BROWSE OUR COLLECTION OF SOLD VINTAGE CLASSICAL GUITARS

 

1940 Hauser

An utterly magnificent Hauser in every way. This one didn't hang around for very long. It sold to a delightful client who I know is providing the best home a guitar could want. As happy as I am for them both, I am also glad to have these photos and video for posterity. Soon to be featured in an article in Fretboard Journal along with the 1947 Llobet model I am currently offering.

Of all the Hauser guitars I've had the pleasure to represent, this one is probably the Hauser-est of them all. In that, I mean the stereotypical sound and response that is associated with Hauser. Very classical and refined in tone, unbelievably broad tonal palette, controlled response and yet utterly alive. This guitar exudes balance in all things. No component of it's voice is out of balance with any other and that is no small trick. My use of the word stereotypical is intentional because in my experience with Hauser I guitars, they rarely sound the same, in fact the one thing that is a consistent in his sound is the incredibly refined and complex tone these guitars possess. The more I come into contact with Hauser's work, the more I admire that which he was able to achieve and the great style with which he did it.



YouTube:
Frank Wallace - Romanza - Mertz


SOLD

 

1964 Robert Bouchet

The guitars of Robert Bouchet are among the most highly coveted by collectors and players alike. This example is from his absolute prime and is in pristine condition. Bouchet represents the first real “super guitar” design and established him as one of the first truly great builders outside of Spain.

This guitar has incredible response, it is fast as can be yet the notes have great weight and depth to them. The clarity and eveness of the voices is perfect for counterpoint but without sacrificing the beautiful and perfectly balanced overtones and bloom to the notes as they decay. The sustain is remarkable, which is a hallmark of the best of Bouchet's work. What's more impressive than all of this, to me anyways, is the amount of life this guitar has in it. As you play you can feel it coming into it's own as it gets louder and more responsive.

I have always admired the work of this luthier, very unique and almost iconoclastic in some ways, elegant without being overly fussy. There are few luthiers whose “hand” is so identifiable as that of Bouchet. He was a truly inspired master as this instrument so eloquently demonstrates.


SOLD

Performances:
Frank Wallace - Villa Lobos - Prelude #3
Jonas Kublickas - Barrios - Vals #4  

 

1976 José Romanillos

I am delighted to offer yet another exquisite Romanillos from his most desirable vintage and in an almost unheard of condition that can only be described as "utterly pristine". As notable as that is, the sound of this guitar is what stands out first and foremost. Romanillos guitars made a believer of Julian Bream (among others) and this one will make one of you too.

According to correspondence with Romanillos, this guitar is more closely based on the guitars of Torres, rather than Hauser as typified by some of the guitars of this vintage. I would say that, for me, Romanillos manages to incorporate the very best of both makers and creates a unique voice all his own, standing firmly shoulder to shoulder with them. These guitars are all but unobtainable especially in this vintage and condition and it is a great honor to have such a guitar to offer. As a builder myself, I am paying very close attention to how this guitar functions.

The beauty of Romanillos' work is that he manages to have an elegant and enlightened aesthetic that demonstrates his hand as clearly as a signature. His guitars do not appear belabored, executed with great style and confidence. Sonically, this instrument has gloriously beautiful trebles that sing with impressive sustain and evenness of response. The basses are firm and present with great weight and clarity at the same time. A magnificent concert guitar by any standard and one of the most collectible instruments in the world.


SOLD

YouTube:
Frank Wallace - Villa Lobos - Prelude #3

Frank Wallace - Wallace - Two From Fünf Kleine Stücke

 

1983 José Romanillos

I have been blessed as a luthier and dealer to have the opportunity to study and represent some incredible guitars by Maestro Romanillos. This particular example from 1983 stands among the best. It is stunningly beautiful in sound and response, utterly pristine in condition and demonstrates some of the most exquisite and elegant marquetry for which this maker is legendary. Rarely available, these instruments are notoriously hard to come by especially in this state of preservation.

The sound of the guitar is both lyrical and solid with beautifully firm basses and full trebles. The voice is both feminine and projecting which lends to the singing qualities of the first string in particular. Easy to play, this guitar is almost effortless in the tone color department, having such a broad palette it is easy to get lost in the sonic possibilities. It is also quite even which is no small feat. I often find that evenness and expansive tone palette are not mutually agreeable qualities in lesser guitars.

For those unaware, Romanillos utilized different body sizes and shapes over the course of his career. In my experience with his guitars, this is a medium sized instrument moving towards the smaller shapes of the earlier 70s. It is relatively narrow in its depth, like the 70s guitars I've examined. As such, the inherent voice is eerily similar to a client's 1975 Romanillos with which I am quite familiar.


YouTube:
Frank Wallace - Plany - Miguel Llobet

SOLD

 

1986 José Romanillos

A beautifully alive and powerful guitar from Maestro José Romanillos. And one that sold in a matter of hours. This particular example is unique in my experience as the largest body size and depth I've seen from this maker. The resultant sound is quite powerful and reminiscent of other guitars that size, such as Friederich, yet the lyrical nature so representative of Romanillos guitars is still very much present. The sustain in particular is extraordinary, as is the projection, which does not diminish as you play softly. Even at a whisper, the sound carries. This elusive quality may be why such a dynamic and musical guitarist as Julian Bream favored Romanillos guitars.

