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Stephen Marchione 15” Custom Archtop

Stephen Marchione 15” Custom Archtop

Price: $--SOLD

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custom case included

The new Marchione archtop here at CR is absolutely stunning, a superlative world class guitar that has everything you could possibly want from an archtop instrument. It is both a museum piece and an eminently playable guitar. Beautiful to look at, with Stephen’s distinctive aesthetic sense, and wonderful to play.

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I have known and worked with Stephen Marchione for many years, and have had the great pleasure to play his instruments as he has grown from a talented and passionate young guitar maker into the consummate master luthier he is today. The arrival of a new Marchione in the shop is always cause for excitement, and we pretty much have a guitar on order from him all the time. He always surprises me too. I feel like I know his instruments exceedingly well, yet each new guitar has its own personality and seems to blossom in its own unique way.

Stephen has taken a long and careful path to where he is, having immersed himself in the myriad aspects of instrument making technique, patiently mastering each in kind. He currently builds classical guitars, solid body guitars, archtop guitars, and violins. Each instrument sharpens his instrument maker’s touch, and for him building violins and classical guitars has given him deep insight into archtop instruments. His instruments are incredibly expressive, dynamic, with impeccable artistry and craftsmanship.

The new Marchione archtop here at CR is absolutely stunning, a superlative world class guitar that has everything you could possibly want from an archtop instrument. It is both a museum piece and an eminently playable guitar. Beautiful to look at, with Stephen’s distinctive aesthetic sense, and wonderful to play. We waited a long time for this instrument to arrive, and it is sort of CR Guitars signature model, with simple appointments done in a way only Stephen could.

Here I am reminded of the very jazz tradition. There are great players out there that get inside the standards, and play them much like they were played in the past. Then there are innovators who keep the tradition alive, but bring to the music a more individualistic vision. Stephen is definitely the later as a guitar maker, keeping one foot firmly planted in the tradition, while forging into the imaginative future with the other. Indeed, rare is the artist who has a hold on both tradition and innovation and I believe Jimmy D’Aquisto would be proud of Stephen, and would greatly respect his contribution to the guitar world.

In your hands, this guitar feels like an extension of you, like your musical voice needs only to begin to speak and the guitar will respond in perfect sync. Everything feels just right, from the 15 inch body to the characteristically wonderful softV/full C Marchione neck.

Stephen somehow, miraculously, made this guitar with perfect tonal balance across the entire fretboard. Most archtops I have ever played struggle with such balance, and tend to sound better in certain regions of the neck. Of course for any archtop I bring into CR Guitars, I am very particular about this issue, but Stephen’s instrument is among the most balanced I have ever played. You cannot find a compromised note anywhere on the fretboard.

I also love the sound port, which really makes playing the guitar acoustically an intimate experience.

Marchione has evolved the wiring in all his guitars to mil spec (military specification), with the highest quality wire, components, and solder. In addition to the signature pickup custom made for him by DeMarzio, this guitar also has a piezo pickup that has a separate output, which allows you to play the guitar through a stereo amp set up with an acoustic amp and an electric amp. The single volume knob for the humbucker matches the simplicity of his design vision that puts as little as possible between you and your music.

This guitar is just stunning in every way. Its a masterfully accomplished artwork, that is also a joy to play. Like his other instruments, I have come to think of him as building the Ferraris of the guitar world. Sleek, flawless, and dynamically responsive to every musical nuance, this guitar is one of the finest archtops I have played.

If you'd like to find out more about this item, just call or e-mail me. It would be my pleasure to talk to you about it.

At one time in his life, Stephen Marchione spent six hours a day playing the guitar. Now he makes them—in fact, since beginning his career as a guitar maker in 1989, Stephen has created more than three-hundred guitars for some of the best guitar players in the world. The journey from high-school jazz devotee to “the finest young guitar maker working today,” according to Chamber Music America, was a rich and complicated one. After establishing his own brand and working for several years in New York, Stephen Marchione moved to Houston, Texas, where he builds his entire family of guitars, but Marchione has also studied privately since 1994 with Manhattan-based violin maker Guy Rabut. "I try to build one violin a year to keep my chops up" Says Marchione. He feels that building classical guitars and violins broadens his understanding of top thicknessing, tap tuning, and surface preparation. On the other hand, building electric guitars has taught him the importance of the fretboard in a player's appreciation of a guitar. Marchione is considered one of a very few leading-edge pioneers in the design of guitars that combine elements of both jazz and classical construction. This well-rounded approach contributes to the magic one finds in a Marchione instrument, a magic that is at once very broad yet truly individual.

Back & sidesEuropean maple
Topalpine spruce
NeckEuropean maple
FingerboardAfrican ebony
Tailpiece/bridgeAfrican ebony
BindingAfrican ebony
Headstock veneerAfrican ebony
Finishhoney color, thin nitro
ElectronicsMarchione signature humbucker, single volume knob, Piezo pick up, separate output, no volume control
TunersSperzel locking
Casecustom Marchione
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