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  1. #1

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    Hi All,

    I am new to the forum, but let's be honest I have been lurking for a while taking in all of the wonderful information shared here. Thanks for the education!

    I am about to make my first archtop purchase and based on the information here and elsewhere on the internet I cannot find a bad thing said about Campellone, so I am headed in that direction.

    I am in the Northeast and not too far from a brand new Campellone Standard and also a 2004 Special. I believe the build is the same, but the Special adds better wood choices, more inlays, bindings, etc. It would seem to me that owners take pretty good care of these guitars, so I am thinking used is no issue. However, is there anything to look out for when buying a used Campellone (16 years old)?

    Would love your thoughts - would you buy new or used? Thanks for the help!

    Wattie

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  3. #2

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    depends on the condition of the special.. if the frets are full, the price is right, the size and dimensions fit you, I would go for the special.

    either way, you wont go wrong with a Campellone

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by limjaz
    depends on the condition of the special.. if the frets are full, the price is right, the size and dimensions fit you, I would go for the special.

    either way, you wont go wrong with a Campellone
    Thanks for the help!

  5. #4

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    I believe all of his models can be ordered with choice of either 16" or 17", two different rim depths, two different nut widths, and two different scales. Check all 4 things in both guitars, then decide which you prefer. (And of course the finish, if that matters to you.) I love both looks, the minimalist Standard and the fancy Special. Keep us apprised of your progress!

  6. #5

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    I like guitars with “bling”. The Special has lots of it, so that would be my choice, as long as the dimensions, scale, finish, etc. is to your liking.
    Keith
    Campellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-29f23c67-832c-494c-96f7-d65dd123e5e1-jpg

  7. #6

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    If it is a fine specimen, I would go for the used 2004 Special for one thing: time. A seasoned archtop guitar sounds better than a newly constructed one, all things assumed to be nearly equal. I would always pick the older archtop if it is well looked after.

  8. #7

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    If either has a built-in pickup as opposed to a floater, I'd go with that one, assuming all other spec's are to your liking. I ( finally ) own one MC acoustic and would have had one years ago if I'd have been closer to one of his dealers.
    Depending on your age, you'll probably own a built-in at some point anyway. And if that one is a Campellone, it'll be a tough act to follow.

    Good luck with your decision.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis D
    If either has a built-in pickup as opposed to a floater, I'd go with that one, assuming all other spec's are to your liking. I ( finally ) own one MC acoustic and would have had one years ago if I'd have been closer to one of his dealers.
    Depending on your age, you'll probably own a built-in at some point anyway. And if that one is a Campellone, it'll be a tough act to follow.

    Good luck with your decision.
    16"? I'm very curious about what other folks think about them. Especially with a short scale. The sound is really focused and rings nicely, and with the 12 pole KA it's pretty hard to find a better 16", IMHO. I own a 17" Standard with KA floater, and it's a fantastic guitar, and a permanent member of the lineup. Also, I don't think bling adds a thing to the ring (sound of the guitar), unless we're talking about really great wood, everything else aside. And Jab's comment about age is right on.
    Last edited by skykomishone; 03-08-2021 at 01:37 PM.

  10. #9

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    The Music Emporium had a couple Standards for sale. I live close by and was thinking I might go and take a look, But, they didn't last long. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a used one if I could see and play it first. But that's unlikely.

    I live a little over an hour from Marks shop and being a nooby when it comes to archtops, and all the different spec's to chose from, I decided to get on his wait list and when I get the notice from Mark, I plan to make a trip down and go over my options in person. I figure for the investment being made I want to be 100% sure I made the right choices, ie. this could get really expensive!

  11. #10

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    If the specs meet your needs - you will be better off buying the “Special”. With some respectful negotiation, and a purchase outside of Reverb - your likely to get a good deal.

    Have a discussion with the Buyer and see if you get a good vibe.


