickup. The Armstrong Handmade Adjustable Floating PAF is peerlessly quiet, warm and smooth, all handmade humbucking pickup with an elegant matte black epoxy body. It is the pickup of choice for many major builders including Andersen, Campellone, Comins, Moll, Manzer and many others. Best of all, the pickup is fully adjustable, with two rows of hex- screw polepieces for optimal string balance. This is especially important for players who prefer the option of using either bronze-wound or nickel-wound strings to optimize the acoustic tone of your guitar. Pickup body includes mounting tab so that pickup may be glued or screwed to underside of pickguard without routing, and may be installed and removed without a trace. No mounting holes or screws in the soundboard are required. We believe this to be the single finest all-purpose floating pickup available anywhere at any price.

The pickup is available as shown, with black resin casing and pickguard mounting tab. (Not availalable with metal cover, or neck mounting tabs.)

Dimensions: Length- 2 9/16" (length including mounting tab- 3"); Width- 1 5/16"; Depth: 7/16". Minimum recommended string clearance: approx. 5/8" from guitar top to bottom of strings at the end of the fingerboard, with strings depressed at highest fret. Pole spacing, low to high E: 2" (51mm). Output: approx. 8K ohms. $189.00

Seven String Floating PAF available in either 2 1/4" (57mm) or 2 3/8" (60mm) string spacing. Please measure string spacing of your instrument carefully before ordering. (Click here for measurement instructions.) $179.00.

Control kits available: see below. Builder's Special: 15% off on all orders of any four or more pickups.

Armstrong Handmade Built-In PAF, exact dimensions as Gibson humbucker, fits precisely in hole without modification to guitar. Choice of 12 pole black top (shown), smooth black top (no pole pieces), or with Gibson style 6 pole pickup cover in nickel, chrome, gold or black. Pole spacing, low to high E: 2" (51mm). Each pickup individually handmade in the USA by Kent, and supplied with complete installation kit including mounting rings, adjusting screws and springs, adjusting wrench, and shielded connecting wire. Output: approx. 8K ohms. Mounting hole dimensions- L: 2 3/4" (67mm) W: 1 1/2" (38mm). Mounting ring dimensions- L: 3 3/8" (86mm) W: 1 3/4" (44mm). $199.00

Seven String Built-In PAF available in 57mm, 60 or 63 mm string spacing. $199.00.

(For wider or narrower spacing, use our Smoothop Built-In 7 String below.) Control kits available: see below. Builder's Special: 15% off on all orders of any four or more pickups.

For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected]

Dear Joe, Couple of weeks ago I purchased Armstrong PAF and related electronics from you. Thanks for the fast delivery, the envelope arrived on Friday. I have been playing over the weekend with the pickup installed. It's noiseless and detailed sound is precisely what I was looking for! After some experimentation I even left out the tone control from the setup because according to my preference the pickup produces very balanced sound for most purposes without any additional frequency alteration. Thank you very much! - Petri Eskelinen, Helsinki

Joe, Just got the (PAF) pickup installed in my L7. Sounds fantastic, exactly the sound I wanted (even better in fact). Your instructions are great. Thanks for your help. Josh Isaak, Portage, MI

Joe, Just got my guitar back from having the Armstrong floating humbucker installed and, whew! Unreal. Those Gin and Tonic chords sparkle with definition and warmth. By far and away the best upgrade and investment I'v made for a guitar. Thanks for the service, Scott Rieger, Jackson, NJ

Add me to the list of your satisfied customers, Joe. You are right on that the PAF is the gold standard. The sound it produces is sweet and lush even on my repro Epiphone Emperor Regent. Thank you, thank you. Vito Ninivaggi, Bethel CT

Dear Joe, I got my Eastman back from the shop with the new Kent Armstrong PAF installed. It sounds great, I can't wait to take it to the gig. Great doing business with you. Caleb Raney, Tecumseh, OK

Joe, Just to let you know, the (7 string) PAF pickup arrived safely yesterday - I've fitted it and am very happy with the resultant 'magnetic' amplified sound. Kent has certainly produced a gem here... thank you ever so much, and Kent of course, for an excellent pickup - it's a keeper. Nice working with you, and there's more to come! Kind regards, S.Das, Spilsby, UK


 

Armstrong Handmade Floating Single Coil -Versatile Vintage Tone

If you've been looking for the sound of the old DeArmond Model 1100 or Gibson P-90, but have been frustrated due to the scarcity, expense, and unreliability of the originals, your solution is here at last. A breakthrough in vintage style amplification, the Armstrong Handmade Floating Single Coil pickup is the world's only floating pickup that combines the brilliant response of traditional single coil design, with the flexibility of individually adjustable pole pieces for each string. The single coil winding and Alnico magnet replicates the wider frequency response of the classic Dearmond, Gibson P-90 and other classic pickups of the 40's and 50's, but careful shielding and rock-solid epoxy potting makes them much more resistant to noise and interference than the originals. Best of all, the hex screw poles allow the player to calibrate the pickup to match the output of either nickel or bronze strings. In addition, Kent has tapped the coil with three connector lugs, so the player may choose either of two output impedances: approx. 8K or 13K ohms, or switch between them while playing. The most versatile floating pickup made.

The pickup is available as shown, with black resin casing and pickguard mounting tab only. (Not availalable with metal cover, or neck mounting tabs.) Each pickup individually handmade in the USA by Kent, and supplied with adjusting wrench and shielded connecting wire.

Dimensions: Length- 2 11/16" (length including mounting tab- 3 3/4"); Width- 1 3/16"; Depth: 7/16". Pole spacing, low to high E: 2". Minimum recommended string clearance: approx. 5/8" from guitar top to bottom of strings at the end of the fingerboard, with strings depressed at highest fret. (Click here for measurement instructions.) Output: 8 or 13K ohms. $189.00.

Special: Single coil pickup plus micro toggle selector switch, ideal for pickguard mounting, allows switching between pickup impedances: $199.00 (switch not sold separately.)

-Seven String Adjustable Single Coil, as above, specify 57mm (2 1/4") or 60mm (2 3/8") string spacing, pickguard mount only. $199.00.

(For wider or narrower string spacing, use our Smoothop 7 String below.) Special: Seven String pickup plus micro toggle selector switch: $195.00 Control kits available: see below. Builder's Special: 15% off on orders of any four or more Armstrong pickups.

For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected]

Armstrong Handmade Built-In Single Coil, metal cover in black, chrome, or gold. String spacing: 1 15/16" ( 49mm). Mounting hole dimensions- L: 2 3/4" (67mm) W: 1 1/2" (38mm). Mounting ring dimensions- L: 3 1/2" (89mm) W: 1 3/4" (44mm). Pole spacing, low to high E: 2"

Each pickup individually handmade in the USA by Kent, and supplied with complete installation kit including mounting rings, adjusting screws and springs, adjusting wrench, and shielded connecting wire. Output: 9K ohms. Coil tapped version available on request: 8K and 13K ohms, switchable. $199.00 ($209.00 with micro switch, above.)

