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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on June 18, 2017
Great book, but does NOT include complete plans, only some components
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on December 17, 2016
Great book.
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on April 18, 2016
Excellent guide to building a carved top arch top. The best book I've read on the subject.
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on March 9, 2016
I read this book cover to cover in one sitting it contains everything you need to know or would want to know about building an archtop guitar, including how to market them when finished. The text is backed up by very good drawings or photos to give you the clearest picture of what the author is trying to convey. I have built two guitars and done some repairs including re-topping and binding an acoustic guitar, I am intensely interested in building an archtop guitar and this book will be close by all through the process. It is like a builders bible
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on November 17, 2014
Excellent book, nice pictures, a full step by step process...
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on October 13, 2014
longtemps cherché enfin trouvé
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on November 29, 2013
very satisfied exactly what we were searching for thank you
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on March 9, 2011
I ordered this book and when it came it had a damaged spine, I contacted Amazon and was quickly send a replacement and issued a label to return the damaged one. Once the replacement arrived I packed the old one in the packaging that came with the new one attached the label and dropped it at the Post Office. All in all it was a relatively painless procedure, well done Amazon.
As for the book, I finished reading it and can't wait to start building one (will have to wait till I finish the flat top I started a while ago, not enough time to get much done). I found it to be very informative, easy to understand, and well written. There could have been more detail on some sections but there is plenty of detailed information on the web, one excellent source is [...] the Musical Instrument Manufacturers Forum.
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on December 10, 2009
I've purchased this book after reading and re-reading Cumpiano & Natelson's great book, Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology, since I was interested in broadening my knowledge and learning about the intricacies of making an archtop guitar.

If you are a small time builder or a hobbyist like me however, be forewarned: this book is an elementary starting point; it is thin in its instructional content. In this book Bob Benedetto seems to gloss over many crucial steps in the practice of archtop guitar building, such as the techniques of top and back plate carving and tap tuning which are arguably the most CRUCIAL skills in making archtop guitars. I suppose that this is fine for people who have experience carving violins or mandolins, but for enthused DIY-ers it is a bit of a bummer. With a lot of trial and error you can figure out the techniques for yourself, (which is probably a good thing - if you have the time and patience) but basically you'd do well to amass practical knowledge about building carved-top string instruments and guitars in general BEFORE reading this book.

For instance, many steps outlined in the book such as installing and dressing frets are incredibly anemic, and presuppose that the reader already has the knowledge and skill to complete the steps without guidance. Fair enough, however good judgement is needed as some steps seem to defy commonsense, such as quickly radiusing the fingerboard on a belt sander. Traditionally this step is done with great care, by slowly planing the surface of the fingerboard with the aid of straightedges and radius-guages. I can imagine a belt sander quickly mucking-up a piece of expensive rosewood or ebony if it isn't set-up properly or if it is used without the utmost attention... So again, what you get out of this book truly depends on what your own commonsense dictates, and what you know about guitar building beforehand.

In all, it would be great if later editions of this book expanded the discussion by thoroughly explaining the proper top and back carving, planing and scraping techniques along with better explaining the subjective process of tap-tuning the top and back plates of the guitar body. (Is one plate supposed to be higher pitched than the other? Should they be "tuned" in a way that they somehow harmonize together, or complement the tuning of the guitar?) I find that the problem with this book is that Mr. Benedetto piques your interest, but then suddenly the discussion is over almost as quickly as it starts.

So far this book is the only one of its kind on the subject of archtop guitars and Robert Benedetto is definitely one of the most reputed authorities on archtop guitar building; so it would be really grand if he would share more of his insight into the craft in later editions. For people who are simply keen on seeing how guitars are built, this is a great book with wonderful illustrations, and as a reference for builders the included full-size templates are superb. Overall though the book could be a bit more thorough with regards to the quintessential archtop guitar building practices of carving and tuning the body.
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on July 15, 2004
Warning, this book may cause you to run out and buy a Benedetto as it did me.
This is a very nice overview of archtop guitar making, addressing almost every facet of the art, even including "marketing yourself and product". Some very enjoyable points are made by Bob drawn from his wealth of experience, but if you had hoped to build your own guitar as a result of reading this book, you would be in trouble. I would have loved to see more detail and instruction in the various elements of construction; not so that I might make my own archtop, but to gain a greater appreciation for the true experience of the undertaking.
I may purchase Bob's set of videos just to see more about how it is done.
By the way, I can now say that Mr Benedetto is an amazing artist and craftsman, and his instruments are every bit as good as reputed.
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