Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The Fender D'Aquisto Models
This Fender hollow body jazz guitar was sweet. It looked great and it played great. The asking price was $500, which was a bargain. But then this fellow started to mention rather loudly to people walking by, “Hey this guy is buying the guitar, he's buying it!!” At the time I didn’t have enough to buy that guitar. I think I only had about $100. Besides the guy seemed a little bit loopy. I gave him the guitar, wished him well and made a hasty retreat to view some more guitars.
About ten years later Fender once again to Jimmy D'Aquisto's design and created a couple updated models including the D'Aquisto Elite and the D’Aquisto Ultra which was top of the line.
The Elite had one humbucking pickup located near the bottom of the neck with top mounted volume and tone controls. The control knobs were made out of ebony as was the pickguard. The bound neck had white block inlays. The pickguard was narrow. This was a signature of many of D’Aquisto’s creations.
The Standard model was not nearly as fancy. The neck had circular dot position markers. The guitar came with top mounted humbucking pickups with volume and tone controls for each. Once again the knobs were made of wood. The control switch was on the top lower bout. The maple body on both models was laminated maple and the tops were spruce. The pickguard was bound and narrow. Both the Elite and Standard were manufactured in Japan
In 1994 the Fender Custom Shop took over construction of the D’Aquisto models. There were two models which featured hand-carved spruce tops.
The headstock had a fancy inlaid design of mother of pearl marquetry. The gold plated hardware included a Schaller humbucking pickup on the Ultra. The tuning keys were gold plated. The tailpiece was contoured and made of ebony. The compensated bridge and a single volume control were all ebony as well. D’Aquisto’s signature was inlaid in mother of pearl. The pickguard is also made of ebony. This model could be ordered without a pickup.
The D’Aquisto Fender guitars are very collectible, especially the Elite and the Ultra and fetch high prices. In researching this guitar I noted that Christies sold an Elite for $23,500. However this instrument was a part of Eric Clapton’s collection. They are still far less expensive than a handmade D’Aquisto.