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Echi

 

Posts: 826
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to JasonM

quote:

About other named makers...well they always admitted to it. It was no secret. Some builders stamp their initials in the guitar and that even matters to collectors. Gonzales connection etc was known to Gerundino etc.

Sorry but you are misinformed here:
Nobody ever told Gerundino had “helpers” of kind when he was still alive.
Gonzales admitted he worked for Gerundino in an interview released after Gerundino’s death.
A name of one the other 3 helpers appeared in the book “Guitar makers of Granada” and the other 2 in a foro (Guitarra artelinkado) as well.
Before that for Gerundino it was the very same thing as for the Conde.
Nobody ever said Hernandez Y Aguado outsourced some guitars to the young Marcelino Lopez Nieto either. The guitars were signed by the 2 masters and sold as usual.
Many years after Marcelino started making replicas of HyA and few years ago he revealed he was the real maker of many HyA guitars.
The collaboration between Bernabe and Tezanos Perez was also hidden since the master was alive and probably still is for many in USA.

quote:

I am ready for the evidence and still can’t understand how they are the only people that kept such a secret unlike other builders

Mainly for 2 reasons: a contract preventing disclosures, as obvious. Lastly the fact these informations are always given AFTER the death of the builder: Till the maker is in good health you listen just half sentences, as in this case.

quote:

But I love how the story keeps changing. Now it’s “one more experienced luthier that works full time” helping them in the shop

The thing is that the story never changed: Either I have problem with my English or you have problems of misunderstanding of the text?
David Adizes is the former employee of Conde Hermanos Felipe V inherited by Felipe while the other guy is the luthier trained by Ramirez and working for Felipe.
Different asset at the time of Calle Felipe V.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 13 2020 19:50:55
 
JasonM

Posts: 1565
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to Echi

I remember in one of these Long Conde threads someone claiming to have inside Information said that there were a few small shops producing these models, one of them being in Germany!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 14 2020 4:06:31
 
Echi

 

Posts: 826
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to Echi

I think you are speaking of a speculation about the Conde of Calle Felipe V here and precisely about the limited series model FelipeV, the more adorned and expensive ever produced in the shop.
That speculation came from a famous classical guitarist who was called and offered a very good price: there is a funny story behind.
Anyway that shop shut down 10 years ago while Felipe Conde and Mariano run 2 different shops now with different set up. Felipe Conde is not Conde Hermanos Felipe V.

The problem behind is that people would like to find the supposedly real maker behind the Conde (hoping they are the Sanchis to spend less) and commission a guitar directly to him.
In fact this is not the case for many reasons and the standard of a Calle Felipe V was way higher than the actual Sanchis made guitars
Even if you find your man or company behind he would never make you a Conde-like guitar.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 14 2020 8:36:58
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 711
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to Echi

Conde production? Let’s face it – nobody here knows.

When suspicions are raised they are usually framed against some ideal of a luthier working by himself or herself, making every part, assembling and then varnishing the guitar. I could have added add felling the trees.

The last time I saw a luthier anywhere close to this ideal in Madrid was in the mid 90’s when I visited the workshop of Ignacio Rozas one evening. A young woman was in the shop and she told me that Ignaicio was very busy fulfilling orders. I could see him through a glass panel in the door to workshop. There were no guitars that interested me of interest in the shop– perhaps they were bought in guitars – I don’t remember. There was a young Spanish guy in there and we spent some time playing together. Periodically I caught sight of the luthier working frantically with saw, rasp and chisel as if his life depended on it. It used to be said that 2 guitars per month was the absolute maximum anyone could make working entirely by themselves.

In the world of cosmetically perfect, superficially identical guitars, do we expect them to be made in this way? Aren’t the necks and heads produced to order by someone with CNC milling machine? Is there anyone out there who can make rosettes to order? Is there someone will inlay the rosettes on high quality soundboards and sand them down to a given thickness? Can someone supply pre-bent sides, produce packs of bracing wood cut to order, cut slots and drill holes in the head?

