Full Body Archtops - High End Guitars

$1000 - $4000

ES-175 style guitars have been the staple instrument for jazz guitarists for decades. These are typified by a large, deep body, with sound holes; one or two pickups, and a free floating bridge on a rosewood base. Pickups may be mounted onto the guitars top - usually the case with dual pickup guitars. Most single pickup jazz boxes have the pickup floating above the top (they attach to the neck) as not to impede vibrations in the guitar's top. These are beautifully built guitars totally made for jazz. There are some other changes in style and ornamentation, but all are highly recommended instruments.

Gibson ES-175D

Gibson ES-175D

A beautiful guitar, but being a Gibson, doesn't come cheap. Sensibly priced vintage examples offer better value than new.
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D'Angelico EX-175

DAngelico EX-175

Really nice D'Angelico version of the classic ES-175. Wonderful detail on a great jazz guitar
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D'Angelico EXL-1

DAngelico EXL-1

The Excel EXL-1 has a spruce and maple body and maple and walnut neck, again beautifully made.
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Guild X-175

Guild X-175

Guild's version is available in sunburst and blonde. A really desirable professional quality guitar.
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The Loar LH650

Loar LH650

Few guitars in this price bracket have a hand carved top. The Loar 650 does, and for this reason alone places the LH650 (tonally at least) high up on our recommendation list.
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Eastman AR503

Eastman AR503

The AR503 also has a maple body, hand carved spruce top and ebony fretboard. Utterly superb guitar for the money. If this had a different name on the headstock, it might be four times this price.
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Eastman AR605

Eastman AR605

Another incredible guitar by Eastman. A carved spruce top is matched by carved mahogany sides and back. A beautiful instrument, and an incredible work of art.
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Full Body and Thinline Archtops - Mid-Price Guitars

$500 - $1000

Epiphone Emperor

Epiphone Emperor

The Epiphone Emperor is a very nice guitar. Gibson's attempt to take a slice of the mid-price archtop market. Reliable and functional.
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The Loar LH-302T

The Loar LH-302T-CVS

The Loar make some wonderful traditional guitars. This is the thinline version, though full body examples are also available.
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Eastman AR-371

Eastman AR-371

Eastman build carved and laminate top jazz boxes at much more sensible prices than some of their better known competitors. These guitars offer outstanding value for money.
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Ibanez AFC95

Ibanez AFC95

The Ibanez AFC95 is exceptional value for money, with a number of high end features: spruce top, floating pickups and ebony fretboard and bridge.
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Washburn J600K

Washburn J600K

This beautiful guitar looks the part with wooden bridge, tailpiece and pickguard. All-maple with some great woody tones.
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Gretsch G-100CE

Gretsch G-100CE

The G-100CE is a beautiful instrument with some really stylish features, all of it's own. It is also a superb playing musical instrument.
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Hagstrom HJ600

Hagstrom HJ600

Hagstrom have some history making jazz guitars, notably the 'Jimmy' designed in conjunction with James D'Aquisto. The HJ600 offers their twist on the 175.
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Godin 5th Avenue

Godin 5th Avenue CW

Godin Kingpin guitars are built in Canada out of cherry wood, and offer exceptional quality. This model is fitted with dual P90 pickups.
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Dean Palomino

Dean Palomino

Dean are better known for their rock guitars, but the Palomino, in it's various incarnations has all the characteristics of other 175 style guitars.
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Professional Jazz Guitars

The very best carved top jazz guitars are incredible instruments to play. You'll be sold on the very first note! Construction of such models is extremely labor-intensive, and these guitars are typically produced in very low numbers. Prices reflect this reality, and it is certainly worth looking at good condition used examples.

Gibson L5

The Gibson L5, and it's many electric and acoustic variants are incredible guitars. Astonishingly expensive, but worth every cent!
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Short scale and thinline, the Byrdland is an exceptional jazz guitar, and great for getting those wider-spaced jazz chords. Beautiful quality instrument.
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Entry Level Archtops

up to $500

Ibanez AF71F

Ibanez AF71F

The Artcore AF71F is a really nice guitar. Built like an early Gibson 175: all-maple body, mahogany neck and rosewood board. If you can find one for under $500, snap it up!
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