Benedetto Johnny Smith Award No 68.
Firstly, I have to say I adore this guitar. For
me it is just perfect in every respect. I
have long held a great passion for Guilds, even now
under-rated after all those years in the shade of Gibson and
yet, in most respects, far better!
is exquisite - superbly designed, perfect to
look at and immaculately made with that very special Guild
Sunburst. Long before you play
it, it appeals as a work of art. Then to
hold it and play it ........ well we all want
different things from a guitar but, for me, this
has to be the best!
association with Guild started in the Westerly. Rhode Island
days and extended through the acquisition by Fender and into
the establishment of the Custom Shop at Corona.
Some of the team of Guild Luthiers he trained at Westerly
moved with the guitars and by 2004, when this guitar
was made, the Benedetto Guilds were attracting rave
reviews for design, quality, tone and finish.
Bob actually did was to redesign the existing range of
X-500 Stuarts, X-700 and Artist Awards from the inside
out. Outwardly looking like their Guild
predecessors they were constructed using the principles Bob
had refined over a lifetime career. The
resulting instruments were a real step forward in terms of
playability and performance. Even so, the
Guild name sat uneasily in the Fender camp and Fender failed
to market these superb instruments successfully.
As a "last Gasp" it was decided to re-launch the
highly revered Johnny Smith model. In order to differentiate it from the Artist Award,
Bob Benedetto was asked the make the guitar the way he felt
it should have been. This time he had free-reign and
changed some of the key dimensions, updated the
construction and re-spec'd the electrics.
Magic. At last, a real modern Guild.
Benedetto's records, there were a total of 50 Guild
Benedetto Johnny Smith Awards made between 2003-2005 (19
Honey Blonde, 23 Antique Burst and 8 Opulent Brown!)
Fender still didn't capitalise on this new jewel in their crown.
In a attempt to boost sales, Johnny Smith signed just 18 of the new JS Awards at a
major press event on August 9th 2004, and these were
marketed together with a signed boxed set of Johnny's CDs, and some
other candy, at an inflated price aimed at collectors.
Finally, this model was withdrawn in 2005.
Fender do not have definitive records but it is generally
believed that around 70 JS Awards were produced.
Unfortunately, they do not have a record of the serial
numbers of the 18 signed guitars either.
About this guitar.
bearing the Benedetto name was personally supervised and
inspected by Bob Benedetto and only when he was entirely happy
with a guitar would he put his name to it. This fabulous
instrument, built in 2004, bears his signature on the label
and on the Certificate of Authenticity which comes with the
Finished in Benedetto's fantastic Antique Burst it is absolutely Mint.
The Johnny Smith Award is a truly great guitar! Stunning
to look at, inspiring to play, it is full voiced
with ringing harmonics and capable of delivering whatever a
guitarist calls for, just like my Benedetto Fratello
except that the Fratello has a creamy voice whereas the JS
has a wider palette of tonal shades. It feels right and it sounds
superb! This is a great acoustic archtop and is
superb played un-plugged. The
Benedetto S6 floating pickup is legendary for the
quality of its tone and response and raises this amazing
guitar to equal the very best!!
guitar has only been played lightly, with no visible sign of
having been played. It is like new
in every respect.
was made in May 2004:
Model Name: JOHNNY SMITH AWARD (Benedetto® Signature)
Model Number: 360-9800-837
Category: Custom Shop Carved Archtop Electric Jazz
Body Style: Single Cutaway (17" in Width, 3" in Depth)
Scale Length: 25 9/16"
Top: Hand Carved, Graduated Solid European Spruce
Back: Solid Figured German Maple
Sides: Solid Figured German Maple
Neck: 5-Piece Curly Maple
Width at Nut: 1-11/16"
Fretboard: Ebony (12" Radius)
Hardware: Deluxe Gold Hardware
Electronics: 1 Benedetto® S-6 Mini Humbucking Pickup,
Finish: High Gloss (Nitro-cellulose Lacquer)
(837) Antique Burst,
(867) Honey Blonde
Unique Features: Superfine Multiple Line Bindings
Engraved Harp Tailpiece,
Inlaid Johnny Smith Award Motif on Headstock,
Inlaid Abalone Benedetto Logo at 19th Fret,
Mother-of-Pearl and Abalone Block Inlays,
Sleek Black Stairstep Pickguard,
Improved Fingerboard Extension Design
Case: Includes C5217A A Premium Alligator Hardshell
Case, p/n 3501075219
U.S. MSRP: $11,000.00 in 2004
Strings: Guild L5350 Stainless Steel Flatwound,
Gauges .012P, .016P, .024W, .032W, .042W, .052W