custom made Archtop guitar from Scharpach

Scharpach

FINE 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.

Scharpach Archtop Guitar

VIENNA ARCHTOP

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 which gives the very essence of sound. All its design details enhance the beauty and the basic shape of the guitar. Its proportions are perfectly balanced to create an outstandingly dynamic and powerful elegance. Yet this is done without any extrovert features that distract the eye. The Vienna uses exclusive unique hardware, such as hand-engraved tuning covers and a tailpiece, solid silver tuning knobs all of which are gold-plated. It goes without saying that the woods used for this guitar and taken from old stock, for example, 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, I have managed to reduce the headstock thickness by about 2 to 3 mm to create an even more elegant and slimmer headstock.

The new headstock construction was possible due the use of new high-tech machines.

Scharpach Vienna Archtop Guitar

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

THE OPUSG

The model “OpusG” is the result of a design collaboration between myself and the owner of this guitar Michael G. Thompson, who drew inspiration from his vintage Gibson collection. After several iterations, the final design involved a unique combination of elements from and aesthetic “nods” to his favourite archtops from the 30s to the early 60s, which I have 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 I created to compensate for the magnetic force and dynamics of the strings. The hardware is also custom-made and plated with the rare element of rhodium, which exudes a deeper brilliance than traditional gold or chrome plating. Although it 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.

As always, old woods are used and the unique custom tuner knobs are made from solid silver.

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

OPUS/5: OVAL HOLE ACOUSTIC ARCHTOP

This guitar was on my wish list for quite some years. Last year, after meeting with a German guitar collector, I finally got the opportunity to build one. He had just bought another hand-made guitar of mine and somehow we started discussing my wish to build such a guitar. Almost without giving it a second thought, he commissioned me to build one. This fully acoustic guitar is inspired by the early works of Orville Gibson around 1920-1930. I like the strong simplicity of the design.

Of course, I brought the design back into the 21st century. The beautiful figured maple, grown in the wild, is in perfect keeping with 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 Guitar

THE OPUS108

For my Archtops I mostly use woods that I 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 and died in 1975. Although some of the woods may have minor visual flaws, it is acoustically far superior to any fresh woods, due to their extreme age. The rough pre-cut tops sound like a bell. I reckon they had been drying in storage in Lang’s the workshop for more the 40 years. This means the wood is now close to 80 years old.

The OPUS 108 is a true player’s guitar. The size is 17". It has been created with great dedication and using the same woods as for the Vienna. However, it is reminiscent of Archtop guitars from that great period at the beginning of the 20th century, with examples like Levin and Epiphone.

This beautiful photo was sent to me 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. 

Scharpach Archtop Opus108

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

custom made acoustic guitar ViennaJOE archtop by Scharpach

Scharpach

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. 

Jostein Gulbrandsen playing the ViennaJOE

Philip Catherine live recording with Iphone

Scharpach Archtop Guitar

THE MEMPHIS T' FVB

The Memphis'T is quite a unique guitar in my collection of custom 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 Croq print, but using real leather. The structure in the top has been cut into the solid maple top, imitating the leather structure.

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

Memphis T' FVB custom built by Scharpach

Memphis’T Thinline, made by Scharpach Master Guitars