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1978 Benedetto 'Sugar Ray' Custom
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Serial#: 2778. Homosassa, FL label, hand signed by the maker.
Body size at lower bout: 17" Body Depth: 3" Scale length: 25" Nut: 1 3/4"
Finish: Tobacco sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type.
Materials: Solid bookmatched handcarved tap-tuned spruce top; handcarved fiddleback flame maple back and sides; 5 piece tiger flame maple neck; Carpathian elm burl headstock facing; inlaid ebony fingerboard; pearl headstock logo and truss rod cover; 7-ply body binding; 5-ply neck and headstock binding; triple bound f-holes; solid bone nut.
Hardware: Solid ebony tailpiece and pearl inlaid ebony finger rest; gold Grover Imperial tuners; compensated adjustable ebony bridge with inlaid base, Bendetto S-6 floating humbucking pickup with volume control, endpin jack.
Notes: Sugar Ray Robinson? Sugar Ray Leonard? Or just a really sweet guitar player named Ray?
A rare product of his Homosassa Springs, Florida workshop, this remarkable instrument is the earliest Benedetto guitar we have had the pleasure to present. A full-depth X-braced instrument, it shows superbly bookmatched tight fiddleback flame in the back and sides, and a neck of dramatic tiger maple, with broad walnut centerstripes. Originally built as a seven string, the guitar was converted to a standard six, more appropriate to the 1 3/4" nut with which it was built.
This handsome guitar was built by Bob entirely by hand, in his Homosassa Springs, FL workshop, and shows signature touches of his earliest creations. The headstock and pickguard are both inlaid in a tasteful floral pattern, and the split-block fingerboard inlay is echoed in the pearl of the bridge feet as well. The sound holes are slightly larger than later models, and the headstock logo is inlaid in a handsome bold cursive script. The headstock is faced in genuine Carpathian elm burl, like the dashboard of a vintage Bentley. Even the truss rod cover is carved in solid mother of pearl.
The guitar has been maintained in showroom condition, without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, and is free of even the typical finish checking one might expect in an instrument of this vintage. At just 6lb. 3oz. the guitar is happily light in weight, and deftly balanced on the lap or the strap. The tap-tuned, X-braced soundboard is meticulously graduated, lending the voice a brilliant clarity, transmitted faithfully to the amp through the floating S-6 humbucking pickup. The gentle D profile neck sits easily in the hand, with smooth low action over a fresh high-precision setup.
And finally, on the multi-bound pickguard, there's a small, carefully engraved brass plaque. It reads 'Sugar Ray'. Pugilist or picker? You decide. One only, call now.
Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel strings (.012-.054). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 4/64" to 5/64" 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: Arched fitted black plush lined hardshell case.