Robert Benedetto founded Benedetto Guitars in 1968, and since then, he's built a strong reputation for high-quality archtop jazz guitars. Benedetto designed the Bravo model to deliver a detailed, rich, full–sounding archtop experience in a thinner body guitar. At 16" across on the lower bout, the Bravo feels and sounds like a proper jazz box. But the body is only 2-1/2" deep, so it feels comfortable and managable, both on your lap and hanging from a strap.
The Bravo model is constructed from a Laminated Spruce top, Laminated Flame Maple back, and Solid Maple sides. All of the materials are lightweight, and they help the electric signal remain stable and predictable in higher-volume scenarios. The neck profile is slim with very little taper, so the feel stays consistent as you get up the neck. Nevertheless, the Ebony fingerboard is wide with a 1-3/4" nut, and that makes the neck feel substantial. Plus, the Bravo has a graceful Venetian cutaway that makes it a breeze to get all the up to the 22nd fret.
For electronics, the Bravo is outfitted with a Benedetto A-6 humbucking pickup. Plugged-in, its tone is big, wooly, and round. The response is touch sensitive, and it can bite when you dig in. The volume and tone control help you dial in the right sound. With an Ebony bridge, Ebony Tailpiece, Ebony pickguard, and Ebony knobs, the Bravo is a good-looking box, too. We love the tasteful Abalone floral inlay at the 12th fret.
This Benedetto Bravo was made in 2013, and it features the classic Antique Burst finish. Heads up- the original owner of this Bravo was either a heavy smoker or played exclusively in smokey jazz clubs. That's why the binding and finish look so patina-ed and cool, but there is some lingering smell. We are doing our best to air out the guitar and the case, and they're getting better. Hopefully any lingering smell will be gone by the time we find a new home for it.
As far as playability and tone are concerned, this Bravo is an exceptional archtop. It produces smooth, expressive tone, and the setup is perfect with flat wound strings. It shows some superficial wear and signs of use, especially around the playing area and on the pickguard (see photos). The worst are some scuffs around the top, on either side of the tailpiece. For any player in need of a hard-working archtop, this Bravo is ready to deliver night after night.