Eastman FV680CE-SB Electric Hollowbody Archtop-Sunburst
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This Selmer/archtop hybrid guitar was designed by the Utah based luthier Ryan Thorell for Frank Vignola, a longstanding luminarie of the American Gypsy and swing scene. Frank's style fuses the acoustic pyrotechnics of Gypsy jazz with the cool sophistication of American swing and bebop, requiring an instrument that is truly acoustic/electric. There's no doubt that Thorell succeeded brilliantly in this endeavor, by designing an instrument with impressive acoustic volume and tone that is easily amplified and feedback resistant.
An evolution of Frank's previous Benedetto signature model, the Eastman FV680CE-SB has body contours based on that of the Selmer Maccaferri models made famous by Django Reinhardt. The most notable feature is the Maccaferri style cutaway which instantly identifies this instrument's Gypsy heritage. Innovations include a smaller, more comfortable 15" body; a shorter, more ergonomic 25 3/8" scale; carved cello style tailpiece; carved ebony pickguard; stylized soundholes on the lower treble bout; and a sound port on the upper bass bout. Unlike traditional Gypsy guitars, this instrument has a carved, AAA spruce top that is unusually thin to allow for maximum acoustic resonance. A floating Lollar Johnny Smith pickup and pickguard mounted tone and volume thumb wheels are also included.
The acoustic sound of this instrument is truly unique, as its hybrid qualities allow one to achieve punchy, Gypsy style leads one minute and complex, mellow jazz tones the next. The projection is astonishing, with plenty of volume for rowdy Gypsy campfire jams or acoustic, big band rhythm work. The Lollar Johnny Smith pickup translates these qualities beautifully into an amplified sound that is rich and full, while retaining a very acoustic-like vibe, even at high volumes.
For many, this thoughtfully designed instrument will solve so many of the problems that acoustic swing and Gypsy players face. With Gypsy guitars being notoriously difficult to amplify, and most archtops sounding too "electric," this guitar will allow the player to easily plug in and perform at high volumes while retaining an acoustic flavor to their sound. Additionally, the short scale allows even the most difficult runs and chord voicings to be played with ease.
Neck Profile:Traditional Even C
Nut:Bone 1 3/4"
1st Fret String Height:.022"
12th Fret String Height:Bass .078" & Treble .062"
Fretwire:20 Jescar FW47104
Scale Length:25 3/8"
Body Style:Thorell/Vignola Signature Gypsy Jazz Guitar
Body Dimensions:15" x 3 1/4"
Body Top:AAA Tight Grained Spruce
Body Back/Sides:Highly Flamed Mahogany
Truss Rod:Single Acting
Binding:Top and Back
Binding Material:4 Ply Ivoroid
String Spacing:2 3/32"
Neck Pickup:Lollar Johnny Smith
Potentiometers:500K Linear Taper Thumbwheel
Strings:D’Addario NYXL .012 - .052