John Zeidler was a legendary American guitar builder, out of Philadelphia, who passed away much too young, at the age of 44, on May 7th 2003. This guitar was purchased, brand new, by its current owner on March 23, 1995. It is an Auditorium Cutaway having intensely flamed Koa wood back and sides, a light varnish finish and it is equipped with a passive internal pickup. The lower bout measures 15 13/16” in width, the fingerboard measures 1 ¾” and the string spacing at the bridge is 2 3/16th”; the scale length is nominally 25 ½”. This is a beautifully and tastefully decorated instrument having a soft and sweeping Venetian cutaway which rises to a high bell curve like Anthony Weiner’s pants. The face, the border around the fingerboard end, the front and back of the headstock, all three sides of the fingerboard, the soundhole, the back, the sides and the backstripe are all comprised of a stripe of tortoise shell colored celluloid, bordered on each side by the thinnest, tiniest, white-black-white-black purfling as our eyes have ever seen (the backstripe has 3-ply).
Its pickguard is teardrop and tortoise shell with beveled edges; its truss rod cover is mother of pearl with black etching in an art deco pattern around its perimeter (incredibly pretty), its headstock has an artful radius at the top and a fancy “Z” inlay thereunder bisected by a banner that is etched “Zeidler.” Tuners are gold plated mini-Schallers; the back of the headstock is overlain with what might be an ebony underlay. There is a repeating motif of a stripe of maple surrounded by a medium brown rosewood on each side [this is done for everlasting strength] and this begins at the center top end of the headstock and continues down the back of the neck all the way to the ebony heel cap with the pearl inlaid crème celluloid strap pin provided. The back of the headstock comes down to a birds-beak; the end graft is crème celluloid and the rectangular bridge is carved of ebony with a bone saddle and six crème globular bridge pins each with a tortoise shell plastic dot.
John Zeidler’s catalog described this model as follows: “The Auditorium, with its down-scaled jumbo shape, shallow body depth [this measures 4 5/16th” depth at the bottom side so we don’t know what he meant by that] and X-bracing pattern, produces a well-proportioned and equivalent bass and treble response. By opening the range of sound, the suspended X-bracing helps to delivery surprising projection and power, an uncommon feature for a guitar of this size. Possessing big sound and excellent clarity, the Zeidler Auditorium is well suited for fingerstyle as well as flatpicking styles.” Standard features include “Hand-split select Sitka spruce top, five-piece laminated mahogany neck with rosewood and maple center strip, adjustable stainless steel truss rod with additional carbon fiber reinforcement, ebony bridge, fingerboard and head veneer, bone nut & compensated saddle, mother of pearl truss rod cover. The standard dimensions stated by the builder are: “16” body width, 4 3/8” body depth, 25 3/8” scale length and 20 frets.” but as you can see there are variations in measurements.
In the introduction to his catalog John Zeidler said: “For me, building a great instrument requires more than the application of my knowledge and skills to the materials that I begin with. It is an evolving process where I must blend the best elements of contemporary design, function and traditional craftsmanship. Each time I build an instrument there are new challenges that come from the specific design and materials that I am using. These modify the routine processes of guitar building a fine, unique instrument. There are many elusive characteristics that define a fine instrument. I strive for rich quality, evenness and flexibility of tone, tonal reserve, superior projection and ample volume. In addition, my instruments must be uncompromising in their structure, details and finish. They must satisfy their owners by being beautiful objects and beautiful performers.” (Signed), John Rudy Zeidler.
This instrument is in excellent condition; it shows extremely light signs of having been played including a filled ding in the lower treble portion of the face, and other lesser tiny indents and surface scuffs. There are similar light scratches, scuffs and dings elsewhere on the instrument – but nothing that would add up to less than “solidly excellent” condition. For most players it feels great and plays great! Suggestion: in order to determine how comfortable you will be with this instrument, we invite you to come visit our showroom and try it out.
Bargain hunters: There was a similar guitar to his up for sale at the time we acquired this, on eBay at $16,500. We offer you this world-class, rare as hair on a billiard ball, cutaway, flattop, unbelievably gorgeous instrument at this special and unbelievably reasonable price of less than half that:
Now on sale! Big discount! WAS $9273 Discount price. Now on sale for $8242 by credit card or PayPal.