Major Manufactures - Companies that push a lot of instruments and have a dealer network. Most have custom shops and off-the-rack guitars for under a $1000 that can get one started playing jazz. Just remember, you usually get what you pay for.
I have included some manufactures that have seven string guitars but that are not archtop guitars. Could be a cheap way to try out a seven string. This is the route that I took for experimenting with 7 string guitar. I've also listed manufactures of guitars that one can still find used. But might not be making new guitars or are out of business.
A web site that lists the Manufacturers' Suggested Retail Price ( MSRP ) for guitars.
The rec.music.makers.guitar.jazz FAQ newsgroup's FAQ answers lots of questions on selecting a guitar suitable for playing jazz.
The following guitar companies all mass produce guitars that are suitable for playing jazz. Some produce laminated archtop entry level guitars and some even have custom shops that spin out carved archtop guitars that rival the custom builders.
Several companies offer models for under one grand that will get you started. Get the best guitar you can afford. It DOES make a difference. Just play one of the higher end models or a custom model and feel and hear the difference. Which can be bad in a way. Then you'll really want one.
Visit a guitar show in your area and look in the local trade rags. In my area their is a local paper call "Tradin' Times" that has a Musician's Grapevine section where you can list instruments and equipment for sale and look for musicians. This is mostly rock oriented guitars for sale, but their are some guitars that are suitable for jazz that show up form time-to-time. Amplifiers and sound equipment are also listed for sale. These type of papers are usually found at your local convenience store. (aka 7-11, Wawa, Turkey Hill. Mini-Mart, etc...)
Also search the web. Their are several sites that list instruments for sale or will search the vintage market for you.
Misc Manufactures Guitar Links
- Guitar Links - Miscellaneous guitar links
- Cheesy Guitars
This site is dedicated to vintage instruments made in Europe and Soviet Union during the "communist" years. The first reason we've made this site is that there's no information about these guitars, no pictures and no reviews. But they exist, and they definitely worth checking out.