Fraulini Loretta Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (2011)

Fraulini  Loretta Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (2011)
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Item # 9464
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Fraulini Loretta Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (2011), made in Madison, Wisconsin, serial # L-102, natural varnish finish, maple back and sides, spruce top, mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This instrument is a lovely Fraulini guitars "Loretta" that evokes the spirit of 1920's New York made flat tops without being an exact re-creation of any specific instrument. Fraulini Guitars are handmade by Todd Cambio, specializing in unique and superbly built guitars inspired by instruments made in the Oscar Schmidt factory and by the New York Italian-American guitar makers of the 1910's and '20's. They are made in small batches, in a number of variations on a selection of sizes and styles. This is a maple body "Loretta" model, one of the smaller instruments offered.

Here is the maker's description of the model: "The Loretta is a classic parlor sized guitar based on the Lyon and Healy instruments of the early 20th Century. It's great for solo work and for string band settings. The lower bout is 12 1/2", with a 24 1/4" scale. The comfortable small body packs plenty of punch and the short scale gives it a bouncy feel. Blind Lemon Jefferson played a guitar like the Loretta. It was one of the most popular sizes of his era."

This Loretta is a fairly early example of the model from 2011, with a slightly wider lower bout. It is superbly built throughout using the highest quality materials and traditional techniques including a dovetail neck joint; hot, fresh hide glue; handmade wood purflings and a thin varnish finish. The back and sides are nicely figured maple, the top is spruce with colored wood marquetry trim. It is ladder braced with a wide thin bridgeplate in the authentic 1900's pattern. The neck is mahogany with an ebony fingerboard, with a slotted headstock and a round-backed profile with just a hint of a "V". There is an adjustable truss rod accessed through the soundhole.

Like all Fraulinis it has been crafted in exacting detail; it is hand dated and signed by Todd under the top to September 2011. It has some noticeable play wear but is still in perfect playing condition, which shows how well it "Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin". The sound is amazingly full and rich for a small-body maple guitar; this wood's characteristic 'snap' is in evidence as well. This is a very nicely mellowed-in instrument from by far the finest line of Stella-inspired guitars ever built.
Overall length is 37 1/2 in. (95.2 cm.), 12 13/16 in. (32.5 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 1/2 in. (622 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This Loretta is in original unaltered condition but has definitely been played over the past 9 years. There is a decent sized spot of finger wear into the top wood in the obvious spot, and some small dings, scratches and dents over the rest of its surface. The back, sides and neck have less wear, with just some small finish disturbances. Structurally the guitar remains in perfect playing condition, with just some very light fret wear. We think this is a wonderful instrument and it's great to see Todd's creations wearing in out in the real world; we expect this guitar will continue to mature and sound great for many years to come. It seems to respond especially well being tuned down a step or so or in open G or d tuning; it fine in concert pitch as well. Excellent - Condition.