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Steve Andersen Custom 17” Archtop

Steve Andersen Custom 17” Archtop

Price: $--SOLD

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2008, pre-owned

This Custom Vanguard 17” example is in excellent condition, having just come back from Andersen’s shop where he applied his loving care to refresh this beauty. The sound is everything you’d expect from one of our top archtop builders and the feel of the guitar is just wonderful. For those players and or collectors who have been looking for a fine archtop that is “gently priced” this might be the one for you.

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Some interesting thoughts about Archtop’s extracted from Andersen’s web site:

WOOD CHOICE CONSIDERATIONS
“The selection of the soundboard is by far the most important choice to be made when building a guitar. Of the various species of spruce I use for tops, I generally prefer Engelmann because of its tendency to produce a warm sound with lots of overtones. Most players today favor this response from an archtop, which I tend to think of as a 'modern' sound.

"The Pacific Northwest has long been recognized as the source of the finest tonewoods in North America. For a number of years I have taken advantage of my location to search out high quality wood. These include Engelmann spruce from Idaho, Colorado and Canada, and western maple from Washington and Oregon. I personally select rough billets of maple and spruce directly from the woodcutter who harvested the tree. Or, on several occasions I have obtained whole logs and split them into billets myself. These pieces are then sawn into guitar tops, backs, sides and necks, and stored in my shop to air dry for several years. I maintain an inventory of several hundred sets of wood for guitar and mandolin.

"By the time I actually select a piece of wood for an instrument, I know its history (where it grew, when it was cut, etc.) Obtaining my wood in this manner insures that it is properly cut, properly seasoned, and gives me more control in the resulting instrument."

FINDING THE TONE
"It is useful to recognize that the archtop is, by design, an inherently bright, punchy instrument. This was an important attribute early in the history of the archtop, when its musical role was primarily as a rhythm instrument in jazz bands.

"Over the years, as players put the instrument to new uses, other tonal possibilities have opened up. For example, I like to build guitars with more warmth and character than is found on guitars built in the 1930s, '40s and '50s. I find that most of today’s players prefer this sound, as well. To achieve a warmer, bigger tone, a number of factors must be considered. These include the woods used, the thickness of the top, how 'tall' or flat the arching is, the soundhole(s), and a number of design elements such as the height of the bridge, neck angle, and tailpiece design. Building nearly five hundred instruments over the last 30-plus years has given me an intuitive approach to understanding how all of these variables can be brought together to make the best possible instrument." - Steve Andersen

CRAIG'S POV

When the opportunity presented itself to obtain this previously owned Andersen archtop, I just couldn’t pass it up. In my opinion, an archtop with a built in pickup is extremely practical and when built right retains all of its acoustic tone. Most of the jazz greats - think Wes Montgomery - played guitars fitted this way, and as far as I’m concerned, the tonal jazz palette is unbeatable.

This Custom Vanguard 17” example is in excellent condition, having just come back from Andersen’s shop where he applied his loving care to refresh this beauty. The frets have been leveled and polished and are like new. Though there are some dings and a few dents , Steve buffed and polished this guitar to bring out it’s original luster. The sound is everything you’d expect from one of our top archtop builders and the feel of the guitar is just wonderful. The neck shape reminds of a D’aquisto, and I think would be comfortable and seductive for just about any jazz player. This guitar is based on Steve’s premium archtop line so many optional extras are here; the multi-bound bound headstock and body, bound F holes, exquisite select woods and inlayed ebony headstock.

For those players and or collectors who have been looking for a fine archtop that is “gently priced” this might be the one for you.

If you'd like to find out more about this item, just call or e-mail me. It would be my pleasure to talk to you about it.

ABOUT ANDERSEN STRINGED INSTRUMENTS
Steve Andersen has been making guitars and mandolins for over 35 years. Since 1990 he has primarily built archtops, with a respectful eye toward the great guitars of the past, and a keen and ongoing interest in finding new avenues to explore. The Andersen workshop is known for such innovative models as the Little Archie, the Emerald City and the Gold Standard. Having built nearly five hundred instruments has given Steve a deep understanding of the multitude of variables involved in building a great guitar. In his one man shop he builds around a dozen instruments per year, which affords him the opportunity to work on just one guitar at a time.

Conditionexcellent
Serial #442
TopEngelmann spruce
Back and sideswestern maple
Neck2 piece flamed maple
Neck profileC shape, .81 1st fret, .91 10th fret
Fingerboardebony
Bridgeebony
Pickguardebony
Headstock inlaycustom
Electronicsbuilt in humbucker, volume/tone
Tailpiececarbon fiber construction with ebony face
Binding ivoroidneck, body, f holes, headstock
Scale24.9”
Nut Width1 11/16"
Weight5.5 lbs
Casecustom Ameritage
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