Control kits available: see below. Builder's Special: 15% off on orders of any four or more Armstrong pickups. For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected]

Joe, I just got my Eastman archtop back with the new Armstrong floating single coil installed. It replaced a floating Benedetto S-6, because the string balance couldn’t be adjusted and the high E volume blasted all the others. Anyway, this pick-up not only solved the string balance issue, and it sounds much, much better in my opinion. Plenty of warm bottom end without being boomy, and it stays clear even when I roll the tone back, which the S-6 did not do. Anyway, another happy customer. Thanks!! Rick Wilson, Bedford, TX,

Joe, I just wanted to thank you again for the pickup I purchased from you. I had gotten the adjustable single coil Kent Armstrong and let me just say that I am very impressed with the sound. I had mentioned on the phone with you that I missed my old adjustable pole piece dearmond pickup, but you were right, I like this one better. Also I installed a micro switch just to the edge of the underside of my pick guard to switch between the 7k and 11k. Its like 2 pickups in one. This pickup really screams too. I has a nice fat full sound that is very transparent and acoustic like as well. Its hard to describe but all I know is I love it... Anyway thanks again very much for the pickup and I will be recommending friends to your site.
Dan Neafsey, Fairfield, CT

Joe, The Armstrong single sounds great on the Trenier. I'm very pleased with the single coil sounds! Thanks for the information you shared with me about the handmade Armstrong pickups. Phil Davia, Downers Grove, IL

I recieved the Kent Armstrong single coil, adjustable pick-up from you a few weeks ago. Just wanted to say thanks for the prompt service. The pick-up works great on my Eastman 804. Sounds amazing. Put a switch between the 7 and 10k leads. Get a great acoustic AND fat jazz tone! Thanks again!, Chuck Van Riper, Grant, Fl


Armstrong Handmade "2-D" Micro-Humbucker -World's Thinnest Floating Pickup

From the world's finest hand-builder of jazz guitar pickups comes this breakthrough in amplification technology. Measuring a scant 11/32" in depth, Armstrong Handmade"2-D" Pickup is the thinnest floating pickup ever made. Even more remarkable, it is a fully humbucking pickup, with all the clean, smooth output associated with fine dual-coil design. Made to go where no pickup has gone before, this pickup is specially designed for older guitars where neck angle and bridge height make full-size pickups unworkable. A real problem solver, this pickup is also ideal for installation on instruments with fingerboards built flush or near to the soundboard, as on the early Gibson Premiere Cutaways; the later L-4's; and most L-50, L-48 and smaller Gibson archtops. Cheaper than a neck reset, and lots more fun. Available with pickguard mounting tab (left), or neck mounting tabs (at right). Available in black, gold or chome finish. Each pickup individually handmade in the USA by Kent, and supplied with shielded connecting wire. Note: the Armstrong Handmade 2-D is handwound without bobbins, and is somewhat thinner than the imported pickups sold elsewhere under the Armstrong name.

Dimensions: Length- 2 11/16"; Width- 1 3/16"; Depth: 11/32". Minimum recommended string clearance: approx. 7/16" from guitar top to bottom of strings at the end of the fingerboard, with strings depressed at highest fret. Output: approx. 8K ohms. Bracket width is 2 3/8", brackets are flexible and may be bent in or out to accommodate any fingerboard width. (Click here for measurement instructions.) $189.00. 2D Ultraslim Seven String Model: $199.00

Control kits available: see below. Builder's Special: 15% off on all orders of any four or more pickups. For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected]

Hey Joe, I've got the 2D installed on my '35 Gibson L30. It could not sound any better...I love it! My rig is an A/B box...one output into a fishman preamp to a PA system...fantastic,warm, acoustic sound....the other output to my '63 fender Concert amp...a great fat P90 tone. I love this setup!! Thanks, Ken DeSiata, Kingston, MA

Joe, Letting you know installation (of the Armstrong 2D) went well... Debuted the newly transformed L7 at my faculty recital Sunday, and I am still jazzed about my sound. Thanks for the quick, courteous service, which helped me be up and running for Sunday. Regards, Larry Greer, Nacogdoches, TX

Joe, ...I am 1000% thrilled with...the slim Kent Armstrong 2D slim pickup and the stealth volume and tone pots. The order arrived within two days to Nashville. I was so surprised it came so quickly. It even beat my making a new pickguard which I had intended to do while waiting on the shipment....This pickup is tremendous!!!!! It has tone tone and more tone. I played it through Polytones at the school and just loved it.... I have never been more thrilled with a guitar in my life! I have gotten rave reviews from everybody I play with! It has that real deal thick beautiful JAZZ archtop humbucker tone! Thank you so much! PS Thank you for the follow up call also! Thanks, Mark MacKenzie, Nashville, TN

Joe, Thank you for the (2D) pu. I got it on last Friday. I put it on the guitar and it sounds fantastic. Nice regards, Cornelius Solbach, Basel, Switzerland


Armstrong Handmade Johnny Smith Mini-Humbucker

Kent has created a handmade Johnny Smith style pickup that has the same body size and appearance to the Gibson original. They contain Kent's own premium quality handwound pickup coils and magnets, and each pickup is individually wax potted. So outstanding in performance are these pickups we believe they are every bit the equal (if not superior) to the tone and output of the originals. Each pickup contains individually adjustable polepieces and a gold plated metal housing, sized exactly to match the originals. Mounting tabs of the neck pickup (above right) may be bent to accommodate a variety of fingerboard widths, and the tab of the pickguard pickup (below) may be drilled and tapped as required, and is suitable for mounting in either the neck or bridge position. Each pickup is individually handmade in the USA by Kent, and supplied with shielded connecting wire.

Dimensions: Length- 2 11/16" (3 3/4" length including mounting tab, pickguard version only) Width- 1 1/8"; Depth: 1/2" to screw bottoms (7/16" pickup body only. Screw bottoms may be trimmed where clearance is critical.) Minimum recommended string clearance: approx. 5/8" from guitar top to bottom of strings at the end of the fingerboard, with strings depressed at highest fret. Neck bracket width is 2 11/32"; bracket arms may be bent in or out to accomodate a variety of neck widths. NOTE: bracket arm length and hole spacing is not identical to vintage Gibson originals. Output: approx. 8K ohms. (Click here for measurement instructions.) Gold finish (shown) also available in chrome and black. $189.00.

12 Pole Armstrong Handmade Johnny Smith Mini-Humbucker, same dimensions as above, but with an extra row of adjustable poles. Neck mount (shown) or pickguard mount. Gold finish (shown) also available in chrome and black. $189.00

Control kits available: see below. Builder's Special: 15% off on all orders of any four or more pickups. For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected]

Joe, what a pickup! The Kent Armstrong handwound Johnny Smith pickup that you recommended is perfect. Better than I'd thought possible. It transformed my Hagstrom HL-550. The guitar sounds as good as my other guitars that cost 4 times as much. And what incredible customer service. From my first email to the 6th, you answered my questions with incredible speed, knowledge, and patience. I can’t thank you enough for your advice and quick help. I’ll be back! Kirk Winters, Arlington, VA

Patrice ( my friend, the guitar player ) and I are very pleased to come back to you and share the enthusiasm we have regarding the (Johnny Smith Handmade) pickup you supplied. The sounds are fantastic, stratospheric, said Patrice !  We would like to express to you our deep thanks for the magnitude of choices the site is providing and for the quality of the explanation given, facilitating significantly the identification of the article we were looking for . With our congratulations, from Alain Minot, Chartres , France

Hi Joe, I just installed the Kent Armstrong J.S. on my D'Angelico : it's perfect, exactly what I expected : warm, dynamic and clear. Thanks a lot and congratulations to the builder. Looking foward to deal with you very soon. Regards from Paris, Pierre Achache, Paris

Hi Joe, ...The pickup and the controls are perfect. I was truly impressed with the tonal/musical sound of the Armstrong pickup. The sound is classic Johnny Smith with more output than expected. My compliments to the chef! I'll be using this set up as standard from now on....Thanks again, James C Drury, Luthier, Philadelphia, PA

