Yulong Guo has been building guitars since 1983 and has gained a solid reputation in recent years for his high-quality student-level double top guitars, as well as a concert double-top model based on the soundboard designs of Antonius Mueller. However at the 2018 MusikMesse in Frankfurt, Germany, he was able to evaluate an authentic Antonio de Torres guitar, which had a profound effect on him. He set his mind to designing and building a top-quality traditional concert model, and prepared this new model for the 2nd International "Antonio Marin Montero" Guitar Building Competition in Granada, Spain. The guitar was a hit - a major success and it landed him second prize.
This is the second of Yulong's winning "Granada" models we've received from him and it immediately reminded us just how pleased we are to be the exclusive US representative for this model. Just a look at it and one can immediately see the bold, but classy aesthetic - the rosette has a Romanillos-inspired motif featuring black Moorish columns backed by abalone inlays, giving the guitar a dramatic and strong look. The head veneer and binding are snakewood, and the back has a strip of maple which tapers toward the heel, and is flanked on either side by a gorgeous book-matched set of CSA rosewood. The CSA rosewood on the sides have some of the lighter "sapwood" which both contrasts with the darker heartwood but also complements the maple strip in the back. Sound is as lovely as the appearance - velvety, smooth and balanced across all registers, with immediate response and a nice, lightweight feel. The neck shape is extremely comfortable and it's a breeze to play. This is really a classy instrument in every regard and we look forward to many more of these to come. Congratulations to Yulong Guo for a tremendous instrument all around.