Archtop Owners


New Member
Apr 26, 2012
I'd greatly appreciate any info, pro or con, on these guitars that some of you have 'lived with' over some time. I have an opportunity to get an AT2 for 3K i think that is in really good condition. Do you like these guitars, anything you don't care for? Kept it original or modified it? Is 3K in the ballpark of what you would pay?

Thanks in advance!
Is it maple top? 10top? Birds? Anything special about it? 3k seems pretty good just depending on the specs. If you like it I would say go for it.
I'm not familiar with that model, but I have the SC-J, and it's absolutely a keeper. I'm tempted to change the pups, but it's not a showstopper -- those archtop pickups are polarizing -- a lot of not jazz guys don't like them, but I think they're fine. Not quite as good as Benedettos, but...there you go.
I’ve had an archtop for over 20 years, so I guess I qualify.
I like it quite a bit as it shipped. I kept the Archtop pickups in it and have stuck with the 12 gauge strings. Mine does not have a piezo.

It plays nicely and sounds much different than the hollowbody. It is big, which doesn’t bother me, but it might not suit everyone at near double the thickness of most PRS. There are days when to 12 gauge is a bit too much work.

I used it as a proxy for my classical for a few years. It lends itself to playing with my fingers, and it’s tone is mellow enough that it kept me happy when my classical was in a different country than I was.

I don’t think I would sell mine for 3k, but can’t comment on value beyond that.
My AT2 is a beast & it was my first PRS. I'd say 3k for one of those is totally justified & supported.... I paid $2,400 (+/-) used back around 2000 -- so, that price does NOT seem bad to me at all. I gigged mine hard for years & it shows. Great, great, great instruments.
I’ve had 5 Archtops. I still have 2. They are still my favorite when compared to the standard hollowbody. I find that the extra wood improves their physical balance. Given similar wood combinations (like maple cap or spruce), I’ve never heard the difference between an Archtop and a Hollowbody. Some folks claim the Archtops sound better acoustically. That hasn’t been my experience.

McCarty Archtop pickups sound fantastic. I really love them. I’ve also had first-gen 57/08’s in an Archtop 2 with delightful results. I suspect you’d be happy with either. The only absolute on an Archtop, for me, is 10.5 strings with a wound G.

I have never sold one for as little as $3000. That seems like a good price unless its in rough shape with moons.

They’re hard to find with a piezo. If it has one, that’s a bonus.
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That’s a beauty! Have you ordered the Calton case yet?