I am almost convincing myself that I could become a luthier, assembling guitars from a kit of parts. . Of course I know that considerable skill and knowhow is required for this last bit. But I can see that what really prevents from doing this is that I couldn’t charge enough for my finished product to cover the costs of my kit. For that I would need a reputation stretching back over many years to my illustrious luthier ancestors. That’s a very valuable commodity to be preserved at all costs.

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 14 2020 11:58:28
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1627
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to RobJe

Jerónimo Perez works alone. As for felling trees, he bought the cypress trees when the Ayuntamiento wanted to remodel the cemetary. I am sure he is not alone: my friend Rafael Lopez always worked alone and made everything.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 14 2020 12:13:05
 
RobF

Posts: 947
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to RobJe

quote:

In the world of cosmetically perfect, superficially identical guitars, do we expect them to be made in this way? Aren’t the necks and heads produced to order by someone with CNC milling machine? Is there anyone out there who can make rosettes to order? Is there someone will inlay the rosettes on high quality soundboards and sand them down to a given thickness? Can someone supply pre-bent sides, produce packs of bracing wood cut to order, cut slots and drill holes in the head?

If someone wants to make a kit guitar, there are kits available with varying degrees of prefabrication. Most makers don’t work that way, however.

I don’t think I’m atypical in this respect, each of my guitars is fairly unique, although I use a couple of plantillas that are constantly evolving. Makers will tend to follow their hearts when it comes to this, from using relatively fixed, evolutionary models to being completely free form, and everywhere in between.

I build my guitars alone from raw materials, nothing is bought pre-made. I cut every neck from boards that are 3-4” thick by 10-20” wide by 6-12’ long and carve them myself. My heads are slotted and drilled by me. I make my rosettes from scratch and inlay them myself. The tops, back and sides are all thicknessed and dimensioned by me. All wood parts are cut, dimensioned and worked from raw materials, kerfed liners, peonies, braces, everything. I bend my own sides. I do make up certain components in batches, however, mainly slog-work stuff like kerfed liners and peonies, sometimes necks, and I generally build anywhere from one to four guitars concurrently, with two to three being the sweet spot.

I think most of the makers on here do the same or similar. I’m what I consider to be a slow builder, it takes me about three weeks to complete the woodwork on a guitar but it takes me over a month of additional piecemeal time for the French polishing. If I’m really motivated I can complete the woodwork in two weeks and the finish work in one. Lots of makers are faster than that. I don’t know any who would do kit work, I would rather do nothing before I did that, what would be the point?

Put two or three competent makers together working cooperatively and they can make a lot of guitars. It tends to be families or small shops being run by one master that can pull that off for extended periods, however, which isn’t surprising.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 14 2020 12:34:13
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12668
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to Echi

quote:

Even if you find your man or company behind he would never make you a Conde-like guitar.


This is the part that is absolutely ridiculous. . he would rather build an inferior instrument due to “contractual obligations”. Sorry I don’t buy it. But if David is the builder of my conde, he is damn FANTASTIC luthier!!!!!

About unbelievable speeds and resultant high output....Sedan proved on the foro, making a guitar in a week before sending off to varnishing, that the idea you can only build one or two guitars a month is not an absolute. I will say the Mariano Conde might take a while...his “helpers” seemed to enjoy a long Siesta I guess as he was alone and sanding the F out of a Koa back the entire time I was there. . Now if his guitars there in 2014 were the same quality as mine (one with his own signature on it’s label), I would be ok with it all. Maybe it’s Mr. David whose guitar are the truly good ones?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 14 2020 15:17:28
 
Echi

 

Posts: 826
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to Echi

Robje made a good point.
There are luthiers making guitars individually (from the beginning to the end) and people making guitars by using pre-made rosettes neck with CNC pre-cut headstock/ heel and outsourced final varnishing.
In Madrid the latter is the most common option, to the point that some luthiers there are specialised in rosettes or varnishing.
I have in my phone the pictures of Manuel Caceres before starting a guitar with some pre-worked parts.
Jose’ Romero told me he does the same thing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 14 2020 15:18:00
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 711
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to RobF

Look - a Conde kit!

