Craig Stapley Dreadnaught Spruce/Maple (1978)

  • Very Good Condition
  • Year: 1978
  • Includes Soft Shell Case


Post the guitar boom of the 1960’s, many inclined enthusiasts took to the prospects of building their own instruments - meant to compete with the then flooded markets of instruments. While companies like Gibson and Martin were sometimes noted for their lack of quality throughout the 70’s, it opened up the opportunities for boutique builders to take a hand at making high grade tools with some quality examples as references. One such builder, from Rochester NY, was Craig Stapley. While many knew Stapley, it is not known how many instruments he had produced. His instruments, inspired by the likes of Gibson Guild and Martin, sought high quality and unique tonal response. This fine example dated 1978, sports an ambered Spruce top with a really fantastic flamed maple back & sides. This dreadnought comes to us from the original owner, showing a bit of wear throughout - although playing well in its current condition. 

This dreadnaught is designed with a 25.6” scale length, and a traditional sized body with lower bout that measures about 15.5” across. The gloss nitro finish has checked throughout, and shows some dings and pick scratches. The top, due to lack of humidification for some time, has sank a bit at the sound hole - still plenty playable, just noteworthy. A simple rosette and a wooden pickguard are present. Craigs label is quite nice with a very 70’s illustration, and hand dated January 17th 1978. As previously mentioned, the back and sides are built out of a very impressive piece of maple. X bracing pattern internally, the braces all appear in good condition overall. 

In its current state, the guitar plays well with fairly low action that measures about 6/64” in height at the twelfth fret, albeit, with a fairly lowered saddle. Future repairs might be inclined to reset this guitar’s neck, which appears to be bolted on from the interior - prospectively making the job a bit easier. The neck appears to be constructed with a stained maple profile, and nice brazilian rosewood fingerboard. The truss rod is adjustable at the headstock, but the neck is quite straight in its current state. The frets and fingerboard are clean overall, with pretty mild wear throughout, with no dead spots. The guitar features old Grover tuners, which frankly appear to be on their last legs, a decision best left to its next owner. While all tuners function as they should, their gears feel a bit worn internally. The third string tuner has been replaced by a similar Ping tuner. It has a 1.75” nut width.

Sonically, even in its current state, this guitar has pronounced mid range and nice cut making it a cool, and one of a kind dread suitable for lead playing - possibly for a blue grass player. The low end is there, but is a bit choked out in its current condition and need for a neck set - but overall I believe the guts to this guitar are quite good. Comes with a chip board case.

Was: $1500.00

Now Only: $795.00

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