It is always inspiring to me as a builder to have the opportunity to study multiple guitars built over the career of an iconic maker. If nothing else, it informs of the ongoing quest of all luthiers; the attempt to realize the ideal sound one imagines, to take the abstract and bring it into reality.

YouTube:
Frank Wallace - Musingly - 1st variation of Nocturnal by Britten

SOLD

 

1927 Francisco Simplicio

My career as a guitar dealer stems from my active study of the work of the great luthiers who came before me; simply to inform myself in my own work as a luthier. The guitars of Francisco Simplicio to this day still strike me with the same sense of awe and "how on earth did he do that?" Which, in a guitar like this, was most assuredly the intent of the builder.

Impressive woodworking chops aside, the real challenge is always one of design. It's easy to cram a bunch of fancy onto an instrument. However to do so in such a way that the overall remains harmonious and appears to be "as it should be" is not. Especially with a gold leaf encrusted Muse and Lyre carved into the ebony headstock with inlayed mosaic and pearl around the tuning slots. The elegance of the details can not be overstated. Look at the gorgeous flechette (herringbone) purflings. This instrument is a masterclass in refinement.

This guitar is not only the most ornate Simplicio I've handled it is also the most pristine. Sonically it is my favorite of this style (Cuban mahogany fitted with a tornavoz). The tornavoz is a cylinder that is attached to the top around the soundhole, extending almost to the back of the guitar. Sonically I find they add (in these Simplicio models) a rather velvety and diffuse quality to the voice. While the tone of this guitar is indeed velvet-like; the clarity, especially in the trebles, leaves nothing to be desired. A joy to play, the response is immediate and the projection is impressive. There is a lot more to this guitar than just good looks and it is, in my opinion, an incomparable gem.


YouTube:
Frank Wallace - Lágrima - Tárrega

SOLD


 

1975 Manuel Velazquez

I am a huge fan of the work of legendary luthier Manuel Velazquez. I have probably handled more guitars by this maker than any other maker I've represented and I am always delighted to get another. This particular example is a one owner guitar, purchased new from the Maestro himself. The condition is near mint with no repairs. Sonically it's what you expect from Velazquez, sweet singing trebles, gorgeous bloom to the notes and an evenness of response that leaves nothing to be desired. All that with a good bit more volume and projection than you normally find from this maker. Remarkably easy to play as well. Very impressive and concert worthy it is also a fine addition to any collection. For the curious who are familiar with his work from the era, this is not one of his larger Ramirez influenced guitars.


Performance: 
Frank Wallace - 1975 Manuel Velazquez - Mertz - An die Entfernte

SOLD

 

1949 Hauser Llobet

For a glorious and short amount of time, I had in my shop two of the greatest Hausers ever made. Both from 1949, one Segovia model and this Llobet model. It was without a doubt an embarrassment of riches.

This Llobet model is the second I've represented and, is in many ways, the most unique Hauser I've played. While the Llobet model itself is based on Torres, I've never played one that sounded like anything other than Hauser, except this one. The easiest way to describe it is that it sounds like a Hauser and a Torres had a baby. All the incredibly complex tonal density and utter balance that (for me) defines Hauser senior's sound at it's best, is completely present. This comes along with a more sultry and expansive bloom that is Spanish through and through.

The history of this guitar is worthy of note. Originally made for George Giuisti, the famous graphic illustrator in NYC who lent his immense talents to The Guitar Review, this guitar lived in New York until his passing. Many years ago I encountered two Llobet models in NYC, both from the early 1950s. One of which was Rey de la Torre's. It is easy for me to imagine that Rey saw this guitar and ordered one like it. Which is exactly what I would have done in his place.

The guitar then moved to the most capable hands of Angel Romero and then to the seller I represented (a great and accomplished musician in his own right). Now owned by one of my nearest and dearest friends and clients who traveled no small distance to see the guitar. When it arrived I called him up and said, "If there's ever a Hauser for you, this one is it...but lest you think I'm biased, there's another great Hauser here too for you to try out". As I predicted he opted for the Llobet model although it was far from an easy choice.

Thankfully, Frank Wallace was able to capture this guitar in it's glory and for all posterity. A high point for me in my career as a dealer and a guitar I learned a lot from as a builder

YouTube:
Frank Wallace - Two Catalan Songs

SOLD

 

1978 José Romanillos

In the oeuvre of José Romanillos, guitars from the 1970s period are especially prized. I don't believe that this is due to an apex in his skill or execution but rather this was the time frame he was most closely associated with Julian Bream and it is hard to separate such an influence from the resultant instruments.

This guitar came and went in a matter of days and, as such, is here for posterity. Thankfully there was enough time to get it recorded and photographed.

