Phil Petillo

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Dr. Phillip J. Petillo (September 4, 1945 – August 13, 2010)[1] was a New Jersey-based luthier, engineer, restoration artist, and proprietor of Petillo Masterpiece Guitars. Dr. Phillip J. Petillo, both an old-world craftsman and modern inventor, was a renaissance man known as a Master Luthier, Scientist, Homeopath, Musician and Mechanical/Electrical Engineer who made the New Jersey Shore his home. He not only changed and shaped the musical and scientific landscape of his home state for over 40 years, but his masterful creations and brilliant mind impacted the world well beyond his legendary Ocean Township workshop forever. Phillip accumulated more than 30 patents in the fields of medical, music, alternative energy and for the United States military/government, which is categorized under classified.[2]

Petillo Masterpiece Guitars established in 1966 by husband & wife team, Phillip & Lucille Petillo also an Engineering R&D Co. Phil-Lu Inc. with his wife Publicist, Lucille Petillo CEO. Dr. Petillo, a member of the following groups:

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Society for Mechanical Engineers
  • Society for Manufacturing Engineers
  • Society for Metals
  • Society for Plastics
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Welding Society
  • ASM International

His educational training included:

  • Columbia University, BS Degree in Industrial Engineering, 1967;
  • LaSalle University, MS Degree in Industrial Science, 1969;
  • Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine, Honorary BS, 1984;
  • LaSalle University, PhD in Engineering Technology, 1990.

His dissertation on Microsurgical Devices, Surgical Aneuryms Clip purchased by Barrows Neurological Institute, also in Cambridge Who's Who.[3]

Dr. Phillip J. Petillo has over 40 years of significant contributions. His vast experience ranges from consultant to Fortune 500 Companies and invention of micro-surgical instruments which saved many peoples lives, the hydrogen and fuel cell industry with patents recognized by Nobel Prize Winner Roald Hoffman exceptional chemists and fellow engineers which all had the goal in mind to stop our dependency on foreign oil.[4] Nobel Prize Winner in Electrochemistry, Roald Hoffman comments on Dr. Petillo's Hydrogen Generator.

Petillo Hydrogen Generator which is 87% Sodium borohydride gel as the fuel, with other additives, energy densities increasing, a low PH. US Patent number is, 7,513,978 other patents are pending. We are in the process of completing a new method to make low cost Borohydrides. A second patent has been granted number 7,691,527, a patent estate is being constructed. The Generators can be made of just about any materials and can be biodegradable plastics with no moving parts and mimics conventional dry cell batteries. More applications are from car engines to cell phones and beyond, much smaller, lighter at lower costs to the public. This technology opens the door to disposable fuel cells made battery like container.[5]

Dr. Petillo has made numerous television appearances including ABC World News with Peter Jennings, CBS News with Morey Alter, NBC Nightly News, and California, New Jersey, New York, and Washington DC cable television networks.[6][7][8][9]

In the guitar circle, Petillo is most famous as the inventor of the "Petillo Precision Fret." In a patent filed on June 22, 1976, the new fret was described as "a substantially T-shaped fret for a stringed instrument which has an elongated stem topped by a triangularly shaped cap." Petillo's triangular frets result in more precise intonation; however, not all guitarists are comfortable with their rigid feel. The Revolutionary Drumstick Patent of Petillo was sold to Ambico at the NAMM Convention in GA, 1977[10]

