2006 Manuel Contreras II "Double Top" CD/CSAR
|Back & Sides:
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 the hardwood exterior and additional tone-wood interior (this cedar top model therefore has a piece of cedar lining the inside of the back). So while there are two tops, they are not adjacent. This is in line with the Madrid school of using double sets of wood - Ramirez line the sides of the 1a with cypress and Teodoro Perez of course uses double rosewood sides on some of his models.
This Contreras Double-top is extremely powerful with a very dense, yet warm sound. A very solid concert instrument, perfectly suited for the concert stage and any type of ensemble situation. We had some finish work recently done to it by Yuris Zeltins, since the previous owner played the guitar a great deal, leaving a good amount of wear. It therefore has a deep, played-in sound - very expressive, full and rich.
Luthier Bio: Manuel Contreras