Leaning more towards the Hauser side of of life, this guitar projects like no other. Completely flexible in tone and impressive in response. Deep and soulful, this guitar sings and waxes poetic. A throughly enjoyable guitar, playing it feels like a lively and engaging conversation. In the development of the classical guitar, Romanillos sits besides Hauser, Bouchet and Torres.

YouTube:
Frank Wallace - Tarrega - Prelude #5


SOLD

 

1949 Hauser Segovia Model

This utterly magnificent Hauser represents his work at it's greatest pinnacle. This instrument has achieved a nearly supernatural degree of balance, not only across the registers but within the notes themselves. It possesses the quality that Julian Bream referred to "refined and distilled"; as if all possible sounds have been reduced to their absolute purest and exist within perfect relationship to each other. The guitar has a modern guitar immediacy and vitality to it's response with powerful and deep response. Volume is the best I've seen out of this maker and the projection is unreal. A perfect Hauser from every possible perspective. This is one I would keep for myself if that were possible. Condition is mint and original with no repairs.


YouTube: 
Frank Wallace - Sagreras - La Ideal 

SOLD


 

1941 Hauser

1941 Hauser, the crown jewel of any collection. This particular example has been restored by Karl Franks and myself a few years ago. It is without a doubt my favorite example of this builders' work, being darker and deeper in tone than is the norm. Velvet trebles with great clarity and profundity. Powerful basses that are clear and disciplined. Easy to play and a joy to behold. 

Performance :
Federico Mompou “Cancion” - Frank Wallace

SOLD 

 

1974 Ignacio Fleta

A fantastically alive and powerful cedar top (Indian rosewood back and sides) is an example of this iconic maker's work. Orchestral in response, even up and down the neck while retaining a beautifully singing voice, pianistic without the nasality this kind of instrument sometimes possesses. The notes themselves are weighty and clear, easy to produce while sustaining the fundamental and abundant yet controlled overtones. This particular example may be the easiest playing Fleta I've encountered, perfectly set up with a relaxed inherent string tension (an aspect of how a guitar feels, known as "pulsasion" to the flamenco guitar crowd.)

This guitar has had some work in it's past, all of which was perfectly executed. There are a couple small and completely closed hairline cracks in the face (no splints) and what appears to be a refinished top. None of which affects the musical integrity of the guitar nor the structural integrity for that matter. What it does affect though is the price making this Fleta the very best deal in Fleta I have ever been able to offer. If you have a desire for a Fleta this is not one to be passed by.


YouTube:
Frank Wallace - Two Pieces - Wallace

SOLD

 

1958 Manuel Velazquez

This Velazquez is a guitar I first met about 20 years ago when its owner showed it to me, just prior to sending it off to Velazquez to have him restore the guitar. It was in less than stellar condition at the time but when he got it back, I marveled at the caliber of the restoration as much as I did the caliber of it's sound.

Now 20 years have gone by and I am happy to represent this early and important Velazquez. The top has a splice in it from the original wood that Velazquez held onto for 40 years. As such, the match between the splice and the top is flawless and is still in perfect structural shape. There are no repairs to the back and sides. Sonically this guitar is utterly alive with a very powerful response, huge dynamic range and a quality to it's voice that is pure Velazquez. I am always amazed at how beautiful and soulful his guitars are and yet they can go toe to toe with just about anything out there. I could go on about the sound but, thankfully, I have Frank Wallace playing the guitar here and it speaks for itself very well as is.

YouTube:
Frank Wallace - Cuna - Mompou


SOLD

 

1977 Manouk Papazian

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the guitars of Papazian. One of the pillars of the New York City guitar scene, his work stands pretty much shoulder to shoulder with the other great NYC builder of his time, Manuel Velazquez. At the time of this particular guitar's construction, Papazian guitars were very highly regarded and played by many professional guitarists as diverse as Jeffery Van, Bob Sullivan and the loneliest boy in New York, Paul Simon (yes that Paul Simon). As is often the case when a builder passes from active to historical the guitar world moves on, at least for a little while. In the case of Papazian this was also aided by the shortsale of a number of "factory seconds" a few years ago. None of which affects the quality or viability of this guitar but there you go.

To that end this guitar possess a sweetness of tone you rarely find in other makers, a beautiful and broad tone palette, clarity and separation of voices with lovely and refined overtones. It's not the loudest guitar in the world but it's among the prettiest sounding. Condition is pristine. Unless you are planning on trying to fill Carnagie Hall without amplification, I'd say this represents an excellent value for a wildly under appreciated builder.


SOLD

 

2010 Aaron Green

This particular guitar was a personal favorite of that year's production. A lightweight and responsive classical in European (Swiss to be precise) spruce and perfectly quartered, antique Brazilian rosewood that is simply not found these days. This guitar features an elevated fingerboard as well, although under the hood it's very traditional fan braced design. Sound is Hauser-esque in it's tonal complexity and balance with a lot of Spanish soul and bloom to the notes. Broad tonal palette and very fast response. No cracks or repairs this instrument has been very well taken care of by it's owner, who is no longer playing classical guitar. And it's tons of fun to play as well. Priced to sell this is a significant discount for a guitar of mine in Brazilian.