In 1970, Dennis Berardi & Gary Kramer asked Phil Petillo Master Luthier-Engineer to design and build 4 prototypes of a new neck made out of aluminum and wood. When Berardi and Kramer first came to the Petillo Home Workshop, they offered the guitar to be called PETILLO and Phil refused for he knew from past experiences in the Music Industry that often one loses one's good name with such offers that are appealing when the need demands it. Petillo designed the guitar with a forked headstock. When La Placa and investor Henry Vaccaro joined forces to open a plant in Neptune, New Jersey, they needed Petillo. The first four prototypes of Kramer Guitars were hand made in 1976 at the 1206 Herbert Ave. Ocean, NJ Studio Workshop by Phil Petillo. These unique guitars were photographed for the first Kramer Brochure that was introduced at the 1977 NAMM show in Chicago, Illinois in 1976. At that show, the fledgling guitar company sold $250,000 based on the interest generated from the 4 prototype guitars. Ironically, they had NO GUITARS for the factory had yet to be set up. Petillo helped design and set up the factory located in Neptune and proceeded to build the First Fingerboard Machine that cut the slots in all fingerboards to Petillo's Trade Secret Scales with Perfect Intonation. These designs & prototypes were kept in a guarded Safe in Dennis Berardi's office at the Neptune Factory. By the time the next NAMM show, one year later in Atlanta, GA 1977, after Petillo organized the factory, set up, scaled fingerboards, then he was pushed out. Petillo saw things in the factory that were compromised for profit that he could not tolerate as a Luthier of the highest ethical standards. Due to extreme differences regarding payment and quality control. La Placa, Berrardi et all forced Petillo out after he had given the supreme sacrifice of his own business with Total Responsibility for completing this intense project of design, building from scratch these four guitars that were used to get endorsements from Stanley Clark and others in his HOME WORKSHOP, witnessed by his wife business partner, Lucille Petillo that propelled the Kramer Company under BKL to early success. Later they also eliminated Gary Kramer. Petillo did not receive compensation but instead was methodically forced out after all of his contributions that started the company. Their unethical behavior after Petillo organized the production of the first Kramers keeping quality control as a priority was unethical. Factory quality violations in Neptune, NJ plus lack of payment for his contributions of designing, building, and quality control along with disagreements with Peter LaPlaca and Lucille Petillo, Phil was forced out of the company. An article was written by Phillip and Lucille Petillo that appeared in the NAMM issue of Musical Merchandise Review describing in detail how these unique guitars were made featuring the construction of the Kramer Neck. (MMR Issue,October 1, 1976)

The Kramer factory was originally located at 1111 Green Grove Road, Neptune, NJ 07753 before moving to a larger facility at 685 Neptune Boulevard, Neptune NJ 07753.

By an agreement with Kramer Guitars in the late 1970s, all aluminum neck Kramer instruments were to be equipped with Petillo Frets, and they were: each guitar or bass sported exactly one Petillo Precision Fret, as the zero fret.[11]

Among the list of Petillo's many past and present clients include:

In addition to his work with frets, Petillo has also developed his own line of strings, pickups, parts, and electronics. Petillo is also an expert of wood technology, which he uses in refurbishing antique or damaged instruments, as well as in designing and fitting his custom work. His son, David, is an expert of marquetry, and inlays complex symbols and figures into the body, neck, and headstock of the instruments using mother-of-pearl, abalone, and various types of metal and wood.[12]

Petillo is also an inventor,holding 29 patents with 7 more pending, whose work can be found in hospitals throughout the world.[citation needed] He also contributed to the design of a hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicle (with Steven C. Amendola) (U.S.patent #6683025 and the newer one of Dr. Phillip J. Petillo's US Patent #6998188) Dr. Petillo was Director of Engineering for Millennium Cell and received the award for Science & Technology.[13][14]

He also restored museum pieces.


  1. ^ "Phillip J. Petillo Ph.D. Obituary: View Phillip Petillo's Obituary by Asbury Park Press". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.". Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Dr. Phillip Petillo Included in Distinguished Cambridge Who's Who Registry". 24-7 Press Release Newswire. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.". Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.". Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.". Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.". Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  8. ^ Bob McHugh (September 6, 1985). "A guitar crafting superstar". The Telegraph. AP. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  9. ^ Tom Wheeler (1982). American guitars: an illustrated history. Harper & Row. p. 324. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  10. ^ "Patent US4114503 - Drumstick". Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "The Neck Page". Vintage Kramer. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.". Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.". Retrieved 23 September 2014. 

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