Busato employed up to 46 employees. They made Busato guitars and also, with the same luthiery principles, made guitars marketed under the name Symphonia, Sonora, Paris Musical and some Paul Beuscher. These are great sounding instruments, at great prices, and they are very difficult to find. Some are 12 frets, some 13 frets, some much rarer 14 frets.
Someone truly experienced in the vintage gypsy guitars world recognizes the striking similarities and the family ressemblance between all Sonoras, Symphonia, Paris Musical and even some Beuscher guitars. There is a good reason for it: They were made in the Busato premisses by Busato luthiers employed by the master and trained by him. Bartolo Busato was a proud maker and a wise businessman, and he did his best to transmit his knowledge. It is doutbful that Bartolo Busato made them himself, although he made the majority of the Grand Models, but all these guitars sound superb, better than most vintage guitars. The most noticeable similarities are:
If you can acquire one of these guitars, you will play a Busato related guitar, for a price less than a Busato Grand Model. There is some misunderstanding of these facts by the North American brokers and it is a blessing as otherwise these guitars would also reach high prices. A perfect example will go for 4 to 5k, less than a third of the price of a Busato and, trust me, if you play them with a guy who has a Busato Grand Model, you will be up to the game.
Busato was a luthier who succeeded in training a team of great employees and the guitars made by them were high-
This is a nice 12 frets Sonora, made at Busato. Crunchy tone.
This is a 1950 Symphonia, made at Busato. The sound of this guitar is absolutely equal to the best grand model Busatos. I am selling it in February 2013 on Ebay. It has 13 1/2 frets to the body.
This is a very nice Paris Musical guitar, made by Joseph Di Mauro the Elder, the brother of Antoine. Look at the rope binding on the back, typical of Joseph, and also the arrow around the sound hole. Joseph was the only one who was often using the arrow pattern. Another sure sign, the binding at the back is discontinued around the lip which covers the neck heel.