SOLD


 

1959 Ignacio Fleta

A remarkably well preserved and gorgeous sounding example of the work of the great Barcelona builder, Ignacio Fleta. I am always fond of the earlier spruce examples of this master luthier's work and this one is no exception. Sonically it is very deep and rich, far more so than you expect if you are familiar with his later cedar top instruments. As amazing as those guitars are, this spruce top is less pianistic than his later work and is a relatively lightly constructed incarnation of his famous design. This guitar sings with lyrical trebles and impressive basses. Clear and even in response with great warmth of tone. On top of all that, guitars by this maker from this vintage generally haven't survived in this condition. A remarkable find and a great addition to any collection; one that is also well worthy of the concert stage.


SOLD

Performance:

1959 Ignacio Fleta - Gaspar Sanz-Folias - (arr. J Kublickas)

 

1964 Robert Bouchet

One of the most iconic, collectible and rare guitars in the world and this one is from arguably the finest vintage. This is the 4th Bouchet I've had the honor of representing as a dealer, all of which have been from the 1960's actually and I loved every one. This particular example has a darker and deeper tone than many of the Bouchet guitars that feature his proprietary bracing pattern (the ones from the 1950s that I've handled have all been fairly straightforward Torres patterns).

It's easy to see why Bouchet guitars set the guitar world on it's ear. The Bouchet design represents one of the original innovations in the guitar, moving forward from fan bracing. In some ways this design set the stage for the later thin top, lattice designs to come about. This guitar has amazing projection and sustain, even as can be with extremely fast response. Volume is impressive and so is the tonal palette, two characteristics that are often at odds with each other. It is so easy to play as well you have to wonder how Bouchet managed to do it.

Suffice to say, this one didn't hang around very long but as luck would have it, no sooner did this one find it's new home then yet another Bouchet (also from 1964) showed up to fill the void.


SOLD

Performance:

Jonas Kublickas - 1964 Robert Bouchet - Gaspar Sanz - Canarios


 

1959 Hauser II

This guitar is for me, one of the finest examples to ever wear the Hauser label. When I received this guitar I immediately called a number of my favorite clients, and told them that without a doubt this guitar could go toe to toe with any Hauser Senior, and if it were a Senior, I'd be loo

king to get a record price for it. As it was, the new owner happens to have a mint, stellar Hauser Senior, from 1940. When we played both guitars side by side, they were incredibly similar in almost every way, with the Hauser II having perhaps a bigger and broader treble response. No small feat considering how incredible that 1940 Hauser is.

If I had to describe why I love this guitar so much, I would say that it really lacks nothing. The voice is incredibly complex and beautiful, the response is lighting fast and the trebles are powerful and singing. The guitar is beautiful to behold with a lovely, and totally unmatched (!) Hazelfichte spruce top. This guitar plays like a dream.


SOLD

Performance:

Jonas Kublickas - 1959 Hauser II - Vals no 4 - Agustin Barrios Mangore

 

2002 Andrea Tacchi

Among living makers (next to myself, that is) I consider Andrea Tacchi one of the all time best. His affection for some of the past Masters echos my own while he also is intent on creating his own unique vision within the narrow band of the traditional classical guitar. This Coclea Thucea model is Tacchi's contribution to furthering the design and parameters of what a great classical guitar is. While some of his more recent examples have more avant garde rosettes and aethestics this example is a little more restrained and as such, I am a big fan. The sound is huge with big velvety notes that have all the clarity you could ask for while still melting from one into the next. Extremely easy to play and a joy to behold. Condition is excellent with some minor playing wear and recent touch up to the French polish finish. 


SOLD
 

 

2005 Andrea Tacchi Coclea

For me as a luthier and dealer, Andrea Tacchi stands at the pinnacle of modern classical guitarmaking, being one of the few living builders I truly admire. His guitars have an aesthetic all their own and a sound that is modern in response and traditional in quality and tonal capabilities – a luthier after my own heart.

This all spruce Coclea is a great example of Andrea's signature model and is in near mint condition. Loud with a huge, easy response, this guitar sings beautifully with an almost piano like eveness and control. A fantastic guitar for the concert artist and or collector.


YouTube:
Frank Wallace - Adelita - Tárrega

Price-19,000 USD

 

2011 Aaron Green ex Frank Wallace

One of my modern guitars built for my dear friend and collaborator Frank Wallace. Currently Frank has a spruce top guitar on order and decided that he should find a new home for this instrument that has been his companion for the last 5 years. This is one of my modern designs, with a slightly elevated fingerboard and small oval soundports. Very powerful and even, it has a lot of modern attributes in it's immediacy and evenness of sound while maintaining a traditional sound quality and musical color. A personal favorite of mine. Condition is excellent.

