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Early Romantic Guitar, after Martinez

This is the heel of a copy of an 1816 Martinez guitar that I built several years ago and just recently completed the finish on. The heel cap is manzanita burl.



The back and sides are eastern black walnut and the end graft is also manzanita.










A view of the guitar's back.





The top is old growth Douglas fir, handsawn from a board that once was a bleacher seat. This guitar has a wonderful tone and I am always amazed at how loud it is every time I play it. It's a little bit bigger than a tenor uke, but sounds better. I did make a concession by making a "modern" bridge for this guitar, the original has a lute style chordal block that was standard back at the turn of the 19th century. I had a hard time adjusting the guitar's action with that bridge, so I put on the bridge you see. The top bracing is a 3 brace fan, again typical of a Spanish guitar of the period. I find it interesting that the modern Spanish luthier Bernabe used a 3 brace fan on his classical guitars, I don't know if he still does. This guitar is a joy to play and the music of Guiliani and Sor sound better on it, the sound reminds me of a fortepaino, maybe this was the sound the players and luthiers were looking for back in 1816.

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