If you believe that Bob Benedetto has thought of everything and designed the perfect selection of guitars for almost every player, you wouldn’t be alone!
Our 16” laminate and carved Bravo & 16B styles are quintessential players guitars. Our 14-1/2” Bambino and Benny styles are the perfect combination of versatility and familiarity for players coming from the solid body world. And our 17” flagships are the world’s gold standard for uncompromising projection and tonality. Our standard specifications and color options were driven by collaborating with the most discerning players and customers on planet.
BUT… we know individuality is also an important component in musical expression and aesthetic appeal. So here is what you need to know if a standard specification isn’t quite “you.”
We can build custom instruments as long as they are based on Robert Benedetto’s critical dimensional and architectural standards.
Almost all models can accommodate a wider or narrower body depth (3” Bravo, or a 2-1/2” Manhattan for example). But you should know that not all depths are appropriate for sonic response, so let us help you understand the consequence of your choice!
Standard widths are 1-3/4″ on 16” and 17” archtop guitars and the Benny model. On the smaller bodied Bambino models the standard is 1-11/16”. These dimensions are interchangeable at no additional cost. If you want a custom width or shape, we are happy to accommodate at a small additional price.
All guitars are 25” scale except the Pat Martino Signature model (24-5/8”) and Andy Model (23”). At an additional price we can accommodate a 25-1/2” scale or a 24-3/4 scale, but there is a really good reason to keep the 25” scale and we’d love to discuss it with you before you make a change. Extra long or extra short scales are not available, because they require redesign of the body to accommodate, and then, well, it wouldn’t be a Benedetto any more.
Soundhole Shapes & Sizes+
With rare exceptions like the 35 Anniversary style floral sound holes, our shapes and sizes are sacrosanct, and are based on the architecturally aesthetic and sonic qualities of the body size and shape. We can subtract a sound hole from a Bambino Deluxe or Bravo if you want, but we won’t replace the shape with another design. Sorry.
Pickup Placement & Brand+
We are really proud of our Benedetto pickups, designed by Bob and built for us exclusively by Seymour Duncan. If you want us to install another company’s pickup and set-up your guitar accordingly, we are happy to accommodate as long as it’s dimensionally the same or similar. You’ll need to provide us the pickup ahead of the build. Unique placement is possible, but may incur significant additional charges if it changes our bracing patterns or tooling fixtures.
Custom or Exotic Woods+
We have a small inventory of some beautiful exotic woods that can be used for tops, backs, sides, and binding, and in some cases veneers. We like to discuss options before taking an order, as the wood selection can often have an adverse or compromised effect on the sound of your Benedetto. Prices vary with wood selection, and in some cases we may refuse an order that would make a guitar that’s not sonically appropriate. Still, don’t hesitate to ask!
Acoustic Appointments on Laminated Models+
Sorry, but we get requests for this all the time. No, we won’t build a laminated guitar with a floating pickup to make it look like it’s a more expensive carved guitar. Our S-6 and S-7 pickups are specifically designed to float above a carved top, and would sound cheap and thin above a laminated top. So we won’t cross that line. Also, our 16” Bravo Elite and 16-B, and the Bambino Elite, are designed to have a built-in A-6 or B-6 pickup. Putting a floating pickup on it won’t make it sound like a Manhattan. We do accept custom orders to hand-carve these smaller bodied guitars (16-B, Bravo Elite, Bambino Elite) to be more responsive to floating pickup design – for an upcharge.
Yes, as long as it meets our aesthetic and retains our Benedetto logo. Most simple inlays like names and floral motifs can be done house for a nominal upcharge. More elaborate inlays might have to sent out to inlay artist, increasing turn-around time and cost. Note: we will not put dots on a fingerboard, as they don’t represent the Benedetto aesthetic. But we are happy to do floral inlays or Fratello-style block inlays on the fingerboard.
Many custom colors can be applied with little or no upcharge. However, highly translucent finishes must be paired with highly aesthetically graded woods, so upcharges may be applied to upgrade to woods appropriate for translucent finishes. For example, a Blonde finish on a Bravo model will require us to build the guitar with Bravo Deluxe designated woods, increasing the cost.
Standard cases are included in your purchase. They are protective and made for your guitar, but vary in quality and cost based on the model. Laminated guitars come in a TKL case, Andy Model guitars come in a gigbag only, and carved Flagship models give you a choice of Carbon Fiber or Fiberglass flight cases. You can upgrade your laminated guitar to a flight case at our cost (about $1000 per case). You can choose the interior and exterior colors by visiting the respective company’s website and letting us know your choices.
We put our standard Benedetto Round Wound Strings on our guitars: .011-.050 for the Benny model, .012-.052 for the laminated Professional Series Bravo and Bambino models, and hybrid .014-.052 for the carved guitars. The Pat Martino Signature model is generally set up with Pat’s preferred .015-.052 flat wound strings, but it is no problem to set it up differently if you prefer. We are also happy to use different gauges on the other models, or if you want us to set up your new guitar with another brand of strings, please mail us two sets prior to our scheduled shipping date.