1980 Manuel Contreras "Double Top" CD/CSAR (ex Pepe Romero)
|Back & Sides:
||French Polish Top
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 - in fact, this guitar was personally hand-delivered by a young Pablo Contreras directly to Pepe Romero (who has been its only owner until now) when Pablo came to the US for his first time in 1980, and spent a month visiting the Romero family. 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 spruce 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 1980, with cedar 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 with no cracks or damage - and barely any signs of wear - it has been very well-cared for its entire life. By all measures, this is a top example of a vintage "Double Top" from Manuel Contreras I.
Luthier Bio: Manuel Contreras