Popularized by great jazz guitarists, archtops were designed to be heard in bands. To me these are the most sensuous guitars of all. The extra cost in materials and the hours it takes to carve and voice the plates are definitely worth it. Chances are, if you’re considering an archtop guitar you already know exactly what you want. But there are subtle changes that can be made to transform an instrument to fit you like a glove.

While tradition suggests the back and sides be made from flamed maple, today you will find beautiful examples made from other wonderful tone woods such as walnut, cherry, and even solid rosewood. Finding instrument-grade billets of beautiful woods in the size needed for the large body of an archtop is difficult and costly. Carving and graduating these plates requires skill and patience to optimize the sonic potential locked inside.

Traditionally archtops have used bridges with height-adjustment screws to dial in the desired action. After performing tests using both a screw-adjustable and a solid bridge I have determined that a solid bridge produces a much fuller sound with greater volume. The custom bridge I build uses a tapered wedge to provide micro height adjustment. It’s the best of both worlds. If you’re a traditionalist, I can provide a two-piece, wheel-and-screw bridge. But if you’re looking to get the most out of your new archtop, consider a solid, wedge-adjustable bridge.

Review your options in the Pricing section (link). You can decide exactly how you want yours to sound and look. For wood choices not listed, call to discuss.