Guitar making has been a constant tradition in the small Spanish town of Casasimarro, in the province of Cuenca, since the 18th century. One of the earliest shops, dating from 1755, was run by none other than Alfonso Anselmo Alarcon, the great-grandfather of Vicente Carrillo Casas (b. 1963). The family art was subsequently handed down son to son, starting with Blas Carrillo Alarcon, (a.k.a. "Abuelo Moreno" - the "dark-haired grandfather") in 1836, then on to Vicente Carrillo Lopez, to Vicente Carrillo Cantos (and wife, Gabriela Casas Fornier). Their son, Vicente Carrillo Casas has been running the shop since 1980, maintaining a family tradition now in its 5th generation. For many years now, the Carrillo workshop has earned the small town of Casasimarro the loving name "El Pueblo de las Guitarras" (the Town of the Guitars). The distinctive elements of the Carrillo style have been influenced in recent years primarily by Madrid luthiers Angel Benito Aguado, and Jose Romero (of the Jose Ramirez workshop). The guitars therefore have a big, deep and powerful quality much like the best guitars from the top Madrid shops, yet they still retain a lyrical charm found in the southern Spanish instruments. In cooperation with GSI, Vicente has also made several further modifications to his guitars and GSI is proud to be re-introducing several new models, which we believe are among his finest instruments to date.
This is the "Gabriela II" model, which is the flagship model from the Carrillo workshop and what is known as their "concert grand" - featuring their best materials and additional inlay work, particularly in the top purflings. It has double sides - African Rosewood used for the outer layer, and Indian Rosewood for the inner layer, which is a technique designed for improved volume and power on the concert stage, as this forces the vibrating surfaces of the instrument more to the soundboard, and less is lost to the sides. It has a very refined voice - it is extremely well-balanced with bright, silky trebles and deep basses. This is the spruce version which has great clarity and separation, but at the same time is also warm and full - qualities much more typical of a great cedar. It has an elegantly shaped neck for optimal playability and is a great value for the serious concert performer.