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Currently living and building in Granada, Spain, luthier Mario Aracama became captivated with the guitar at an early age and while living in England, decided to become a luthier, subsequently attending Guildhall University. There, he graduated in Musical Instrument Technology, specializing in traditional classical and flamenco guitars under the tutelage of David Whiteman. In 2003 he relocated to Granada where he learned further from Antonio Marin. In the following years he has enjoyed a fruitful exchange of ideas with his friends Michael Ritchie and Jose Vigil, which has also influenced his style. True to the Granada aesthetic, Mario builds a vibrant instrument with lightly braced tops, based in the great Spanish tradition in the line of Torres. Mario was a finalist in the the first Antonio Marin Guitar Making Competition held in Granada in 2017.
This is a beautiful instrument from Mario Aracama featuring lovely materials - a beautiful spruce top with plenty of cross-grain silk, and back & sides of Kamagong, which Mario sourced from the Philippines. This is a fascinating wood - its appearance is almost like a hybrid between CSA rosewood and Makassar ebony with its strong striped features fused with lighter sapwood highlights. For sound Mario describes it as adding a bit of extra power due to it's higher density, as well as a "velvety" character to the sound. The top is braced with 5 widely fanned struts with a thin bar underneath the bridge area. Sides are doubled with cypress on the interior for added rigidity adding increased power and focus to every note. Fingerboard is ebony, neck is cedar. Every Aracama guitar has a different and unique aesthetic - Mario enjoys designing rosettes and purfling to complement the visual qualities of the timbers selected for top, back and sides, so that the entire guitar has a unified wholeness unto itself. This guitar is a pleasure to play. It has a friendly responsiveness to it - an immediate but not harsh attack, and a velvety (as Mario also described it), full quality of sound. It has a lovely palette of timbral colors with the slightest changes in right hand position. Basses are deep, trebles are thick and rich with great clarity between all voices. Playability is very comfortable for both hands. Overall a great guitar for the player seeking a charming, traditional instrument full of Spanish character.
Photos taken during construction.