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RE: Guitar making today better than ever?   You are logged in as Guest
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Echi

 

Posts: 718
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

Well it is, but we have to consider that there are always exceptional favourable places/times in history: I don’t think will happen again an age with artist of the caliber of Michelangelo, Tiziano and Leonardo Da Vinci for instance.
Let’s consider the workshop of Manuel Ramirez (Santos, Barbero and Arcángel) or Barcelona’s school (Garcia, Simplicio) or the average quality of guitar making in Madrid and Granada in different times: the quality is exceptional for such a small places and you cannot expect the same to happen often.
It’s what is called a productive district: a very specialised area.

In general I agree with John Ray but with some caveat: lutherie is skill, materials and artistry.
While skills and a better understanding of acoustic science is well spread nowadays, artistry not so much, at least in guitars affordable by ordinary musicians: in my opinion the rules of today’s business flatten the average of guitar making down.
This is even more noticeable in the flamenco world in my opinion.
If I consider the new makers promoted by solera (for instance) I see good artisans and good guitars but probably just a couple of guitar makers excelling (together with their prices).
I can be wrong but 30 years ago the scenario was better for a buyer and you could find better guitars for the money.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 6 2020 9:39:09
 
RobF

Posts: 486
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

I don’t know...you’re packing a lot of peripheral stuff in there and that clouds the question.

When the question is approached from the perspective of a particular buyer in these times who is searching for a guitar which meets a fairly narrow criteria, for example, a Spanish guitar made in Spain, then you may have a point, albeit a contentious one. But, if you remove the noise thrown into the mix by the handful of prominent dealers, consider that the best of instruments were never particularly affordable, allow the search to extend beyond regional boundaries, and then include the full spectrum of guitar making, I think you’ll find that it is a continuum, and fine instruments can be found in abundant quantities.

Perhaps the passage of time is required to dilute the influence of locality, marketing, and economics and allow the instruments which have stood its test to be inducted into the pantheon. But that doesn’t mean those instruments are not being created.

I actually find this old v.s. new topic to be illogical, when considered at its core. It’s also a little defeatist.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 6 2020 14:02:34
 
Echi

 

Posts: 718
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

Probably I wasn’t clear. No bother.
A good guitar is a good guitar and that’s it.
I mentioned Spain as guitar makers specialised in flamenco guitars and linked with the flamenco world or pro-players are not that many outside of Spain.
I’m aware it’s plenty of excellent luthiers around the world.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 6 2020 14:39:19
 
RobF

Posts: 486
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

I think we’re in agreement on most points. I somehow missed that you started your response by acknowledging the continuum and I suspect that, left to our own devices, this topic would likely never come up between us.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 6 2020 14:50:56
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2771
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

quote:

ORIGINAL: Echi
I’m aware it’s plenty of excellent luthiers around the world.


One in particular is Lester Devoe of Nipomo, California, USA. Night before last in his video concert Grisha Goryachev played a magnificent spruce/satinwood Devoe. He said it was three years old and still developing. Grisha said, "In ten years it should really be something." It already is.

I have heard Grisha up close on a couple of other Devoes. One was spruce/cypress. It was unusual in that the back and sides were finished in deep blue lacquer. The second was spruce, with dark back and sides, perhaps some kind of rosewood. He played both classical and flamenco on each of these.

The satinwood guitar had the voz ronca and power of a great cantaor. He didn't play any classical on it.

I hadn't visited the Solera site or Mundo Flamenco recently. The only instruments I heard on the Solera site that I liked as much as Grisha's were a 1994 Manuel Reyes and a 1936 Santos Hernandez, both spruce/cypress blancas. The Devoe was louder, but with just as much flamenco character.

There were a couple of great Francisco Barbas on Solera. They struck me as differing in character from the Reyes and Santos. Someone else might prefer them. I didn't.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 6 2020 23:40:32
 
Echi

 

Posts: 718
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

De Voe’s name is well established on top there.
A curiosity about the blue back and sides guitar: it was meant for Vicente Amigo. Vicente used to record with a cedar DeVoe guitar years ago and Lester every couple of years used to send him a new one. Vicente is quite traditional in tastes and didn’t want the blue guitar, which was anyway a very good one and was offered then to Grisha.
Grisha played the virtuosos exhibition in Russia with that guitar. On YouTube you can find the video.
Btw Vicente recorded Tierra with a Graciliano Perez cedar, rosewood.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2020 7:59:35
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 685
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Echi

quote:

Just 2 words in reply to Robje: Both Ramirez and Conde have been somehow inconsistent throughout their long careers because of the many hands involved in their business. Yet in my opinion it’s a kind of a myth that the best Ramirez are those of the late sixties. Also I think it’s a myth that the best Condes are those of the sixties. Some epochs are more consistent than others but at the end it’s just a matter to find the good ones.


Just to be clear I am also reluctant to be sucked into guitar myths. I was talking about my experience and perceptions of consistency of different makers in particular periods of time. There are probably not too many of us Foro members who were hanging around in the Ramirez workshop and trying their guitars in the 1960s and 1970s. Don’t write us off!

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2020 10:33:01
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 348
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

A couple of years ago I spent an afternoon at Richard and Marshall Brune's workshop is Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. They have now moved further north. That afternoon we played many, if not most of the instruments in Brune's collection.

Are you talking about this? In this video, Richard and Marshall Brune show some of the guitars from their collection. The most expensive one is Torres guitar costing $275,000.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2020 15:58:26
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2771
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to devilhand

quote:

ORIGINAL: devilhand

quote:

A couple of years ago I spent an afternoon at Richard and Marshall Brune's workshop is Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. They have now moved further north. That afternoon we played many, if not most of the instruments in Brune's collection.

Are you talking about this? In this video, Richard and Marshall Brune show some of the guitars from their collection. The most expensive one is Torres guitar costing $275,000.



No. As far as I know that guitar was not in the shop when I was there, at least not in playable condition. Since my visit I believe the Brunés father and son have put more time into restoration than building new instruments. It pays more per hour of labor.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2020 23:25:19
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2083
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Guitar making today better than ... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

Since my visit I believe the Brunés father and son have put more time into restoration than building new instruments. It pays more per hour of labor.


Yes, restoration of antique guitars pays well when you can pay $50,000 for a guitar and charge $275,000 for 60 to 100 hours of labor to fix it. Not that this is exactly the case with this particular instrument.

It's done in the violin family as well.

I might add that if anyone is going to make this happen, Brune would be the person to carry on this work for the ART'S sake.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 8 2020 16:10:20
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