How Archtop Guitars are Made

How Archtop Guitars are Made

Experts know: an archtop guitar is something special. These guitars are widely used by artists who play blues, jazz and rockabilly. Like to play something similar but you don’t have the right guitar yet? Then custom archtop guitars might be the instruments you are looking for. The best ones are hand made and provide you, as an artist, a sound that is unlike any other. Read more about the sound, finding a builder and pricing below.

What is an archtop guitar?

An archtop guitar is an acoustic guitar with a slightly arched top. You get where the name comes from, don’t you? In that respect it is different than a regular acoustic or classical guitar. Also, on the top you won’t find a regular sound hole but two F-shaped holes. This gives the guitar its specific look, but it is also the source of its unique sound. An archtop guitar generally sounds much sharper than a regular classical guitar. That is the main reason artists playing blues or jazz choose custom classical guitars like the archtop guitar.

How to find a quality builder

The archtop classical guitar is ready-made available, but the best guitars are hand-made. If you want to buy a custom-made guitar you will need to find a builder that is able to make archtop guitars. Not the easiest task but if you find one, he or she will build a one-of-a-kind instrument for you. It might take some effort, but it’s worth it. A builder will take into account all your specific wishes. That is why a custom-made guitar is the ideal solution for lefthanded players, or players that cannot find the right instrument in the shop next-door. Speaking about effort, maybe you also wonder about the necessary budget. Is a custom-made instrument very expensive? Let’s find out!


It’s impossible to give an average when it comes to pricing archtop guitars. The price of a custom-made guitar depends on the materials used and the experience of the builder. You should expect prices between €2.000 and €15.000 for a ready-made guitar. A custom built one starts at approximately €17.000. That is a lot of money but the guitar should last a lifetime. Finally, you will play a guitar with a unique sound. And that, of course, is priceless.