Archtop guitars are steel-stringed acoustic guitars with a distinctive "arched" belly and a sound particularly suited to blues guitar and jazz. They are also known as jazz-boxes or hollow bodies, although not all hollow body guitars are archtops.
The top (and often the back) of the archtop guitar are carved in a curved rather than a flat shape, and it normally has f-holes. This curve and f-holes are both similar to the violin family, on which they were originally based. Although any true archtop has a rich tone unamplified, most archtop guitars have some sort of pickup/microphone system, and many are intended primarily for this purpose and so may also be considered electric guitars. Most used on modern archtops are humbuckers in bridge and/or neck positions.
The archtop was invented by Lloyd Loar of the Gibson Guitar Corporation after designing a style of mandolin of the same type.
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