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  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by skykomishone
    16"? I'm very curious about what other folks think about them. Especially with a short scale. The sound is really focused and rings nicely, and with the 12 pole KA it's pretty hard to find a better 16", IMHO. I own a 17" Standard with KA floater, and it's a fantastic guitar, and a permanent member of the lineup. Also, I don't think bling adds a thing to the ring (sound of the guitar), unless we're talking about really great wood, everything else aside. And Jab's comment about age is right on.
    I ordered a 16 in. and long scale, similar to my L-7's. This was the first winter and like my others the low humidity has them buzzing. I didn't amplify the Camp. at all. The response is right there and full range, and I like that it'll take to some hard picking once in a while.
    As far as a 16 in. goes I had an L-4 CES and that had the shorter scale, but you can notice the weight.
    That's sort of my reason for mentioning a Camp. w/ a built-in p/u. I'd never before paid much attention to what a guitar weighs, because through the years, I've never gigged - - but even so, as I get older 'heavy' gets heavy. : )
    Hope that makes some sort of sense.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wattie
    Hi All,
    I am new to the forum, but let's be honest I have been lurking for a while taking in all of the wonderful information shared here. Thanks for the education!
    I am about to make my first archtop purchase and based on the information here and elsewhere on the internet I cannot find a bad thing said about Campellone, so I am headed in that direction.
    I am in the Northeast and not too far from a brand new Campellone Standard and also a 2004 Special. I believe the build is the same, but the Special adds better wood choices, more inlays, bindings, etc. It would seem to me that owners take pretty good care of these guitars, so I am thinking used is no issue. However, is there anything to look out for when buying a used Campellone (16 years old)?
    Would love your thoughts - would you buy new or used? Thanks for the help! - Wattie
    Choosing between a close-by Special and a a new Standard (the one at acousticmusic.org?), I'd go for the Special, contingent on checking it out. If it's close by, it's worth the drive.

    AFAIK, there is virtually no difference in the way Mark built these guitars 16 years ago and today. He figured out his recipe yers ago and has stuck to it.

    Another Special for sale to consider, perhaps a bit further away:
    Campellone Special

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by skykomishone
    16"? I'm very curious about what other folks think about them. Especially with a short scale. The sound is really focused and rings nicely, and with the 12 pole KA it's pretty hard to find a better 16", IMHO. I own a 17" Standard with KA floater, and it's a fantastic guitar, and a permanent member of the lineup. Also, I don't think bling adds a thing to the ring (sound of the guitar), unless we're talking about really great wood, everything else aside. And Jab's comment about age is right on.
    I play a 16" as well as a 17" Campellone. My 16" has a short scale and Mark built it to optimize its acoustic response. It is an excellent-sounding 16" acoustic archtop guitar, but different from my excellent-sounding 17" long-scale, big body, acoustic archtop Campellone.
    Attached Images Attached Images Campellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone2310803-front_3965-jpg 

  15. #14

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    Hi All,

    Thank you all for the information, it is very helpful.

    Having not seen it, my only concern with the Special is the scale length of 25.5". I am a long time tele player and like the 25.5" scale length there, but some chord fingerings are a bit too much of a stretch for me. I am thinking a 25" or even a 24.6" (I think that is what Campellone offers) would allow me more options when playing. I did get myself added to Mark's waiting list, but not sure I can wait 2 years. Maybe buy one now and when my ticket comes up get the wife to buy into a second.

    Planning a road trip this weekend to check out the Special, we'll see how it goes.

    @Hammertone - The Standard is indeed at Acoustic Music, which is only a couple of hours away. Might need to work that into the road trip as well.

    Also, since posting a '54 ES-175 is now on the list, but we will see how the Campellones go first.

    Thanks again for all the help!

    Wattie

  16. #15

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    Go for the SPECIAL. It's Special! With today's prices of the Standard going for $4500 the Special is only $2k or so more. And the woods and extra bling far justify going for the Special if it's within your budget. Take care!

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    I play a 16" as well as a 17" Campellone. My 16" has a short scale and Mark built it to optimize its acoustic response. It is an excellent-sounding 16" acoustic archtop guitar, but different from my excellent-sounding 17" long-scale, big body, acoustic archtop Campellone.
    Love the color of your Standard, that is fantastic! What is it called? Cherry Burst?

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    Go for the SPECIAL. It's Special! With today's prices of the Standard going for $4500 the Special is only $2k or so more. And the woods and extra bling far justify going for the Special if it's within your budget. Take care!
    Thanks for the advice! I have heard the $4500 price before. Is that selling price? The standards currently list at $5500 USD. Sorry if this is a dumb question, am I correct in thinking they sell for $1000 under list? If so, you just saved me money!

    Thanks again!

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wattie
    Thanks for the advice! I have heard the $4500 price before. Is that selling price? The standards currently list at $5500 USD. Sorry if this is a dumb question, am I correct in thinking they sell for $1000 under list? If so, you just saved me money!

