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The Jackson Archtop Archive and Image Gallery, a gallery of US made Custom and Production model Archtop Soloists as well as gallery search, features database, history and evolution.
Arch Evolution

All this information is gathered only from available imagery, serial numbers and dates. There are no facts, just observation. Actual changes may have occured with an earlier guitar, so these details are provided as rough estimates. Hover over thumbnails for quick zoom, or click to jump to that gallery page.

Jackson Original Soft-Arch
JA0148 (1989) aka soft-arch
Jackson Original Soft-Arch
Jackson Original Soft-Arch
JA0034 (1987) original arch
Jackson Original Soft-Arch

There have been a few different variations of the arch over the product lifetime. The original is a smooth profile arch, with the height of it centered from the neck to the bridge. This is now referred to as a soft-arch.

Jackson SLAT Style Hard-Arch
JA0186 (2000) SLAT arch
Jackson SLAT Style Hard-Arch
Jackson Original Soft-Arch
JA0179 (1993) soft-arch
Jackson Original Soft-Arch

JA0179 (1993), the 2nd to last Archtop made before a long 5 year hiatus retains the soft-arch. When production resumed in 1999, a new arch appeared shortly after. JA0186 was a 2000 NAMM guitar closely resembling the future SLAT models.

Jackson SLAT Style Hard-Arch
JA0392 (2004) SLATQH arched horn
Jackson SLAT Style Hard-Arch
Jackson SLAT Style Hard-Arch
JA0223 (2002) SLATM
Jackson SLAT Style Hard-Arch

The first and only production variant of the Archtop ran from 2001-2005. The SLATQH, SLATM and SLAT90 all had the same arch. The central height widened slightly and also extended to both horns giving them their own arch.


Jackson SLAT Style Hard-Arch
Tele SLAT style
Jackson SLAT Style Hard-Arch
Jackson Original Soft-Arch
JA0529 (2008) soft arch
Jackson Original Soft-Arch

Some non-Soloists have even adopted an archtop, with the flavor of each arch type. JA0529 (2008) has such a soft arch, it is hardly noticable from images. A twin (assumed 2008) received a SLAT style top with an arched lower horn.

More Bevel Than Arch
Flat top with bevels
More Bevel Than Arch
More Bevel Than Arch
Death Angel Archtop
More Bevel Than Arch

Another non-soloist that adopted an archtop is the Death Angel. At least two were made, nearly identical, but subtly different. They however have more of a bevel than an arch (Should have been serialed J instead of JA). Serials believed to be JA400 and JA401.

Jackson Arch Geometry
JA0490 (2006) with obvious geometry
Jackson Arch Geometry

By definition, an archtop ideally would have a top profile which does not possess completely flat surfaces. JA0490 appears to have skipped a step, leaving a totally flat top and bevel-like edging. The transition between top and edges is very perceptible. However, it is still more of an Archtop than the Death Angels above.