Hi Joe, just to let you know the pickup arrived today (Friday) and is now fitted. It's a direct replacement for the Chinese pickup fitted to my Eastman AR910CE so fitting was simple. Pickup sounds exactly as I hoped it would with more output than the original. Thanks for your help and best wishes for the future. Alan Raine, Billingham, UK


Armstrong Handmade "SmoothTop "Floating Humbucker -Classic Looks, Classic Sound

Kent designed and built the original Benedetto floating pickups, and for those looking for the quality and responsiveness of the originals, Kent produces this pickup under his own name. Attractive ebony-grain resin body, with generous mounting tab for pickguard attachment, the Armstrong Handmade "SmoothTop" is slightly arched to match the arc of a radiused fingerboard. Top is smooth finished, without exposed polepieces. Intermediate in depth between the PAF and 2D, this pickup will fit on most contemporary instruments, and is a direct replacement for the Gibson BJB pickup, as used on Citation, Super V, Kalamazoo Award and other models. Available in pickguard version (shown) or with Johnny Smith style neck mounting tabs. Both guard and neck pickups are available with metal covers in black, gold or chrome finish. Each pickup is individually handmade in the USA by Kent. Supplied with shielded connecting wire.

Dimensions: Length- 2 11/16"; length including mounting tab- 3 3/32"; Width- 1 3/16"; Depth: 13/32".Minimum recommended string clearance: approx. 9/16" from guitar top to bottom of strings at the end of the fingerboard, with strings depressed at highest fret. Output: approx. 8K ohms. (Click here for measurement instructions.) $189.00.

Seven String "SmoothTop" Floating Humbucker $189.00.

Seven String "SmoothTop" Built-in Humbucker $199.00.

Control kits available: see below. Builder's Special: 15% off on orders of any four or more Armstrong pickups.

Joe, I recently replaced the Benedetto S6 on my custom made 17’’ archtop, with mahagony back and sides and Sitka top, with the Kent Armstrong Floating Single Coil and the micro switch:The result is remarkable. I’ve run it through my Hot Rod Delux,my Roland Jazz Chorus 77 as well as through both of them in stereo splitting the signal with a Boss AD-5 acoustic guitar preamp/direct box. In each case the results were astounding: tight bass, punchy midrange and shimmering highs,no muddy bass,no quacky mids, SOUND HEAVEN. I even ran the guitar through my acoustic guitar rig;same outcome,just as amazing. Add to this your excellent service and I am one very satisfied customer.Thank you! Doug Antonyshyn,Trois-Rivières,Québec,Canada.

Thanks, Joe. I got the 3 pickups already. Wow! That was fast! Thanks again, You're a life saver. Now I can finish up these guitars for delivery and have myself a payday. Denny Kopp, Luthier, Pt. Clinton, OH

For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected]


Soundboard Pickups

Pick Up The World Transducer Pickups

Exclusive- Archtop pickup wiring and installation manual. Free with all pickup or wiring kit orders. Download sample here:

Pick Up The World pickups represent a breakthrough in acoustic guitar amplification. Their paper-thin film technology allows these pickups to be placed virtually anywhere on an instrument's soundboard. They are the only pickup that may be placed directly underneath the bridge of the guitar, without dampening the acoustic response of the instrument. Unlike other piezo systems, the PUTW allows you to keep the original bridge on your guitar, without the tonal degradation and installation hassle involved in fitting an entirely new replacement piezo bridge. Extremely low in mass (>1 gr.), PUTW pickups provide highly linear response from 5 hertz to 85Khz.

PUTW pickups may be placed either permanently or temporarily anywhere on the instrument. They are very popular for recording, and also ideal for stereo setups when combined with magnetic pickups, like the Armstrongs, above. The PUTW is ideal for adding high frequency response to conventional magnetic pickup systems, resulting in an unparalleled combination of warmth and liveliness. Endorsers include John Pizzarelli, and a growing number of recording engineers and acoustic players of all sorts. For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected].

New! The PUTW archtop.com Custom Powerstrip is an innovative single strip pickup factory sized to our specifications, to provide an ideal fit underneath a conventional archtop bridge. Unlike the off-the-shelf models sold elsewhere, the archtop.com Custom Powerstrip is the only pickup that provides continuous contact under the entire bridge foot for clear, even amplification of all strings, and is available for either single or double footed bridges. It's thin film construction does not affect acoustic tone or volume, or cause the bridge to rock or tilt. Best of all, there's no need to replace your existing bridge: no re-slotting the saddle, no re-shaping a new bridge foot to your top. Just slip it in and play. Works equally well for either single or double footed bridges.

The output volume may be controlled at the endpin by the Powerplug Preamp, below. These pickups have been popular among players looking for a lively acoustic sound, and are especially recommended for older instruments with low fingerboard clearance, or models like the later Gibson L-4, L-50, L-48, Kay, Harmony and others with fingerboards built flush to the soundboard where floating pickups will not fit. Quick and easy to install, PUTW pickups are a great alternative for a non-invasive installation, and lively acoustic tone. Includes endpin jack and jack installation clamps. PUTW Powerstrip pickup, $179.00

PUTW Double strip pickup, for stereo installation, (also available mono wired) $199.00

For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected]

Piece of cake to install, sounds great, very natural if you're looking for the acoustic dimension of the (instrument). I've been a/b-ing it against my clip on mic and they sound very close... (The Powerstrip is) sonically very similar at a fraction of the price, minus the potential feedback issues. Tim Drackert, Helena, MT

Aloha Joe!! PUTW Powerstrip received sized perfectly for the Tenor guitar, I installed it, it sounds great, and I've got another happy customer!! Joe - Mahalo Nui Loa! Brian Kiernan, Kiernan Music, Kainaliu, Hawaii

Joe, Tried out my new PUTW Powerstrip pickup on stage last night. I love the natural sound. It's just what I was hoping for. Thanks for your help.......Doug Sammons, Portland, OR

Joe - A few months ago, on your recommendation, I purchased one of your Pick Up the World piezo pickups. I needed to amplify my '48 L-5C, my working axe for big band rhythm in the Freddie Green style. I'm running it through a Fishman pre-amp, right in to the band PA, and it sounds terrific. None of the acoustic "chunk" sound has been lost, and I have no amps to lug or mic feedback to deal with. Even in small gigs, run through my Crate 60, it sounds wonderful. Thanks--you've made a working musician's life much simpler. Scott Foster, San Diego

(Note: All piezo pickups may be plugged directly into the piezo inputs found on modern acoustic amps, but must be pre-amplified for proper performance in conventional electric guitar amp inputs. The Powerplug below is the most compact and convenient preamp for this purpose, but other piezo preamps may be used as well. Most acoustic amps (Schertler, AER, Ultrasound, Fender Acoustisonic, Crate, Marshall etc) are built with dedicated piezo inputs, and do not require a separate piezo preamp: just plug and play.)

