26% price drop

This 1988 Benedetto Fratello was hand-crafted by the master himself in his Clearwater Florida workshop. It illustrates the luthier at the height of his art, years before his Guild/Fender and Savannah factory collaborations. This Vintage instrument (No. #15488) is in excellent-mint condition in light of his age with very little-to-no-wear described below, and comes with its original padded hardshell case. The Fratello model is considered by Bob Benedetto as a benchmark all solid tonewood jazz guitar, listed new at $21,000 or more. However, price for some used Vintage Benedetto Fratello archtop jazz guitars built in that period (1976-1990) go up to $25,000 (re: ads on this web site and other guitar websites). Professional Jazz musicians the like of Cal Collins, one of the best nationally-known guitarist from the Cincinnati-Tristate Jazz scene, owned and played mostly a Fratello and did consider this model to be a reference jazz guitar at a comparable level to D'Aquisto and D'Angelico instruments.

All tone woods on Benedetto guitars of the Clearwater era are top class and hand-prepared by Bob himself. The back and side panels are made of book-matched and flamed-figured, carved and hand-graduated master grade European maple. The top is made of carved, hand-graduated and tuned master grade European spruce. The Top and Back are arched and bound in white. The pickguard is elevated and made of ebony. On the lower bout, this guitar features an adjustable ebony bridge, which is paired with an ebony cello-style tailpiece. Electronics on this model are made up of a floating Gold-colored Kent Armstrong pick-up located at the end of the neck and one volume knob positioned in the lower corner of the pickguard. The neck is made of one-piece American flamed maple connected to the body with a set-in joint. The fingerboard is made of ebony and it comes with a set of 21 frets with mother-of-pearl block inlays; a 12" radius and 1.75" wide bone nut complete the fingerboard specs. Gold sealed-back Schaller tuners with gold colored metal buttons adorn the headstock! When used acoustically (unplugged), this instrument possesses an exceptional clear, open voice with remarkable transparency and detail. The bass register is particularly warm and resonant and the highs particularly brilliant. It is quite even and balanced across the range and projects power comparable to the best full-bodied models. With the Kent Armstrong PU, it puts out a full, rich voice with remarkable depth and resonance, and projects a round and detailed sound at just about any volume.

The guitar shows few normal light signs of wear, given its age. Importantly, the spruce top, the fretboard as well as the neck's back, the headstock, the back and the sides are in pristine to excellent condition. No cracks exist on the body and no repairs have been done. On the top, there are only one very light and superficial pick mark on the finish located on the bass side of the soundboard at the lower edge of the pickup and a single very tiny quarter-moon shape finish compression (not visible on pics). The minimal wear includes also a couple of superficial whips of micro finish checking on the back (not visible on pics) and on the posterior tip of the headstock top edge, on the right curvature side. The white spots on the pics are light reflections! Apart of the above, this guitar overall is in an exceptionally fine, cosmetic and playability condition.  The photos are provided as complement to the description, and additional photos are available upon request. All questions will be answered.
Direct trial and inspection of the guitar locally is possible by appointment, since it is listed as "No Return", i.e., "AS IS". Accurate final shipping cost for buyers outside of United States will be calculated according to each country and postal code. The listed $150 shipping cost for foreign buyers is only an estimate, which might not include customs duties and/or other fees or taxes, which will be the responsibility of the buyer (negotiation possible following agreement on price). Thanks for looking!

Specs as per Benedetto manufacturing:

Body: 17" lower bout, 3" body depth, Venetian cutaway

Top: Carved, hand-graduated and tuned master grade European spruce, X braced

Back: Carved, hand–graduated master grade European flamed maple

Sides: Master grade European flamed maple

Binding: Multiples of black/white throughout

Neck: 3 piece, select American flamed maple

Fingerboard: Ebony, 12" radius, 25” scale, 21 frets, mother-of-pearl inlays

Nut width: 1 ¾", bone

Bridge: Ebony, adjustable with black wheels and posts

Tailpiece: Solid Ebony with tail adjuster

Pickup: 1 Kent Armstrong (suspended) with volume knob mounted on pickguard

Tuners: Schaller M6 Mini gold with gold chrome buttons

Pickguard: Ebony

Finish: Honey Blonde, nitrocellulose lacquer

Strings: Benedetto, pure nickel, round wound .013 - .056

Deluxe original hardshell case.


Condition: Excellent-Mint
Make: Benedetto
Model: Fratello
Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer
Categories: Hollow Body, Archtop
Year: 1988
Hand-Built by RB In: Clearwater, Florida, United States

$13,995.00 & 75.00 Shipping in Continental USA

This item is sold As-Described

This item is sold As-Described and cannot be returned unless it arrives in a condition different from how it was described or photographed. Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging.

Product Specs

Excellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.learn more
Brand Benedetto
Model Fratello
Finish Honey Blonde
Categories Archtop
Year 1988
Made In United States

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Shipping Policy

Available for local pickup from Cincinnati, OH, United States

Ships from Cincinnati, OH, United States to:

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Everywhere Else

I will ship with tracking to the listed regions Continental US and Canada. Payment should be immediate via Paypal to only confirmed address with signature required. To negotiate shipping rates to other locations, please send me a message. The additional cost of shipping and delivery within 3-6 days is $65.00 and the responsibility of the buyer. Shipping costs for Canada and taxes or import duties to be the responsibility of the buyer.

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Return Policy

Return Window

This item is sold As-Described and cannot be returned unless it arrives in a condition different from how it was described or photographed. Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging.
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Benedetto Fratello 1988 Honey Blonde, Handcrafted by Bob in Clearwater, in Excellent-Mint Condition
+ $75 Shipping