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Making an Archtop Guitar Paperback


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Frequently Bought Together

Making an Archtop Guitar + The Luthier's Handbook: A Guide to Building Great Tone in Acoustic Stringed Instruments + Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology (Guitar Reference)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Centerstream Publications (January 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574240005
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574240009
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 8.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

If you have an interest in building an archtop, you will want this book.
Mr. Subterrano
In producing this book Bob Benedetto has shared a lifetime of experience and produced a legacy for future archtop guitar builders.
Chris Emmerson
It is laid out very well and easy to follow mr. benedetto's writing style/instructions.
T. Veatch

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
While I would recommend this book, even to a motivated novice, I would caution those who are hoping that everything will be completely spelled out, and you'll be warned of all the things that could go wrong. This isn't an "Idiot's Guide to Building an Archtop." Benedetto is a bit vague in some rather crucial areas. That said, it is the best book on the subject. Admittedly, if he were to try to anticipate every wrong turn a reader might make, the book would not read as well. Part of me appreciates his lack of condescension. The other part of me, though, felt unprepared to move forward in a few spots.
I make my living as a woodworker, so I didn't really have any problems with the carving, joinery or finishing parts, but I imagine that a novice woodworker might run into some trouble. Since this was my first guitar, the more lutherie oriented parts gave me a bit more pause. I don't think I would have gotten the quality of result that I did without the outside sources to which I referred. The sections on fretwork and set up are, for example, barely adequate. The basic information is there, but there is a dearth of any hints, and I discovered that fretwork and set up are areas in which one needs hints.
Again, I recommend the book, but with the caveat that you'll want to read more elsewhere.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By howardpaul@aol.com on July 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
As an archtop owner and player for nearly thirty years, I would call this book a must read for anyone who is interested in purchasing a vintage archtop or buying a new one. Benedetto leads the reader into a deep appreciation of the painstaking detail that goes into The Making of an Archtop. He describes the level of attention that should be evident on each component of the guitar, and how it effects the player (and the price) in the end. The significance of learning the process of material selection, construction sequencing and design considerations might well lead the reader towards a custom made instrument. This book is a credit to all the independent luthiers out there whose trade is no longer a secret.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
I agree that this book is not for someone who is interested in seriously studying archtop design and construction. But It's a GREAT book for someone with a little experience under their belt, who wants to try something different. If you want to become the next "Greatest American Luthier", find a good mentor and apprentice yourself to him/her. If you want to build an archtop, this book is a comprehensive guide that will get you there.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
I almost didn't get the book because of the last review by the man who felt the book should have taught him how to tap tune a top. I am affraid in this generation we expect to get it all from books where once we could only learn by sitting at the masters feet. So far I have found alot of help in this book and I recommend it to anyone interested in learning to make a guitar
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
I don't know who charliem thinks he is, but on the subject of making archtop guitars (amongst others), Benedetto's book is the most informative of it's kind. As far as not giving enough info. goes, there is everything one needs to know from go to whoa. If he doesn't spell it out then it can either be worked out with a little basic math. or it doesn't effect the overall outcome. It is the best book on archtop guitars and should be in every collection.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By muizac on June 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
There arent too many books on building archtops, maybe because this book does such a good job; it covers the major aspects very well, provides handy hints, and dispells a few urban myths along the way. This book explains the concept of tone tapping - although a newcomer to guitar making has no terms of reference to what the desired tone should be at each stage of the process - maybe in the future Bob could provide MP3's or a CD? The book does use a large font face - but its the quality of content that matters most, and on face value there's pretty much a lifetime of learning that Bob has poured into text. I really like this book, areas like binding, bracing, neck joins etc are thorough, and the diagrams + b+w photos are generally good. There's a couple of sketchy areas - mainly the process of creating the arch using a pillar drill to various depth before you start carving - this is a key area as specific depths are required at different points of the timber, but this is very lightly talked about, and instead refers to a non existant diagram for further information.
As it stands its not too far away from a 5 stars.
with a bit
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Eugene R. Cole on January 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was and continue to be enthralled by this book. I have found no other book on this topic that is superior to or even equal to this book.
Being written by a master luthier there are any number of things that the writer does not explore in much depth; presumably because those things are so second nature to the author that he does not realize that readers might want to read about them. So the book is not enough to be only-source that a would-be builder would need. Many of these omisions are in the books favor; the book remains a managable size and does not need to broken out in to several volumes. However I would have liked a bit more commentary about why one should do things in the sequence that he outlines. Some of the questions I was left with are listed here.
*. Why are the recurves carved after the body is assembled?
*. When and how does one determine the angle of the neck set?
*. How much plate tuning will typically be done before and after assembling the body?
*. How does one build curve into a truss rod so that neck relief can be influenced by truss rod tension?
Much of this information is available from other sources but is not detailed in this book. The balance between brevity and detailing is subjective; for myself he got the balance pretty close.
I particularly like the books formatting and font selection. The font types and sizes are easy on the eyes and lend them selves to being reviewed without having to get too close. I greatly appreciate that I can look over sections of the book while the book is resting on the work bench. Too many of the books on instrument making are published in a format that is simply too small. With this book I can see details in the photographs and understand what is being illustrated.
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