Performances:
Frank Wallace - Prelude #3 Heitor Villa-Lobos
Frank Wallace - Air from The Elements Frank Wallace

SOLD

 

1967 José (David) Rubio

Over the course of the working career of David Rubio, the most highly prized examples are from his days in New York City. Starting in the mid 60's and ending in 1967 when he moved back to England. This is the era when he built the famous Bream guitar (1965) that was used on 20th Century Guitar, still in my opinion the finest classical guitar album ever recorded. This example is my all-time favorite Rubio to date. The guitar has tremendous sweetness and depth, great color and a broad tonal palette. It is also arguably the very last Rubio built in New York. The original owner bought it new from Rubio and told me that he had moved to England no more than one week later. In fact he mentioned he was still waiting for the new case that Rubio was supposed to acquire for him as the guitar was delivered in Rubio's "shop case". A fantastic and fantastically preserved example with only one small hairline crack which I repaired upon receiving the guitar. Rubio's guitars are enjoying a bit of a renaissance these days and still represent one of the best opportunities in the vintage guitar market.

Performances:
Frank Wallace - Film Scores by Frank Wallace
Frank Wallace - Cuna | Mompou

SOLD


 

1822 Louis Panormo 

An absolute gem. This guitar is in remarkable condition, plays like a dream, sings like an angel and is simply too cool for words, although I will try. This is a very early example of Panormo guitars, "in the Spanish Style". The sound is sweet and full and incredibly alive, it has great vitality up and down the fingerboard and projects extremely well. Most surprising for a guitar not only of this age but also of a design that is most simply put as "Pre-Torres." It goes to show that the skill of the maker trumps all as this guitar shows great skill and care in it's construction. The Baker tuners are gorgeous and work like a new set of Rodgers. A masterful piece and a fine addition to any collection. This guitar was featured in the Evans book "Guitars-From Renaissance to Rock" a book any serious guitar aficionado should have. I doubt I will ever see another like it and consider it a high point in my career to be able to represent such an important piece of the history of the guitar

Performance: 

The Romantic Guitar
This guitar is featured on 
Frank Wallace's latest album.


SOLD
 

 

1974 David Rubio 

Big and bold, this example of Rubio's guitars is far and away the most "Spanish" sounding I have encountered. Very powerful and even, this guitar has deep and dark basses combined with bright and singing trebles of impressive weight, volume and flexibility. A muscular guitar with a broad tonal palette such as this is a somewhat rare combination. 

This instrument was made by Paul Fischer when he worked in the Rubio shop. The condition is excellent in that it has no cracks or repairs. The guitar obviously has been well played though and shows a lot of dings and scratches that do not detract from the overall elegance and style of the instrument. I would put this guitar up against the 66 Rubio I sold last year without hesitation and it is a good bit less expensive.

Performance :
“Cunctipotens Genitor” - Frank Wallace 

SOLD

 

1921 Domingo Esteso

This example shows that even in a less expensive model (at the time of construction) a maker of Esteso's level will still create an instrument of great elegance. Sonically this guitar is quite alive and vibrant. Its voice is sweet, balanced, clear and perfectly suited to any musical style you care to play on it. Condition is good, perfectly stable with some repaired cracks and a few signs of hasty construction. However even at a great age, this guitar has generations of life left in it and a beautiful old world charm that is rarely seen these days.

SOLD

 

1967 Daniel Friedrich

A fantastic and rare spruce top example of Maestro Friederich's work. This particular guitar was recently restored in my studio and now is in excellent condition, albeit with repaired top cracks. The sound of this guitar is inspiring. It is very bold and fast with big weighty notes that fly out of the guitar. It is exceptionally even and refined. Playability is second to none. I have not played another spruce Friederich that I would compare to this one, in fact few guitars I've played I'd compare to this one. For someone who doesn't mind that this guitar has some repairs, this is a great opportunity to possess one of the greatest concert guitars available.

Performance: 
Frank Wallace - Prelude #3 Heitor Villa-Lobos

SOLD


 

1986 Romanillos

Not something you are likely to see every day! This little jewel is, to the best of my knowledge, a totally unique example in the entire oeuvre of Maestro Romanillos. I am told this instrument was inspired by a mid 18th century Sanguino, albeit with a modernesque configuration. The backstory is it was built in honor of his grandson's birthday and is in fact named "La Cumpliaños" with the most charming of dedications on the label: "May your Life be filled with Joy." 

The pictures speak volumes of the inherent beauty of this instrument but the sound itself is quite enchanting. The voice is somewhat silvery, leaning towards the baroque side of life although the notes themselves have real weight and depth to them. It is a ton of fun to play and would be a fine addition to any collection. They don't come any rarer than a one of a kind Romanillos and better yet the price is a fraction of what the previous Romanillos guitars I've sold commanded.

SOLD

 

1991 José Romanillos
ex Pepe Romero

This particularly unique Romanillos came and went so quickly I didn't have time for proper photography. Built in 1991 this instrument is based on Santos and as such does not show the typical Romanillos headstock or rosette. With cypress back and sides this guitar has lightning fast response and surprising sustain on the 1st string. It has weighty powerful notes and a most lyrical voice. No surprise it was snatched up so quickly. To lend to the provenance, there is a lengthy inscription written on the back between the waist brace and the lower cross brace.

