Dr. Phillip J. Petillo (September 4, 1945 – August 13, 2010) was a New Jersey-based luthier, engineer, restoration artist, and proprietor of Petillo Masterpiece Guitars. 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.
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.
Among the list of Petillo's many past and present clients include:
- Rodney Dangerfield
- Bruce Springsteen
- Tom Petty
- Keith Richards
- Gene Simmons and KISS
- Jim Croce
- Tal Farlow
- Steve Miller Band
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.http://www.petilloguitars.com/
Petillo is also an inventor,holding 29 patents with 7 more pending, whose work can be found in hospitals throughout the world. He also contributed to the design of a hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicle(with Steven C. Amendola).cit:(U.S.patent #6683025 and the newer one of Dr. Phillip J. Petillo's US Patent #6998188) He also restored museum pieces.