"At first glance the SP Super Series guitar built for me by the redoubtable Mr. Rizzolo bears superficial resemblance to a well-known guitar that has long been associated with me. Certainly its shape and basic pick-up configuration follow the template of that legendary instrument, but there the resemblances end.
Its delicious birds-eye maple top and mahogany body line it up more with the classic stylings of a Gibson, but in its detail and finishing it stands completely alone. A cursory run of the hand down its neck reveals a level of finishing that belongs solely to Gary. At all points on the neck the hand rests comfortably and is ergonomically well supported. Regular T*** players may find the abscence of a heel at the top a little strange, but one soon becomes accustomed to this.
The mahogany Gary uses for the body is surprisingly light, in fact this is by far the lightest guitar of this type I've ever owned. Another welcome feature for me, is the contoured back, which only adds to the instrument's general comfort.
The SP sports the usual pick-up configuration, with all the snap and twang you would expect, but also adds a middle pick-up that adds those funky "out of phase" sounds lacking in the two p/u set up. (The classic middle setting is retained, however)
The SP's secret weapon is a stunning Graph-Tech Ghost system that gives forth a ridiculously good "acoustic" sound, especially when used through an acoustic AMP (AER in my case) or the PA. The seamless way that this system works with the rest of the guitar is immaculate.
In use the SP handles like a classic sports car, comfortable, fast and oozing fine workmanship.
Gary makes his instruments with a high degree of love and pride, nothing leaves his work-bench until he is totally satisfied, down to the finest detail.
I consider it a honour to play this instrument, and plan to do so for many years to come."
Shane Pacey - Bondi Cigars, 2009
"The guitar is magnificent! It certainly exceeds my expectations. Beautiful to look at, wonderful to play and sounds full bight and clear. In particular the sound is very balanced across the full range and it is equally at home being played loudly as a rhythm instrument or more quietly on chord melody arrangements. Thank you very much for the effort you put in, the guitar was certainly worth waiting for." Rod Pearse
"I have just finished recording in LA for Alanis Morissette and used my Rizzolo guitar. In the studio it was sonically perfect." Andy Page
I have owned a Gary Rizzolo archtop for just over 12 months. Things you should know - Gary is an uncompromising luthier who builds magnificently voiced instruments which are beautifully balanced and in the case of his archtops have a magical and harp like quality especially in the upper registers, the term "master luthier" sits easily on Gary's shoulders. If you are an aficionado of fine guitars you will immediately realise that Gary's instruments are in a class of masterpieces usually associated with names like John Monteleone, Bob Benedetto, this is not just hyperbole, he is not nicknamed the wizard for nothing! I was thrilled that Gary has chosen my guitar ( Bluette 16" Archtop) as the image under the Archtop banner in his list of instrument categories. Gary is very accomodating and goes to great lengths to produce the instrument you have in your imagination. Joseph Cozza, Melbourne Australia.