Austrian spruce soundboard, fan bracing (made from 90 years old spruce), figured Ceylon satinwood body
Brazilian cedar neck, 650 mm scale, with Macassar ebony fingerboard and hard bronze frets
Brazilian rosewood (60 years old) bridge, Madagascar rosewood headplate, Indian rosewood binding
Klaus Scheller engraved tuners.
Soundclip of me trying out the guitar, d’Addario normal tension strings.
German spruce soundboard, Bouchet bracing (mix of 90 and 20 years old spruce), flamed European maple body with 110 years old Cuban mahogany bracing
Brazilian cedar neck, 660 mm scale, with Bois de rose spine and African blackwood radiused fingerboard
Brazilian rosewood (60 years old) bridge, Madagascar rosewood headplate, Indian rosewood binding, maple, rosewood and boxwood purfling.
Rubner tuners with snakewood buttons.
Soundclip of me trying out the guitar, Augustine Imperial trebles and d’Addario basses, normal tension strings.
Swiss spruce soundboard, fan braced, Amazon rosewood body
Brazilian rosewood (60 years old) bridge, Madrone burl rosette and boxwood binding
Honduras mahogany neck, 650mm scale, ebony spine and Amazon rw fingerboard
Rubner tuners with Indian rosewood buttons, Indian headplates.
Soundclip of me trying out the guitar, d’Addario hard tension strings.
Recordings, properly played, but made before the French polish:
Luis de Milan
Last week I had the immense privilege (with and introduced by my friend Miguel Bernardo) of visiting Jose Romanillos. Back home, the arid and almost deserted hills and towns of central Spain with their bitter wind, and that wonderful old man and his sweet wife seem like an impossible dream. The bad news is the museum in Siguenza has been closed due to lack of support from the authorities. There is some hope it will be moved to an university but meanwhile the instruments are piled in cases in Romanillos’s workshop and the tags sadly piled in a basket. His long awaited book on guitar construction is finished but the publisher has some health problems and we need to wait a little more.
Señor Romanillos was kind enough to show us two instruments: his latest (I hope not his last although due to frail health and arthritis he is not really able to work much these days) with a multi-piece very old Brazilian body and a stunning wide rosette, and another made of cypress named Marian after his lovely wife. The rosewood guitar had Torres bracing and gut strings. I was too melted to even properly tune the string not to mention playing anything properly but it sounded quite beautiful, with a sweet yet very clear tone. He also showed us his workshop which was very interesting. Not sure what else to say…
-Austrian spruce soundboard, fan braced
-figured Ceylon satinwood back&sides
-cedar neck with Macassar ebony fingerboard, hard bronze (iron titanium) frets, Madagascar rosewood headplate
-engraved Scheller tuners
-Brazilian rosewood bridge
Satinwood is quite a rare, and most beautiful wood. The density resembles Indian rosewood but the taptone resembles maple or ebony. As a guitar, the sound reminds of maple in being open and clean, but warmer with denser overtones. The trebles have a certain sweetness (and bite if asked for) that remind me of cypress.
D’addario strings, first day test, bare wood (and lots of drilling background noise)
Fernando Sor – Mozart variations fragment
Gaspar Sanz – Canarios
Barrios – Julia Florida
Catalin Stefanescu – Neon light
#27 has strings in the white (d’Addario normal tension). This is a maple and spruce guitar, Bouchet style bracing, 660 scale, cedar neck, African Blackwood fingerboard and Brazilian rosewood bridge.
Fernando Sor – Mozart variations fragment
Turina, Homenaje a Tarrega – Soleares
Manuel de Falla, Hommage a Debussy.
This is my first maple guitar – a small plantilla Bouchet braced spruce top. At the first touch, maple is not that attractive for a guitar maker. It is difficult to plane, bend, and keep clean. Workmanship mistakes are impossible to hide, but at least there are no pores to fill. Other than looks, it does not excel structurally. It is not very dense (helping power and projection) but not very light either (giving a spontaneous, airy and lively sound like cypress). If you want to leave some meat and weight into it, it is too stiff (here the flames actually help) The taptone is dull, suggesting a dry sound lacking overtones. And yet this is the wood of choice for bowed instruments, but those have a lot more energy at disposal and something that filters the power is a good idea. A violin with a cedar top, or rosewood body, would likely sound way too scratchy and metallic.
To my great surprise, the guitar turned out very well and this has become one of my favorite tonewoods. The color is not dry and simple, but just clean and pure. In comparison, rosewood almost sounds too cluttered and dark. There are plenty of overtones but discrete, not in-your-face. Trebles are clear and pure, and also can sound sweet (like cypress), something I can hardly hear in rosewoods. The sound is overall open and loud, more open and direct than on a similarly new rosewood. The clean and direct tone makes bad playing more evident than on rosewood.
Sound samples will be added soon.
-Austrian spruce soundboard, Bouchet bracing, 650mm scale
-Bosnian flamed maple back, sides and secondary headplate
-Madagascar rosewood headplate, neck spine and bridge
-Spanish cedar neck with ebony fingerboard
-Indian rosewood binding with bloodwood and maple back and sides purfling.