1983 Manuel Contreras "Double Top" SP/CSAR
|Back & Sides||CSA Rosewood|
|Scale Length||650 mm|
|Nut width||51 mm|
The Contreras Double-Top is perhaps his best-known and most sought-after design. Several players have performed on this model since the 1980's, including the Romeros. The name "double-top" is actually a slight misnomer: in Spanish "tapa" means "cover" and actually refers to an additional piece of wood that is "covering" the inside of the back. So in reality, the back (not the top) is doubled-up, with a rosewood exterior and with this guitar, a cedar lining on the interior (the two pieces of wood being glued together). This is in line with the Madrid school of using double sets of wood - Ramirez lines the sides of their 1a models with cypress and Bernabe & Teodoro Perez of course use double sides on several of their top models.
This is a fantastic example from 1983, with spruce top and a beautiful CSA rosewood set for the back and sides. It has a big sound and a lively character. It is fun and easy to play with a very comfortable setup, and the sound is characteristic of the Madrid style. It is focused, rich and quite expressive. Condition is excellent and original - with only very modest wear in the finish. By all measures, this is a top example of a vintage "Double Top" from Manuel Contreras I.