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  #086   Guild Benedetto Johnny Smith Award.   Serial No 68.


  The great man at home, enjoying a good pipe and this exquisite guitar.


Guild Benedetto Johnny Smith Award No 68.

 Exceptionally Rare.


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!

This one 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!    


Some Background:

Bob Benedetto's 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.   

What 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.    

According to 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!)

But 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.   

Each 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 guitar.

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!!  

This guitar has only been played lightly, with no visible sign of having been played.    It is like new in every respect.  




CBB2000068 was made in May 2004:

Model Name: JOHNNY SMITH AWARD (Benedetto® Signature)

Model Number: 360-9800-837

Category: Custom Shop Carved Archtop Electric Jazz Guitars

Body Style: Single Cutaway (17" in Width, 3" in Depth)

Scale Length: 25 9/16"

Top: Hand Carved, Graduated Solid European Spruce

Bracing: N/A

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)

Bridge: Ebony

Hardware: Deluxe Gold Hardware

Electronics: 1 Benedetto® S-6 Mini Humbucking Pickup,

1-Volume Control

Finish: High Gloss (Nitro-cellulose Lacquer)

Colour: (837) Antique Burst,   (867) Honey Blonde

Unique Features: Superfine Multiple Line Bindings Throughout,

Engraved Harp Tailpiece,

Imperial Tuners,

Inlaid Johnny Smith Award Motif on Headstock,

Inlaid Abalone Benedetto Logo at 19th Fret,

Arched Top,

Bound F-Holes,

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

Options: N/A

Strings: Guild L5350 Stainless Steel Flatwound,

Gauges .012P, .016P, .024W, .032W, .042W, .052W

Introduced: 7/2002

Discontinued: 2005


  More pics available on request.

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