Half Note

Availability: Custom made when you place your order. Pre-order today!

The Maxey Archtops Half Note is a 17” jazz guitar. Each hand carved spruce top is individually crafted for acoustic quality. The process creates a complex tone that will respond to your playing, while surrounding the fundamental pitch with overtones and beautiful sustain.

The back wood is hand carved book matched flame maple, shaped to resonate. The sides are bent matching flame maple. The guitar has a 3” depth in the tradition of some of the most important guitars in jazz history.

Construction method is at the center of the Maxey Archtops approach. Hand crafted instruments are one of a kind and made specifically to order. Our luthiers shape the materials to emphasize the strengths of the woods, making each guitar’s tone vibrant, and finished with nitrocellulose lacquer. The Half Note is as unique as the musician who plays it. A responsive and inspiring guitar becomes a part of your voice and approach to your music. It is an extension of the guitarist’s creativity and helps the player to tell their own story.

Maxey Archtops is the collaborative archtop division of Phred Instruments. Our guitars are hand crafted by a master lutheir shop overseas. Our makers are artisan builders in a long and historic line of finely crafted Chinese arts and bring a timeless and unique quality to each masterfully built instrument. They are responsible for the woodwork, gluing and Nitro finish of the Half Note. The design, electronics assembly, fretwork, hardware and setup is done in Los Angeles, CA, USA. 

Josh Maxey is based in Denver, CO. You can make an appointment to play a MA guitar locally. Josh is a jazz guitarist. You’ll find 10+ albums under his name and on NYC jazz label, Miles High Records. His music has been played around the world on jazz radio. Josh teaches full time online private lessons and group classes as a part of his Guitar Heads School as well as being the creator of Phish Guitar Heads, an online guitar study community with 2700+ members.


Use Coupon Code 50PercentDown at checkout to make a 50% down payment on a Half Note pre-order. The remaining balance will be due when your order goes into our Setup Queue.


Protect your guitar with a Hard Shell Case. Case dimensions are approximately 42"x15"x4".

G&G Quality Hard Shell Case


Re-wire the entire guitar with CTS pots, Orange Drop Capacitor, Switchcraft output jack(s), and a Switchcraft 3-way pickup selector switch.  In addition to upgrading your tone, you'll get smoother turning knobs and a more fluid pickup toggle selector. Chose the Shielded Wiring option to further assist with keeping out unwanted EMI noise from the guitar signal.
USA Rewiring for PHRED instruments Guitar


Replaces the standard stock tuning machine heads with Schaller M6, 3 per side, gold color tuning machine heads.

Schaller Gold Tuners


Replace the stock tune-o-matic bridge with one of the following options.
Gold Gotoh Bridge

Please add any additional notes in the text area below.


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Introduction by Josh Maxey

Maxey Archtops Archtop guitars changed my life. I walked into our local music store in Salem, VA, circa 1994 and heard the most beautiful guitar playing. The man who worked there became my first jazz guitar teacher and the idea of the archtop as being a kind of elegant pinnacle instrument was instilled right away. My first archtop was a starter that I learned on for a couple years. Then I set my sites on a vintage Gibson ES175. While in high school I got my first job and with a little bit of help purchased a 1961 ES175. It had two PAF pickups.  Over the next decade or so I moved to NYC, attended one of the best Jazz Schools in the world, played in NYC, and recorded albums of original music. That guitar was just “the guitar” and to me the PAFs were just how humbuckers should sound.

I have been fortunate to be around a lot of wonderful archtop guitars and even more so to be around the wonderful musicians who play them. The sound of those guitars is a part of the blood flowing through jazz and improvisation, the greatest of American art forms. 

Over the years I became more interested in the guitar, as an object. We know it as a tool to express beauty, but the guitar itself can also be art, and real magic happens for the player when a note comes alive, as if the guitar is in conversation with the ideas you are playing. That feeling is the basis for Maxey Archtops, the collaborative archtop branch of Phred Instruments.

I ordered a Phred Dockstar in October of 2017. I was interested in finding the smallest size hollow body that would still produce a big warm tone. It arrived a few months later and I was in love! Here’s this cool little guitar, inspired by of my favorite instruments, that was inspiring to play and had a multitude of sounds between the two humbuckers and splitting abilities. It was a like a toolbox all in itself. The 25.5” scale length combined with 24 frets, provided a snap to the sound I hadn’t experienced before.

In 2019 Freddy and I started talking about a handmade small body archtop build which became the Phred Instruments Reprise. When Reprise arrived, I couldn’t believe my hands and ears. Here it was, a new and unique guitar. It sounded and played differently than any other I had played. It was surprising and inspiring. It absolutely sings. 

The same luthiers who make Reprise make each Maxey Archtop guitar built to order. These guitars are made to tell your story in music and find a sound that inspires you to play and take your next step. Music flows out through the notes we play and adds meaning to our days, our archtops are meant to make that a little sweeter, with a bit more harmonic richness adding a little more depth and detail to your playing.

