Aschado Jazz, Alfred Schaufuß, 1953

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Instrument: Alfred Schaufuß, born in 1904 in Adorf near Markneukirchen, worked as an... more
Aschado Jazz, Alfred Schaufuß, 1953

Alfred Schaufuß, born in 1904 in Adorf near Markneukirchen, worked as an independent guitar maker from 1924. Aschado = Alfred Schaufuß Adorf. He was one of the most renowned German makers of stringed instruments and was undoubtedly one of the top ten masters of the time. He stayed in Markneukirchen all his life and was later employed in a leading position at GDRs Musima company, where he worked as a senior quality controller until well after his retirement age. He died in 1986. Our guitar is one of the very few that is made entirely without the elaborate mother-of-pearl inlays he liked to use, but has the typical Schaufuß features: Scalloped saddle, a pickguard that does not cover the sound hole, headstock shape, flat neck foot. It shows very clearly how one had to make do in those days in the face of great material shortages, but still produced top-quality craftsmanship. The neck is seamlessly bolted by using the Stauffer-Legnani system.

Thick, massive spruce top, hand-carved from the full material. The back is maple, also massive and shaped by hand. Both parts have the typical German Carve shape with the recurve around the edges. On the back, two small pieces of beech were added to each of the outer sides, and there is also a piece of inserted beech at the base of the neck shoe - remember the shortage of material. Solid maple sides and solid maple neck base. The neck itself contains of seven layers including the headstock. It is made of beech with three maple strips. Thus, including the fingerboard, it has a total of seven glue joints and is thus practically resistant to deformation. No truss rod is required on this one. The fingerboard is rosewood and has five creamy white rectangular celluloid inlays. The same material is used for the headstock face and pickguard. Open tuners, perfectly nickel-plated tailpiece, ebony bridge with decorative stripes and bone saddle, five-ply celluloid nut.

Instruments history:
Unknown. We acquired the guitar from a renowned Danish collector. It was playable and complete, but otherwise in rather sad condition, the varnish surfaces irrecoverably battered. The varnish had endless nicks and dents all around, as if it had been maltreated for hours with a bunch of keys. We've never seen anything like it, can't explain it, and had to abandon every rescue attempt. A not original and destroyed bridge was mounted and had to be replaced.

Restoration work:
Of course, such "flawed" woods (see beech joints) were varnished at that time, no guitar maker wanted to expose something like that. This Aschado also had a Black Rose varnish, i.e. the then popular black-red color gradient (see photo). We had to completely strip the destroyed varnish and rebuilt it with polishing varnish only in a very elaborate way. The interior was cleaned and blown out. A matching bridge from our stock hast been refurbished and mounted, with a saddle made of bone. Both this and the repainting have impressively and significantly improved the already good sound. All hardware parts were cleaned, refurbished and polished. We closed and retouched four small, unexplained drill holes in the pickguard. The tuners were refurbished and re-oiled. Fingerboard and frets were stripped and oiled, or polished. Finally, new strings were put on and a setup was performed.

Current condition:
Where to start here? Let's begin with the beautiful look: the guitar has become a blonde dream, the light woods dominate in perfect coordination with the creamy white details and the black trim stripes. It doesn't get more elegant than this. The construction is true art of craftsmanship and qualitatively at the highest level. Everything is bombproof and sturdy, built to last for eternity, from the very best materials. After restoration, the condition is practically as good as new, with no flaws. The guitar is odorless and spotlessly clean. Everything works perfectly, right down to the as-new tuners. Thanks to low string action and flat neck angle, the guitar plays as smooth as possible. The neck is not too beefy and with its flat fretboard radius it is exceedingly comfortable to play - no comparison to the infamous, thick German "baseball bats". Fretboard and frets are perfect, the neck is as straight as a die. Now let's get to the sound: after removing the thick varnish and installing the bone bridge, the sound is almost unique! Without a doubt one of the best we have heard from a jazz guitar in 25 years! Loud, balanced, harmonic, lots of bass, fast responding with a warm, woody sound and wonderfully played in. This guitar can be used as a solo instrument without restriction. It also outshines almost any larger one with its 16" body - this is among the best jazz guitars you can buy today. In this condition a player for demanding connoisseurs, but also first choice for collectors looking for perfection! Due to the varnish no longer original, but we claim - better than before.

Overall length 42.1”/107 cm; body length 20.3”/51,5 cm; lower bout width 16”/40,5 cm; waist width 10”/25,5 cm; upper bout width 11.6”/29,5 cm; body depth 2.9”/7,5 cm at neck; scale length 25.2”/64 cm (zero fret to saddle); fingerboard width 1.7”/4,3 cm at nut, 2.1”/5,3 cm at 12th fret; overall weight 2.300 g, string action on 12th fret 0.08”/2 mm (adjustable).

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