"This "Odeon-R" model is a 16-inch archtop made especially for on-stage blending of electric and acoustic tones. I thought of making it when I heard Chico Pinheiro, an incredible Brazilian Guitarist, play his Benedetto through two amps, using both the magnetic pickup built into the guitar and a DPA 4099 microphone with a goose neck. Apart from that, it took me some time to think of what to do exactly, and then I decided that it had to be a good archtop guitar with a superb acoustic tone, natural or amplified, but also affordable. A deep box would help the acoustic tone, but I would use Sapele for the back and sides. Mahogany and similar woods have been used traditionally for archtop guitars, so this shouldn’t be a real oddity. The size came next, and I decided to make it with a 16-inch lower bout, which is kind of medium-size in the archtop world.
When I carved the back I noticed that Sapele had a very reassuring characteristic, its interlocked grain. This means that Sapele trees experience spiral growing, but change direction every few years. The result of this is a wood less sensitive to the grain runout caused by the geometry of the carved plates. This is good news for an acoustic archtop, but anyway, given that the top and back were going to be carved quite thin, I decided to put a couple of braces on it. They are quite light, not the kind that you find on classical or steel string flat tops, but they give me the assurance that the guitar back won’t break – I’ve seen that on some good acoustic archtops that were not braced!
I braced the Spruce top inspired by the ubiquitous fan-bracing of classical guitars. I have made some classicals recently, and I thought that it would be a good idea for a thin top to use five small instead of two large braces. Thin tops are as fragile as thin backs, and this construction is much safer. I had also read somewhere that Ken Parker experimented with fan bracing for archtop guitars, and he was very positive with it, so I wanted to give it a try. I also reinforced some areas around the f-holes, the ones that are so prone to break that it is almost impossible to find undamaged in old thin guitars.
Given that the guitar inside was going to be unusual I decided to make a "soundport", mainly for looking inside it.
The neck has a scale length of 25.5” and the width at the nut is 11/16” (43 mm). The frets are stainless steel, Jescar FW47104SS. I made it using the Spanish classical construction (a separate piece for the peghead and then a heel made by stacking several pieces of wood). This is unusual for archtops, but I thought that it was a good thing to have in a guitar that also had some kind of classical-inspired fan bracing. The neck wood is maple, with a very strong curl.
The pickup is one of my own, a humbucker in a cocobolo case that is attached to the end of the neck with two prongs. This way, the guitar doesn’t have (and doesn’t need) a pickguard. I have found that many players welcome this; I learnt it from Yul Ballesteros, a fantastic Spanish player who plays with his hand in the air. That way he doesn’t need a pickguard, and his demand of a guitar without it was the reason why I designed that system. The volume and tone controls for the pickup are located at the tailpiece; as this is elevated to get the correct breakover angle above the bridge, there is ample room below it, so the arrangement is quite comfortable. Apart from the pickup, the guitar has a condenser microphone. I decided to install this instead of the DPA 4099 because it is simpler and the user has less to worry about.
Finally, the finish is nitrocellulose, the machines are Schaller M6-135 with ebony buttons and all the accessories (fretboard, tailpiece, bridge) are made of Ebony. The bindings are made of Jatoba wood."
VK/RP EURO 4.480,00 - vorrätig / in stock
EURO 3.764,70 – netto (For commercial EU- or all NON-EU Residents*)
*National taxes and fees has to be payed by the customer