SOLD

 

1976 Miguel Rodriguez Churchdoor ex Angel Romero

A magnificent Churchdoor in spectacular condition with great provenance. This instrument was the personal instrument of Angel Romero for the majority of it's life. One of the most physically unique and striking instruments ever, the Churchdoor series by Miguel Rodriguez are the most sought after and highly prized. This particular example has all the attributes of a great Rodriguez. It is extremely fast and responsive, huge volume and projection, flamenco like clarity and separation with big weighty notes that fly out of the guitar. This guitar is a ton of fun to play as well. A great instrument for the player and collector alike.


SOLD

 

1965 José (David) Rubio

In the entire oeuvre of David Rubio, the time period of most interest to collectors is from his NYC days, basically the mid to late 60's. Of that era, the most significant year is 1965 as this is the year that he built Julian Bream's guitar, the one used for what I consider the finest classical guitar album ever made: 20th Century Guitar. This example is in excellent condition, one repaired top crack and finish touch up. The sound is like what you hear on 20th Century Guitar, somewhat pianistic and definitely powerful, very even with great singing trebles and firm basses. This guitar (as well the the 1966 example I had last year) are inspired by the guitars of Robert Bouchet. It was at Bream's insistence that Rubio build some copies of his Bouchet. I would not call this guitar a Bouchet copy but certainly heavily indebted to Bouchet in it's top bracing. I consider Rubio to be highly undervalued and as such I expect that over time more collectors will come to realize the significance of this great luthier's work. 

SOLD


 

2009 Hermann Hauser III

An excellent and as new instrument from Hermann Hauser III. This guitar has all the hallmarks of the great Hauser guitars. Very clear with great separation of the voices, excellent projection and a broad tonal palette. I just put this guitar up against a mid 30s Hauser I had in the shop for an adjustment and the lineage could not be more clear to my ear. Hats off to Maestro Hauser III.

SOLD

 

1928 Simplicio

So far I have been very blessed to get the chance to represent two guitars from this builder that defy the somewhat conventional beliefs that Simplicio guitars are eye candy first and foremost and his guitars (sonically) are not in the same league as his contemporaries Santos Hernandez or Domingo Esteso.

This particular example is utterly magnificent. The sound is huge with modern horsepower and speed. Its has the most gorgeous voice that is so alive and vibrant that compels you to keep on playing. When the guitar arrived, I actually called the former owner and said "Are you really sure you are ok parting with this one. Not to talk myself out of an opportunity to represent such a gem but…."

I could go on and on about this guitar however that is unnecessary as Frank Wallace does a much finer job demonstrating why this guitar is so special. I will say that the new owner is a dear friend and I am so happy this guitar is still "in the family."

Performance:
Tárrega"Prelude in E" - Wallace

SOLD

 

1992 Daniel Friederich
ex
 Angel Romero

A stunning, sensational, triumph of a guitar. I have always admired the work of Daniel Friederich but this particular example causes me, as a luthier, to send deep bows of respect in his general direction.

This particular guitar was owned by Angel Romero, used for his album Bella and now lives with a dear friend and client of mine, who treasures it like no other. I should also mentioned, this client does not, in general, favor cedar topped guitars. Until he met this one.

Sonically this guitar is very powerful, deep velvet tone with clarity and well disciplined overtones all up and down the fingerboard. The evenness of it's response is incredible and the tonal palette leaves nothing to be desired by those who favor spruce guitars or feel that cedar is incapable of producing that kind of guitar. What this guitar demonstrates so well is that the skill of the maker trumps all. As an interesting side note, I have never before seen a Friederich that was braced as an exact interpretation of the design known as Bouchet bracing. Bouchet obviously was a huge influence on Friederich, but every one I've seen has used that influence as a point of departure. Not so with this guitar and the results make me wonder if he built more like it. As a builder myself, I certainly would.


SOLD


 

1951 Marcelo Barbero ex Sabicas

This guitar will always represent a high point for me. This is the famous Barbero ex Sabicas that is commonly referred to as and is, in my opinion, the flamenco counterpart to Segovia’s Hauser that is installed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The most famous and significant flamenco guitar in existence and, besides that, one of the finest sounding. I have known this guitar for many years and was privileged to be its caretaker for over 2 years after its owner, my friend and client Dr. Robert Schultz, passed away. Besides being the subject of intense speculation by the flamenco guitar community, the inspiration of many luthier’s work, this guitar has been the subject of a few articles in guitar publications, most lately my article in Fretboard Journal (issue #27).

Performances: 
Sabicas “Zambra-Granadina” - Dennis Koster (intro by Aaron Green) 
Sabicas “Siguirias” - Dennis Koster 
Sabicas “Malaguieňa” - Dennis Koster 

SOLD

 

1901 José Ramirez 

Not something you see every day! This guitar completely debunks the myth of a short and limited lifespan believed to be the fate of guitars. Sonically it is very alive, fast attack with beautiful tone and projection. The basses are full and rich, the trebles singing and clear. A fun guitar to play and it is very easy on the hands. Impressive by any standards this guitar makes a convincing argument for Torres style guitars.

Performance :
Turina “Hommage a Tárrega Garrotín” - Frank Wallace

SOLD

 

2015 Jeffrey Elliott

A great contemporary guitar by a celebrated American builder. This instrument is very much in the Hauser ideal for which Jeff’s work is known. Unique aesthetics include a chip carved rosette and a homage to Torres in the proportions of the back panels.

