I am just finishing up an archtop guitar that is a bit of an experiment, and am thinking of what kind of pickup would best suit it.  The guitar is a hybrid solid body acoustic archtop, the idea being to get the string sustain of a solid body with the tone informed by the fully carved, X-braced top.  The body is 2" thick mahogany fully chambered out with a neck block, 1/2" rim and 3/8" floor remaining, with a 1" thick 2" wide "strong-back" from the neck block to the heel.  The body has a 1" wide strip of hard maple in the center, so the strong-back is mostly maple.  Top is a carved, X-braced traditional archtop from red cedar, neck is mahogany with a birds eye maple fret board and flamed, spalted maple headstock veneer (from my last years firewood pile, I burned an awful lot of flamed maple last year for some reason).

So my idea is the body of the guitar is almost a solid body by itself.  The archtop should get a decent acoustic sound but I really hope it will sound great amplified.  I was planning a floating Johnny Smith neck mounted pickup (I normally don't use a finger rest on archtops) but now I am thinking that if I hard-mounted a pickup to the top it might get input from the vibration of the top, which might be good or bad (probably feed back a lot).  Any ideas or thoughts?  Pickup will go between the sound hole and the neck.


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The guitar is 2 1/4" inches thick at the rim, lower bout is 15.25" wide, neck joins at the 15th fret. Neck is 1.75" at the nut, 19 fret, 12" radius, bolt on with a deep tenon.   I made the top from a piece of 2X6 cedar planking that I got from Home Depot, perfectly straight quarter sawn close grain cedar.  It's very dark because I carved the top almost 15 years ago and it sat around for all those years till I started building it again this September.



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