The PUTW Power Plug Preamp:

This small box is roughly the size of two nine-volt batteries side by side, and plugs directly into the endpin jack of the instrument. A volume control on the top of the box allows one to turn down the volume, mute the output, and change instruments or take a break without pops, hum, or noise. There is a small gain trim control on the bottom of the box that allows the pre-amp to be fine tuned to work with any pickup or application. For people using dual pickups, a Stereo/Mono switch on the side of the box allows the ring channel of the pre-amp to pass through the box unaffected, or to be summed to the tip channel prior to entering the pre-amp circuit. There are two redundant power switches, one on the volume knob, and the other on the output jack. Battery life is 600 hours, and a nine-volt alkaline is included. Box size is 2 1/4" x 1 3/8" x 1 3/8" Note: The Powerplug may also be used as a standard volume control for a magnetic pickup as well, an ideal solution where installation of a volume control on the pickguard is not practical or desirable. Standard Powerplug $149.00

Stereo Powerplug- The same size as the Power Plug, this box has two inputs with individual gain and volume controls for each and the signals can be routed in either true stereo or mono modes to the output. There is also a convenient On/Mute/Off switch on the side of the box that is handy for taking breaks or switching instruments on the fly. Whether in stereo or mono modes, the output is designed to integrate into virtually any input. All other features are the same as the Power Plug and the battery life is 400 hours. Stereo Powerplug: $189.00

PUTW Line Driver- Same features and dimensions as the Powerplug, but clips to the belt, rather than the endpin. Equipped with belt clip and 1/4" jack input. PUTW Line Driver $149.00. Stereo Line Driver 9 Volt $199.00

For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected]


Vintage Pickups and Cables

DeArmond

The original floating pickup, supplied as standard equipment on D'Angelico, Guild and many other classic archtops from the 40's, 50's and 60's. Classic retro look and vintage single-coil sound, with slim design to fit on guitars with clearances to approx. 7/16". (Click here for measurement instructions.) May be mounted with neck rod, or string clamp and bracket. May be supplied with one or two knob control units, or without controls. Older models may have hardwired cords or screw-type mini-microphone connectors; later versions use 1/8" mini-phone jack. Though out of production for almost three decades, we try to stockpile a few vintage examples in good working order when we can find them. For availablilty and pricing please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected].

 

Original Style DeArmond Screw-Connector Cable

Older DeArmond pickups were designed to connect to an amplifier by way of a unique cable fitted with a miniature screw-on connector. These cables have been unavailable for decades, rendering many original pickups unusable. In response to many requests, archtop.com is happy to announce that we have solved this vexing problem at long last. Our exclusive original style DeArmond screw-connector cable is hand assembled brand new from hard-to-find New Old Stock parts. The 3/8" mini screw-on connector fits the control box for older Model 1100, 1000, and FHC pickups, and the 6 foot shielded cable connects to any amp with a standard 1/4" guitar jack. No adapters are needed, and no modification of the original pickup is required. An archtop.com exclusive. $49.00

Joe, Thanks ever so much for getting this off to me fast. I received the cables just in time on Tuesday and they work perfectly. Thank you for providing such great products and such amazing service. Ryan Durfee, Cedar City, UT

Vintage Style Mono 1/8" Mini-Plug to 1/4" Guitar Plug Cable

We managed to locate a stash of these hard-to-find 10 foot mono cables, factory equipment for 60's and 70's DeArmond pickups, and Gibson Johnny Smith, L-5, and other archtops with pickguard mounted jacks. No more struggling with clumsy adapters; these rugged cables are flexible and fully shielded. $49.00

 

 

Model FHC "Guitar Mic".

Chrome plated cover with black insets. (Early models without black insets, may be nickel plated.) Dimensions: Length- 3 3/16"; Width (at high "E" string) 1 5/8"; Depth: 3/8". Minimum recommended string clearance: approx. 7/16" from guitar top to bottom of strings at the end of the fingerboard, when strings are fretted at the highest fret. Shown actual size. As available, please inquire.

 

 

Model 1000 "Rhythm Chief"

Chrome body with red inset. Also produced in gold finish. Dimensions: Length- 3 1/4"; Width (at high "E" string) 1 5/8"; Depth: 3/8". Minimum recommended string clearance: approx. 7/16". Shown actual size. As available, please inquire.

 

Model 1100 "Adjustable Rhythm Chief"

Gold or chrome finish, with adjustable polepieces, as seen on Guild Artist Award and other top-end guitars. Dimensions: as Model 1000, above. Shown actual size. As available, please inquire.

Note: De Armond floating pickups have not been manufactured in over four decades, and the 1100 in particular has become unusually scarce and costly on the vintage market. For those desiring the performance of the 1100 in a modern (and more affordable) pickup, we strongly recommend the Kent Armstrong Adjustable Floating Single Coil pickup. Full specs and info here.


Hi Joe, Just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks again for all the great help in getting a nice (DeArmond) pickup and guard on my guitar. You've made me a customer for life and as I come up with other projects (and I know I will) I know I'll be using you services again... Ned Wilson, Santa Cruz, CA

Hello Joe, Pickups arrived today. Just finished fitting Rhythm Chief to old Hofner 456. Sounds & looks great. My wife thinks I'm mad but you've made an old jazzer very happy. Many thanks. Best regards, Norman Goudie, Shetland Island, Scotland


Bracket and Control Box Types

DeArmond supplied its pickups with two styles of mounting brackets: the string clamp (or pressure) rod and the neck rod. Availability and configuration of brackets and controls are subject to stock on hand. Please note: pictures below are for informational purposes only. Mounting rods and control boxes are sold only with pickups, and are not sold separately.

A string clamp rod (described in DeArmond literature as a "pressure rod" and popularly as the "monkey on a stick") is shown at right with an FHC Guitar Mic pickup. It attaches over the strings between the bridge and tailpiece, and is secured with two knurled screws. String clamp setups can be quickly installed and removed by hand without tools, and without modification of the instrument. Clamp rigs usually include a control box, a unit that is removable along with the clamp and pickup. A volume control box is shown at left (more info below). Available with pickup orders only, not sold separately.

 

Neck rods (as shown at left with a Model 1000 Rhythm Chief pickup) attach to the fingerboard extension on the bass side with two tiny screws, and were standard equipment on many D'Angelico, Guild and other guitars. Neck rod installations often dispense with the old control boxes in favor of regular pickguard-mounted controls like the Classic Control Kit or Stealth Kit below, for a clean, uncluttered setup. Available with pickup orders only, not sold separately.

 

 

 

 

Control boxes may contain either a single volume knob (above right) or dual volume and tone knobs with a "rhythm" switch (an on-off tone control) as seen at right. Early control boxes include non-removable amp cords which are hard-wired into the control box. Later models have removable cords with screw-on mini mic connectors, and the final design used a conventional 1/8" mini-jack for its output. At right: Model 1100 with twin controls and switch with mini-jack output. Available with pickup orders only, not sold separately.

 


Other Vintage Pickups

From time to time we may find original vintage floating pickups like Gibson Johnny Smith or "McCarty" pickguard pickup assemblies. Please inquire for availablilty and pricing.

Original Gibson Johnny Smith Floating Mini-Humbucking Pickups

Gold body, with adjustable pole pieces, neck or guard mount. We have a few genuine Gibson examples, both used and new old stock. As available, please inquire.


 

Control and Wiring Kits

Exclusive- Archtop pickup wiring and installation manual. Free with all pickup or wiring kit orders. Download sample here:

In response to a number of requests, we have assembled parts kits suitable for installation of archtop pickup systems. Don't look for this stuff at Radio Shack: our wiring kits are exclusive offerings of hard-to-find specialty parts assembled for the first time in one place, and come with detailed installation guides. For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected].

 

Exclusive! Stealth Control Kit: (shown at right) Ideal for vintage instruments, where no drilling, routing, or permanent modifications are desired. Completely removable without modifying the original condition of the instrument. We searched long and hard for these ultra-miniature 500k audio taper pots that mount underneath the edge of the pickguard. Black 1" thumbwheels protrude discreetly from under the edge of the guard, and are attached under the pickguard without drilling. Total depth for the pot and wheel complete is only 5/16".

