Todd's Half Archtop Baritone

Todd's Half an Archtop Baritone.

Another strange one! Todd wanted a baritone guitar but in the same format as the old and rare Martin F9 style which featured an arched top but with a flat back. So this is what we came up with - a Half Archtop guitar based on the ASAPJ body shape. The spruce archtop is hand carved while the back and sides are highly figured black walnut. The wide neck is laminated from black walnut and a 5mm wide figured maple center stripe that continues down the back of the guitar. There are two carbon fibre rods and a two way trussrod build into the neck. The fingerboard is Indian rosewood with bass guitar frets and the string spacing is wider than a normal guitar. Scale length is 29" (735mm) and the floating bridge Indian rosewood bridge has a Highlander pickup installed in it. The finish is gloss AC lacquer which has a Cremona sunburst on the top while the rest of the guitar is natural clear. The longer scale pushes the bridge and F holes back towards the tail where the strings are anchored in a figured walnut tailpiece. The stepped button on the Schaller tuners give the guitar a jazz feel.

Special strings made by Newtone were required to get the tension correct with the longer scale with baritone tuning and getting the neck angle and bridge height correct took a while to sort out. How did it work? Initially I thought the sound was a little harsher than I had expected but it grew on me and, if I had it in the workshop for longer I would have experimented with different string guages to see what the effect would be. Todd was happy and that is what matters.