Benedetto Guitars

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Tag, Jan 17, 2006.


  1. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    1: Does anyone know if he is still making guitars on his own, or only through Guild?

    2: In what year did Guild start building Guild/Benedetto? THANKS!!
     
  2. 55custom

    55custom Member

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    1. Maybe 1 or 2 per year with a backlog of several years. Huge $$,$$$.
    2. The contract with Fender/Guild was signed around March of 1999. Guild started building later that spring.
     
  3. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    I thought he had essentially retired...
     
  4. JPERRYROCKS

    JPERRYROCKS Member

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    Every time I go on Bob's website, it always links to Fender/Guild and it makes it seem like he's not taking orders anymore. But Bob may take an order if you can track him down and be willing to pay the $$$ it will take to make it. I thought he relocated down to Florida several years ago and he may not even have a shop anymore, but I can't say for 100%

    The Guild/Benedetto guitars are rather pricey guitars IMO for being built by the guild team, although they are top notch luthiers. $20,000 - $25,000 retail price Guilds with the Benedetto name on it are quite steep.

    I also think Bob may have sold the rights to his Benedetto name to Guild and may not be able to really market himself anymore. With factory built Guild Benedettos costing 20 grand, I would think a hand-made archtop guitar made by Bob himself would be $35-40,0000 if he even would make one.

    I don't see the sense in paying top dollar for production Guild/ Bendettos. They may be great guitars, but there's way too many well known archtop makers who can build your dream guitar for well under $10,000.

    But FYI, if you haven't bought Bob Benedetto's video series on making an archtop guitar, you should buy it. It's rare that a luthier of his caliber would share so much of his building techniques and craftsmanship on video for the public to buy.
     
  5. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    I met Bob at the Smithsonian several yrs. ago and he said that when his backlog started getting really long yrs. ago, he figured he'd raise prices and get fewer orders. He got more orders... and it went on from there. He was sheepish about how it "backfired" on him. He struck me as a very nice guy.
     
  6. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Well the new Mandolin Bros catalog has him listed with all the various models and insane prices. You might want to give them a call.
     
  7. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, but are they the "Guild" Benedettos or the "Bob" Benedettos...?
     
  8. EVO

    EVO Member

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    Well I'll put my two cents in. When I attended the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in 2001, Bob came as a guest speaker(awesome!). At that time he said he was still building and that he had a enormous waiting list going. He also said that his guitars were selling for $30,000, so I am sure they have gone up since then.
     
  9. gitman

    gitman Member

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    i had the good fortune of having owned a Benedetto Fratello guitar - freak luck : i found it in a store in Cologne that had ordered a few guitars from him when he was just getting known and when the prices where still ok. they sold that Fratello ( "brother " ) to a local player who eventually fell on hard times and took the guitar back to be sold on comission bases. the price then was about 3/4 of the price for a new one at the time ( around 1997 ) Without the waiting list so i jumped on it. gorgeous guitar, the nicest sunburst i ever saw, beautiful wood ( top quality but not over the top like many today ) and great playability .... but after playing it for a few months at home and for the odd solo gig i decided that it's just not for me : i strive for another sound in an archtop. i paid like $ 6000,- for it in very good used condition and was able to sell it about a year later for nearly double - i was building a house and needed every penny and i don't like to keep expensive instruments hanging around and not being played. had i waited 2 or 3 more years i could have tripled my investment but .... in the meantime i have played many new archtops from just as many builders and must say that this is the golden age for us ! i would not know where to begin looking for a new guitar with so many great builders around whos prices are very reasonable !!! if i had 6 - 8 grand to spend i'd have a hell of a good time...
    if you're going for an investment grade name-brand guitar check out John Monteleone - he's like the prince of archtop builders now and deservedly so. if you're prepared to spend 15 to 25 grand ....
     
  10. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    No I think they are Bob's, the Cremona, Ventian ect.. all $20K and up.
    Are the Guild ones going for that kinda coin?
     
  11. JPERRYROCKS

    JPERRYROCKS Member

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    No, they are not Bob's guitars and they are built by the Fender/Guild staff.

    Here's the price list, and you can clearly see the Fender copyright on the bottom of the page. Like I mentioned, they are quite expensive, and Bob has no hand in building these guitars personally.

    http://www.benedetto-guitars.com/resources/
     
  12. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    I have played a few of his archtops, and found them overly bright and thin sounding. I was VERY disappointed. I have also played Benedettos that sounded like that. Between Mandolin and Lark Street, I get to play many, many top line archtop guitars, and most of the small builders. Gibson still makes an archtop as well as anyone, as does Guild. Their tones are fatter and thicker than many of the newer builders, whos guitars have a thinner, brighter sound. This may or may not lend itself to solo guitar playing a bit more. On newer style guitars, the notes can be heard in chords more as individual notes, but I find they do not blend as well and give you that bigger warmth that older DeAngelicos, Gibsons and Guilds give you. The Buscarino I stumbled on is kind of in between, which may be why I like it more than many of his. he really has that modern sound as well. This one guitar though is just more vintage sounding for some reason, which I like.

    The Benedetto I am looking at is a "La Venezia" model, is from 1994, and is just an INSANE sounding guitar. It is probably the most resonate guitar I have ever played. It is 13,750 in near mint condition. Fair price? I would think at that year, that Bob built it himself.
     
  13. JPERRYROCKS

    JPERRYROCKS Member

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    A 1994 guitar is pre-guild, and was no doubt built by Bob himself.

    I'm surprised that it's priced so low @ 13,750. You would think it would be far greater than that considering how expensive the guild made
    benedettos are.

    Even If Bob would make that guitar personally today, I doubt you would get much change out of 30-35 G's.
     
  14. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    That was my understanding, too...
     
  15. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    I do not think that is that low. There is an 80s Cremona which I think was his most expensive model, for sale at Gruhn for 25 K in near mint condition I think.
     
  16. JPERRYROCKS

    JPERRYROCKS Member

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    My term of "low" is relative to what Guild is charging in todays market. You wonder how much the resale on these new models will be.

    If you can buy a near mint original built by Bob for 15-20 grand, I can't see shelling out that kinda of money on the production ones not bulit by him, even though they may be stellar guitars.
     
  17. 55custom

    55custom Member

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    I had spoken to Bob just a few days after he signed with Fender. He said he retained the rights to build one particular archtop model. I don't remember which one.
     
  18. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Probably the Cremona. Its not listed for Guild, and it was his top of the line model.
     
  19. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    http://www.benedettoguitars.com/about/

    From the Benedetto website

    Benedetto guitars inspire players — of all levels — to be their best. For those who appreciate the refinement of a living, breathing handmade guitar, nothing less than a Benedetto will do. Elegant in form and voice, it is truly"The Signature of Jazz Guitar".

    Each instrument is handmade by a small group of select luthiers, personally trained by Bob Benedetto. The team is dedicated exclusively to building Benedetto guitars in the Benedetto section of the Fender factory in Corona, California. Bob works hands-on with his team one week of every month to ensure consistency, and inspects every instrument before it is shipped. We are all very proud of these completely American handmade guitars.

    In addition to the Benedetto brand, Bob's team is also responsible for Guild's elite Johnny Smith Award and Stuart models, made with the same care and ongoing pursuit of excellence as the Benedetto brand.


    The are also 2 models of Guild Benedetto, The Stuart and the Johnny Smith.

    http://www.guildguitars.com/gear/gear.php?node_id=2249

    All are divisions of Fender. Noe are cheap.
     
  20. FredW

    FredW Member

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    I was at a Fender NAMM dinner and Bob was there, he is obviously VERY involved and seemed very hands on with Fender.
     

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