1960s Jacques Castelluccia ***NEW PRICE!!!***
This fantastic instrument was built sometime in the 1960s by Jacques Castelluccia. Castelluccia was one of the many noteworthy Italian luthiers to make his name in France (along with Busato, DiMauro, Catania, Anastasio, Bucolo, etc.) This F hole design was inspired by DiMauro's famous Chorus model. It is very rare to find a Castelluccia built with F holes, making this one of only a handful of surviving examples.
While the price of guitars made by Busato (along with other Italian makers such as Favino and Maccaferri) have skyrocketed in recent years, Castelluccias have been largely overlooked. But after playing this guitar, I think anyone would agree that Castelluccia was also capable of building guitars on par with his more famous contemporaries.
This instrument features Selmer like dimensions: 675mm scale, a 15 13/16" body, and is 4" deep. It weighs a mere 3.4 lbs, making it one of the lightest guitars I've ever had in the shop! The back and sides are mahogany, the top is European spruce, and the neck is mahogany. As one of Castelluccia's fancier models, this instrument received some extra embellishments: the body, fingerboard, and soundholes are bound with ivoroid binding. The original tailpiece features a wood insert and a MOT strip underneath (nice touch!) Amazingly the saddled bridge is original. The tuners were replaced with a generic three on a plate set.
Like most of Jacques Castelluccia's instruments, this guitar relies on only three braces. Why use five when three does the job just as well? I've seen so many four and five brace guitars with sunken tops, yet after 50 years this three brace guitar still has it's pliage intact. Apparently Castelluccia knew what he was doing.
Similar to Busatos, the top and back of this guitar are both arched.
Playability is very good and compares well to any new guitar. It is currently strung with 10 gauge Argentines and has 3.2mm action.
There is one crack close to the bass side F hole. The crack appears to be superficial, as it doesn't go all the way through to the inside. Additionally, the area around the F holes is reinforced with an extra layer of wood which is probably keeping it stable. There are also a series of cleats inside the guitar running from the bridge back to the tailpiece. Strangely, there seems to be no evidence of a crack on the top so maybe this was preventative?
The guitar shows signs of regular use and has the usual dings and scratches you'd expect of an instrument of this age. The back is heavily scratched up, probably the result of playing standing up with a belt buckle. The frets have very little wear and should be fine for many years to come.
This guitar has a Paul Beuscher label. Castellucia, along with Favino and other luthiers of that time, often built guitars to be sold in Paul Beuscher's store. These guitars were re-branded with the Beuscher label but otherwise do not differ from the models these luthiers made under their own names.
As you might expect, the sound of this guitar is flush with character and complexity. The tone is open with a interesting "boxy" quality that is distinctive and stratifying. Single notes have a strong, fast attack that give your leads some nice "pop." The frequency response is decidedly focused in the midrange, with rounded highs and a very controlled, and tight bass register. As a result, chords really bark while still sounding full and complex. However, I can't stress enough the unique tonal character that this instrument possess. New guitars just don't have this kind of personality!
For the most part, in the Gypsy guitar world you get what you pay for. But here's a rare exception, exquisite vintage sound for less than a new Dupont, amazing! Castelluccia's are well on their way to becoming the next "it" guitar. There used to be a time when you could buy a Busato or Favino for $4000, but those days are long gone.
This is the CASH price...add 3% if you'd like to pay with a credit card. 4% for International orders.