Levin Archtops

October 20, 2007

Nicolai Foss

The Levin Guitar Company was Swedish and founded by HC Levin in the beginning of the 20th century (some say 1900). HC Levin had served as an apprentice with Martin in the US, and, ironically, Levin was acquired by Martin in the beginning of the 1970s.

Levin produced a series of very pretty archtops that are seldom offered for sale. Stockholm-based Vintage Guitars features what is arguably the largest number of Levin archtops currently offered for sale anywhere in the World. The 18½ inch Levin De Luxe is particularly impressive and may have been intended as the Levin counterpart to the Gibson 400 or the Epi Emperor (I have seen it advertised elsewhere as “Levin De Luxe 400”). The 30,000 Swedish Kroner price tag seems very reasonable for this fine instrument.


One Response to “Levin Archtops”

  1. Andy Says:

    I recently was given 2 Levin archtops, a 330 and 335. They both have bolt-on necks. The fingerboards are flat and very thin with small size frets. The have sunburst nitro finish. The shape is a little quirky with the waist not narrow enough for my taste. The tope is quite thin and carved , the sides and back are maple. The 330 is a little upmarket so has fancier binding and headstock inlay. The neck is thick like a bassball bat. The top has a proper recurve but the back is pressed into shape with no recurve and has several braces to hold the shape. The tuners are total cheap crap. The guitar has a good tone with light strings and moderate playing but cannot handle heavy strumming without breaking up. They have potential but suffered from cheap shortcuts and out-of-date set-up standards and are obviously an amateur’s instrument.

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