    Thanks again!
    I know it sounds crazy, but the few here and on Reverb have sold for $4300 and above. Crazy I know, but Campellone is in demand and even on the used market there aren't many of them to be found.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    I know it sounds crazy, but the few here and on Reverb have sold for $4300 and above. Crazy I know, but Campellone is in demand and even on the used market there aren't many of them to be found.
    Makes sense, I fully expect to pay List Price if buy new. Used, I will make an offer, but new - not sure if there is any room to move. - Wattie

  21. #20

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    The Standard at Acoustic Music is new, listed at $5,500. They presumably commissioned it from Mark. If it was ordered by and sold directly to an end user by Mark, based on the pricing that is listed on his website, it would cost $5,200 +shipping +applicable sales tax. In this case, a fancier wood upgrade increases the cost by a few hundred dollars.

    Used Campellones hold their value extremely well, as noted above.
    Mark's reputation for building excellent guitars has made them a very safe buy, and enough have been made (550 and counting) and sold as used guitars to establish identifiable resale pricing. My guess is that owners treat their Campellones very well, and that most of these guitars offered for sale as used instruments are in excellent condition.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 03-22-2021 at 08:19 PM.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wattie
    Love the color of your Standard, that is fantastic! What is it called? Cherry Burst?
    It's Cherry Sunburst. That picture is kind of soft. These are a bit better:
    Attached Images Attached Images Campellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone2310803-front_3662-jpg Campellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone2310803_back_3663-jpg 

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    It's Cherry Sunburst. That picture is kind of soft. These are a bit better:
    Gorgeous! I was leaning towards Chestnut Sunburst on an order, but that might change.

  24. #23

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    In Mark's Gallery are examples of chestnut sunburst as well as cherry sunburst. I prefer the chestnust sunburst, but I'm the second owner of this guitar, and didn't have much say in selecting the finish colour.

  25. #24

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    Hi All, Is a patina normal on the pickups and tuners of these guitars at 16 years old? Compared to my mid-90s telecaster and early 2000s acoustic (no patina) one of the used Specials seems to have a pretty heavy patina on the hardware - at least to me. Would love your thoughts.

    Will be checking it out in person this weekend, so maybe not an issue - we will see. Thanks again! - Wattie

    Campellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone-special-headstock-r-2-jpgCampellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone-special-headstock-f-2-jpgCampellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone-special-front-2-jpg

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wattie
    Hi All, Is a patina normal on the pickups and tuners of these guitars at 16 years old? Compared to my mid-90s telecaster and early 2000s acoustic (no patina) one of the used Specials seems to have a pretty heavy patina on the hardware - at least to me. Would love your thoughts.

    Will be checking it out in person this weekend, so maybe not an issue - we will see. Thanks again! - Wattie

    Campellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone-special-headstock-r-2-jpgCampellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone-special-headstock-f-2-jpgCampellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone-special-front-2-jpg
    That's about what I would expect on gold after 16 years, it gets a patina pretty quick. I remember I put nearly that much on the gold on a '68 LP Custom in one night at an outdoor gig at the Jersey shore, tons of damp salt air!

    The main thing to look for is how the neck looks after that time, is it straight, and cracks. Mark's guitars are very well built and the neck should be stable. Good luck!

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wattie
    Hi All, Is a patina normal on the pickups and tuners of these guitars at 16 years old? Compared to my mid-90s telecaster and early 2000s acoustic (no patina) one of the used Specials seems to have a pretty heavy patina on the hardware - at least to me. Would love your thoughts.

    Will be checking it out in person this weekend, so maybe not an issue - we will see. Thanks again! - Wattie

    Campellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone-special-headstock-r-2-jpgCampellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone-special-headstock-f-2-jpgCampellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone-special-front-2-jpg
    That’s a gorgeous Special. It’s going to be tough not to bring that guitar home. Be prepared to buy it. Great photos too!

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wattie
    Hi All, Is a patina normal on the pickups and tuners of these guitars at 16 years old?
    Meaningless. Very normal, very easy to remove. These parts are goldplated, so NO ABRASIVE or polish should ever be used. Just a soft cotton cloth, maybe a teeny bit of dishwashing detergent. Or just breathe on them and wipe them down. Easy.

  29. #28

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    That Special is beautiful!
    Keith

  30. #29

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    Campellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-32-001-jpg
    ...purple!

