He wrote the book on archtop guitar building. Literally. The most influential jazz guitar builder of the late 20th century, Bob Benedetto almost single-handedly jump-started the contemporary revival of fine handbuilt archtop guitars, and his client roster is an A-list of the topmost echelon of jazz guitar talent. Many of Benedetto's design concepts have been adopted as benchmarks, and an entire generation of today's top-tier builders count themselves as students or disciples.
A full-depth X-braced instrument, the Manhattan shows superbly figured European fiddleback flame maple, deftly bookmatched in a symmetrical chevron figure. The neck is carved from dramatic tiger maple as well and the tap-tuned top is hand-graduated of fine grained European spruce. The extravagant multiply binding (13 plies on the body, 9 on the fingerboard, 5 on the soundholes!) is virtually unheard of on modern guitars, and is comparable in our experience to only a few vintage Strombergs and Epiphones.
The voice is warm and focused, and the box retains a rich acoustic response that's transmitted faithfully to the amp. With impeccable medium jumbo fretwork, the gentle D profile neck neck sits effortlessly in the hand, with action is soft as melted butter. This example is in superb condition, with all original finish free of pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. Apart from a few incidental lacquer nicks and a small finish check near the tailpiece, invisible from all but a certain angle, the instrument shows few signs of play altogether.
With a new price of $20K, and a substantial wait, small wonder few Manhattans owners are willing to part with these beauties. A spectacular creation from the most celebrated contemporary maker of the jazz guitar, this instrument is a rare find indeed on the vintage market. One only: please call for an in-hand preview.
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Unconditional 48 hour approval on all instruments. Call 206/325-2727 for return authorization before shipping. Return instrument fully insured by air in condition received for refund of purchase price in full. Shipping charges, credit card and Paypal fees are not refundable.