BENEDETTO GUITARS
Model Search
Select Category
BENEDETTO GUITARS
Instruments currently manufactured in Savannah, GA since 2006. Instruments were previously produced from 1999-2006, under a licensing agreement with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC). Instruments were first made in Nashville, TN by the Guild Custom Shop in the early 2000s, and later in Corona, CA, by the Fender Custom Shop till mid 2006. Benedetto also built custom instruments during this period at his shop in Riverview, FL.
Master Luthier Robert Benedetto has been handcrafting fine archtop guitars since 1968. Born in New York in 1946, both his father and grandfather were master cabinetmakers, and Benedetto´s uncles were artisans and musicians. While growing up in New Jersey, Benedetto began playing the guitar professionally at age thirteen. Being near the New York/New Jersey jazz music scene, Benedetto had numerous opportunities to perform repair and restoration work on other classic archtops. Benedetto built his first archtop in 1968, and his pre-eminence in the field is evidenced by his having made archtop guitars longer than any living makers and a growing list of endorsers. Current endorsers range from Jimmy Bruno and Kenny Burrell to Earl Klugh and Andy Summers.
Benedetto moved to Homosassa, Florida in 1976. Three years later, he relocated to Clearwater, Florida. A veteran innovator, Benedetto began concentrating on the acoustic properties of the guitar designs, and started a movement to strip away unnecessary adornment (inlays, bindings) in 1982. While continuing his regular work on archtop building, Benedetto also built violins between 1983-1987. Violinist extraordinaire Stephane Grappelli purchased one of his violins in 1993. Benedetto even built a small number of electric solidbody guitars and basses (which debuted at the 1987 NAMM show) in addition to his regular archtop production schedule. After 10 years in East Stroudsburg, PA (1990-2000), Benedetto relocated back to Florida in 2000. His endorsers span three generations of jazz guitarists. Not since John D'Angelico has anyone made as many archtop guitars nor had as many well-known players endorsing and recording with his guitars. Closer scrutiny reveals nuances found only from a maker of his stature. His minimalist delicate inlay motif has become a trademark as have his novel use of black, rather than gold, tuning machines, black bridge height adjustment wheels, and an ebony nut (versus bone), all of which harmonize with the ebony fittings throughout the guitar. He is the originator of the solid ebony tailpiece, uniquely fastened to the guitar with cello tail adjustor. Likewise, he was the first to use exotic and natural wood veneers on the headstock and pioneered the use of violin pigments to shade his guitars. His Honey Blonde finish is now widely used within the guitar industry. Benedetto is also well-known for refining the seven-string archtop and is that unique model´s most prolific maker. Benedetto is the Archtop Guitar Construction Editor and "Guitar Maintenance" columnist for Just Jazz Guitar magazine, and is the author of Making an Archtop Guitar (Center Stream Publishing, 1994). He released his 9 1/2 hour instructional video, Archtop Guitar Design & Construction, in November 1996. He also markets the Benedetto "floating" pickup, a standard size humbucking pickup, and solid ebony tailpiece for his (and other) archtop acoustic guitars.
Benedetto has built over 800 musical instruments. While the majority (500) are archtop guitars, he has produced 157 electric solidbody guitars, fifty-two electric basses, forty-eight violins, five violas, two mandolins and one cello.
Benedetto pickups were licensed in 2000 to be sold exclusively by Seymour Duncan. In 2006, FMIC (Fender) and Benedetto parted ways, amicably. Benedetto and longtime friend and professional guitarist Howard Paul formed BENEDETTO GUITARS, INC. in Savannah, GA.
During his archtop making career, Benedetto made eight semi-hollowbody electric guitars (six of which were made between 1982 and 1983 and have been dubbed Semi-dettos by author Adrian Ingram). These versatile guitars feature a carved top, double cutaway body design with two separate tone chambers and a solid center block. Each model was crafted to the original owner's needs and specifications, resulting in slight differences between the models. The other two semi-hollowbody electric guitars were prototypes built by Benedetto in 1997 (Biographical information courtesy Cindy Benedetto). For more information, contact Benedetto directly or visit his website.

From Blue Book Publications:


No part of this information may be reproduced in any form whatsoever, by photograph, mimeograph, fax transmission or any other mechanical or electronic means. Nor can it be broadcast or transmitted, by translation into any language, nor by electronic recording or otherwise, without the express written permission from the publisher.