Unversal mounting kit allows for jack installation at endpin, under the pickguard, or strapped to the tailpiece. Includes two 500k audio taper thumbwheel potentiometers, which may be used as volume and tone controls, or as twin volume controls in a two pickup installation. 1/4" universal jack installs as an endpin jack, mounted under the pickguard, or strapped to the tailpiece. Screw-on endpin cap doubles as a strap button. Also includes .02 mfd tone capacitor, jack mounting clamp, black mini cable ties, shielded wire, and installation guide. (Kit only, parts not sold individually.) $69.00

For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected]

Stealth volume controls only: six (6) pieces, includes 500k audio taper pots, black knurled 1" thumbwheels and subminiature mounting screws. (Sorry, not sold singly.) $49.00

 

(Right) A Stealth thumbwheel and jack installation on an Epi Triumph Regent. No holes or routing of original pickguard.


Exclusive! Classic Control Kit: (shown at right) Ideal for mounting to new or replacement pickguards, or on vintage guards with existing holes. Two vintage-style knurled bakelite style pointer knobs. Two smooth, quiet 1/4" shaft 500K audio taper mini-pots fit where others won't. (May be used as conventional volume and tone controls, or as twin volume controls in a two pickup installation.)

Unversal mounting kit allows for jack installation at endpin, under the pickguard, or strapped to the tailpiece. Includes 1/4" universal jack which installs on most tailpieces without drilling. Screw-on endpin cap doubles as a strap button. Also includes .02 mfd tone capacitor, jack mounting clamp, black mini cable ties, shielded wire, and installation guide. (Kit only, parts not sold individually.) An archtop.com exclusive. $69.00

For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected]

 

 

(Right) A Classic Control Kit installation on an Epi Triumph Regent.

 


Pickguards

Exclusive- Archtop pickguard installation manual. Free with all pickguard orders. Download sample here:

The unpredictability of vintage nitrocellulose plastic can cause deterioration of original pickguards. Symptoms of "nitro rot" include crystallization, flaking, shrinkage, warping, even weeping of moist droplets which can melt lacquer right through to the wood. The outgas emitted from this process can cause serious damage to guitar finishes, metal platings, and case linings. For this reason, we recommend that guitars in early stages of pickguard deterioration be stored outside their cases for better air circulation. Deteriorating guards must be replaced for protection of the instrument. For more information on nitrocellulose deterioration, see our Tips section.

For many Gibson models, we can supply excellent new bound pickguards, factory made to exact vintage specs (see pictures below.) We can also fabricate hand made guards for all Epiphone models as well as D'Angelico, Gretsch, Guild, Vega, and other guitars, directly from factory correct templates in our archive, or from your photocopy. Guards may be bound, unbound, or hand-beveled. Materials include thick true nitrocellulose tortoise, beveled 5-ply black, (all pictured below) or plain black acrylic or bakelite. Note: Photos shown are examples only. Tortoise nitrocellulose material varies in color and pattern from batch to batch, and availability of particular colors or patterns is subject to materials at hand. Correct pickguard brackets are also available in nickel or gold. Please inquire for prices and turnaround times. Please note: special order or custom-built items like hand made pickguards are not returnable.

For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected].


Gibson

 

 

Left: Noncutaway New Gibson style hand bound tortoise guard with vintage toned 5-ply binding. Suitable for all 17" and 18" noncutaway models including L-5, L-7, L-10, L-12, Super 300 and Super 400 models. (May also fit 16" models including L-4, L-48 and L-50 models as well.) Pickguard kit includes body bracket (specify bright or antique nickel or gold), neck mounting block and instructions. Length of inside (straight) edge: 10", width at outermost breadth: 4". Complete kit, with bright nickel or gold bracket and neck block: $195. Kit with antique nickel or gold bracket and neck block: $225. Pickguard alone: $149.

 

Right: Cutaway New Gibson style hand bound tortoise guard with vintage toned 5-ply binding. For all cutaway L-4, L-5, L-7, L-12, Johnny Smith, LeGrande, Super 300 and Super 400 guitars. Length of inside (straight) edge: 7 3/4", Width at outermost breadth: 3 3/4". Complete kit, with bright nickel or gold bracket and neck block: $195. Kit with antique nickel or gold bracket and neck block: $225. Pickguard alone: $149

NOTE: Actual guard material varies in color, density, and swirl. Guitars vary from model to model, year to year: to ensure perfect fit, guards are supplied without screw holes or pickup notches.

 

 

 

 

For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected]

 

 

Left: Handmade triple bound dark tortoise guard for 16" pre-1935 L-5. Also available unbound for all L-series Gibsons. (Color and pattern of material varies as available. See Triumph guard below.) $249

 

 

 

 

Detail: Hand-mitered five-ply binding, amber toned to match vintage body bindings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left: Hand beveled 5 ply black cutaway pickguard, as seen on L4C, L-7C, L-12C, S-300C, ES-175, ES-330, ES-335, ES-345, ES-350, ES-5, ES-130, ES-135, ES-225 and other Gibson cutaway guitars. Noncutaway version available for L-4, L-7, L-12, L-48, L-50, ES-125, ES-150, ES-300, Super 300 and other Gibson models. Correct wide 60 degree beveled edge is hand antiqued to match vintage binding, includes stiffener strip under inside edge for most full-depth models. $149

Pickguard brackets, Gibson style. Above- Wide shoe bracket: 1/2" spacing from center of hole to top of ledge. Antique gold, $69

Antique nickel: $59

Below- Narrow shoe bracket: 17/32" spacing from center of hole to top of ledge. Antique gold, $69

Antique nickel: $59

All brackets include mounting screws. Bright gold and nickel available, all styles: $49

All bracket kits come with mounting screws and additional neck block (for mounting to side of fingerboard) or spacer (for soundboard mounting), please specify. Please measure your guitar carefully before ordering. Brackets should cover most existing holes.

For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected]


Epiphone

Handmade guards for all models of Epiphone archtops, produced from original templates, with extra-thick original style tortoise in a variety of exclusive patterns. Available in cutaway or non-cutaway shape, bound or unbound, for bodies of all sizes. (Colors and patterns of material vary as available.) While retaining the appearance and thickness of true vintage tortoise, our exclusive material is made without nitrocellulose, and will not rot, crystallize, or weep.

Far Left: Hand crafted triple bound thick noncutaway Deluxe/Emperor guard in leopard shell. $249

Center Left: Hand crafted single-bound 'crosshatch' tortoise guard for Epi Triumph Regent (cutaway) and Broadway Regent models. Also available triple bound for Deluxe and Emperor Regent models, both acoustic and electric. (Metal 'E' badge not included.) From $195

Center Right: Hand crafted single-bound thick tortoise guard for noncutaway Epiphone Triumph and Broadway, in firestripe pattern. $195

Right: Hand crafted unbound thick leopard shell guard for Epiphone Blackstone, Zenith, Olympic, Devon, Spartan, Ritz, Byron and other noncutaway models. Also available in black bakelite and grained ivoroid for all early 30's models. $149

 

 

Exclusive! Pickguard bracket kit, Epiphone style. Includes neck bracket and screws. Also fits many Gibson archtops from 60's on. Antique nickel (shown) $69. Antique gold, $79. Bright gold: $69 Bright nickel: $59

For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected]


