About my work & Ordering

I am a builder of traditional Spanish guitars located in Bucharest, Romania. I only make about 10 each year mostly using old style tools and building methods. The joinery is made with natural hide glue. The finish is hand rubbed shellac (French polish).

If you are interested in ordering a guitar the price (as for July 2015) of a concert guitar with finest quality European spruce or Canadian cedar soundboard, Indian rosewood (or equivalent value) body and full decoration is 2850 € including Klaus Scheller tuners and a Hiscox Pro II case. Special timbers (Brazilian, Madagascar, Amazon or African Blackwood rosewood, ziricote or Asian ebonies) are available as an upgrade. The neck is doubly reinforced (high stiffness hardwood spine and two carbon fiber rods) while the fingerboard is made from extremely dense and stable African Blackwood. Bridges are made from very old Brazilian rosewood (EU only).

I can also build an affordable student model with very simple decoration for 1500 € (1700 lattice braced).
The waiting time (July 2016) is 2 ½ – 3 years. Please contact me for a complete list of options.
eml

 

I use several bracing styles, on a Torres style, smaller shape or a slightly larger modern plantilla.

My “traditional” construction is based on a fan derived from the work of Antonio de Torres with Hauser, Romanillos and other modern builders influences making this 19th Century archetypal system suited for modern requirements. It is a versatile guitar which can tackle all kinds of music. The response is fast, the voice can be tuned ranging from a more refined, musical response to a more gutsy, dry, even slightly flamenco response.

My second model is based on the work of Robert Bouchet. Even if I use the same plantilla and plate tuning as for the Torres, the different bracing fundamentally changes the character of the instrument. The tone is refined, velvety, focused, with superb treble sustain. In some ways it is a marriage of the Spanish and romantic guitars. I believe it is especially suited for baroque music. The guitars of Bouchet have been treasured by Julian Bream, Alexandre Lagoya and Ida Presti among others. Famous modern makers following this tradition are Antonio Marin Montero and Andrea Tacchi.

Recently I have started to build lattice braced soundboards. The bracing is made only from good old spruce and the voicing mimics that of a traditional guitar while the soundboard is not taken ridiculously thin – the result is a traditional voice, nothing artificial or modernistic. However the better structural efficiency translates in faster response, increased headroom, dynamics, space filling and evenness.

In a world driven by speed, efficiency, money, I choose to avoid power tools or complicated jigs wherever possible – I prefer to work listening to music, not to a whining router. But in time I am slowly giving in and admit some modern tools era tools are incredibly helpful. I love the tactile aspect of luthiery, touching the wood, feeling it vibrate under the edge of a tool. I take pride in making my own rosettes and all other marquetry and parts. The workshop climate is strictly controlled, with air conditioning and a high capacity dehumidifier running 24/7. Building at a low humidity level greatly reduces the risk of cracking when the completed guitar is subjected to extremes. I also use deflection testing on the plates, a method for determining the quality and final thickness of the wood by measuring the compliance under a certain weight. Every bit and piece is weighted on a 1/100th gram precision scale. The voicing of the top plate and bracing, and also of the final instrument is made by ear but double-checked and further refined by analyzing the Chladni patterns and tap tones using computer software. Added to the “gut feeling” and empirical approaches, these new control methods help me achieve consistent results from one guitar to the other and make appropriate building decisions for the desired tonal response.

Tonewood:

The soundboard is the heart of the guitar. High quality material is critical for obtaining a superior instrument. Due to personal preference and location, I concentrate on using European spruce, mainly cut in Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Romania but I also have a small collection of quality American spruces, red cedar and redwood.

For the backs and sides I use various species of rosewood, mainly Indian, Madagascar (which comes in several varieties) and Amazon. Other options are African Blackwood rosewood and multi-piece Brazilian rosewood. Next are European maple (one of my favorites), Mediterranean cypress, Asian ebonies (Malaysian, Macassar), African padauk and Bubinga.

Comments and questions are welcome!

 

15 thoughts on “About my work & Ordering

  1. Buna, sint din Romania dar plecat de multa vreme in U.K.
    As vrea sa stiu daca faceti si chitari flamenco, adica cu cipresa si pinabete (spruce). I-mi plac mult chitarele care-la am vazut pe situl tau.
    An nou fericit

    Setfan

    • Salut Stefan,

      Multumesc pentru mesaj. Muzica flamenco imi este foarte draga, cel putin la fel de mult ca si cea clasica. Mi-am construit prima mea chitara din chiparos (cipres) si se preteaza atat pentru clasica cat si pentru flamenco, fiind inspirata din opera lui Antonio de Torres. In secolul 19 nu exista o distinctie clara intre o chitara de flamenco si una de clasica. Chiparosul era un lemn local, relativ ieftin si de aceea a devenit traditional pentru chitarele comandate de tigani si oameni din popor in general. In schimb palisandrul (rosewood) fiind importat din colonii era foarte scump si rezervat numai pentru instrumente speciale.

      Inca nu am avut ocazia sa construiesc o chitara exclusiv pentru flamenco. Probabil se va intampla in prima jumatate a lui 2012. Deja e planuita si va fi bazata pe o chitara Santos Hernandez despre care am obtinut detalii amanuntite.

      La multi ani!
      Alex

  2. Merci pentru raspuns. Vad ca te pricepi cu istoria chitarii flamenco. Esti norocos daca ai detalii amanuntite de la o chitara a lui Santos Hernandez, ca dupa cite stiu el era foarte secretos cu planurile lui de a construi chitari. De-abia astept s-o vad pe situl tau cind e gata.

