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Favino Guitars - More Infos - (en)

Favino Guitars

favino bj1960Directly behind the original Selmer-/ or Busato-Guitars the rare Favino-Guitars are within the most expensive and sought after Gypsyjazz-Guitars and count (for good reason) to the most famous as well.

The great success of the Favino-Guitars (especially the Gypsyjazz-Models) are founded in their special way of making, invented by their creator Jacques Favino (image right) who started making them in the late 1940- and early 1950ies.Jacques Favino

Jacques Favino (born in Piemont, North-Italy) immigrated in 1923  with his family from the sizilian village of Catania to Paris/France, like many other sicilian Guitar- and Instrumentmakers did before him, fleeing from the fashist Mussolini-Regime and plus suffering from unemployment.

Jacques Favino started to learn the making of Stringed-instruments in the early 1940ies. Arriving in Paris he soon started to work in the workshops of Bartolo Bernabe Busato and opened up his first own workshop around 1956 in the Rue de Clignancourt 9 in the Parisian Distrikt of Montmartre, building and selling his guitars there until aproximately 1982/83.

In 1978/79 Jacques started to withdraw from the business more and more. Beginning to work in his fathers workshop around 1976 his son Jean-Pierre Favino 1982 took over his business officially.
But still the two, father and son, were working together there in the workshop until around 1984, supported by two more sicilian guitarmakers helping them in building all kinds of instruments. This time (1980-1984) is what was called the "transition period" afterwhat, as there were some instruments already signed by Jean-Pierre Favino but still made by his father or the two together in the old way of making.

After 1984, when his father finally retired, Jean-Pierre Favino kept on building guitars in the same workshop in the Rue de Clignancourt 9 almost identically the same way he had learned it from his father, copying his type of models and designs. It was just until the late 1980- early 90ies when he began walking his own path in building guitars, developing his own kind of guitar-models. More Details about Favino-Guitars and their story you´ll find inside our articles Favino-History and Features of original Favino-Guitars.
favinocatalog2Until today the Favino-Guitars, especially the ones of the father Jacques Favino, are considered the most expensive and best Gypsyjazz-Guitars on the Market.

In the mid 1950ies when Jacques Favino started the construction of his famous Gypsyjazz-Guitar-Models (image top left, Favino Model No.10, built in 1960).

Generally he offered 2 basic-models: the Model Jazz No.10 "Gitans" and the Model Jazz No.10 "Macias" (image left, an extract of an old Favino-catalog from the year 1978).

The two models less distincted in their price but the making. Favino offered guitar-models made out of maple, Rio Palisandre and Indian Rosewood.

Typically for Favino-Guitars of Jacques Favino from the beginning were the three-piece-maple-necks. A feature that today is again beeing copied by many guitarmakers that are building Selmer- and Favinostyle-Guitars (e.g. Eimers Guitars or Dell-Arte).
In the early 1990ies when Jean-Pierre Favino began his own model-series he also started to invent his own style of this time 2-piece-maple-necks. More detailed Infos on Favino-Guitars you can find in our article "Features of original Favino-Guitars" were we briefly describe their special features.

Favino-Guitars have been made so famous by the many musicians who played or still play until today.
These are musicians like Matelot and Baro Ferré, Louis Fays, Jacques Montagne, Henri Salvador, Georges Moustaki, Sarane Ferré, Baro Ferret, Georges Brassens, Paul "Tschan Tschou" Vidal, Mondine Garcia, Chatou Garcia, Enrico Macias, Ninine Garcia, Boulou Ferre, Elios Ferre, Jacques Brel, Christian Escoude, Maurice Ferré, Fapy Lafertin, Francois Moerman, Rodolphe Raffalli, Romane, Raphael Fays, Bireli Lagrene, Hansche Weiss, Ziroli Winterstein, Lulu Reinhardt, Holzmanno Winterstein, Dorado Schmitt, Patrick Saussois, Moreno Winterstein, Stochelo Rosenberg, Tschavolo Schmitt and many, many more.

More Infos on Favino in our articles on the History of Favino and on the actual website of Jean-Pierre Favino.

In our JM-Guitar-Gallery we have put online anorganized Image-Archive for old Gypsyjazz-Guitars like Favinos (as well as Selmer-, Busato- and DiMauro-Guitars) to give you a detailed overview on the different models and for research on these rare guitars. Here you might take a look and find detailed information on these guitars, in case for a possible buy of an old Gypsyjazz-Guitar to define and compare the quality or details of an instrument to buy. So you might relatively sure get information about or if an instrument offered is really authentical. Be sure to read our articles about "Fake Gypsyjazzguitars" and "Tipps for buying guitars".