Joe, after my pickguard on my mint 1939 Kay K-60 cracked and broke due the recent severe cold (-20 degrees) I thought there was no hope. I asked around several guitar shops to no avail. I turned to the internet and found your website, phoned you, and you promptly returned my call -- my hope was glimmering a bit more! You assured me that you could replicate the pickguard to a close match! Wow -- and you did just that. Thank you for restoring a piece of history. Superb work! Steve Bunch, Medina, NY

Joe, the pickguard arrived quickly on Friday and is indistinguishable from the original I'm removing from the Epiphone Emperor to protect, with the new one serving to support a floating pickup and thumbwheel controls. A perfect recreation of the original! Thanks a million! Lee McCabe, Pasadena, MD

HI Joe, Just a note to say a million thanks for all your help. I just finished installing the pickup and pick guard on my JS ,,, it Looks and sounds FANTASTIC. ...if you take your time and think things through very carefully it is possible to do it yourself. Actually that was half the fun. Again thanks for you expert advice and fantastic quality parts , I've passed your web site on to my friend who runs the local music store in case he may need something .Warmest regards, Dave Battler, Kitchener, ONT

Hi Joe, The Gibson Johnny Smith pickguard you sent arrived yesterday with no problems. I was so excited to see it mounted on the guitar that I put aside what I was doing and drilled, filed and mounted it right away... Thanks again and I will be back again the next time I need the perfect pickguard. Anthony Marchitelli, Majestic Guitars LLC

Joe, Just to let you know that the pickguard for my L5 arrived here in Scotland on the Friday morning after ordering it from you in Seattle on the Tuesday. I can't get that kind of service in the UK. Needless to say, I'm delighted and I'm sure I'll be in touch again soon for more of your fine products. Best Regards, John Barclay, Aberdeen, Scotland

Hi Joe: I received the pickguard for my '49 ES-175...GREAT JOB.! The antiqued bevel is perfectly yellowed to match the aged binding on the guitar. It looks great! Regards, Ray Gargiulo, Massapequa, NY

Joe, I mounted the ('64 ES-175) pickguard today and I think it turned out really well, I've attached a picture. Thanks again for such a super looking piece! Phil DeMario, Timonium, MD

Hi Joe, I just received and am in the process of installing the pick guard that you made for my Gibson Howard Roberts. To say that I am pleased would be an understatement. The workmanship is absolutely beautiful and the price was quite reasonable for a quality product like this. Thank you very much, Richard Couch, Couch Musical Instruments,Wichita,KS

Joe, The (L-5C) pickguard has arrived and has at this very moment been installed. Your replacement guards have certainly a very high quality. Looking and acting "correct". Once again I have a big smile on my face. Best, Peter Moevelt, Horslunde, Denmark

Hi, Joe- The 1930 L5 pickguard (and my original) arrived in the mail here yesterday, safe and sound. The new guard is absolutely "spot on"! Just perfect! I installed it right away, and no adjustments of any kind were needed. It sits solidly, and no felt pad or anything is required to keep it from touching the top of the guitar. I am completely happy with it. Great job! Thank you so much for the work of art- it is perfect! Talk to you soon. Rod McDonald, Ann Arbor, MI

Dear Joe, Received the Gibson ES-150 pickguard today and it is great! Just the right size, shape and color. Thanks to everyone for their quality product and quick turnaround time!Best regards, Vic Bell, Tulsa, OK

Hi Joe , I just want to let you know I received the pickguard for the 1954 Gibson Super 400 . Super fast shipping !! Looks great !! Thanks much !! Willis Graves / Delta Prince Music, Phoenix, AZ

Hi Joe, I got my pickguard last week -- Fabulous! Thank you for going the extra mile to make it right. Yours, Bill Brinker,Boulder, CO

Just a short line to thank you and your company for your efficiency in attending to my order (pickguard for my Gibson ES-350). It is excellent. Once again, many thanks. I will not hesitate to recommend you to other local musician. Viv Peterson, Lincolnshire, UK

Joe. You weren't kidding! The guard is absolutely stunning, way beyond my wildest expectations. Thanks so much. I'll send you a picture when its on the guitar! Best, Ted Gottsegen, NYC

Wanted to let you know that I was finally able to get the parts you sent to me on my 1961 Epi Deluxe Regent. The whole thing is just beautiful. What a fine instrument and I am so glad I could restore it as close to factory as is possible. A few pictures for you.........by the way, that guard is just PERFECT! Again, thanks...-Dave Boze, Grand Blanc MI

Joe, The pickguard you made for my 1958 Epiphone Zephyr arrived ..and it's perfect ... It's good to know there's a place you can go for quality vintage guitar restoration work . Thanks a lot , Don Howard Krantz, pro-player, teacher & collector... Upstate N.Y.

Joe~ Many thanks for the Epiphone Deluxe pickguard and the advice. (Installation) went well and now the guitar looks grand. Keep up the great work! Dave Chamberlain, Tucker, GA

Joe, Received the Deluxe pickguard yesterday and mounted it with no problems. Looks nice. Thanks for the timely delivery and great quality. Mike Grocholski, Bay City, MI

Hi Joe, I received the beautiful pickguard today which will go on my '41 Broadway. Great quality guard which will complement my otherwise all-original precious much-loved Epi. Many thanks!! Best regards, Eugene Stecky, Toronto, Canada

Joe, I received the pickguard as ordered on Saturday. It's perfect ! Man ! What great work. Thank you so much for the speedy service. Lamar Holt, Roebuck, S.C.

Hi Joe, Just a note to say thanks for the great service, the pickguard arrived today and it looks magnificent. Best wishes to you and your team. Jim Mayers, Australia

Hi Joe, Just getting back to you to tell you that I love the tortoise Epi pickguard... I took it out into the sunlight and it looked just right. I will shoot you over a photo of the guitar and how beautiful it will look after the work is completed. Thanks again for all of your help and expertise and for being there keeping these great old guitars being played and heard. I has been a pleasure doing business with you. Best regards, Dirk Urban, Crete, Il

Hi Joe, The pickguard arrived safe and well yesterday. I am very pleased, it is quite a work of art and will fit beautifully on the guitar for which it is intended. Thanks again for your excellent service. Tony Marshall, PLEYBEN, France


Tailpieces

archtop.com is pleased to offer an exclusive selection of factory correct parts for restoration of your vintage instrument, most unavailable from the original instrument manufacturers for many years. To most accurately match the appearance of the existing hardware on your instrument, our parts are antiqued by hand to create a vintage style patina, and are available in bright plating as well.

Exclusive: Vintage Antiqued Gibson Triple Parallelogram Trapeze

This part is the correct replacement for the nickel tailpiece found on ES-175 models from 1949 through 1958, and from 1970 to the present. Also fits all Gibson L-7 models from the 40's through the present, and L-4, L-4C, most ES-300 and other Gibson models. Gold version fits L-12, ES-5, ES-775 and other models. Will also fit Howard Roberts, Tal Farlow and most Heritage full depth archtops. Should fit original screw holes. Antique nickel (at left) or chrome: $195. Bright nickel or chrome: $149. Bright gold: $195. Antique gold (at right): $249.

Exclusive: Epiphone Patent Pending Frequensator Tailpiece

This part is the only logo-stamped Pat. Pend. Frequensator tailpiece available today, with correct long pointed tail, as used in our own restorations. Available in bright gold $249, antique gold (shown) $295, bright nickel $195 or antique nickel $249. (Gibson era Epiphone Frequensator tailpieces also available, please inquire.)

