Monteleone 1977 Hexaphone 17" Flat Top
John Monteleone is considered to be the modern patriarch of the world of archtop guitars, but when he got his start building in the mid 1970's, it was fresh off the heels of a stint at the famed Mandolin Brothers in Staten Island as a repairman. John had spent the last few years taking apart, repairing, and sometimes improving everything from vintage Martins to Lloyd Loar mandolins, and had a wealth of knowledge and a burst of energy that organically led to the creation of his own mandolins and guitars, instruments that within a short amount of time, became famous within the guitar playing world, and the name "Monteleone" became synonymous with quality of build and of sound.
This guitar, Hexaphone #6, was originally John's personal guitar, was the first Hexaphone John ever built, his flat-top model that originated as a fusion between the jumbo size of the Gibson SJ-200, and the beauty and the crisp tone of the Martin OM-45. With the body size of 17" and a scale length of 25.5, this guitar is both loud, present, and crisp, with a bell like bloom that's hard to replicate.
The top is spruce (sitka, per John himself), and the back and sides are Indian rosewood, both woods taken from John's even then world-class selection. The neck is mahogany, with the nut width just shy of 1 3/4. The profile is a lovely C, a little thinner than most 70's guitars. The headstock features a gorgeous hand-inlaid "Hexaphone" shield and John's name, both in Mother-of-Pearl.
The headstock features banjo tuners, somewhat of a rarity for John's work, though not unheard of. The bridge, headstock overlay, truss rod cover, and fretboard are all wonderfully dark pieces of ebony.
Named the Hexaphone, John saw the guitar as a "six string speaker cabinet." This guitar, a prototype made for John's personal use, was eventually sold to a friend and early supporter of John's work, after a good amount of persuasion.
This guitar, like a number of pieces of John's work, was featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition "Guitar Heroes" which ran in 2011 with Rudy's direct involvement, so we're incredibly familiar with this historic instrument, and we've got it playing as good as it's been in years. The guitar comes with the original Met paperwork, as well as reference material from the show. Now's your chance to own a piece of Monteleone (and Met) history!
Serial #6 comes with a hard shell case.