Go to History - Favino-Guitars (1/2)

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History - Jean-Pierre Favino

Jean-Pierre Favino, born 1952 in Paris, is the only son of Jacques Favino. Jean-Pierre studied building instruments on the "School of applied industrial Arts".

Since 1975 he started to join his father Jacques Favino in the workshop and learned the craftsmanship of building guitars from him. Together they both were building guitars until the late 1984, when his father retired finally to move to south-france. His fist known guitar Jean-Pierre built around 1979.

Officially he took over the workshop from his father in 1984/85, while there was a transition period when both father and son built guitars together from aproximately 1980 until 1983/84.

Alike his father Jacques always had an "open ear" for the wishes and dreams of musicians, also Jean-Pierre Favino feels like a "mediator" between the musician and the instrument.

Favino in his shopIn the first years after he took over the workshop Jean-Pierre Favino still builds the guitars as he learned it from his father, sticking to his original contruction-plans and models.

It is just from 1990 when he starts to look for his own ways of building guitars and changes the way of making and construction.
Since then he mostly had built the Models No. 10 to his fathers exact plans, but then he starts to change his design strongly, thus more blueprinting from the original Selmer-type design with smaller bodies and other kind of bracings. He then also changes the tailpieces and tuners as well as the design of the headplates (see also Features of original Favino-Guitars).
What still remains is the high craftsmanship that Jean-Pierre Favino had learned from his father, to manufacture instruments of highest quality. Until today the name "Favino" is connected to the making of finest instruments and many famous musicians played and still play his guitars.

Jean-Pierre Favino reduced his production-capacity to aproximately around 30 instruments per year. Latency times of 2-3 years for a guitar out of his workshop have become normal.

favino logo

Actual Adress

Jean-Pierre Favino's workshop in Paris:
31 Rue Reuilty in Paris. Metro Reuilty-Didot
Mostly he is to find there at the end of each month. It is obliged to call before making a visit.

Jean-Pierre Favino's 2nd workshop and living-adress:
Les Gaouats 31160 Castel Biague, Frankreich, Tel : 0033 - 561 901 027

To finish out the history-series of Favino, we offer you an interesting and highly informative 3-paged Interview with Jean-Pierre Favino as pdf for download (right-click, save-as), which was made with him by Berhardt Gierstel from the association in the year 1992.

Read more -> Features of original Favino-guitars (1/3)

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History - Jacques Favino

favino-photo-favino-shop-15Jacques Favino, was born in Piemont, North-Italy in July 1920. In 1923 he immigrated to Paris / France with his family. Already very early  Jacques Favino learns the crafting of building instruments.

Favino first started to work in the workshops of Barnabe Busato in Paris building guitars for quite some years until he was opening his first own workshop approximately around 1956.

JacquesFavinoWhile Busato quite early from around 1935/36 was building Gypsyjazz-Guitars with bigger-sized bodies (compared to the smaller sized-bodies of the original Selmer-guitars), Jacques Favino took this as a kind of blueprint for his own creations of guitar-models later on.
So in the beginning he didn´t copy the famous Selmer-guitars of guitarmaker Mario Macafferri, but was more or less inspried by the guitars of Busato, in whose workshops he had been working for quite some years. Nevertheless Jacques Favino later on as well built some smaller-bodied Selmer-type Guitarmodels, supposedly made as special-orders for some of his customers. Around 1956/57 his first own guitars were ready to enter the market.

Over time Jacques Favino had different workshops, but his most known adress has been in the Rue de Clignancourt 9, at the bottom underneath the Montmartre in Paris.

favino-photo-favino-shop-4In his workshop he had two more co-workers, Gino Papiri and Ugo Teraneo, two other italian immigrants and luthiers. In 1975 his only son Jean-Pierre Favino was joining his father in the workshop as well.

Later on in the early 1970ies Jacques Favino was also exporting his guitars to North-America with his small company named "Favino North America". To avoid taxes these guitars were shipped readily built, but without beeing laquered. They were finalized in the USA by the famous "Wurlitzer Organ Factory" in Oregon beeing laquered and finisehd for sale.
JacquesFavino_WorkshopThe chief-executive of the american dependance of his company "Favino North America" has been a good friend of the boss of Wurlitzer. Joan Baez, the famous american protest singer- /songwriter for long years played one of these "american" Favino-guitars.

At the beginning of 1978 Jacques Favino slowly began to withdraw from the active business, but kept on building guitars together with his son Jean-Pierre until late 1984. In 1985 finally retired and went to live at the french Côte D'Azur around Cannes. He died on december 20st 1999 in Cagnes-sur-Mer.

