1970 Zemaitis Prototype Acoustic
Born in London in 1935, Tony Zemaitis began learning his craft during a five year apprenticeship as a cabinet maker before taking an interest in playing music in the 1950’s. He then transferred all of his acquired woodworking skills over into building guitars, the early examples of which received glowing reviews from players on the vibrant folk and skiffle scene in London. As his reputation quickly increased Tony started to receive commissions for instruments from many famous guitarists of the 1960’s including Donovan, Eric Clapton and George Harrison (acoustic models) and Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards and Ronnie Lane (electric models).
With the intention of not diluting his work Tony would limit his production to a maximum of ten custom instruments a year; each one tailor-made to an individual musician’s specification and with the aim of having no two guitars the same.
Tony experimented with his own individual methods of construction; he would try many different woods and methods of bracing and throughout his career was making what he called ‘prototypes’ to test new ideas. Some of these ideas would go on to become mainstream; others would become incorporated into his signature models.
Offering three different categories of instrument namely Standard, Superior and Custom our 1970 guitar is labelled Standard and is one of these prototype examples, featuring mahogany back and sides, ebony fingerboard and a lovely tight-grained spruce top that has honeyed nicely with age. Being a Standard model the guitar is mostly unadorned but displays the characteristic engraved headstock plate seen on so many of Tony’s acoustics. Tonally, Zemaitis acoustics have often received praise for their rich sound and phenomenal sustain, and this guitar is no exception providing a warmth along with fantastic note separation. Previously uncirculated the 1970 Zemaitis Prototype Acoustic is sold with a modern Hiscox hard case.