I do know that these are not photographs. And I am a Conde fan.

https://www.graf-martinez.com/flamenco-guitar.html

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 14 2020 15:30:50
 
RobF

Posts: 947
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to Echi

quote:

Robje made a good point.

I don’t think it’s a good point.

Sure, it may be how they do it in some parts of Spain, but most makers in the world who say they are building their own guitars, actually are. To imply the norm is to use prefabricated parts is doing the craftsmen who don’t do so quite a disservice. But yeah, it seems if you really want to build in the Spanish style then you should at least be using premade rosettes and sending your guitars out for finishing. Or just buy ‘em from Valencia and be done with it.

As far as Mariano goes, when I visited their shop a few years ago both father and son were busy working. They appeared to be following a pipelined process of batches of five. The five on the benches while I was there were in the stage of getting their backs fitted. There was another batch evident that already had the backs on. There were about twenty necks in the rough cut phase (not CNC). Both of them knew what they were doing. If you know what you’re doing you can tell just by watching. They both moved like guitar makers. Two (or three) makers using a defined process can build a lot of guitars.

I just don’t understand why someone would fake this stuff. I could see them working through the shop window before I arrived, and looked in a while after I left and they were still working. Honestly, why would anyone in their right mind put on such a charade when they could just as easily be building guitars?

Here’s Mariano in the shop the day I visited...



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 14 2020 15:52:31
 
Echi

 

Posts: 826
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to Echi

I am a Conde fan too.
Rob, Felix Manzanero told me that , in the golden time of the Ramirez workshop, he could make 3 guitars (exceptionally 4) ready for the varnishing stage in a month and using premade Rosettes and thicknessed woods. Ramirez himself would have inspected the guitar before paying.
Of course you are right about Mariano.
Ps. The the kind of pre-worked necks hanging are exactly what I mean.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 14 2020 15:56:32
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1627
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to RobJe

My first decent guitar was a Conde. I had just founded, with a friend, the Peña Flamenca de Irlanda del Norte (which still exists and has gone from strenght to strenght. We had to play every week and I needed a guitar. I called a friend in London who had spent time in Spain. He called Rafael Romero in Madrid (legendary cantaor de Jaen). Rafael said the best cheap flamenco guitars are the student models de Conde.

I took my holidays in Madrid, armed with all the traveller´s cheques I could afford. In Gravina, Faustino began to offer me the student guitars, made in Pozuelo. I rejected the first 6 as badly made and eventually accepted number 7 as adequate. 15,000 ptas.

At this point, Faustino brought out a media luna, firmado by himself. 35,000 ptas. This was a cañon as they say in Cádiz, beautifuly made, easy to play and witha great sound. But in those days there were no cajeros and I had no means of finding the extra money.

So I had to buy the Pozuelo guitar. In reality it was quite good, but with constant use began to come apart.

Once again I needed a guitar and decided to tour Andalucía, visiting all the guitarreros. That is how I ended up with my prized Gerundino, though it cost me 3 hours arguing with the maestro over a bric of Don Simon, one of the worst wines of España.

It could have been a Faustino
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 14 2020 15:59:45
 
RobF

Posts: 947
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to Echi

When I visited Manuel Caseres, during the same timeframe, he brought me in the back and showed me three strings of soundhole cutouts from what he said was his time with Ramirez. It looked like they represented over a thousand guitars. There were three more similar sized strings back there, I assume some were from his time with Arcangel, but I didn’t ask. I estimated he’s had his hand in over a couple thousand guitars. I have pictures of all this, but I don’t want to post somebody’s back room on the internet without permission.

I could probably count them, lol, in case I’m over-estimating. Each string was a little over a metre long, if I recall correctly, so maybe more like 1200-1500, instead of 2000. Ahhh, what the heck, I don’t know...lots.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 14 2020 16:12:45
 
RobF

Posts: 947
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to Echi

quote:

Ps. The the kind of pre-worked necks hanging are exactly what I mean.