    Toate cele bune
    Stefan

  3. Buna ziua.
    Doresc sa va fac o propunere de colaborare.
    Daca doriti sa va spun despre ce este vorba va rog sa imi trimiteti o adresa de email caci este nevoie sa va trimit si cateva poze.
    Va doresc multa sanatate.
    Gabi

    • Multumesc pentru mesaj. Din pacate timpul nu imi permite sa ma ocup si de reparatii sau transformari. Daca despre asta este vorba… imi pare rau. Dar sa arunc un ochi peste poze si sa imi dau cu parerea nu ne costa nimic. Adresa mea este chitare punct marian la gmail

    • Touché🙂
      Honestly this never occurred to me. I really dislike the violence of power tools, thanks to a kind of romanticist-mystical inclination. I like to take pride in a certain set of skills, not that I can’t appreciate someone designing a brilliant jig and the engineering put in the router and so on. But when it comes to the sound quality, I feel that any trick is permitted even one as dirty as a computer🙂 It is a tool that helps me to be consistent in general. The fine print quality of an instrument however comes from something impossible to measure, it is a marriage of the wood with the little, often unconscious decisions made when building.

  4. Buna ziua sunt Andrei Vlad , un elev al d-lui Liviu Georgescu ,nume care nu va este necunoscut . As dori sa aflu datele de contact pentru o colaborare , daca aveti timp .

    Cu tot respectul , Andrei Vlad

  5. Salut,

    Ne-am intalnit la Palatul Sutu si curiozitatea m-a adus pe blogul tau. Felicitari pentru munca pe care o faci cu atat mai mult cu cat rezultatul ei ajunge pe maini talentate.

    Sincere felicitari,

    Florin Opris

  6. Thanks for the pics. It help me to understand on building guitars. Beautyfull work you do. Bravissimo!!
    I wish I was already that good, but must of all, it gives me somemore inspiration for the future start of me doing it.
    So thanks again and all the best!
    Riccardo the tree planter

  7. Salut!

    Mare mi-a fost surpriza sa descopar, pe un forum dedicat din strainatate, ca in Bucuresti mai exista lutieri – si chiar unii sub 60 de ani! Cautand pe forumurile locale, am dat peste tot felul de oameni care se ocupa de reparatii de innstrumente cu corzi (dar niciun constructor de instrumente), unii mai priceputi sau mai nepriceputi decat altii – si nu le pot judeca priceperea decat prin prisma personala a compararii stilului fiecaruia cu stilul celorlalti pe care-i citesc, incet-incet. Acum, ca te-am “descoperit”, abia astept sa-ti “devorez” blogul!😉

    Interesul meu pentru bibilit un instrument a aparut initial in copilarie, cand incercam sa-mi repar singur diverse mici bubitze ale pianinei, fara prea mare succes. Intre timp pianina a disparut demult, chitara nu o mai atinsesem de 15 ani (am reluat-o in mana anul acesta), si interesul pentru bibilit a revenit ca o necesitate (mici reparatii la chitara mea). Citind cat pot de mult ce spun altii despre asta, ca sa vad ce spun si altii mai priceputi, a inceput sa ma prinda microbul in asa masura incat deja visez la ziua cand o sa crestez primele semne pe lemnul primei chitare construite de mine.

    Cum bunicul meu m-a invatat ca mai bine masori de 10 ori si tai odata, si cum deocamdata nu am conditiile necesare sa ma pot adanci direct in practica, prefer ca deocamdata sa ma cufund pe cat de mult pot in studiu, sa citesc cat mai mult, sa-mi pregatesc mental cat mai mult din operatiunile si fazele de constructie a unei chitari. Mi se pare o forma de respect ca, atunci cand te duci la un expert cu o intrebare, intrebarea ta sa fie una documentata, nu sa deranjezi omul cu chestii tehnice sau teoretice cand tu nu stii despre ce vorbesti, deci documentarea asta nu are cum sa-mi prinda rau, zic. Daca voi reusi sa ma apuc de lutierie candva, nu-mi va prinde decat bine ce citesc acum. Daca nu, voi avea pur si simplu o cultura mai bogata.

    Asa ca, dupa cateva reparatii minore ale chitarei mele, piperate cu documentatie de profil, am inceput sa-mi pun la punct o mica colectie de instrumente online specifice lutieriei (apropo de ce ziceai despre folosirea calculatorului, si eu fiind la baza web designer), la care lucrez si pe care planui sa mi-o extind, pe masura ce dau de noi idei. O poti accesa aici: http://erosnicolau.com/guitar/ – si daca gasesti ceva util, sau daca ai idei de completari, m-as bucura mult sa le aud. (deocamdata optiunile de “export” sunt inca in faza de lucru, lafel ca si Rosette Designer-ul, care e gata cam 90%), dar iti poti face o idee despre ce incerc sa obtin.

    Pana cand (poate, cine stie) voi ajunge sa te si cunosc, iti doresc mult spor si instrumente faine!

    Eros Nicolau

  8. Cam la ce preturi pot cumpara o chitara de la dumneavoastra.?Prezentarea site-ului fiind in engleza este deasemene un lucru care ma dezavantajeaza.Deci mi-ar trebui si detalii tehnice.Cu stima Mihai Nastase.

      • Doi ani.Foarte mult intradevar.Am cheltuit banii pe care ii aveam disponibili pe o chitara ,Mario Noveli una Nemes Gheorghy ambele second hand si doua Kremona Artist Series gasite noi noute la un pret pot spune de chilipir.Daca dintr-o intamplare vreunul din clientii dvs renunta pe viitor ma puteti anunta.Multumesc anticipat .Mult succes in activitatea dvs,.cu stima Mihai Nastase

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