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Papawooly
    Campellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-32-001-jpg
    ...purple!
    Love the purple. Very cool! Thanks for sharing it!

  32. #31

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    Amazing purple Campellone! I’ve never seen one.

    What’s the model? The headstock inlays suggest it’s not a Special.

  33. #32

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    It's a Campellone Special, labelled as a "TK Custom," built for Ted Krause in 1994, sold here in 2018. The only real differences are the headstock inlay, colour, and label.
    Attached Images Attached Images Campellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone-tedkrause-17-jpg Campellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone-tedkrause-19-jpg 

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wattie
    Thanks for the advice! I have heard the $4500 price before. Is that selling price? The standards currently list at $5500 USD. Sorry if this is a dumb question, am I correct in thinking they sell for $1000 under list? If so, you just saved me money!

    Thanks again!
    The current retail price for a new Standard is $5200 - the Standard for sale at Acoustic Music was ordered with upgraded woods, hence the $300 added to the base price.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    Meaningless. Very normal, very easy to remove. These parts are goldplated, so NO ABRASIVE or polish should ever be used. Just a soft cotton cloth, maybe a teeny bit of dishwashing detergent. Or just breathe on them and wipe them down. Easy.
    Good advice here from Hammer - the patina has nothing to do with the guitar's age - rather, it's about how the guitar is maintained - if you frequently clean the hardware with a soft cloth, the patina should never even develop. As stated above, patina can be cleaned off with a soft cloth, maybe dampened slightly if patina is stubborn - but never use metal polish - the plating on the Grover tuners is relatively heavy, but the plating on the Armstrong pickups is very light, and metal polish will wipe the gold right off.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    It's a Campellone Special, labelled as a "TK Custom," built for Ted Krause in 1994, sold here in 2018. The only real differences are the headstock inlay, colour, and label.
    Right - this was a custom build which includes features from both the Special and Deluxe Series models - the peghead inlay is unique to this guitar.

  37. #36

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    Mark, this is sort of a weird question, out of left field so to speak, but do you pronounce the final e in your family name? Just curious.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wattie
    Hi All, Is a patina normal on the pickups and tuners of these guitars at 16 years old? Compared to my mid-90s telecaster and early 2000s acoustic (no patina) one of the used Specials seems to have a pretty heavy patina on the hardware - at least to me. Would love your thoughts.

    Will be checking it out in person this weekend, so maybe not an issue - we will see. Thanks again! - Wattie

    Campellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone-special-headstock-r-2-jpgCampellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone-special-headstock-f-2-jpgCampellone Choice - New Standard or Used Special?-campellone-special-front-2-jpg
    did you purchase the Special?

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Mark, this is sort of a weird question, out of left field so to speak, but do you pronounce the final e in your family name? Just curious.
    Most folks don't pronounce the final e - I usually do, but as the 'e' in "peek", which is not entirely correct. The correct Italian pronunciation is cahm-pehl-lo-neh. In the dialect of the area where my family comes from, natives have the habit of dropping the last vowel on many words, so my name ends up sounding the way most people pronounce it here.
    Last edited by MCampellone; 03-22-2021 at 02:04 PM.

  40. #39

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    Thanks for the explanation. I prefer to use the pronunciation the person prefers, it seems more polite.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCampellone
    The current retail price for a new Standard is $5200 - the Standard for sale at Acoustic Music was ordered with upgraded woods, hence the $300 added to the base price.
    Sorry everyone...don't try and find this one at Acoustic Music. It is soon on its way to me!!

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    did you purchase the Special?
    @2bornot2bop - I did! Just posted some NGD pics of it in a separate thread. You were spot on with the 'be prepared to buy it' comment! The guitar is amazing, so psyched to have it! Thanks for the help!

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCampellone
    Good advice here from Hammer - the patina has nothing to do with the guitar's age - rather, it's about how the guitar is maintained - if you frequently clean the hardware with a soft cloth, the patina should never even develop. As stated above, patina can be cleaned off with a soft cloth, maybe dampened slightly if patina is stubborn - but never use metal polish - the plating on the Grover tuners is relatively heavy, but the plating on the Armstrong pickups is very light, and metal polish will wipe the gold right off.
    @MCampellone, thanks for all the information on the guitar - much appreciated! As Hammer stated the hardware cleaned up nicely with a damp cloth and a little dish detergent.. Will continue to polish them. Thanks for the help!