custom made Archtop guitar from Scharpach

Scharpach

Custom built Archtop Guitars

Theo Scharpach is recognised as being one of the finest Archtop guitar makers in Europe today. He has been building Archtops for over 40 years and has access to some of the finest and incredibly old stocked woods.

If you are interested in owning one of the finest archtop guitars imaginable, specifically built for your needs and preferences, then request a free consultation below and we will make sure to get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Our collection of custom guitars

Over the many years of striving for full client satisfaction and dedication to the craft of building the best archtop guitars, Scharpach guitars has built up a wide array of archtop guitar designs. Below you can see some of Theo Scharpach’s most recent creations.

Scharpach Archtop Guitar

Opus Vintage

To honour tradition does not mean to keep the ashes, but to pass on the flame.

The Opus Vintage is inspired by the pre-war sound qualities of the archtop acoustic guitars of that early period. The early custom archtop guitars were mostly strung up with 0,14 or even higher and the Opus Vintage sounds great with 0,12. A fully acoustic build and non-cutaway Archtop, although it has a custom floating Humbucker positioned at the end of the neck. It comes with a robust 18” lower bout, which carries a rich full-body voice. The acoustic balance and volume of the Opus Vintage archtop guitar can only impress: Sweet and clear in the upper register, honeyed in mid-range, and velvety in her low notes.

OPUS-VINTAGE

I fall in Love to easily from Jule Style

Blue Monk, Thelonious Monk

OpusG custom built archtop guitar for Neff Irizarry

Scharpach Archtop Guitar

The OpusG archtop guitar

This specific version of the OpusG was custom made for Neff Irizarry: an exceptional Latin Jazz Player and composer who originated from Puerto Ricco and studied at the famous Berklee Jazz Department.

The OpusG has an old vintage archtop guitar style color which suits the model very well.

This specific archtop comes equipped with a humbucker pickup: The Scharpach Custom floating humbucker. This pickup was made by the London-based Jon Dickenson, specifically for this bespoke Scharpach guitar.

Time Remembered by Bill Evans, played by Neff Irizarry

Cuando tú no estás, played by Neff Irizarry

Scharpach Archtop Guitar

The story of the OpusG

The model “OpusG” is the result of a design collaboration between Theo Scharpach and the owner of this guitar, Michael G. Thompson. Inspiration for the creation of this guitar came from Michael’s vintage Gibson collection. After several iterations, the final archtop guitar design involved a unique combination of elements from and aesthetic “nods” to his favorite archtops from the 30s to the early 60s, which have been interpreted and created from the finest of aged woods.

This OpusG elegantly blends a robust 18” lower bout, which carries a rich full-body voice, with a thin-cut profile and narrow waistline, enabling enhanced ergonomics and player/instrument intimacy. The provocative Florentine cutaway gives effortless access to the upper range, which is all reflected beautifully either acoustically or through the Charlie Christian-style floating pick-up made by Pete Biltoft. The latter carries a custom blade created to compensate for the magnetic force and dynamics of the strings. The hardware of this archtop jazz guitar is also custom-made and plated with the rare element of rhodium, which exudes a deeper brilliance than traditional gold or chrome plating. As always, old woods are used and the unique custom tuner knobs are made from solid silver.

Although this guitar has a thin-line body, the OpusG’s acoustic output is remarkable. Nevertheless, a 17” version will also be made available in full thickness if required, with flexible pick-up options.

OpusG Archtop Guitar, custom built by Theo Scharpach

I had the great pleasure of inviting two promising young players to shoot a video before shipping the guitar to a well-known collector in Japan.

The OpusG Archtop is an 18″ thinline custom-ordered. Made exclusively using old stocked woods. Jan Ruerd Oosterhaven on Double Bass and Tim van der Velden on Guitar.

Out of nowhere, Johnny Green

Stompin at the Savoy, by Benny Goodman

Scharpach Vienna Archtop Guitar

Scharpach Archtop Guitar

The Vienna Archtop Guitar

The Vienna is made for the most passionate Archtop lover, player and collector. The architectural purity of the design gives the guitar a clean shape giving it the very essence of its sound. All of the custom archtop guitars’ design details enhance the beauty and the basic shape of the guitar. The proportions are perfectly balanced to create an outstandingly dynamic and powerful elegance.

The Vienna uses exclusive unique hardware, such as a hand-engraved tailpiece, tuning covers, and solid silver tuning knobs all of which are gold-plated. The woods used for this fine archtop are taken from old stock, for example, from the former old stock of Artur Lang.

The most recent, adapted version of the Vienna Archtop has a hand-engraved design on all the hardware. Furthermore, the headstock thickness has been reduced by about 2 to 3 mm to create an even more elegant and slimmer headstock.

It could happen to you: J van Heusen
Vienna Archtop
Played by Tim van der Velden

Joost Zoeteman and Wolf Martini play “Buy a Guitar” a Bossa Nova written by W. Martini.