For all of his life the musicians and their wishes have been the most important thing for Jacques Favino. His workshop always has been a great meetingpoint, where musicians commonly met to discuss about music and guitars and did jam as well. So there was always a direct communication between Jacques Favino, the luthier and music-lover and the musicians who played his instruments.

From 1984 his son Jean-Pierre Favino oficially took over his business and workshop. In the first years he was exactly building guitars like he had learned it from his father. Just many years later he started to develop creations of new guitar-models on his own.

Read more -> History - Favino-Guitars (2/2)

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Features Favino-Guitars(1/3)

As already done in our article-series about Features of original Selmer-Guitars, Features of original Busato-Guitars and Features of original DiMauro-Guitars, in these article-series we briefly describe the most important features of original Favino-Guitars.


Generally one has to distinguish two basic time periods in Favino-Guitars:
the Gypsyjazz-Models of the father Jacques Favino which were built between 1956 until 1983/84 and the Gypsyjazz-Models of his son Jean-Pierre Favino, built from 1983/84 until today. Additionally there is a short transition-period between 1980 and 1983/84 when both father and son, were building guitars together in the fathers workshop, until Jean-Pierre officially took over the business from his father.

Here you can see the main differences: two Favinos built 1960 (image 1 left), a D-hole Model from 1980 (image middle), and respectively one model built by Jean-Pierre Favino as of 1996 (image 3 right).

favinotable Fav_1982_Dhole_849 1996favino_02

Period 1: Jacques Favino

Both time periods and instruments generally vary amongst each other. The guitars built from around 1956 by Jacques Favino show slightly bigger bodies than the original Selmer-Guitars. Additionally the have completely other bracings, especially developed by Jacques Favino inside their bodies (see images below).
All Models were exsitent as O-hole and also as D-hole-Models (see also Features of original Selmer-Guitars), whilst the O-hole models by far are in majority with both father and son.

The bracings

In contrast to the orginal Selmer-guitars designed by Mario Macafferri, Jacques Favino built his first acoustic Jazz-Guitars (named Model No. 10) with 5 bracings (image 4 left below), against the normally used 4 bracings of the Selmer-Guitars (image 5 below).

This results in a completely other oscillation behaviour of the top, which primarily is responsible for the sound of an acoustic guitar.
Favino 5 Bracing Selmer 4 Bracing
Nevertheless there was also a kind of transition-period with Selmer-guitars according to bracings when Mario Macafferri had left Selmer in 1939, as the luthiers at Selmer then were experimenting with different variations of the basic-models originally constructed from Macafferri.
This also explains why there are even different Selmer-Models with different bracings, as there are ones with 4, 5 or even only 3 bracings.

favino construction planThe kind of special bracings developed and invented by Jacques Favino around early 1950ies for his own guitar-models, are responsable for the "typical  Favino-Sound" which supplies a round, balanced bass, crisp highs and a very assertive mid with a touch of the typical "growl" or "bark". At the right is a copy of the orginal contruction-plan for the old Model10-series (image right).
You can distinguish this typical Favino-sound resulting from his way of making on many records of famous Gypsyjazz-Guitarrists like Tschan-Tschou Vidal, Bireli Lagrene or Hännsch´che Weiss, Moreno Winterstein or Tschavolo Schmitt (and many many other more) which all were typical Favino-players in the beginning. favinoManche

The Necksfavino 1969 macias

Commonly Jacques Favino installed three-piece maple-necks with a fretboard made out of ebony on all of his guitar-models (image 6 left). So this is a really typical feature of these guitars, which today is beeing blueprinted by other guitarmakers.
One of his first series, the model Macias (originally introduced for Jaques Brel), additionally had wonderful inlays of real mother-of-pearl (image 7 right).

The neckjoint

fav neckjoint
The neckjoint of Favino-guitars have been worked out very fine (see image 8 right), so that the higher registers of the guitar are accessed easily even despite of their bigger bodies. This also is a very typical feature in comparison to Gypsyjazz-Guitars and Selmer-copies of other makers, which often have clearly more roughly made neckjoints.

The Headstock


One more specialty of old Favino-Guitars (1960 - 1984) made by Jacques Favino are their headplates, which are different in the making compared to original Selmers: smaller at the top, therefore slightly bigger at the bottom (image 9 left). Favino 1991 1050 10

The headstock of the later made guitarmodels made by Jean-Pierre Favino (starting from early around 1990) instead have been changed away from the original sizes of his fathers guitars to a form a little broader generally (see image 10 right).
Between the years 1984 and 1990 Jean-Pierre Favino experimented with different forms, so there is a transition-period with different sizes of headstocks going on.
Since around 1990 Jean-Pierre Favino additionally added his initals at the top of the headstocks of his guitars, stating: "JPFavino". The headstock on the guitars of his father between 1956 and 1983 never showed any initials instead.

