PETILLO GUITARS
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PETILLO GUITARS
Instruments currently manufactured in Ocean, NJ, since 1968.
Luthier Phillip J. Petillo began creating custom handcrafted instruments, repairing, and restoring guitars and other instruments in the 1960s. Petillo was one of the original co-designers of the Kramer aluminum neck guitar in 1976, and built the four prototypes for Kramer (BKL). Later, he severed his connections with the company.
Petillo made acoustic carved top and back guitars, flattop acoustics, semi-hollowbody guitars, and solid body guitars and basses. Petillo also made and repaired the bowed instruments. Petillo, a holder of a BS, MS, and PhD in Engineering, also offered his talents in Engineering for product development, research and development, engineering, and prototype building for the musical instruments industry.
Phillip and Lucille Petillo were the founders and officers of a research corporation that develops devices and technology for the medical industry. While seeming unrelated to the music industry, the Phil-Lu Incorporated company illustrated Petillo's problem-solving skills applied in different fields of study.
Petillo estimated that he hand built between eight and twenty guitars a year. Prices began at $1,200 and were priced by nature of design and materials utilized. Custom Marquetry Inlay and other ornamental work was priced by the square inch. Petillo offered 170 different choices of lumbers, veneers, and mother-of-pearl.
Restoration, alteration, and repair work were price quoted upon inspection of the instrument. In addition, he marketed his patented products such as Petillo Frets, the Acoustic Tonal Sensor, Petillo Strings and Polish, and a fret micro-polishing system. Petillo passed away due to a heart attack in 2010 at the age of 64, but his wife and five sons continue to build guitars.
Some of his clients included: Tal Farlow, Chuck Wayne, Jim Croce, Elvis Presley, James Taylor, Tom Petty, Howie Epstein, Dave Mason, The Blues Brothers, Bruce Springsteen, Gary Talent, Steve Van Zant, Southside Johnny, and many others. For more information, visit Petillo's website or contact them directly.

From Blue Book Publications:


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