It is always a great pleasure to be invited to join interesting projects. Joost Zoeteman and Wolf Martini are two well-known Dutch Jazz players that I have been acquainted with for quite some time. We have often discussed the possibility of collaborating and finally things worked out. The two of them teamed up to record three songs at a concert hall known as “de Verzameling” in Westervoort, the Netherlands. I would like to thank Marie-Jose and Jan van Hekke for their generosity in offering us their concert podium for the  recording session. Joost Zoeteman and Wolf Martini play the Vienna Archtop and a Flamenco guitar that is actually owned by Al di Meola but which happened to be available due to COVID.

Scharpach Archtop Guitar

Opus/5: Oval Hole Acoustic Archtop Guitar

This guitar was on Theo Scharpach’s wish list for quite some years. Last year, after meeting with a German guitar collector, he finally got the opportunity to build one. The collector had just bought another handmade guitar from Scharpach guitars, and somehow the discussion of Theo’s wish to build an oval hole acoustic archtop guitar came up. Almost without giving it a second thought, he commissioned Theo to build one.

This archtop acoustic guitar is inspired by the early works of Orville Gibson around 1920-1930. The beauty of this guitar lies in the simplicity of its design.

Of course, the design of this specific acoustic archtop guitar was brought back into the 21st century. The beautiful figured maple, grown in the wild, is perfect for holding the beauty of the wood, which is over 30 years old.

Take a Look at That Baby: John Fahey,
Played by the Duo: Suitcase full of blues,
Guitar: OPus5 Archtop

My Ideal: R. Whiting and N. Chase,
Played by Tim van der Velden

Impro. Over Castle: Django Reinhardt,
Played by Stochelo Rosenberg

Scharpach Archtop Opus108

Scharpach Archtop Guitar

THE OPUS108

The Opus108 is a true player’s guitar with a size of 17". This fine archtop guitar has been created with great dedication while using the same woods as for the Vienna archtop. The Opus108 custom archtop guitar is reminiscent of guitars from the great period at the beginning of the 20th century, with guitars like Levin and Epiphone.

This beautiful photo was sent to Theo Scharpach by the owner of the guitar, Andreas Dombert.

“I care greatly about the aesthetics and design of my guitars and I just love the photo because it brings out the lines and shape of the guitar perfectly.”
- Theo Scharpach

Just a small sound sample of Andreas Dombert playing the Opus108 Archtop Jazz guitar

Rot in Blau: A song written by Kristian Krischkowsky.

A beautiful recording of the Open the Box trio. Andreas Dombert plays the Scharpach Opus108 Archtop.

The Vienna Opus soundsample

Scharpach Archtop Guitar

The VIENNAJOE

The ViennaJOE was made especially for Philip Catherine. Light and versatile, it is a small-body 16" semi-acoustic Archtop Jazz guitar. Again, it uses the same old woods from Artur Lang’s old stock.

custom made acoustic guitar ViennaJOE archtop by Scharpach

Jostein Gulbrandsen playing the ViennaJOE

Philip Catherine live recording with Iphone

Memphis T' FVB custom built by Scharpach

Scharpach Archtop Guitar

THE MEMPHIS T' FVB

The Memphis'T is quite a unique piece in the Scharpach collection of custom archtop guitar designs. It is made exclusively from very old woods. The top is cut out of maple and the back and sides are from Madagascar cedar. The guitar is a hollow-body Thinline type guitar. The sides and back are covered/inlaid with an imitation Croc print by using real leather. The structure in the top has been cut into the solid maple top, imitating the leather structure.

Two of these custom guitars were commissioned by the famous shoe company of Floris van Bommel.

Memphis’T Thinline, made by Scharpach Master Guitars

Archtop Guitars: Wood choices

For most Archtops, Scharpach uses woods that were bought from the widow of Artur Lang way back in 1985.

Artur Lang was a well-known German guitar maker living in Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany, who died in 1975. Although some of the woods may have minor visual flaws, it is acoustically far superior to any fresh woods, due to its extreme age. The rough pre-cut tops sound like a bell. They have probably been drying in storage in Lang's workshop for more than 40 years. This means the wood is now close to 80 years old. This special batch of wood combined with detail oriented and precise creation is what gives Scharpach guitars such a vastly superior and characteristic sound.

Left handed archtop guitars

Of course it is also possible to request a bespoke Scharpach instrument as a left-handed guitar. The process of designing and creating a left handed archtop is very similar to the creation of a right handed model. Through 40-years of dedicated work in creating fine custom guitars, Theo Scharpach makes it possible to take all your personal preferences and wishes to build your ultimate left-handed dream guitar. Besides creating left-handed electric archtops, it is of course also possible to create a left-handed acoustic archtop guitar.

Make your custom guitar dream come true

From all custom archtop guitar makers, Scharpach guitars stands out as one of the most client focussed and detail oriented creators. If you have a custom guitar idea in mind and would like to discuss your ideas, then please contact us through the form below so we can start to use our 40 years of dedicated craftsmanship and creativity to make your dream a reality.