Manuel de la Chica
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Manuel de la Chica is arguably the greatest guitar builder from Granada to date. He was born in 1911, and his early professional background was in cabinet making, as is the case for countless other fine guitar makers. His focus shifted to guitar making in the late 1930s when he had seen and become attracted to the Spanish guitar, primarily those of Santos Hernandez. Often his instruments are compared to the later guitars of Marcelo Barbero (who assisted in the construction of several Santos guitars left partially built at the time of his death) which we feel is a very strong and fair comparison. In 1973 he was forced into early retirement from guitar making due to health complications he was experiencing from inhaling dust and chemicals in his taller.
This is a monster of a mid-century style flamenco blanca and as good a representative of this style as any instrument by any other maker from the period. It is featherlight, has a huge, raspy sound and great flamenco bark with piercing volume. Yet if coaxed, it has a lyrical, singing quality to it yet at the same time. This is an extremely versatile instrument that has incredibly livliness and energy. It's in great condition for its age - no cracks anywhere, the condition is completely original (with the exception of replaced tap plates). Although a longer scale instrument, playability is a breeze, as is the norm for this maker. This is an exceptional instrument in every regard from this great builder.