Bringing necks to that stage doesn’t take long. I make them up to exactly that point in batches of four in not much time at all, and the batches could easily be larger. Once the cuts and routing templates are set up it doesn’t take much longer to do four than just one. It’s not very efficient to do only one, actually. My point is, it’s no big deal for them to be making those up themselves, I don’t know why they’d bother to order them in, but maybe they do, I have no way of knowing.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 14 2020 16:21:42
 
Echi

 

Posts: 826
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to Echi

I have too a similar picture of Caceres’ soundholes.
I assume this comes from Ramirez: the workers used to have their own bench and manual tools but didn’t make use of any router.
At the end of the day the “oficiales” had to work for a standard Ramirez model, without personalisation: the use of the same rosettes, (precisely cut) headstock and varnish would be important to grant a certain uniformity: eventually a customer of a Ramirez (or a Conde) would ask for their standard model.
Also, a professional varnisher is more productive and does a better job in that context.
Viceversa a self employed luthier is more interested in tailoring each guitar.

Btw you are definitely faster than me. I find quite time consuming to make the neck.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 14 2020 18:52:10
 
Escribano

Posts: 6142
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to Morante

quote:

over a bric of Don Simon, one of the worst wines of España.


Much as it hurts me to admit this about my esteemed namesake, but it is very true.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 14 2020 20:31:37
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1627
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to Escribano

Absolutely right. At first I drank Savin: it was probably made from powder or something, but at least you got money back on the bottle!

There is a great Italian wine you should try: Amarone. But beware of its alcohol content. Seems that they leave the grapes out in the sun for a while to concentrate the juice.

Suerte

Morante
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 15 2020 0:39:29
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12668
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to RobF

quote:

As far as Mariano goes, when I visited their shop a few years ago both father and son were busy working. They appeared to be following a pipelined process of batches of five. The five on the benches while I was there were in the stage of getting their backs fitted. There was another batch evident that already had the backs on. There were about twenty necks in the rough cut phase (not CNC). Both of them knew what they were doing. If you know what you’re doing you can tell just by watching. They both moved like guitar makers. Two (or three) makers using a defined process can build a lot of guitars.

I just don’t understand why someone would fake this stuff. I could see them working through the shop window before I arrived, and looked in a while after I left and they were still working. Honestly, why would anyone in their right mind put on such a charade when they could just as easily be building guitars?


Cool. I only know what my fingers told me. All the A level guitars were mediocre and physically looked like the good condes I’ve been used to but nothing close in response feel and tone. Felipe’s were just like mine and dozens I’ve tried from the 90s and early 2000s. His sons guitar was a cedar top, which I don’t like, but had to admit it was the best guitar in the room, not just in my own hands but hearing Nuñez play it compared several others including mine and his own. So either Felipe and sons build great guitars as they’ve claimed to for years and DONT deserve the bad rumors, or, that guy “David” is the greatest and most prolific luthier ever to live!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 15 2020 16:43:46
 
Echi

 

Posts: 826
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to Echi

You misunderstood me: David answers the phone, the other guy (I purposely didn't say the name) makes guitars.

Years ago I tried a nothing special Mariano's too. One year ago I tried a very good one: it's always difficult to express a general judgement on a luthier just leaning on the guitars we try.
Manuel Valencia, Rafael Riqueni, Jesus Guerrero, Amos Lora (to name a few) play on guitars made by Mariano which cannot be too bad.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 15 2020 16:59:58
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12668
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to Echi

quote:


You misunderstood me: David answers the phone, the other guy (I purposely didn't say the name) makes guitars.


Oh jeeezus! . Back to square one.

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 16 2020 18:38:01
 
kitarist

Posts: 1177
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Conde Documentary (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

I guess this aired then there was a discussion panel about it, and that’s what everybody thought was a joke, because only farru was associated with Paco on the panel.


Looks like the discussion panel was before the documentary showing. Here's a copy of it on youtube - the discussion is the first 26 minutes or so, then the full doc.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 18 2020 19:36:01
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