17″ Equity – 1st Gen -SOLD OUT
Out of stock
First, the punch line: After a month I’ve concluded that this guitar is not a substitute, surrogate, or compromise for that more expensive jazz box that one longs for and cannot afford. This IS the guitar of one’s dreams.
I’ll be as brief as I can. I have many guitars. But no real jazz guitars. I don’t play much jazz, but sometimes want to go there, and somehow my .strandberg* just isn’t right. I try to stay away from retail stores because there is ALWAYS something that catches my eye. But, I needed a set of strings and since I was near a store, I stopped by. As usual, I looked at used wall. There was nothing interesting. Walk away. Quickly. But… what’s that? Needing a ladder to get to it, there was a red wine archtop high on the wall. Conti? What’s a Conti? I’d never heard of them. I suspected that it was some Asian product, à la Cort (Nothing wrong with Cort. I believe they made my .strandberg*.) I found someone to get it down and I played for three minutes. I was meeting someone for lunch in fifteen minutes so I had no time to play much. I put it back.
It was two weeks before I was back in that neighborhood. In that time I did some research and if you are reading this, you’ve done the same and I won’t bore you with the details of Robert Conti’s business model to bypass the middleman. None of his guitars would be sold in stores. No distributors. Instead, he sells direct to player. He asks his prospects to trust that the guitar he gives them will make them exceptionally happy. That’s a big ask. You can’t play one to see if you like it.
Armed with this information and with more time set aside I went back to the store. While every other Conti customer needed to muster faith to buy, I had the luxury of actually playing one. The model is Equity, discontinued after the first production contract ended. The guitar played well and seemed well taken care of, 99% brand new. There were very few scratches, no dings. I copied the serial number and went home.
I went back to the Conti website but could find no serial number reference, nor a support page, but I could chat online with Steve. I asked about the serial number, and he told me the guitar was built in 2013. He also said that from what he knew of the previous owner, it should have been well taken care of. Wow. Steve told me the guitar was solid wood, not laminate. He asked me about the price and told me it was a very good deal. So, I went back the next day and bought it.
The next day I cleaned it and changed strings. It was clean but needed a little detailing. The cleaning process brought me closer to the instrument (LOL the truss rod cover on the headstock still had it’s original protective plastic covering). At every turn I was surprised and impressed by the build.
I love this guitar and I consider myself lucky to have it.
Played at Mohegan Sun last night with Jump Swing Fever...first time I used my Robert Conti guitar in a big band setting....it really cut through the band with a nice Freddy Green sound! Also worked well on Big Bad Voodoo Daddy stuff. Guest soloist was Roger Ingram. Joanne M. Rodino sang about half the show....fun time.
Hi, I am a 75 yr old guy living near Sheffield, England, who, until 2 weeks ago, had never heard of Conti Guitars. I have played in bands, but Covid put a stop to that. I went to my local music store, who I've dealt with for years, and are very helpful, and very honest. They pointed me towards a Conti Equity guitar, (second - hand), which I loved the second I started playing it - so that's the one I'm going to learn Jazz on! I see you don't make them now, and your current range is absolutely wonderful, so when I've learnt a bit about Jazz I intend to save up for an Entrada or Heirloom. Having said that, I absolutely love my Equity - it looks great, the sound is clear and distinct, the playability is superb, and it really encourages me to keep practising! I just wanted to express my thanks for such a brilliant guitar, which already has brought me so much pleasure!!
This is the finest guitar I have ever owned or played. It was built in 2011 but it looks like it could have built yesterday. I have played this at home and publicly many times and it plays like butter. Thank you Robert Conti for the quality you keep maintaining.
My Conti Equity is a super sweet machine. It’s kinda like a Byrdland with one pickup. Being a big old guy, the big boxes, though I have several, are sometimes uncomfortable. This fits much better. And at 17″, with great wood (I might add) it doesn’t sound bad at all acoustic. Too bad an American equivalent would probably cost around $5,000.00 or more.
Hi, Steve. I'd like to thank you again for your assistance. In all respects, this is far and away the most satisfying guitar that I have owned!
My 2012 Conti Equity in Blonde is right at the top of my favorite guitars of all time . . . and I've owned them all in 50+ years of professional playing. The fit and finish is exquisite, with action that provides just the right amount of "bounce" off the strings to make it a dream to play. As someone who plays barehand fingerstyle, two big features that my Conti shines at are pickup response and string spread in the right hand. The pickups have just the right amount of thump in the bass while giving me a smooth top end that is easy on the ears. String spread for right hand placement is perfect for a normal adult hand. I don't have to be conscious of where my fingers are naturally laying. And with the single pickup I prefer, it nudges me to use the full range of the guitar through bridge to neck plucking. All in all, my Conti Equity goes on every gig, is a superb performer sonically, and gets lots of compliments for visual appeal. I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER!