Benedetto 1991 Manhattan 17"
Robert Benedetto is held in incredibly high regard in the world of archtop guitars as both a builder and a herald of the craft, making high quality instruments for hailed players like Bucky Pizzarelli, Chuck Wayne, Joe Diorio and Cal Collins, and, later, Johnny Smith, Jack Wilkins, Ron Eschete, Martin Taylor, Howard Alden, John Pizzarelli, Andy Summers, Jimmy Bruno and Kenny Burrell. His guitars have effectively slotted into the same world as names like D'Aquisto, D'Angelico, and Monteleone, as maybe a more affordable, yet equivelent quality alternative to those highly regarded names.
This particular guitar is a gorgeous 1991 Manhattan model, a 17" archtop with a cutaway that was built before Benedetto's expansion to include a larger team of builders, and, therefore, was built by Bob himself. These guitars are highly sought after, and although the name carries gravitas no matter the team member, Robert's guitars are especially renowned.
This guitar is 17" across the lower bout, with a 25.5" scale length. Instead of the usual slim modern style pickup, this guitar has a DeArmond Rhythm Chief 1100, which gives it an incredible vintage tone, along with its vintage/modern blend of styles. The spruce top is incredibly evenly grained, and has aged in beautifully. The maple back and sides are astonishingly flamed, matching up to woods seen on archtops from the 1930's. The board, bridge, and tailpiece are all great pieces of ebony, with nice small pores. The neck is comfortably thin, more of a modern C or even soft V shape, but the guitar still has the essence of a vintage archtop.
Visually it's in great shape, with the occasional blemish or check here or there, but overall is incredibly new for a guitar that's over 30 years old. Serial #23291 comes with the original Benedetto labeled hard shell case.