About Josh Maxey

Josh Maxey is a composer, band leader and teacher. His series of 10 albums has been played around the world on jazz radio and received many critical reviews. Josh teaches full time with his business, Guitar Heads School, running online classes as well as private lessons. Josh had the good fortune to learn from some of the greatest jazz musicians in history, Rodney Jones, George Benson, Chico Hamilton, Idris Muhammad, Dr. Lonnie Smith and others. His recording series is all original music and features some of the best musicians working in NYC. Josh plays and teaches online and in the Denver, CO area.

Products specifications
Body Style Archtop Hollow Body
Body Top Wood Spruce
Body Rear Wood Flame Maple
Body Side Wood Flame Maple
Bridge Style Floating Tune-o-matic
Stop Tailpiece Style Archtop Wood
Neck Wood Maple
Fretboard Wood Ebony
Frets 22 Medium Jumbo
Scale Length 25 1/2"
Fretboard Radius 14 inch
Nut Width 1 11/16"
Nut Material Bone
Fretboard Inlays Pearloid Design
Neck Binding Maple
Neck Stabilization Double-Expanding Truss Rod
Headstock Binding Maple
Tuning Machines Schaller M6 Tuning Machines
Neck Pickup Seymour Duncan
Neck Pickup Color Chrome
Control Knobs and Toggles
Volume Knob(s) Master Volume Knob
Tone Knob(s) Master Tone Knob
Output Jack(s) One Mono Ouput Jack
Other Specs
Guitar Strings D'Addario EXL 110 Nickel Wound 10-46
Dimensions Not available yet. Body depth (thickness) is measured from the side of the body.
Weight Not Available yet. (weight will vary slightly depending on selected options)
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Guitar setup

Professional Setup and Feel

To ensure that we deliver high quality playability and tone, one of our master guitar techs in the Los Angeles area meticulously inspects your guitar from headstock to the bottom strap button, and performs a setup to make your PHRED guitar feel comfortable to play. You can look forward to smooth level frets without any sharp edges, low string action, and adjusted intonation.  If you have a specific request for your guitar setup, just let us know.  All upgrade options purchased with this guitar are installed by our techs in Los Angeles while your guitar is getting a setup.


Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Purchase a PHRED guitar with peace of mind.  We will make every effort to ensure that you are happy with your PHRED guitar when it arrives.  However, because our products are customized, all sales are final.  Our warranty outlines situations where we will honor an exchange.


Left Handed guitars by PHRED instruments

Custom Builds for Left Handed Guitar Players

We do custom builds for left handed guitar players. In the Additional Notes text area above, just type in that you would like this guitar made left-handed.  There is no additional charge for left handed Phred guitars, but expect a 4-6 month build time. 


Shipping Options for PHRED guitars
Shipping Methods

If you live inside the continental USA, your guitar will ship via UPS Ground. If you live in Hawaii, your guitar will likely ship UPS 3 day. If you live outside of the USA, your guitar will likely ship via the United States Post Office. You may request FedEx shipping if you prefer FedEx delivery.


Package Tracking

Shipping Notification via Email

All guitars ship with a tracking number which will be emailed to you at the time of shipping. You will receive one email from PHRED instruments and possibly a second or third email from the shipping company and/or the place from which you purchased if it was other than the PHRED instruments website.


Phred International Shipping
International Shipping and Delivery Charges

Shipping charges are calculated at checkout for international shipping. If you live outside the USA, there may be additional import charges added at the time you receive your guitar. These charges are unknown to PHRED instruments, LLC, and will not be reimbursed by PHRED instruments, LLC.


Packaging without a Case
Packaging (without a hardshell case)

PHRED instruments guitars are placed inside a foam sleeve which is placed inside a corrugated guitar box with Styrofoam support for the guitar neck and bubble wrap around the bottom, top and sides of the guitar. The guitar box is sealed with clear tape and then wrapped with a second layer of corrugated cardboard and sealed with clear tape to add stability and strength to the shipping box.


Packaging with Case
Packaging (with a hardshell case)

PHRED instruments guitars are placed inside the hardshell case, the hardshell case is placed inside a plastic sleeve, and then placed inside a shipping box with cardboard end pieces, providing a protective air gap.




Damaged Package

What to do if there is Damaged upon Delivery

While it is extremely rare, there is a plan in place just in case things go wrong with the delivery. If your shipping box arrives with damage to the box (holes, tears, cuts, etc.), please take pictures of the box and email those photos to us. If possible, please also contact UPS (1-800-PICK-UPS) immediately to report it. If the guitar arrives with damage as well, please contact us immediately to arrange for a return request. We will need to setup a damage claim request with UPS and either tell UPS to pickup the package from your location, or have you return the package back to us.



Return Guitar

Return and Refund Policy

Purchase a PHRED guitar with peace of mind.  We will make every effort to ensure that you are happy with your PHRED guitar when it arrives.  However, because our products are customized, all sales are final.  Our warranty outlines situations where we will honor an exchange.

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