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2000 Benedetto Signature Guild Artist Award

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Serial #: GBB1020, Westerly, RI label, signed by Bob Benedetto

Finish: Amber blonde finish, nitrocellulose type

Body size at lower bout: 17" Scale length: 25-1/2" Nut width: 1 3/4"

Materials: Handcarved bookmatched solid spruce top; highly figured tiger flame maple neck; handcarved bookmatched fiddleback flame maple back; flame maple sides; ebony fingerboard with mother of pearl/abalone split-block fingerboard; ornate "pitcher and star" abalone/pearl peghead inlay; 9-ply body and headstock binding, 5-ply pickguard and f-holes, bone nut, Benedetto signature inlay in fretboard.

Hardware: All original hardware, including engraved gold-plated tailpiece; compensated ebony bridge; gold Grover Super Rotomatic tuners; original quintuple-bound tortoise pickguard, floating Benedeto S-6 pickup with volume control and endpin jack.

Notes: In March of 1999, the Guild Guitar Company joined forces with Bob Benedetto, then as now the most celebrated luthier in the archtop world. Bob felt a kinship with Guild, as both had begun business devoted to the production of archtop guitars, and Benedetto had long felt that his intensive research and expertise could help the firm refine its legendary guitars to even higher performance standards. And thus was born the Bendetto Signature Artist Award.

Though Guild would shortly move its Custom Shop, first to Nashville and finally Corona, CA, a scant few Benedetto Signature guitars were produced before the fabled Guild factory in Westerly, Rhode Island was shuttered for good. And this stunning instrument is one of that select group.

With its traditional design optimized by Benedetto, and built under his direct supervision, the Benedetto Signature Artist Award was significantly lighter in weight than its predecessor, improving both resonance and balance, and the fingerboard was widened to Bob's popular 1 3/4" size for easier fingering. The Benedetto S-6 floating humbucking pickup, originally designed by Kent Armstrong, offers incomparable accuracy and warmth. All this combined with the appointments seen only on ultra-deluxe instruments of the 30's and 40's: a full nine plies of binding on the body and peghead, the Emperor style split-block inlay pattern. Even the f-holes are 5 ply bound.

Guild is now under Fender management, and there is no indication at this writing that their archtop line will be revived. Which means that this stunning guitar may well be one of the most handsome examples of this renowned model we'll ever see. The back, sides and neck are carved from extravagantly figured chevron bookmatched tiger flame maple, and the guitar has a warmly ambered natural blonde finish subtly shaded over a bookmatched carved spruce top, with distinct 'bearclaw' figure in the lower soundboard. This instrument has been meticulously maintained without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear or lacquer checking. Virtually unplayed, the guitar is accompanied by its original Guild deluxe alligator case and owners' manual.

An equivalent Benedetto model is almost $20K today, with a substantial wait. One of the last of the Westerly Guilds, and a perennial favorite of working players, this distinguished instrument is a top-line all-carved American jazz guitar at a price within reach. One only: call now.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel strings (.013-.056). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Original black alligator arched plush lined Guild logo hardshell case.


























































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