new york fashion week 2010: no model will compare: d’aquisto, d’angelico and gibson vintage guitars

fashion week is around the corner, hipsters are getting ready, magazines, luxury brands and model agents are throwing their parties… and hell, we will probably dread to a few, but i strongly doubt if we’ll find anything this beautiful and tempting at any one place in new york this season…

let me tell you… 12 years ago i bought a hand made classical/acoustic guitar from the legendary rudy’s music on 48th street (NYC) built by a small unknown guitar maker from spain for a little over a 1000. this guitar has become my love ever since, and the soft warm sound and the cedar smell has been my sole source of inspiration in unsuccessfully mastering eric satie triads… fast-forward to last friday, a cold sunny new york day, when i was strolling past the window of a music store in soho (who ever knew there was one?) where i saw a vintage gretsch. i walked in… past the gretschs, and simply fell in love again. upstairs were 12-16 pieces of craftsmanship to die for. it was only then, that i realized that this was in fact the newly opened rudy’s music downtown… and of course… (i mean who else?) now all i need is enough practice to earn and more importantly deserve one, and a lot more money to ever afford one. here are just 3 of my new loves. all totally acoustic, and all beautifully crafted…

item # 1: the 1998 d’aquisto prototype – $140,000 +plus

“james d’aquisto became an apprentice to acclaimed archtop builder john d’angelico when he was 17 and started making guitars under his own name when d’angelico died in 1964. in the opinion of many collectors, d’aquisto’s archtops were actually superior to d’angelico’s legendary instruments. the model above (avant garde) is considered one of d’aquisto’s finest achievements. he made this prototype in 1988 for vintage guitar dealer/collector hank risan who supplied the luthier with many ideas about its construction. risan sold the guitar to a private collector for $140,000. that said perhaps the most valuable d’aquisto is a one-of-a-kind advance model (not pictured) that was made for renowned vintage guitar collector, scott chinery. the estimated value of that guitar is $250,000, but, according to chinery collection curator, mike carey, it is not for sale”.

these are not electric guitars, but fully acoustic onesitem #2: gibson (1939) super-400C

you cant ever compare any two but here’s a more affordable masterpiece that still beckons a certain mastery. a beautifully crafted acoustic gem. (1939 gibson super 400C – S/N EA5384) “with original sunburst finish and spruce top, maple back/sides, 2 piece maple neck, ebony fingerboard and chrome hardware.”

item #3: gibson (1929) L-5 “snakehead”

and yet another rare dream… closer in reach than the first, but still a handful of responsibilities. “…a 1929 Gibson L-5 “snakehead” in original vintage sunburst finish. the guitar had the fretboard professionally replaced years ago. a little bit of binding repair has been done on the body, but very minimal. otherwise in fantastic original condition! plays beautifully, and sounds gorgeous!”

so if you are here, for what ever reason, and if you care for such things, don’t miss the chance to visit rudy’s. conveniently located near cipriani downtown. please park all cheesy italian sports cars in the back. by dd