Sonically, it reminds me very much of the 1949 Hauser I recently had; very powerful and alive with great depth of tone and color. The balance is extraordinary as is the projection. The guitar plays beautifully as well and is a joy to behold (and play). These instruments don’t come around very often on the market and I can see why.

In "as new", perfect condition, this instrument carries Mr Elliott‘s warranty, transferable to the new owner. This was an offer made to me by Mr Elliott himself and is defined as a warranty against defects in materials and workmanship for his life as an active luthier.

YouTube:
Frank Wallace - Villa Lobos - Prelude #1

SOLD

 

1962 José Ramirez
ex Mario Escudero 

Another time machine Ramirez. This guitar was made especially for the great flamenco Master Mario Escudero and purchased from him by one of his students in the late 60's. Lightweight and well balanced this guitar has the fast attack and clarity that is the hallmark of a great flamenco guitar along with real substance to its voice. Loud and proud, it's a perfect guitar for solo or accompaniment work. Gorgeous materials and workmanship (I am particularly fond of the rosette) which I am more used to seeing in cedar topped examples with heavy orange synthetic finish. Under an old gold finish in the spruce top the colors are much more apparent and vibrant.

SOLD

 

1959 Hernandez y Aguado

Hernandez y Aguado guitars are very highly regarded and rarely seen. In my career I've seen three and they all left a deep impression on me. As a builder myself, I value and strive for tonal flexibility and a broad tonal palette This is the hallmark of a great guitar and what makes the classical guitar unique. These qualities are what the guitars of Hernandez y Aguado are renowned for and this example certainly lives up to that distinction. This guitar has the "old Spanish sound" without being flabby or tired. Its vitality as well as it's complexity and nuance is quite remarkable. The condition is restored and extremely well done at that. 

SOLD

 

1931 Simplicio ex Rey de la Torre

Far and away the finest sounding example I have encountered of this maker‘s work. It‘s no wonder that it was also the first concert guitar of the great Rey de la Torre. Rey was a young prodigy who was sent to Barcelona to study with Miguel Llobet. Llobet took Rey to the Simplicio workshop and handpicked this guitar for him from a group of five. This guitar (numbered 335) is the second highest numbered Simplcio in existence. The sound is deep and rich with profound beauty and tonal contrast. Volume and projection are surprisingly excellent as is the quickness of response. This guitar was the main instrument of a traveling virtuoso and shows many repairs over the years. In spite of that, the structural integrity as well as the musical integrity of this inspired guitar remain intact. This guitar is the subject of an article I wrote for Acoustic Guitar magazine.

SOLD

 

1961 Robert Bouchet 

Guitars by Robert Bouchet are among the rarest and most coveted by collectors and players alike. This example is from his most desired period, when he began implementing his proprietary bracing pattern known as "Bouchet Bracing." This example is near mint and it plays beautifully with a big and projecting noble voice. The trebles are incisive and the basses deep, with great separation across the registers. A very impressive guitar and a joy to have around before she found her new home

Performances: 
Villa-Lobos “Prelude #4” - Frank Wallace
“He Pines” - Frank Wallace

SOLD

 

1984 José Romanillos "La Liam"

An extraordinary example of this Master's work. Named for his son Liam, now a highly regarded luthier in his own right, this guitar is beautifully decorated, plays like a dream and has a tonal palette a mile wide. The inherent tone of the guitar is both earthy and silvery. Kind of a combination of a great Torres and great Hauser. However, this quality of sound is not something I have ever encountered before in another guitar as they are for the most part diametrically opposite. In this guitar they exist in perfect harmony. The basses are firm and well defined, the trebles powerful and singing. Volume leaves little to be desired and the projection is most impressive. Thankfully, sold to a very dear friend and client so I'll be able to visit from time to time.

Performances: 
Villa-Lobos “Prelude #1” - Frank Wallace
Tarrega “Marieta” - Frank Wallace

SOLD

 

1986 José Romanillos

The guitars of José Romanillos are fast becoming the most collectable and sought after guitars right after Torres, Bouchet and Hauser I. A great Master and a wonderful human being I had the honor of meeting him early in my career, he was very gracious and never once told me to bug off. I should mention I was 21 at the time and I probably would have told me to bug off. In any case this is the second example of his work I have represented and while it came and went so fast I did not get it properly photographed, I am putting it up here as a testimony to a great guitar and a great man.

SOLD

 

1966 José (David) Rubio

A remarkable guitar from a great time in this luthier's career. In his biography "A life on the Road" Julian Bream relates a story of going to Rubio's shop in NYC with his Bouchet guitar. He was so impressed he suggested to Rubio that he build some copies of his Bouchet. While unclear to me if Rubio ever actually built a true "copy" he certainly utilized construction details from Bouchet and this example is such a guitar. Bream used a '65 Rubio for his landmark album "20th Century Guitar Music" and this '66 Rubio is of a similar design. Of further interest, I once restored a '69 Rubio that was not of the same interior construction; by 1969 he was onto different ideas. A lovely and rare example of this maker's work in mint condition. To get a sense of its sound all you have to do is listen to the Nocturnal on 20th Century Guitar Music. It's all there but of course it will help if you're Maestro Bream. 

