Antoine Di Mauro was part of the mass emigration of master Sicilian luthiers (Oliveri, Anastasio, etc) who left Catania in the early 20th century. In the 1930s Di Mauro and his countrymen setup a series of shops on the East side of Paris and quickly adapted their skills to making jazz guitars in the Selmer Maccaferri style. Di Mauro was certainly one of the most successful and long lasting of these Franco-Sicilian luthiers as his guitars were widely adopted by players of many styles. Di Mauro guitars were produced continuously until the early 90s, first by Antoine and then later by his son Joseph. Notable players include Moreno, Boulou Ferre, Patrick Saussois, Samy Daussat, Jean-Yves Dubanton, and even Pat Metheny!
Of all the models Di Mauro produced, the Special Chorus is easily their most well known design. A hybrid of American archtop and Selmer Maccaferri designs, the Special Chorus combines the Maccaferri style body and bent top with archtop style F soundholes. The result is a guitar that has the acoustic power of a traditional Gypsy guitar but with the midrange focus and clarity of an archtop.
This beautiful late period example was constructed by Antoine's son Joseph. It features flamed maple back and sides, a spruce top (appears to be four pieces, with "wings" on the lower bout,) and a mahogany neck. The original nickel SB tuners and distinctive Di Mauro trapeze tailpiece are still intact. The original diamond fingerboard inlays were replaced with more typical fret markers.
I had heard that some Di Mauro's had unusually deep bodies, but till now had never seen one in person. This example has body that is 4 1/4" deep which generates deep low mids and a wonderful base response. Rich, open, and complex in character, this instrument is noteworthy for it's horn like upper mids and gently rounded highs. It can be downright pretty sounding at times, but still has a bit of grit when you need it and never lacks for personality.
The condition of this instrument is very good. There is a crack on the bass side of the top which has been cleated. It plays perfectly, with low 2.6mm action. There appears to have been a volume control module mounted on the top which is now gone. There is some finish discoloration and an indentation in the top where it once was, There is also some pickwear on the top and scratches on the back. The frets are new.
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|Model Number||Modele no 3|
|Sound Hole||F Holes|
|Fret Neck||14 Fret|
|Nut Width||1 3/4"|
|Body Depth||4 1/4"|
|Back and Sides||Maple|