Here's something you don't see every day. This is a first year Fender D'Aquisto Elite Archtop made in Japan in 1984. The serial # E523956 puts it in the first batch of Elite archtops that Fender made in a close partnership with Jimmy D'Aquisto (considered by some to be the greatest archtop luthier ever). Unlike some other production guitars featuring the D'Aquisto name, the Fender series are the only ones that really had Jimmy intimately involved and the first batch from Japan had the Master's greatest attention and involvement. People who own these guitars love them, and treasure them even above venerable L5s etc
Jimmy D'Aquisto was the last and most celebrated apprentice to the legendary John D'Angelico. In an abbreviated career of just three decades, D'Aquisto created a peerless body of work, instruments that are now the most costly and sought after archtops ever made. Working in collaboration with Fender Musical Instruments, he also created a number of more accessibly priced instruments that have become highly prized by serious players to this day.
The single pickup Elite is the version most highly prized by jazz players, and the hardest to find. Produced in limited quantities in 1984, the model was reissued from 1989 to 1994. This guitar is from the first series, and features a number of D'Aquisto's signature designs, including the two point bound ebony pickguard, and Jimmy's specially designed Schaller pickup. With dimensions similar to the ES-175, the 16" body is comfortable to hold, with a sleek 2 3/4" body depth, and the 24 3/4" scale makes fast runs and stretch chords fall more easily under the hand. This example is fantastic condition, without pick, buckle or thumbwear, and shows no checking in the original blonde finish. The only marks are slight indentations on the top, plus a hairline crack in the finish on the upper and lower bass bouts, plus some re-touched damage to the finish just down from the nut on either side of the neck. Check the detailed photographs in the 'more pictures' link below. The neck is a three-piece lamination, and there is no indication of any cracking, so the marks are a mystery! The guitar is absolutely stable, and in stunning condition in every other way, including the original hard shell case and original documentation.
The timbers themselves are beautiful - flame maple back, maple sides, 3-piece maple neck, rosewood bridge, carved rosewood over solid brass tailpiece, ebony tuner knobs, rosewood tone & volume knobs, finely grained spruce top, ebony fretboard with big block mother-of-pearl inlays, carved and bound ebony pickguard, and ebony headstock veneer.
Body size at lower bout: 16" Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut width: 1 11/16"
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