A guitar of this stature needs no introduction. Next to Selmers,
Busatos are the
after guitars by today's top players.
This particular Busato is one of only three Deluxe
versions of the
Grand Modèle known to exist. The Deluxe model has lots of fancy
aesthetic extras like celluloid binding, accordion style headstock
inlays, and a bound fingerboard with celluloid inlays (like most deluxe models, this one had the
original fingerboard removed). The deluxe model also has the most
expensive woods...most are Brazilian Rosewood. This one has maple
back and sides (the only maple Busato I've ever seen.) The top is
spruce and it has a 3 piece mahogany neck with an ebony reinforcement
strip. This guitar has the original BB tuners and tailpiece. Although,
one tuner was replaced with a similar looking SB tuner. The tailpiece
has a fancy celluloid inlay that was taken from the original
fingerboard (now lost.) Nice touch!
This guitar was restored in 2004 by Oissell Hannier. It was refinished,
the heel was replaced, the fingerboard replaced, and small hole in the
lower bass bout was patched. The guitar looks really nice....one of the
best looking Busatos I've seen. You rarely find them in anywhere near
The bridge that came with it seems quite old and might possibly be the
original Busato bridge! Hard to say for sure. Sounds great and plays very easily.
So many contemporary Gypsy jazz guitarists play these exquisite
Romane (he plays a Busato on most of his recordings over the last 5
Stochelo Rosenberg (performs with his Selmer but is an avid collector
and player of Busatos)
Yayo et Fanto Reinhardt (
section get an amazing dry rhythm sound with their Busatos!)
and of course, Django himself! (see Django's Busato here: Django's
). Django is rumored to have written the ballad Anouman
on 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 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 then 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. Same
long 675mm scale length. Body is 16 1/4" across the lower bout (Selmer
is 15 3/4", Favino is 16 1/2".)
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
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.
This guitar is currently strung with Argentine 10s and is very easy to
It's near impossible to date Busatos...but my guess is this was built
in the late 40s.
This is the CASH price...add 3% if you'd like to pay with a credit
card. 4% for International orders.