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1940s Busato Modele #45

1940s Busato Modele #45
1940s Busato Modele #45
1940s Busato Modele #45
1940s Busato Modele #45
1940s Busato Modele #45
1940s Busato Modele #45
1940s Busato Modele #45
1940s Busato Modele #45
1940s Busato Modele #45

A guitar of this stature needs no introduction. Next to Selmers, Busatos are the most sought after guitars by today's top players. So many contemporary Gypsy jazz guitarists play these exquisite guitars:

Romane (he plays a Busato on most of his recordings over the last 5 years)

Stochelo Rosenberg (performs with his Selmer but is an avid collector and player of Busatos)

Yayo and Fanto Reinhardt (Romane's rhythm section get an amazing dry rhythm sound with their Busatos!)

Moreno and of course, Django himself! (see Django's Busato here: Django's Busato).

Django is rumored to have written the ballad Anoumanon his Busato.

So what makes a Busato so great? Generally speaking, it simply out performs other guitars in almost every way. First off, they are positively the loudest guitars ever made! I've compared Busatos to numerous classic Gypsy guitars such as Jacques Favinos and Selmers as well as new guitars by J.P. Favino, Dupont, ALD, and Dell Arte. A good Favino is pretty loud...but the Busato is just a cannon. A vintage Selmer is actually quite timid by comparison. The Busato design has three tonal elements which really make it cut in acoustic settings. 1) It is extremely dry. It has little or no natural wetness (reverb.) This makes the guitar much more focused and is therefore much easier to hear in a loud jam setting. 2) The tone is very pure with very simple overtones. The fundamental pitch of single notes are very strong while the overtones are extremely clean and even. Very flute like in character. A Selmer sounds more complex, but is also somewhat "messier" sounding which dampens projection. 3) It responds to the slightest touch. Just barely strike the strings and you get a lightening fast bolt of sound. I really like this because you don't have to play these guitars hard to be loud. Busatos yield an exceedingly wide frequency response. They have a crisp, bright high end which gives your leads some sparkle and adds ambiance and clarity to rhythm work. There's not much mids, except for a slight upper midrange nasalness. But nothing like a Favino in that regard. Like a Favino, there is far more low end than a Selmer, and it's an incredibly tight, clear low end. Not mushy or ill defined in anyway. The tight low end of a Busato mixed with it's dry character really make it excel for rhythm playing. It's just so clear. The high end cracks like a whip and the bass notes are like a kick in the gut. The dimensions of Busatos are fairly close to that of Favinos. Busatos are also the curviest Gypsy guitars out there. The bombé (top arch) is the most pronounced I've ever seen on a Selmer type guitar. It's like a huge bubble under the bridge. The back is also beautifully arched.

Sonically this Busato is rather unique. Despite what I said about Busato's lacking mids, this highly unusual example produces the sort of rich, complex mids one would expect from some of the finest Selmer guitars. The enhanced midrange of this guitar adds a wonderful thickness to single note lines, producing a tone similar to that of Django's famous recordings with Selmer #503. The body of this example is about a 1/2" smaller than most of the Modele #45 Busatos, which may explain its more balanced, full bodied tone. The bass is particularly outstanding, with a wonderfully tubby, rubber-band like quality that adds warmth and depth to chords and single notes alike.

A one-of-a-kind example, this exceptionally rare Busato features highly figured solid back and sides which are not easily identified. It could be cypress, Japanese tamo, ash, or a rare form of maple grown in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. Whatever it is, it is most certainly one of the most visually striking pieces of wood to ever grace a guitar. Interestingly, the back is completely free of braces. The top is spruce and the neck is constructed of mahogany with a maple spline in the middle. This guitar is fitted with a vintage a set of BB tuners and a vintage BB tailpiece with an unusual strap button, although they are not original to this particular guitar.

It should be noted that there were many, many Busato models. Many of which seem to be experiments. This model, which is often referred to as the "Grand Modèle" (oval hole, 14 fret neck), is the one preferred by the pros like Stochelo, Romane, Moreno, etc. Busato's catalog lists this fancier model, with ivoroid binding and embellished rosette, as item #45.

Miraculously, the top is crack free, with just one cleat added to secure the center seam. There is a side crack on the treble side of the waist which was repaired using a bit of mesh cloth to secure it.

This guitar is currently strung with Argentine 11s and is incredibly easy to play. Set up with easy 3mm action, this instrument plays like butter with no buzzes or other sonic problems.


This guitar has the original Busato Cité Griset label on the neck block.

This is the CASH price...add 3% if you'd like to pay with a credit card. 4% for International orders.


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