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Buscarino 20th Anniversary Virtuoso Archtop  From Buscarino

John Buscarino's celebratory 20th Anniversary archtop masterpiece!


Our product photos are the actual, specific serial number for sale!

This specific item was photographed by us here in Durham, North Carolina. We are a very small team dedicated to providing you the most accurate photos possible, through our obsessive focus - individually photographing nearly everything that comes through the door. Questions about what you see? Want more information, photos, or just a friendly conversation with someone that cares and who has actually had their hands on this exact item? Contact us now!

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Buscarino Guitars


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What We Think

Condition: pre-owned, but collector grade 

John Buscarino is a luthier’s luthier, a true master craftsman and artist whose guitars are as beautiful as they are playable and pleasing to listen to. He is a rare builder who can create a truly exceptional nylon string, steel string flat top, or archtop, having apprenticed with both Augustine LoPrinzi and Bob Benedetto on the road to becoming fluent in several guitar-building paradigms. Now, after 20 years as an independent craftsman, it’s time for a celebration!

This Buscarino 20th Anniversary Virtuoso is my idea of a jazz guitar. Retaining many of the Art Deco touchstones of the classic archtop designs of the early 20th century, but with a late 20th-century disdain for plastic, it manages to look current and timeless at the same time. As John’s self-described “crown jewel” in the archtop line, the Virtuoso always features wood choices intended to stun, with European cello woods for the major parts and elegant burl veneer on the peghead. Looking at this 20th Anniversary model, one immediately notices a difference, an understated yet profound “je ne sais quoi.” Wait, what exactly is that fingerboard? Is there such a thing as birdseye Brazilian? Quilted cocobolo? Blister bocote? What is that wood?

That wood, friends, is snakewood, one of the rarest, hardest, most expensive, and most beautiful woods on Earth. With a tap tone like a windowpane, there is nothing to prevent the transmission of your every finger-flick to the relevant tone-producing parts of the guitar. If it weren’t so hard to find in guitar component sizes, you would certainly see more of it. Want to see more of it right now? Take a stroll around this Buscarino; the more you look, the more you’ll see. Fingerboard, bridge (housing a Barbera pickup), tailpiece, finger-rest, tuner buttons… is there anywhere else John could have put some snakewood? Incredibly, yes – the pickup cover. John’s Buscarino signature floating pickup is entirely ensconced in snakewood. What a look, and what a sound.

A 17″ archtop with a 25″ scale and 1-3/4″ nut, this guitar is a wonderful mix of L-5 orchestra-guitar volume and ES-175 playability. Acoustically, it can chunk out all the Freddie Green you’d care to comp, or translate every Mixolydian flat-13 nuance that a fingerstyle jazzer could imply. Plugged in, the dual-source pickup system lets you shape your amplified tone either way. The slim neck fits the hand like a kidskin driving glove, the fretwork is impeccable, and the action is super consistent up and down the neck. Simply put, there is absolutely nothing standing between you and effortless musical expression.

We all love a pretty guitar, and we’re all looking for “that sound.” How often do both turn up at once? When the builder is John Buscarino, I’d say it’s every single time he picks up a chisel.

Hats off to you, John. This guitar is a world-beater.

– Rob Sharer, Sound Pure Luthier

Buscarino 20th Anniversary Virtuoso Archtop - Quick n' Dirty

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    • Buscarino 20th Anniversary Virtuoso Archtop

Manufacturer's Description from Buscarino

A guitar's primary function is usually measured in musical terms: its ability to produce precise notes, chords, and passages on demand. Consistency is the ultimate test of its perfection. But to the Master luthier and craftsman John Buscarino, this is only a beginning. John is one of the few luthiers working today; a solo artisan handcrafting guitars suited to each customer's personal needs. His instruments are prized not just for the beautiful sounds they produce, but also as the cherished possessions they inevitably become. Guitar player Steve Morse considers his Buscarino guitars "treasured works of art," as do many of John's customers.

John is unique among today's guitar builders in that he apprenticed with not one but two master luthiers. The first was Augustine LoPrinzi, from whom John learned the finer points of building classical guitars.

John later worked with famed archtop builder Robert Benedetto, spending years perfecting the woodworking skills that today make him a master luthier in his own right.

John has created hundreds of exquisite guitars using proven methods passed down over generations. He constantly refines these time-tested techniques, taking each to new levels of perfection in mastering the art of lutherie.

Buscarino Guitars

About Manufacturer

Over the past 25 years John Buscarino has slowly worked is way into the upper echelon of archtop builders. He apprenticed with Classical Builder Augustine LoPrinzi and the renowned Archtop builder Robert Benedetto. He has studied and repaired hundreds of vintage instruments, which has increased his knowledge of guitar construction and has allowed him to apply that knowledge to the building of his own instruments. In his words, “Nothing is more important to me than building the guitar that is perfect for you. I can’t stress enough how important it is for a luthier to know his customer, you can’t build a guitar for someone without knowing what it is that is important to them. By taking the time to talk with you and find out what it is you are hoping to get out of your new guitar I can build you the guitar you have always dreamed of. One of the best things about ordering a custom guitar is you get to choose your specs. With a production guitar you have to take what they give you but with a custom instrument you get to choose the things that are most important to you. With our wide array of options and models to choose from we make it easy for you to design the guitar that is just right for you. I am always in search of the finest products to use on and in my guitars. I have tested numerous products from lacquers to tuners, from cases to sandpaper. I have experimented with several different woods for bridges and saddles, have checked out multitudes of endpin jacks and tested miles of cables all to make sure that only the very best goes into each and every Buscarino Guitar Ever since I started building guitars over 20 years ago I have been collecting and storing high quality instrument grade wood. It is seasoned and aged to perfection before I even think about using it for one of my guitars. One of my strictest requirements is that the wood must be aged and seasoned for at least four years before I will use it to build an instrument. By acclimatizing the wood in my own shop I can guarantee the stability of each and every one of my instruments. Tired of the same old Ebony Fingerboards, Pickguards, Tailpieces and Bridges? Why not try something new and exciting that will make your guitar unique and different. I have several high-quality exotic woods to choose from that will turn your guitar from a Work of Art into a Masterpiece. At least one of every model I make is owned and played by a professional touring musician. By having these guitars out on the road, played in every imaginable setting from an outdoor reception to Carnegie Hall, from a Smoky Club in New York City to a cozy Caf? On the Shores of Italy, I can say with absolute certainty that I have designed a guitar that stands the test of time. With proper care and handling, Gig after Gig your Buscarino will perform as good if not better than the day you bought it. As a Guitarist myself, having studied Classical Guitar and having worked in bands for over 10 years, I have first hand knowledge of what a guitar player needs and expects out of his guitar. I pride myself in designing a guitar that has the perfect balance of form and function. One of the most frequent comments that I hear from those who own and play my instruments is how comfortable and easy they are to play, which for me is the finest compliment I can receive.”


17" Body Width
3" Sides
25" Scale Length
1 3/4" Nut Width
Snakewood Bridge, Tailpiece, Pickguard, Fingerboard, Pickup Cover, Tuner Buttons
Master Grade European Cello Woods
Burl Headstock Veneer and Heel Cap
Buscarino Signature Floating Pickup
Bridge-mounted Barbera Pickup
Natural Finish