The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

SOLD!! 1969 Meazzi-Italy Mod. Chèrie Thinline Archtop Electric Guitar

Price: CDN $1150
US Price: US $915.82
*US dollar exchange varies daily
Class: Vintage
S/N: labelled 34, September 18 1969
Here's a rather rare piece - a Meazzi-Italy Model Cherie thinline archtop, single cutaway electric guitar. Meazzi instruments were not exported from Europe in any quantity and are not well known in North America.  

For a time, Meazzi of Milan was one of the major forces in Italian sales - not just musical instruments such as brass, drums, and guitars, but also amplifiers, echo units, clocks - and batteries. The company was founded in 1946 to provide spare parts for clocks and gramophones. During the 1950's, the company grew and greatly expanded its sales, and the first Meazzi guitars appeared. These seem to have been built in Germany, Sicily and Stradella (in northern Lombardy), and used names like 'Framez' and 'Dynelectron' that suggested more established or imported brands.  

Once demand for solidbody electric guitars exploded in the 1960's, Meazzi introduced their most well known lines, the Hollywood and Jupiter. Typical of the time, these featured wild body shapes and finishes. Meazzi wound down its involvement in musical instruments during the 1970's and 1980's, and closed in 1992. Some attempts have been made to resurrect the brand, with production in Japan.  

Meazzi did produce a number of archtop guitars for the jazz market. In particular, Franco Cerri, one of the most influential 1960's Italian jazz guitarists, used a signature Meazzi guitar for a time; apparently it was stolen and he resumed use of his Gibson archtops. There are only a few images of Cerri using his Meazzi, which is very similar to the instrument shown here - the sole difference seems to be in the headstock logos. This suggests that Meazzi wanted to produce the guitar, but did not have an agreement to use the Franco Cerri name, and came up with a sound-alike name.  

The Meazzi-Italy Mod. Cherie is a thin, fully hollow, single venetian cutaway, guitar. This example has a label in the bass soundhole reading 'Serial No 34 Sept 18 69'. Other text is too faded to read.  

The body is laminatted maple with a pair of longitudinal braces and walnut binding. The bolt on neck is three piece, maple with walnut center strip and rosewood fingerboard and zero fret. The bridge is a floating rosewood unit, typical of guitars intended for jazz. The hardware is chrome plated and in very good condition. The wiring provides a pickup selector next to a master volume control on the upper bout, and individual volume and tone controls for each pickup.  

The pickups on the Meazzi-Italy Mod. Cherie are very interesting. At first glance, they look like deArmond DynaSonic models, in a larger bezel. On closer examination, the resemblance increases! These are single coils, with long adjustable polepieces and use exactly the same, rather complex height adjustment mechanism as the deArmond DynaSonic. The shapes of the parts are slightly different but the mechanisms are identical.  

Overall, this guitar is in good condition. There are a few dings on the body around the edges, but few scratches. It has been played, there is medium to heavy wear on the frets, and so overall it appears to have been frequently played but well looked after. The original hardshell case is included.

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