SOLD

 

1961 José Ramirez

The first major restoration I undertook with my restoration partner Karl Franks. The back had two major serpentine cracks that were poorly repaired, among other issues. After I removed the back and braces, Karl simply (but far from easily) removed the gunk in the cracks and, using a fine cut file and light box, joined them together. As a result it is truly like they never happened.

This guitar is hands down the finest spruce top example I've seen from the Ramirez workshop. The initials are PB (Paulino Bernabe) and while it can be argued that this detail is superfluous, in this case I don’t think so. I won't bother to describe the sound as the video of Kevin Gallagher playing this guitar does that so much better. I will say this is an intoxicating instrument and perhaps one of the most beautiful looking guitars I've encountered. It is also feather light in weight. When you play this guitar, you can feel it vibrating and pulsing. A very sensual experience. 

Performance: 
“El Mestre” (arr. Miguel Llobet) - Kevin Gallagher

SOLD

 

1962 Arcangel Fernandez

The only disciple of Marcelo Barbero, these instruments are rare on the market. Such is his renown, there is a museum in Japan named for him that houses an aficionado's collection of his guitars. This example is in mint condition and, in the words of Dennis Koster, sounds like a Sabicas record. I felt very fortunate to have this guitar around at the same time as the famous '51 Barbero. It was an embarrassment of riches to be able to go back and forth between these two magnificent guitars. Sometimes I really, really love my work. 

SOLD

 

1961 Manuel Velazquez

I have always admired the guitars of Manuel Velazquez. I have also repaired and/or restored more than a few of his guitars over the years and can attest to his excellence in design and execution. In my time as a dealer of guitars, I have sold more of his guitars than that of any other maker and this particular example is among the best. In a world of modern guitars, it is also a wonderful testimony to the traditional designs that a great concert artist, Kevin Gallagher, would choose this guitar for his own.

SOLD

 

1999 Fritz Ober

A remarkably alive and responsive guitar by Fritz Ober. This is the first instrument I have represented from this builder and I sincerely hope it isn't the last. This guitar makes me think of a cross between a Hauser style instrument and some of the best of the Granada guitars I've examined. To be more specific, the balance and tonal capacity of this guitar is very much in line with the Hauser idiom, whereas the responsiveness and open and immediately full quality of it's voice makes me think of Southern Spain. It is a mix of qualities that live very nicely in harmony with each other and, as such, this is a very impressive and fun guitar to play.

The construction of this guitar is first rate, full marks from me as a fellow luthier. I adore the materials. I have remarkably similar sets of rosewood as what is seen here. I might add that those sets of rosewood are among my most prized tone woods for acoustic reasons as well as visual.

Fritz Ober enjoys high regard as a luthier and it is not surprising to me in the slightest after having spent some time with this guitar. A fantastic instrument at a fantastic price.

YouTube:
Frank Wallace - Villa Lobos - Prelude #3

Price-12,500 USD

 

1994 Miguel Rodriguez “Centenario” ex Angel Romero

This is far and away the best spruce top Rodriguez I have encountered, no wonder as it was made for Angel Romero. The best Rodriguez guitars I have played have had a flamenco like immediacy in the response with great power, clarity and separation. Something I, as a builder, have taken as inspiration for my own work. There is great weight and depth to the notes, strong fundamentals along with lively yet disciplined overtones and a broad tonal palette. This guitar sings and powerfully at that. 650 scale. Mint, as new condition. 

Performance: 
“Round the World” - Frank Wallace

SOLD

 

1993 Manuel Velazquez

A fantastic example of the work of this legendary Master. I have restored, repaired and sold many guitars by Manuel Velazquez, probably more than by any other maker. I am always impressed with the integrity of his guitars. The earliest guitars of his I have encountered were from the 50's and the last one I represented was from 2006. He is the dean of American classical guitarmaking and has earned the admiration of luthiers and players alike. This guitar from 1993 is somewhat unique in its voice, the sound is a bit more Spanish than the norm with real horsepower and projection. I originally encountered this guitar about 8 years ago when I repaired the back, which has some hairline cracks in the rosewood. It is totally stable as the last 8 years of crack free existence as to which I can attest. As it is, the repaired cracks are impossible to photograph and are only evident in a low raking light when you are looking for them. A wonderful guitar for performer and aficionado alike. 

SOLD

 

2001 Daryl Perry

Not something you see every day! Daryl Perry is one of the finest luthiers working in Canada, well known for his Hauser style classicals. This guitar is a very unique 8 string model in gorgeous birds eye maple, spruce with Torres inspired aesthetics. Workmanship and attention to detail is second to none. Sound is clear and refined with great projection, great for counterpoint as well as any other music you'd like to try out. Obviously if you ever wanted to play lute music on the guitar and felt restricted by only having 6 strings, your next guitar awaits.


Price-8,500 USD