The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Bob Holo Traditional Selmer-Busato Style Jazz Guitar, 2016

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Here is something rare – a Bob Holo Traditional Gypsy Jazz guitar, built during 2016 in the style of Maccaferi – Selmer and Busato, as a ‘petite bouche’ model. This is a wonderful guitar, perhaps the best ‘new’ guitar of this style we’ve seen in years.

Bob Holo builds jazz guitars, primarily European inspired Jazz guitars, influenced by the work of Niccolo Maccaferi, Selmer, Busato and the Gypsy Jazz style. His shop is near Portland, Oregon. He is very particular about what he builds in terms of features, and in terms of quality. If the finished guitar isn’t going to work to his satisfaction, he may destroy it.

Most of Bob Holo’s work is sold through through Djangobooks, run by Michael Horowitz. He prefers not to deal directly with players, instead focusing on the process of bringing a guitar into existence. He spends most of his year in his shop, not just building but also researching original instruments to see what makes them work.

Bernabo ‘Pablo’ Busato worked for Maccaferi and by the early 1930’s was building the Selmer guitars, but left in 1934 to set up his own shop in Paris. His guitars are considered some of the very best of the style, but their construction is complex so few builders reproduce them.

This instrument is in very good, very clean condition and plays very nicely. And it’s fairly loud!

This type of guitar tends to be set u-p with a relatively low action, to be played fast; any resultant rattling is really part of the sound. This is similar to Flamenco instruments. As to its construction, it is built of Carpathian Spruce for the top, Indian Rosewood for the sides, back, headplate and bridge, Walnut for the neck and Ebony for the fingerboard. The Holo logo is Mother of Pearl, and the tuners are by Schaller. A Superior hard shell case is included.

The fingerboard features a ‘Zero Fret’, in which a fret is placed at the location where the nut would normally be, and the nut is set back and acts simply as a string guide. This ensures that the action is as low as it can possibly be at the first fret. Gretsch was a major proponent of the Zero Fret. If you’d like to experience the way a zero fret feels, that’s simple; pop a capo onto the first fret.

Zero Frets are not really common, partly perhaps because in the 1960s budget builders discovered that this was an easy way to remove nut adjustment issues on cheap guitars, and it’s somewhat tainted the idea.

Price: $5000 CAD
  • Model: Traditional
  • Year: 2016
  • Finish Gloss
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: 185
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Date Posted: 24/07/2018

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITIES documentation
  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 3.96lbs 1.8kg
  • Scale Length: 635mm 25in
  • Nut Width: 47.5mm 1.87in

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