The 1998 Gibson Custom L5 CES and Archtop.com Review

I have always purchased new guitars.  Any dings or scratches or gouges — and they’re an unfortunate, but inevitable mark of playing a living thing — were proudly and embarrassingly put there by me.  When I became interested in expanding my guitar playing repertoire from Blues to Jazz, I realized my talent was challenged in the change and that I was chasing a whole new sound I was failing to properly pin down.  I happened to find Joe Vinikow and Archtop.com and my life as a man and musician have been forever changed.

Archtop.com is one of those Holy Grail places you read about in ancient myths — except that place of beauty and aesthetic conception is alive, and its manna is available for purchase!  Archtop.com is an enterprise dedicated to buying and selling only Archtop guitars.  There is no greater landing place on the internet than Archtop.com if you want to get a fantastic Jazz guitar at an incredibly reasonable price.

I instantly fell for this beautiful 1998, blonde, Gibson Custom L5 CES and contacted Joe and it was mine without moments!

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Eddie Lang: The Father of Jazz Guitar Review

Eddie Lang is the greatest Jazz guitar player you have probably never heard of before today.  Eddie Lang died in 1933 at the age of 30 after a botched tonsillectomy that Bing Crosby urged him to have so Eddie could have speaking roles, in addition to playing the guitar, in Bing’s movies.  Today, a new Eddie Lang album dropped — The Father of Jazz Guitar — and it is a delightful experience to hear Eddie’s archtop guitar sound so round and rich and full and warm 80 years after he first recorded the songs.

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The Ibanez AF125AMB Artcore Custom Review

UPDATE: May 20, 2011 — After a week of playing this guitar every day for at least three hours, it’s starting to warm up and loosen up a bit.  The wood is “coming in” and the sound reverberation is much more pleasing and enjoyable now.  This is, in large, a relief and I am starting to like the creamy Jazz sounds oozing from this box.

As I move my Blues guitar playing deeper into Jazz territory, I decided I wanted to dip my fingers into a more complex Jazz box — a traditional archtop — to see if I could more easily replicate that classic Jazz guitar sound.  I know you can play Jazz on any guitar, and my ’57 Les Paul Black Beauty and my ’56 Les Paul Goldtop both sound great playing Dave Brubeck and Wes Montgomery, but I wanted to get into Joe Pass, Tal Farlow and Jim Hall hollow body territory.  I decided on the Ibanez AF125AMB Artcore Custom and the price was right at $900.00USD after a $100 instant rebate from SamAsh.com.  I was set.

Continue reading → The Ibanez AF125AMB Artcore Custom Review