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ca. 1940's Busato Grand Modèle Deluxe

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Body size at lower bout: 16.14" (415mm). Scale length: 26 3/8" (670mm) Nut Width: 1 11/16" (42mm) Body depth: 4 1/8" (105mm)

Materials: Bookmatched solid Alpine spruce top; arched maple back and sides; 3 piece mahogany neck; solid ebony fingerboard; triple bound body, ornate engraved enameled headstock.

Hardware: Original gold BB tailpiece and tuners (one SB replacment), solid ebony bridge.

Notes: The guitars of Bernabe Busato are widely acknowledged as among the most powerful of gypsy guitars, long revered by the A-list of European guitar masters, including Stochelo Rosenberg, Romane, and Django himself. One of just three examples of the Busato Grand Modèle Deluxe known to exist, this remarkable guitar is the the top-of-the-line offering from this legendary Parisian luthier, and only one with an arched maple body.

At 16 1/4" wide, the jumbo sized 14 fret Grand Modèle is the most desirable of instruments from this maker, with the oval hole, long 675 mm scale, and top and back shaped with a pronounced arch. (It has been suggested that Busato's upsizing of the Selmer body helped inspire Favino to do likewise.) Unlike most surviving Busatos, this example is in wonderful condition, with no pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. Impeccably restored by Oissell Hannier in 2004, the instrument was fitted with a new ebony fingerboard and neck heel, a vintage correct finish, and a seamless patch over a small hole in the lower bass side. Ornate touches of the Deluxe version include the accordion style peghead (reminiscent of the B&D Ne Plus Ultra banjos of the 20's) and the graceful tailpiece inset, an engraved and enameled ebony position marker once inlaid in the original fingerboard. Original gold BB tuners are augmented with a single SB with matching button.

At just 4lb. 7 oz. (2.02 kg) the Deluxe is exceptionally lightweight for a jumbo sized guitar, and has the open, focused voice of Alpine tonewood well aged and well played. Particularly notable is the bass response: where many gypsy guitars can be thin and nasal, the Deluxe simply thunders with a mature, full throated baritone and phenomenal projection. Smooth low action over fine pro frets, traditional full neck profile with 1 11/16" (42mm) nut, impeccably straight ebony fingerboard with 10th fret dot. A celebrated example of a legendary model, this guitar has been widely profiled, and has been the subject of its own video feature here.

Since Busato's passing in 1952, his instruments have attained iconic status amongst players and collectors alike. A rare opportunity to own one of the rarest and most distinctive guitars in the gypsy tradition.

Setup: This instrument is strung with .011 gauge silvered steel strings, and will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference.

Case: Molded fiberglass hardshell case.






























































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