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Old 10-07-2019, 02:39 PM
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CoolerKing CoolerKing is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: North Havana
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Default 2015 Giacomel Saturno Archtop

I changed my mind about selling this one of a kind guitar and figured I'd post some new photos here, as well as a cool YouTube video of a group playing the only other Giacomel archtop; the vid is an oval hole and mine is the only F hole known in existence.

This is a one-of-a-kind archtop made by Italian luthier Corrado Giacomel, who became known for making mandolins for David Grisman. David's F5 mandolin is similarly shaped to this guitar, and was the inspiration for a mass-produced mandolin by Eastman. Guitar is in excellent condition with one small scratch on the soundboard and two small scratches on the back that were on the guitar when I bought it. This guitar sounds very cool and jazzy with flatwounds and amplified, through a Ken Armstrong floating pickup with volume and tone controls. When strung with Savarez Argentine strings, it plays just like a gypsy jazz guitar. And it's LOUD when played acoustically. Overall a very cool instrument.

Specs are:

Italian alpine moonspruce top
carved maple back and sides
Ebony trim
Nut width 1 11/16

This is likely the only six-string F-hole archtop guitar by Giacomel; I know of no other guitar like it in existence. I purchased it from Gruhn about four years ago and have the original Gruhn appraisal included. During the time I have owned it, I had the luthier make two small modifications for me; swapping out the pickguard and tailpiece to ebony, and adding a tone control to the Armstrong floating pickup. I also had Burton LeGeyt make a bespoke set of tuners for the guitar; the original tuners were small grovers, and they were at unusual odds with the shape of the headstock; Burton machined some Waverly tuners with extended shafts to mimic what tuners would look like on an F-style mandoli. Additionally, the guitar came from Gruhn with a very beat-up old Gibson archtop case that was in the process of falling apart and was barely good enough for shipping. While the guitar was up at Burton's, I had it swing by Jeff Hoffee's shop and he created a custom carbon fiber case for me.

This is an excellent jazz guitar, and does well plugged in and rolled off in the Montgomery style. I typically have flatwounds on it for that style of playing. Additionally, it does very well with Argentine gypsy style strings and make an absolutely killer gypsy jazz guitar.

Fretboard Journal article about Corrado:

Here's a cool YT vid:

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Old 10-08-2019, 03:14 PM
icuker icuker is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 423

It does sound nice! Glad you're keeping it.
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