Used Archtop Guitars
Kinnard: KINNARD HB(Item ID: KINNARD HB Serial#: 107872)
Dell'Arte Frank Hicks Model Hollowbody with 3-Piece Maple Back and Spruce Top
This very guitar was reviewed in Just Jazz Guitar magazine in February 2000 by the late Bob Shaw, a dear friend who was an instructor here at Maple Street Guitars for many years - a copy of that issue is included with this guitar.
In his fine review, Bob remarks that John Kinnard has created an instrument that is "refreshingly different" and suggests that because of this guitars non-traditional construction design, "it displays tone qualities of many different types of acoustic instruments." He explains that, because of its unique design, the sound of the Frank Hicks guitar perhaps more closely resembles that of the Macceferri style guitars made by Dell'Arte, but adds that "the total character produced is unique to this guitar and is sweet enough to cause insulin shock." In his review Bob also informs us that "the back and top of this guitar are both arched, but the arched shape is shallower than that of a conventional archtop, as the wood is not carved. Instead, the arch is achieved by bending the top and back wood pieces over a simple but effective grid pattern formed from two braces that run tail to neck and five that run across the body which have been shaped to produce the arch." Bob goes on to laud the power, balance, and clarity of this "interesting" guitar and the musical versatility that its unique voice provides.
After playing this Frank Hicks model, one can appreciate Bob's impressions, as this guitar definitely possesses that "cutting" quality associated with Django and big band rhythm guitarists like Freddie Green - closed swing chords just jump out of the guitar with tremendous volume. And, as Frank Hicks was a masterful swing rhythm player who performed with luminaries such as Tommy Dorsey and Duke Ellington, one might expect that a guitar bearing his name would have a voice with drive and definition. In the case of this fine instrument, these qualities are made manifest by its strong and punchy bass notes without too many overtones and bell-like trebles that sing all the way up the neck. We might add that these are performance qualities that flatpickers would enjoy as well, see: www.youtube.com .
One should know that we have auditioned this guitar acoustically only. When Bob reviewed this guitar it was fitted with a Kent Armstrong "Benedetto" pickup mounted on an ebony on maple pickguard with volume and tone controls. But, because the original owner wished to use this guitar as an acoustic only, he later replaced the original with a simple ebony Benedetto pickguard. The original pickguard, pickup, and controls are included with this guitar.
Aesthetically, this instrument is striking for its simplicity. Clean lines show off the gorgeous pieces of maple that make up the back and sides, and, in lieu of f-holes on the top, a graceful wave pattern is used and iterations of it are inlayed on the head plate and fingerboard. Overall, there is a pleasing lack of pretense that gives an impression of unaffected class.
• Soundboard - Solid Sitka Spruce
• Back and Sides - Solid Figured Maple
• Neck - Two Piece Maple
• Fingerboard - Ebony
• Bridge - Ebony
• Tailpiece - Ebony with Sacconni Fastner
• Truss Rod - Double Action
• Scale Length - 24.875”
• Nut Width - 1 3/4"
• Number of Frets - 22
• Lower Bout Width - 17”
• Body Depth - 4”
• Tuning Machines - Gold Schaller with Ebony Buttons
• Pickguard - Benedetto Ebony
• Original Pickguard - Rosewood on Maple with two Control Mounts
• Pickup - Benedetto S-6 (By Kent Armstrong)
This guitar is in superb condition.
This guitar includes an Ameritage archtop hardshell case. (used)
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