1 Dave_K 2 months ago Epiphone's Masterbilt retro(-ish) archtops don't seem to have met with universal approval from the jazzy gang for various reasons. I fact I was told recently that they might be discontinued, perhaps to reappear as more historically correct instruments — no doubt at an appropriately higher price. I suspect that this is reason that many dealers, at least here in the UK, are knocking these things down at a much reduced price. So I bought one — a 17-inch roundhole archtop Deluxe in natural finish that three months ago had an £800-plus ticket on it but for which I paid just £349.Oh I get that it has laminated back and sides and a pressed (not carved) top, but what do you expect at this price? And I don't mind that the onboard pickup system has a battery hatch and jack socket down by the strap button, because this thing is exactly what I need right now for the little jazzy/swingy trio side project we've got going. It does kerchunk-kerchunk rhythm and more normal acoustic stuff and I'm having great fun with it. The neck is a lovely beefy handful (but not too much), the fretting is good and the action low.Now I'm wondering — what if I added the opportunity for some electric sounds by fitting a floating pickup (some sort of minihumbucker, maybe a Kent Armstrong) to the end of the fingerboard and ran it to a separate output jack fitted where the back strap button is?Which brings me to the question of strings that will retain the existing amplified acoustic sound, but also give a decent account of themselves through an electric pickup. Any ideas — Monel? Half rounds?