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  #094   Guild Benedetto Johnny Smith Award.  No 54.

One of only 18 signed personally by Johnny Smith.




Guild Benedetto Johnny Smith Award No 54.

 One of only 18 personally signed by Johnny Smith + signed CD Box Set


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 massive 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.    

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    Finally,  this model was withdrawn in 2005.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 Honey Blonde 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 playing and zero wear.   It is simply Mint .  

It is one of just 18 JS Awards, signed personally by Johnny Smith on the back of the headstock.  For these guitars, he also signed the Certificate of Authenticity and the CD Boxed Set.  



Monday.  Aug 9th 2004.   "Jazz guitar legend Johnny Smith joined Robert Benedetto, one of the world's premiere jazz guitar luthiers, at Guild's manufacturing facility on Monday, August 9th, to personalize a limited edition number of hand-crafted instruments. This collaboration features a total of 18 Guild Johnny Smith Award model guitars that were signed by Smith",     Ref:  Guild Press Release 26.08.2004     See below.





CBB2000054 was made in May 2004:

Model Name: JOHNNY SMITH AWARD (Benedetto® Signature signed by Johnny Smith)

Model Number: 360-9800-867

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: $18,000.00 in 2004

Options: N/A

Strings: Guild L5350 Stainless Steel Flatwound,

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

Introduced: 7/2002

Discontinued: 2005






Guild Press Release.

Guild Creates Limited Edition Johnny Smith Award Model

Aug 26, 2004

Jazz guitar legend Johnny Smith joined Robert Benedetto, one of the world's premiere jazz guitar luthiers, at Guild's manufacturing facility on Monday, August 9th, to personalize a limited edition number of hand-crafted instruments. This collaboration features a total of 18 Guild Johnny Smith Award model guitars that were signed by Smith, and which will be made available to authorized Guild retailers on a first-come, first- served basis.

This historic limited run celebrates the recent return of the name Johnny Smith to this Guild guitar, which was first introduced in 1956, but which featured his name for only four years. Since 1960, the guitar has been known simply as the Guild Artist Award model.

When Guild teamed up with renown guitar builder Robert Benedetto in 1999, one of the goals was to utilize his expertise to refine some of the classic Guild designs, including the Artist Award model. Since that time, Benedetto has been working extensively with Guild's team of master luthiers to help hone their skills and to incorporate his own techniques, resulting in a series of instruments known as the Guild Benedetto Signature line. Robert Benedetto personally signs off on each and every Johnny Smith Award model guitar that is built.

With the names Benedetto and Guild working together, Smith has once again added his name and endorsement to the guitars. This special edition run of Johnny Smith Award model guitars are available in two finishes: Antique Burst and Honey Blonde. Both the top of select European spruce and back of flamed European maple are carved and hand-graduated to Benedetto's exact specifications. The guitar also features a 5-piece American maple neck with ebony fretboard (including the Benedetto logo inlaid on the 19th fret), multiple binding package throughout, mother-of-pearl and abalone inlays, and the distinct Johnny Smith signature headstock.

There are a total of 18 instruments in this limited run, each of which has been hand signed by Smith in gold paint on the back of the headstock. Each instrument also comes with a special certificate of authenticity signed by Robert Benedetto and Johnny Smith, as well as a copy of Mosaic Records' limited edition release of The Complete Roost Johnny Smith Small Group Sessions. This 8-CD box set release contains 178 tracks that cover 15 original LPs and 4 ten-inch sessions in a beautiful digital format.

The limited run of hand signed Guild Johnny Smith Award model guitars and signed CD box set are available to authorized Guild dealers only,
  More pics available on request.

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