Posts from ‘News’
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the foundation of his workshop in 1996, German guitar maker Sebastian Stenzel has made a singular, very special guitar, which we are proud to be able to offer soon. This guitar is at the same time the first of his “Exclusive Collection”, a line of guitars featuring very special, rare woods, high end tuners, and – if special ordered – elaborate purflings.
We have photos of the new guitar being made for us by Pepe Romero Jr., a stunning spruce and rosewood classical that he is finishing up now. In Pepe’s words:
This guitar is one of my “Centenario Models” dedicated to over 100 years since my grandfather’s birth. I dedicate all of my guitars to him, he was my inspiration to build guitars in the first place. He passed away before I ever made one, but is with me in Spirit. I decorate my Centenario model with a beautiful rope style purfling and use my most prized woods. The spruce top has been cut for well over 10 years and is spectacularly quarter sawn, with “Aguas” everywhere. The rosewood was cut in the 1960’s and is stunning. The woods used on this would be impossible to go out and buy, they are truly special…
*Update – Sebastian has sent us some more really great photos of the construction process of this guitar.
We have photos of the new guitar being built for us by German luthier Sebastian Stenzel. This will be a spruce-top with quilted maple back and sides and some stunning purfling, which Stenzel told us was some of the most labor intensive purfling he’s ever made. In his words, it’s “difficult, because I wanted the light parts – maple – to really shine. To achieve this, they have to be cut so that they show the radial surface of the wood. This means that I had to cut stripes of veneer of a width of e.g. 1.3 mm, but across the fiber! I wasn’t sure it would be possible at all. (The meander patterns done by Torres, for example, are easy to make in comparison, they show end grain and can be made with relatively stable stripes of veneer.) To make meander purflings for four guitars took more than two months with one or two glueing operations per day… I use it only in quilted maple or birds eye maple.”
Here’s a great and very in-depth interview with Amalia Ramirez from Roseta Magazine, the magazine of the Spanish Guitar Society. Javier Suárez-Pajares discusses the history of Ramirez, Amalia’s personal involvement in some rough transitions during the 1980’s, and her vision for the future of the Ramirez brand. You can click here to read the article in Spanish, or continue to read the full article in translation below.
We have photos of a new guitar being made for us by American luthier Andy Culpepper – a beautiful African rosewood and cedar classical guitar that has an interesting story. Andy is building this guitar as part of a collaborative project with Washington luthier Chris Sobel. They are using sister-cut African Rosewood for the back and sides and Western Red Cedar for the top. The bridge and bracewood are also from the same stock. The goal is to explore the implications of different building styles with nearly identical woods. The guitars will be evaluated by prominent members of the classical guitar community, and an article is in the works. GSI will be receiving Andy’s guitar once the evaluations are complete.
We have a few photos of the new guitar on its way to us from Italian luthier Luigi Locatto, and it is simply beautiful. The guitar is a spruce-top classical made with gorgeous materials and Locatto’s impeccable workmanship. The guitar has just been completed and is on its way to us now, so look out for it soon!
We have beautiful photos from German luthier Jochen Rothel of the guitar he is currently building for GSI – a cedar and satinwood classical that will be similar to this guitar from last year. Rothel’s workmanship is always impeccable (as you can see) and his guitars have a well-balanced and very refined sound. The guitar will be finished soon so look for it in the coming month or two!
Our own Tara Stewart (she shoots and edits all our videos – you may have noticed the improvement since she took over!) was in Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago and visited Otto Vowinkel, who happened to be working on a guitar for GSI at the moment. It’s a rosewood and spruce that sports a new rosette with Amsterdam’s XXX symbol. This is not a reference to Amsterdam’s famous red-light district, but rather taken from Amsterdam’s coat of arms, which dates back to 1505 and is explained quite nicely here. The headstock of Otto’s guitars also mimics the building in which he works in Amsterdam, so this guitar is very Dutch in its design aesthetics.
Otto was beginning to French polish the guitar when Tara visited, so the guitar should be ready in a few weeks or perhaps a month or so. I asked Otto about the guitar and the woods and he told me that the spruce was from a batch of wood he bought 25 years ago and has a lot of ‘mirror’ (which he says is a good sign) and a hint of bear claw.
We’ve got some great Christmas music for you this year, whether you want to play or just listen. For sheer listening pleasure we’re partial to Eva Beneke’s CD In Dulci Jubilo. It’s a beautiful collection of German Christmas music, much of which will be very familiar to all and some of whic will be new, performed by Eva playing a gorgeous 1952 Hauser I along with some amazing friends, including Scott Tennant, with arrangements by Mark Small.
If you’re looking for Christmas music to play, we all fell in love with Jonathan Roth’s arrangements of Christmas music last year, so check out the videos below and if you’re inspired to learn any of his arrangements you can get them all here, and you can hear more of Jonathan on his Pandora Holiday channel.