Read more -> Features of original Favino-Guitars (Part 2/3)

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Features Favino-Guitars (2/3)

As already done in our article-series about Features of original Selmer-Guitars, Features of original Busato-Guitars and Features of original DiMauro-Guitars, in these article-series we briefly describe the most important features of original Favino-Guitars.

The Serial Numbers #

A very important and characteristic feature of Favinos of all years and ages starting around 1960 are the Serialnumbers. All Favino-guitars, alike the original Selmer-guitars, were equipped with continuing serialnumbers which are to find on a paperlabel inside the bodies glued into the bottom of the backside underneath the soundhole. The numbers printed and/or written by hand onto different kind of Labels started with No. 001 (1959) and went until No. 890 (built around 1982/83).

In the beginning Jacques Favino was using pretty simple made printed Labels with the following insriptions:
"Jacques FAVINO, Luthier Artisan, 9, Rue Clignancourt, Paris XVIII (Arrondisement), Année xxxx (year) and No. xxx (Serialnumber)" (image 1 left below).

Favino_1956_Label_02 Fav_1973_No296_Label

Later on (from about 1969) Jacques Favino changed the Label to a sligthly bigger form with added decorations (image 2, right). The inscription on these later Labels (starting around 1969) stated the following: "Jacques Favino, Luthier Artisan, Paris, No. xxx (Serialnumber, three digits!), Année xxxx (year)". Favino-1991-1050-Label

Mostly the year and serialnumber on the Labels were filled in by hand (with Indian ink or fountain pen), so that the inscriptions might possibly have become unreadable over the years. In some cases it as well contained the signet of J. Favino and/or the name of the customer it was built for (supposedly if it was a custom made guitar).

Another important fact is also that Jean-Pierre Favino after he had taken over the business from his father around 1983/84 was still using the same Labels for some years around!
So between 1984 and 1990 there have been a couple of guitars been made by Jean-Pierre Favino which held the same old Labels than those of his father Jacques Favino - thus beeing mixed up and sometimes sold as original Jacques Favino´s guitars by accident, even if these were made by his son.

To really distinguish these models from the years in question, one has to closely look at the exact making and Serialnumber, as there has been this transitional-period betwen 1980-1984 when both, father and son, were making guitars together in the workshop in the Rue de Clignancourt.

With the beginning of 1990 Jean-Pierre Favino changed his Labels and used a new designed and blue decorated Label with the following contents (image 3, top left): "Jean-Pierre Favino, Luthier, 31160 Castelbiague, 61901027, No. xxxx (Serialnumber, now 4-digits!), personal signing and on the right the year of making (written by hand with Inkpen).

The Tuners (machine heads)

SB-Mechaniken Favino_1959_roundhole_03From the very beginning Jacques Favino always used the so called SB-Tuners (made by Salvatore Billardi), as already Busato and Selmer did on their guitars.

These high-class tuners, which still do their duty on many of these old Favinos, were actually made in two different styles: in chromed metalwith additional metal caps and turning knobs made from horn later on also in hard-plastic (see image 12 right) and another variation completely made from chromed metal with additional metal caps (image 11 right/left).

One distinctive feature of the SB-tunes were the big letters "SB" on the side of the metal-caps, of which he also produced in two different kinds: the older type (aproximately built between 1940 and 1950) with slightly smaller caps (image 12 right, with horn knobs) and a more modern type (aprox. from 1950 to 1985) with some bigger metal-caps and knobs (image 11 left).

Salvatore Billardi, who was also an italian immigrant, worked from the late 1930ies until the mid 1980ies with all the great makers of Gypsyjazz-Guitars like Selmer, Busato and Favino as a supplier.
Favino 1991 1050 - 09
All these ordered the tuners with him, as of their high quality, but ordered their tuners especially handcrafted for them, with different engravings on the outside caps.

Selmer had a big "S" on the side, Busato his typical "BB" and Favino used the standard-models of Billardi with his own engraving SB on the caps. Salvatore Billardi stopped his business and production when he retired in 1980 - one reason why Jacques Favino could only built his guitars with left over remainders of stock after that.

Jean-Pierre Favino since 1990 solely uses the newly invented so called "Open Schaller"- Tuners (made by Schaller/Germany) on his guitars which are similar to SBs in quality and precision. Nevertheless do the SBs enter the rarity market today with high prices from around 300-400.- € per set.

Read more -> Features of original Favino-Guitars (3/3)

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