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1993 Michael Dunn Stardust

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Serial #: 258

Body size at lower bout: 14 3/4" (375mm) Body depth: 4" (100mm) Scale length: 25 1/4" (640mm) Nut width: 1 13/16" (46mm) Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .80/.87

Materials: Solid fine grained Alaska red cedar top; solid Bubinga back and sides; rosewood headplate; solid Spanish cedar neck; solid ebony fingerboard; solid rosewood compensated bridge with ebony saddle; clear scratchplate.

Hardware: Gold Grover Mini-Rotomatic tuners; machine-turned brass tailpiece with rosewood inset; Bigtone pickup with endpin jack.

Notes: Starting in the late 1960's, Michael Dunn virtually single-handedly jump-started the revival of Selmer/Macafferri style guitars in North America. An influential teacher whose students include accomplished builders Shelley Park and Chuck Shifflett, Dunn remains the single most imaginative builder in the history of Gypsy jazz guitars. Working in the Classical and Flamenco style of his Spanish teachers, Michael shapes each guitar by hand, without a form. With his restless creativity in design and materials, each Dunn guitar is unique unto itself, a work of visual as well as audible art.

Like most true show-biz legends, the Vancouver, BC luthier's overnight success took only about three decades. Having seen Michael's work at a trade show in the mid-90's, Nashville retailer George Gruhn promptly commissioned a Dunn gypsy jazz guitar for immediate delivery. As legend has it, the first customer to play that guitar bought it, a pretty good picker named Chet Atkins, who kept it until his passing.

This example is a version of the guitar Django himself played, with the bark and volume of the legendary Selmer "Petite Bouche" oval hole guitars. With a slightly smaller body than the typical Selmer or Favino, the Stardust is notably comfortable and well balanced under the arm. The top is made of solid bookmatched Alaska red cedar, and the back and sides are crafted from solid African bubinga, a hard and highly figured tonewood. The solid ebony fingerboard is made in the classical style, with a generous 1 13/16" nut width, and a broad, slightly flattened neck profile that is easy on the hand.

At just 4lb 7oz, the instrument is nicely lightweight and well balanced, and Michael is known for his innovative touches, like the scalloped bone nut, and the solid headstock, for easier restringing. The hand rubbed French polish finish, a painstaking and laborious process, is an ultra-light violin style varnish that allows the tonewood to speak more freely than heavy lacquer or poly finishes. Dunn's guitars are known for their power and projection, and also show notably fuller bass response than many other gypsy guitars. This one is no exception with remarkable clarity and sparkle in the voice.

The instrument has been maintained in solid shape, crack free, with some typical pick wear on top, and some worn finish on the back. Finally, the guitar is amp-ready, with a Bigtone bridge pickup connected to an endpin jack.

Michael's many fans will be happy to hear that his performing career is keeping him quite in demand. But it's also meant that after producing almost 600 individually crafted instruments, this prolific builder has recently announced his retirement from full time luthiery, and is no longer accepting new orders. Dunn owners tend to be keepers, so this is a rare opportunity to acquire a unique creation from a visionary builder. Call now.

Setup: This instrument is strung with light gauge silvered steel strings (.011-.046). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference.

Case: Original deluxe arched black plush lined hardshell case.






















































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