Repair service is also available for your cracked or broken original Frequensator tailpiece, please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected]

Hi Joe, Thanks for sending the antiqued nickel ES-175 tailpiece, I had no problems installing it. It does look great on the guitar, and you were right -- it does have some heft and feels very solid. I think I've played the ES-175 every day since I received it from you! Best regards and looking forward to doing business again, -Phil DeMario, Timonium, MD

Joe, Thanks for your top notch service and for the absolutely beautiful Epi tailpiece. It's always a pleasure doing business with archtop .com. -Joe Cupani, Garden City, NY


Tuners

We have a wide variety of vintage correct genuine Kluson and Grover tuning machines as used by Gibson and other makers from the 20's to the present. Available in hand antiqued nickel, bright nickel or gold.

Left: Hand antiqued nickel Grover Sta-Tite tuners with butterbean keys and 18x1 gears. Includes screws and bushings. $149.00 (Bright nickel, bright or antique gold on request.)

Right: Hand antiqued nickel Kluson Deluxe tuners with keystone keys. Available in single and double line covers, single and double ring keys. $149.00 (Bright nickel, bright or antique gold on request.)

Three-on-a-plate and other button styles available, also some genuine vintage Grover and Kluson tuners: please inquire.

Joe, Received the tuners today - they look fantastic! Thanks and Happy New Year! Hope to keep in touch - perhaps for a whole guitar next time! Jane Bennett, Sittingbourne, UK


Hardshell Cases

Finding a hardshell case that will properly protect your vintage archtop can be a daunting experience. Regular dreadnought cases don't properly fit archtop bodies, and most retailers don't carry anything else. We are pleased to offer a line of deluxe vintage style cases with 5-ply wood shell construction, plush or velour-lined, that combine the best of traditional styling with modern engineering and ruggedness, as used by Gibson, Guild, and many of the top custom builders in the USA. Our cases have vintage style multi-ply wooden bodies specifically contoured for the special demands of archtop guitars, with arched lids, accessory compartments, locking latches, and additional padding to support critical neck heel and shoulder areas.

-16" case (at left) fit full-depth Gibson L-5, L-7, L-10, and L-12 through 1934; all L-4, L-4C, L-50, L-48; ES-125, ES-175, prewar ES-150, Howard Roberts, Herb Ellis, and other 16" Gibson cutaways and noncuts. 16" Epiphones include most Triumph, Broadway and Deluxe models through 1935, and all Spartan and Blackstone models. Other 16" guitars include early D'Angelico Excel, Style A, B and Special; all 16" Guild A and X series; 16" Vega, Kay, Harmony, Regal and other US and Euro archtops; all 16" Heritage and Fender archtops, and imports including Epiphone, Ibanez, Yamaha, Washburn, Loar, Eastman and others, and most 16" luthier built guitars. Interior dimensions: Upper bout: 12 1/2", Lower bout 16", Depth over bridge: 6", Overall length: 43 5/8" Width at peghead: 5 1/2" Black covering: $199.00. Tweed covering (special order): $299.00

-17" case (at right) fit full-depth Gibson L-5, L-7, L-10, L-12 and guitars made after 1934, including Johnny Smith, Le Grand, Super V, and other electrics and cutaways including the ES-5, 295, 300 and 350 series and postwar ES-150. 17" Epis include the Triumph, Broadway and Deluxe models after 1935, including electrics and cutaways. Other 17" guitars include later D'Angelico Excel, Style A, B and Special; Vega C-56, 66, 76, and 86; all 17" Guild A and X series, including Artist Award; 17" Vega, Kay, Harmony, Regal and other US and Euro archtops; 17" Heritage and Fender archtops; imports including Epiphone, Ibanez, Yamaha, Washburn, Loar, Eastman and others; and most 17" luthier built guitars. Black or tweed exterior; lining color may vary. Interior dimensions: Upper bout: 13 3/4", Lower bout 17", Depth over bridge: 6", Overall length: 44 1/2" Width at peghead: 6" Black covering $249.00. Tweed covering (special order): $349.00

-18" cases fit Super 400, Epiphone Emperor, most D'Angelico New Yorker, and makers above, including electrics and cutaways. Interior dimensions: Upper bout: 14", Lower bout 18", Depth over bridge: 6", Overall length: 44 1/2" Width at peghead: 6 1/4" Black covering $349.00 Tweed covering (special order) $449.00

-Thinline cases fit all 16" thinline Gibson ES-125, 135, 225, 330, 335, 345, 355 and similar guitars including Gretsch, Ibanez and others. Black or tweed exterior; lining color may vary. Black: $199.00

NOTE: Padded lining allows at least 3/4" of flex, so stock cases above should accomodate the dimensions of most factory and luthier-built instruments.

To size your guitar, measure across the back of the guitar body at it's widest point (lower bout). (Slightly oversize guitars are generally recommended for the next smaller case size, as lining will flex to accommodate.) Make sure to check the distance between the outermost tips of the 'D' and 'G' string tuners as well. This is particularly important on guitars with extra-wide headstocks (some D'Angelico, Guild, Kay, and luthier-built guitars) or with oversize tuners like Grover Imperials or Kluson Sealfasts.

Custom cases: Smaller or larger instruments, (including Byrdland) or ones with greater variation in dimensions may be accomodated with our custom built cases, which can also accommodate special covering or lining requests. From $495, please inquire for details.

Vintage cases: We have a small stock of selected original vintage hardshell cases, which can be quite hard to find. Please inquire for vintage Lifton, Geib, or other plush hardshell cases for Gibson, Epiphone and others. (Example at right): From $495, please inquire.


Joe; The case arrived in perfect condition. It is great to finally have a case I can trust. Now I can take this guitar out and not worry. Thanks for your help, Richard Chapman, Ballston Lake, NY

Hi Joe, Just got the case and it is gorgeous! My Loar fits perfectly. Thanks again for everything. Best Regards, Joey Hagins, Philadelphia, PA

Hi Joe, Just wanted to let you know that the case I ordered for my L-48 arrived and I am really pleased with it. It’s a perfect fit and really does it justice. I know the L-48 is not considered a high end instrument but trying to stuff into a dreadnought gig bag was just wrong.... Thanks again for the perfect case! Charles Tappa, Whitworth University, Spokane , WA

Hi Joe, There's an aspect of the services you offer that needs to be better known: the cases you offer for archtops. Both the '34 Round Hole L-4 (Which i can't keep out of my lap ... what a phenomenal guitar that just keeps getting better as it wakes up.) and the '35 L-12 came with original cases. There is no doubt that the cases add to the value of the guitars as investments. But i would hope that most of us buy guitars to play .... and that means getting them out and about .... and that would mean wear and tear on delicate old cases. The cases that you offer have been great fits ..... offer great security and peace of mind as they both protect great guitars so we can share the sound of these wonderful instruments and keep the original cases safely at home. Thanks for the service! Ryk Loske, Grafton, VT

(My Epiphone) Spartan was in the new case in the trunk of my car when I got creamed in a minor accident. Still, I got hit in the rear, from the side, by a vehicle going really fast, and the Spartan emerged unscathed. So that case was a very worthwhile purchase. Thanks. Josh Gordon, NYC

Joe, I received my new 17" case today. It was like Xmas. When I bought my 1969 Johnny Smith in 1980 it came with an all weather outer shell and hardshell case. I soon destroyed the outer shell and over the next few decades went through numerous handles and latches. This new case actually fits the guitar better than the original.... Thank you, I'll send people your way. Doug Pauly, Sacramento, CA

The case arrived and I am very happy. I looked for a case for this guitar off and on for several years before I came across your site. Thanks for the fast delivery. Love the packing material! Jim Cox, Salem, OR

For more information, or to place an order please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected]


Repair and Restoration

archtop.com is pleased to maintain the only repair and restoration facility specifically focused on the particular needs of the fine archtop guitar. Correct structural repair can vastly increase the tone, appearance and value of your instrument, and our precision setups can make playing infinitely more comfortable, accurate, and sonorous.

