Theo Scharpach, Is recognized as being one of the finest Archtops guitarmaker in Europe today. He is building Archtops for over 35 years and has acces to some of the finest incredible old stocked woods.
The new 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 is a unique combination of elements from and aesthetic “nods” to his favorite archtops from the 30’s to early 60’s which I have interpreted and created from the finest 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 allowing for enhanced ergonomics and player/instrument intimacy. The provocative Florentine cut-away 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 - which carries a custom blade I created to compensate the magnetic force and dynamics of the strings. The hardware is also custom made and plated with the rare element 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, also available will be a 17” version in full thickness version if desired with flexible pickup options.
As always old woods are used and the unique custom tuner knobs are made from solid silver.
This guitar was on my wish list for quite some years. Last year, after meeting with a German Guitar collector I had the opportunity to build one. He just had bought another guitar from my hand and somehow we came to discuss about my wish to build this guitar. He did not talk long and he commissioned to build it. The 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 21 first Century. The beautiful mellow Honey Blonde fits perfect to the beauty of the wood which is over 30 years old.
Tim van der Velden
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 that presents the essence of the sound. All design details enhance the beauty and the basic shape of the guitar. All the proportions are perfectly balanced creating a very dynamic powerful elegance. Yet this is done without any extrovert features that would distract the eye. The Vienna uses exclusive unique hardware like hand-engraved tuning covers and tailpiece, solid silver tuning knobs and all fine gold-plated. It needs no saying that the woods used are out of old stock. Like out of the former old stock of Artur Lang.
The latest new and adapted version of The Vienna Archtop has a hand engraved design on all hardware. Furthermore I managed to reduce the head stock thickness with about 2-3 mm to create a even more elegant slimmer head stock.
The new head stock construction was able due the use of new high tech machines.
For my Archtops I mostly use the woods that I bought already in 1985 from the widow of Artur Lang.
Artur Lang was a well-known German guitarmaker living in Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany and died in 1975. Although some of the woods may have minor visual flaws, it is acoustically far-out superior to any fresh woods due to the extreme age. The roughly pre-cut tops do sound like a bell. I estimate that they have been stored to dry in the workshop of Lang for more the 40 years. This means the wood is now close 80 years old.
The OPUS 108 is a true players guitar. The size is 17". It is made with great dedication and using the same woods as for the Vienna. However it has found it's starting points at the great period of Archtop guitars at the beginning of the 20th century with examples like Levin and Epiphone.
This beautiful pic is send to me by the owner of the guitar Andreas Dombert. I take great care a lot for aesthetics and design of my guitars and I just love the pic how it justifies the lines and shape of the guitar.
The ViennaJOE is especially made for Philip Catherine. It is a small body 16" semi-acoustic Archtop Jazz guitar. It is light and versatile. Again using the same old woods out of the very old stock of Artur Lang.
Jostein Gulbrandsen playing the ViennaJOE
Philip Catherine life recording with Iphone
The Memphis'T is a quite unique guitar within 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 Ceder. The guitar is a hollow-body Thinline type guitar. The sides and back are covered/inlaid with imitation of Croq print however with real leather. The structure into the top is cut out into the solid maple top and imitates the leather structure.
Two guitars were commissioned by the famous shoe company Floris van Bommel.