I would describe this guitar as a joy to play- very easy finger movement up and down the neck. Those who have hear me play it are amazed by the roundness and beauty of the tone. It is great for playing Django tunes both for rhythm and lead as it pushes out the sound and carries.
It is a solid top- and solid everything (see specs below.)- It is a large instrument and seems to fit only in a large Guild hardshell case, which is included with this instrument. Personally I think is far below what the guitar itself is worth. It has been refitted with a pickup by Rob Turner, CEO of EMG Inc. ,Santa Rosa, CA.
Gary Stroup was a guitar maker from Eckley, Colorado. This is a quote from his obituary:
After suffering a heart attack in 2000, his love of the guitar and his skilled carpentry led him to establish Stroup Guitars, making hand carved archtop guitars. He completed nearly 240 handmade guitars and sold them all over the world, making friends in all walks of life.
Here are some reveiws:
1. Goshawk: I've had my Stroup for about 3 weeks now, so I guess I could offer a mini-review. The problem is that I've only been playing guitar for about two years and this is my first archtop, so I have neither the technique nor the experience to offer much enlightenment.
I will say this: everyone who has heard me play it has commented on the tone - and believe me, they're not complimenting my technique. A friend who is a professional musician and recording engineer/producer said it has a "cello-like vibe." To my ears, it's very round, full and sweet.
2. wizard3739: This is my new archtop. Finish is rough but it sounds wonderful both acoustically and amplified. It needs to be set up but I will wait until it has been in Arizona for a few weeks.
He (Gary Stroup) builds his archtops using the Benedetto book for guidance and I seriously doubt any luthier could find a better reference for building this type of instrument. It is totally hand made and tuned carved top and bottom. My guitar looks and feels like a Benedetto! Additionally, it sounds a lot like a Benedetto! Truthfully, I paid an additional $125.00 to take care of some fret problems (probably unique to my arthritic hand conditions) But!! The bottom line is I have a Benedetto type guitar for less than $1200.00
3. guildman: i purchased a used Stroup archtop about 3 months ago. i couldn't be happier. i gig with this guitar every week. My 3 guild archtops are getting lonely hanging on the wall. Gary is no longer building guitars but if he was, i'd have him build me a custom "cats eye" archtop (anyone wanna sell a stroup?). anyway, i just wanted to say Gary builds a quality guitar and i would not hesitate to buy one of his used guitars.
Guitar Specs (Seem to be pretty close to the one I am selling)
body--------> 16" lower bout, 3" body depth, Venetian cutaway top------> hand carved, tuned, hi-grade Alaskan Sitka Spruce back-----> hand carved, tuned, hi-grade Maple sides-----> hi-grade Maple bracing---> scalloped, tuned, Spruce cross (X) bracing binding----> black neck-----> Mahogony fingerboard-----> 12" radius, Ebony, round inlay & side dot fret markers width at nut----> 1 7/8" (great for chord melody /fingerstyle) scale--------> 25 " frets----->21 bridge ------> Ebony, adjustable wheels tailpiece------>Ebony, similar to Benedetto pickup-------- suspended, Kent Armstrong jazz model, 6 adj pole pieces vol. & tone controls-----> edge mounted under fingerest machines----> Gotoh Deluxe 510 Chrome tuners (18:1 ratio) lifetime warrantee fingerest-----> Ebony, simlar to Benedetto finish------>Antique Vintage Timber Amber