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Vega C26 Archtop Guitar Sunburst, 1945

Vega C26 Archtop Guitar Sunburst, 1945

Here’s another unusual guitar – from 1945, a Vega C26 archtop acoustic guitar. Vega is one of the older names in American musical instrument production, first operating in Boston, Massachusetts in 1881 and making guitars, mandolins, and horns.  By the 1930s as banjos were waning, Vega began to focus on building guitars and many quality archtops were built.

Price: $1250 CAD
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Gretsch Country Club 6195 Archtop Electric Sunburst, 1960

Gretsch Country Club 6195 Archtop Electric Sunburst, 1960

This 1960 model Gretsch Country Club, with the trestle braced thinner body. The serial number grouping indicates an early part of the year, though the dates are not certain. There is some uncertainty as to the model number, because the stamp on the label is very faded. At this point, the Country Club used the designation 619x, with the ‘x’ indicating the finish colour. The most common variations are 6192 (sunburst), 6193 (natural) and 6196 (Cadillac Green). We read the last digit of the label as a 5, which can mean a custom order.

Price: $4599.99 CAD
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Guild Starfire IV Thinline Archtop Electric Sunburst, 1977

Guild Starfire IV Thinline Archtop Electric Sunburst, 1977

The Guild Starfire IV first appeared in 1963 as a semi-solid version of the Starfire I, II and III think hollow models dating to 1960. The Starfire V and V I models were further upgrades, with extra binding and inlay. Obviously taking cues from the ES-335, the Guild Starfire IV featured a body of Maple or Mahogany laminate and matching center block and neck with rosewood fingerboard. In the 1970’s some differences started to creep in. Most of the Starfire IV models have a bound rosewood fingerboard with dot position markers.

Price: $2300 CAD
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Eastman AR805CE Cutaway Archtop Guitar, Sunburst 2006

Eastman AR805CE Cutaway Archtop Guitar, Sunburst 2006

The Eastman AR805CE archtop is a high quality archtop guitar sporting a cutaway and traditional neck-mount pickup, with controls on the pickguard so the solid spruce top is not restricted by extra hardware. Hearkening back to the days of archtop supremacy, the AR805CE uses a 16 inch wide, 3.25 inch deep body built with solid woods – carved solid spruce for the top, carved solid maple for the back, and maple for the sides and neck.

Price: $1750 CAD
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Ibanez George Benson GB10 BS Sunburst Thinline Archtop Guitar, 1986

Ibanez George Benson GB10 BS Sunburst Thinline Archtop Guitar, 1986

The Ibanez George Benson GB10 BS is still in production as are other versions of the model, and they are as practical as when introduced. This model features two ‘floating’ mini-humbucking pickups, one attached to the fingerboard tag and the other to the pickguard. Neither contacts the top though the pickguard has a small support post. In the 1980s, the great Jazz guitarist George Benson entered into a collaboration with Ibanez to produce a series of signature archtop electric guitars, including the GB10 and its fancier sisters.

Price: $2299.99 CAD
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Ibanez George Benson GB10 BS Sunburst Thinline Archtop Guitar, 1983

Ibanez George Benson GB10 BS Sunburst Thinline Archtop Guitar, 1983

In the 1980s, the great Jazz guitarist George Benson entered into a collaboration with Ibanez to produce a series of signature archtop electric guitars, including the Ibanez George Benson GB10 BS and its fancier sisters. These guitars were immediately popular with other jazz players, because the design addresses real needs. The body is comfortably compact, and while its hollow, F-hole body design provides real archtop resonance, responsiveness and ‘thump’, the solid spruce top is carved to dramatically reduce feedback at performance volumes.

Price: $1249 CAD
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