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James L. D'Aquisto


James L. D'Aquisto (1935-1995) was an American guitar maker best known as one of the premier makers of custom archtop guitars.[1] He served as an apprentice to John D'Angelico in the early 1950s and was considered his successor after the latter's death in 1964. From his shop in Farmingdale, New York and later during his "golden period" in Greenport Long Island, New York, D'Aquisto became the top guitar maker from the late 1960s until his death in 1995. Before his passing, D'Aquisto's name is attached to many guitar models from brands like the Fender "D'Aquisto Elite" "D'Aquisto Ultra"[2] and the Hagström Jimmy, and his blue "Centura Deluxe" was the inspiration for the book Blue Guitar.[3] Today, his guitars sell for tens of thousands of dollars to over $100,000, and some expect that the first guitar in history to sell above the $1,000,000 mark will be a D'Aquisto.[4][3]
D'Aquisto was a 2006 inductee to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. His tools and work bench — passed down to him from D'Angelico — are on display at the National Music Museum.





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