Italy’s Paoletti Guitars partners with former Fender Master Builder John Cruz for limited-edition model

“I am excited for this partner project, to infuse these instruments with my own appreciation and interpretation”, says Cruz.

John Cruz

Credit: Paoletti Guitars

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Paoletti Guitars has teamed up with former Fender Master Builder, John Cruz, for a limited edition model, the Alfa Loft SSS Paoletti – Cruz MasterPiece.

Cruz became a Master Builder with Fender back in 2003, and rose to become one of the Custom Shop’s most respected builders. After his departure from the brand in 2020 – which followed widespread public backlash after he allegedly shared an inflammatory post on social media regarding Black Lives Matter protesters – he initially launched John Cruz Custom Guitars a few months later.

The new company had a turbulent but short existence, with a German retailer claiming that John Cruz Custom Guitars had gone out of business with many orders unfulfilled. Cruz later confirmed that the brand had closed citing difficulties caused by the pandemic.

Just 20 guitars have been manufactured for this new limited run with Paoletti, each one co-made and signed by both Fabrizio Paoletti and Cruz. Built using raw materials, the guitars are “enriched” with Cruz’s “long-experienced, iconic touch” of personalised relic finishes.

The Alfa Loft SSS Paoletti – Cruz MasterPiece is equipped with a Canadian Roasted Maple neck and Maple fingerboard, Tremolo Bridge and Paoletti OEM hardware. In true Paoletti style, the guitar also has an aged chestnut wood body, preserved and reclaimed from old wine barrels.

It has three Paoletti ‘60s single coil walnut pickups, handmade and manufactured entirely in house. According to the brand, each pickup is coated with a wax layer to maintain integrity and to protect from any external interference.

“The first time I met Fabrizio and his creations was 10 years ago, in Bologna – Italy. We both shared stories of how passionate we were about building guitars. I just knew he was a great guy and would become a great builder in the industry,” says Cruz.

“It was not long after that Fabrizio sent me a beautiful Wine Series guitar. I still hold this guitar in my collection as one of my favourite pieces that I own. I am excited for this partner project, to infuse these instruments with my own appreciation and interpretation and contribute [to] creating guitars the customers can be proud of. You are in four good hands.”

Find out more over at Paoletti Guitars. The brand says pricing information is available upon request, though this UK distributor lists it at £7,449.00.

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