We offer a complete array of services, from precision setups to complete ground-up restorations, including finish work from spot touchups to factory correct refinishes with vintage style nitrocellulose lacquer. Structural repairs include crack and seam resealing, neck resets, and binding repair, including complete vintage style rebinding. Fingerboard services include complete or partial refretting with modern or vintage style fret wire; fingerboard and truss rod replacement; and inlay repair, engraving, or replacement. Setup services include fret leveling, crowning and dressing; truss rod adjustment; nut and bridge adjustment, bridge foot conforming, strobe compensation of string intonation, and optimization of action and playability. Hardware installation includes floating and soundboard pickup installation, control and jack mounting, tuner and tailpiece installation and replating, and pickguard installation or replacement (see above.)

To check your guitar for optimal performance, visit our Setup page here. Please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected] for rates and turnaround.


Hi Joe, Thank you, thank you, thank you for the wonderful job you did on my Ibanez "Howard Roberts" model guitar! I'm in guitar-playing heaven since bringing it home, what with the new much improved action and playability, intonation, and sound, not to mention the beautiful new pick guard that restored the instrument to its original look and beauty. Obviously I'm just thrilled. The change is just magical. Sincerely, Richard Polf, Seattle

Joe, Just got back my L7 and it looks and sounds great. The neck is in great condition and the refretting really heped. The action is smooth and low and so easy to play. The Armstrong pickup is perfect and captures the ampflied tone of the guitar without distortion. I couldn't be more pleased. Thanks for a great job on my L7...Bruce Hibbet, Jefferson City, MO

Hey Joe: Got the 1937 L-75 back today and just wanted to say what a wonderful job you did on it. It's like a new guitar only with 70+ years of character.Can't wait to hear it after it has seasoned in. This is a very handsome instrument. I've got a 1934 L-5, player, I would love you to take a look at some time maybe early next year after I save a little up. Best, Dan Curran, Salinas, CA

Hey, Joe Sorry it took me so long to give you feedback for the work you did on the Biltmore Venus.... I have been able to play the guitar a little and have had people play it for me so that I can hear what it sounds like. It sounds and plays great. Also, I'm very happy with the quality of the work you did on the pick guard and pickup installations, refret, and setup. I know I have another very long-term keeper to enjoy for many years to come. Thanks for the great work, Brian Graves, Cincinnati, OH

Joe, Thanks for the work on my 1965 L-5CES; the fresh setup, finish work and new truss rod have given that great old axe a new lease on life. And the straightening of it's warped pickguard was a stroke of genius! What a pleasure to spend time in your shop, surrounded by the very best archtops one could hope to see. Keep up the great work, you,re not only a lucky fellow to live among such fine wood, you,re a hellava nice guy too! Sincerely, Dan Goodman, Seattle

Joe, Just received ('39 Triumph sent to archtop.com for restoration) She is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! I can't tell you how impressed and happy I am. (Pause while I string her-up) SOUNDS AMAZING!!! You're the best!!! Warm regards, Don Howard, Louisville, KY

Hi Joe-- I am writing to tell you how pleased I am with the work you did on my Gibson ES-125. There are few times that one gets to see an instrument returned to its glory (at least in my life), but I had one of those moments when I opened the case and first saw the guitar--you did a great job with the finish and repairs and yet allowed the guitar to retain the character of its age. The touch-up and cleaning you did returned a rich and deep caramel to the antique sunburst finish, reminding me again that no one but Gibson can do a sunburst like that. And wow, the aging of the new pick guard and the new tuners is outstanding; my wife actually was unable to pick out what parts had been replaced on the guitar because everything looks so uniform. I was pleased with the look of the new pick guard as well; it adds a nice sense of "upscale" to the guitar--just a hint of the ES-150 now that really makes the guitar classy. Playing has been a joy, too. The fretboard-, neck-, and fretwork all have made the guitar play much better, and it is officially my favorite guitar to grab for any sort of music now. I can't believe what a difference the new frets make. All excellent work, I really have to say...Peace, Tom Wetzel, Somerville, MA

Hi Joe,... I would like to thank you and yours for the fine restoration work you did on my 1951 L5-C. Let me tell you I'm most happy with the finish and the fret job. The Armstrong 2D pickup is also very nice. The finish came out better than I expected in that you folks were able to bring my vision to life and in the process, you brought the guitar itself back to life. From an aesthetic point of view, the finish looks stunning! I've had other guitars refinished, but not to this quality of workmanship. The fretwork you guys did is perfect. The instrument plays very, very nice. It's rare that I get a guitar back from the shop that I don't have to do a bunch of work for it to play to my liking. My L5 was so nicely set up all I had to do was restring the guitar ..and drop the action a little. Thereafter the playability was smoking....David Kidder, Seattle, WA

Joe, I just rec'd back my '65 Jaguar and '73 P Bass that your repair shop worked miracles on for me. I am amazed at both instruments--they turned out remarkably well!!! Thanks again, Don Howard, Louisville, KY

Joe, just e-mailing you to let you know how pleased I am with your work on my McCormick archtop. The ebony bridge really opens up the sound and it looks great too. Thanks for doing such a great job on the setup as well. You really are the archtop specialist. Best regards, Steve West, Columbus, GA


Appraisals

We'll be happy to supply you with a detailed written appraisal of your instrument, on letterhead, suitable for insurance underwriting, estate planning, or simple curiosity. We are sorry, but time does not permit us to respond to random queries on instrument identity, dating or valuation unrelated to an appraisal or consignment. (Detailed information on our consignment program is here.) Appraisals are based on current comparable sales, contemporary published sources, and our extensive sales files.

We do not need to have the instrument in hand. All we require is the following information:

- The model and serial number of the instrument, if available. If the instrument is unlabeled, we can help determine its identity according to details of its construction.

-A brief description of its condition. Please note any cracks in the body or neck; any missing, changed, or broken parts or inlays; and the overall condition of the finish, binding (the plastic trim around the body), truss rod if available, and case.

-A pair of photos (full front and back shots, preferably in sunlight). If you can email the photos (jpeg format preferred, files under 100K please) we can usually complete your appraisal within 48 hours. If you wish to send photos by mail, please inquire for our mailing address.

We will return a current appraisal on our letterhead, valid for your sales, insurance or auction purposes. Cost is $50, and includes a free update anytime within two years of the initial appraisal. Additional instruments may be appraised on the same form for $35 for each additional item. VISA/MC/Paypal accepted. Please call 206-325-3737 or email [email protected] for your appraisal now.


Selling Your Guitar

We are also happy to help you place your instrument with a new owner, should you so desire. As the web's pre-eminent dealer in vintage archtop guitars, we can maximize your return on sales by presenting your instrument on our site to thousands of motivated buyers worldwide each week. Posting your instrument on our site is free, and includes pictures, detailed descriptions, and targeted marketing to our extensive "want list" with no cash outlay from you. Our return on consignment sales is one of the fastest and highest in the industry. Finally, if you prefer a quick cash sale, we pay substantially more than your local music store for archtop guitars that you may wish to sell outright.

For more details, visit our Consignment page here, call toll free 877-850-1978 (206-325-3737 outside US) or email [email protected]. We'll look forward to hearing from you soon.


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