2022 Ariel Ameijenda "Confessional" AL/BW
|Back & Sides||Uruguayan Blackwood|
|Scale Length||650 mm|
|Nut width||52 mm|
This is our sixth "Confessional" guitar from this maker - and our last with the single-piece Alerce tops from his father's old supply. This one features Uruguayan blackwood on the back to complement the central two pieces of CSA rosewood in the center - the wood in this central strip was taken from a confessional in a very old church in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Ariel also used this wood in the bridge and head veneer. If this old wood hadn’t been salvaged for some kind of re-purposing, then it would most likely have ended up being burned or thrown away. But in this case, the wood was spared for a second life - its first life was to hear and absorb thousands of confessions over many years, and now, it has the chance to speak back, with beautiful, sonorous tone! The soundboard is a made with "Alerce" (Larch) which Ariel has had this wood in his possession for decades and has been waiting for the prime moment to use it - indeed, it was bought by his father in 1957, who built several guitars with it and considered it an ideal wood for soundboards as it has very tight grains - in this particular top, Ariel has counted at least 360 years of growth, so it is also both quite old and extremely well-aged. The sound is quite unique - it has its own character entirely - although it has some of the warmth and deeper resonance found in cedar, and the extreme clarity and balance found in spruce, it is unlike anything we've heard before - it is very focused with a clear and very firm fundamental at the core of every note, yet each note is also surrounded by a warm, complementary layer of rich overtones, giving it a full-bodied sound without the loss of clarity. The guitar also has great projection and power for its slightly more compact build, and the playability is very easy on both hands. This is a great concert instrument by any standard, from the most respected luthier currently working out of Uruguay.