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"The guitar, is like an orchestra, distant and mysterious, its sound coming to us as if from a world much smaller and subtler than ours." - Segovia.

Over the years, I had tried a number of guitars which were listed below.  My sincere thanks to all my friends who had willingly allow me to try their guitars. Each of these guitars have its own character and I was indeed privileged to have played them.

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1. Esteve 1.4st

Year:   2000

Top:   Cedar

Back/side:   Laminated Mahogany

Finishing:  Lacquer

Country:  Spain

Scale Length:   650mm

Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:   My first Classical Guitar purchased in year 2000. This is an excellent guitar considering the price. The sound is both bright and warm.
 


 


2. Almansa 457

Year:   2002

Top:   Cedar

Back/side:   Solid Indian Rosewood

Finishing:  Lacquer

Country:  Spain

Scale Length:   650mm

Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:   This is the entry level guitar from Almansa made from solid wood. It has a deep and rich tone.
 


Pic: Almansa 457 - Front Pic: Almansa 457 - Back Pic: Almansa 457 - Rosette Pic: Almansa 457 - Case Pic: Almansa 457 - Bridge

 


3. Alfredo Maria Carreras

Year:   2000

Top:   Cedar

Back/side:   Solid Indian Rosewood

Finishing:  Lacquer

Country:  Australia

 Scale Length:   650mm

Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:   This is the current guitar that I am using for daily practice. The playability of this guitar is great. The neck is slightly bigger than the traditional Spanish neck and gave more room for fingering. As for the sound, it has that warm Cedar sound with focus, sustain, and balance. Some of the sound clips were recorded using this guitar.
 


Pic: Carreras - Front Pic: Carreras - Back Pic: Carreras - Rosette Pic: Carreras - Tuning Keys Pic: Carreras - Head

 



4. Vicente Carrillo

Year:   2002

Top:   Spruce

Back/side:   Solid Brazilian Rosewood

Finishing:  Lacquer

Country:  Spain

Scale Length:   650mm

Width at Nut:   51mm

Description:   The wood grain of the Brazilian is really beautiful. The body is slightly smaller than traditional guitar and has a sweet treble. For sound samples, please check out the recording section. I bought this guitar in 2002 and has sold it in 2006.
 


Pic: Carrillo - Front Pic: Carrillo - Back Pic: Carrillo - Label Pic: Carrillo - Sideways 1 Pic: Carrillo - Sideways 2

 



5. Antonio Aparicio AA100

Year:   2002

Top:   Cedar

Back/side:   Solid Indian Rosewood

Finishing:  Lacquer

Country:  Spain

Scale Length:   650mm

Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:   This guitar is very well setup with low action and is very easy to play. The sound is warm and focus. I would think that this is a concert quality guitar best suited for recitals or recording studio.
 

 



6. Paulino Bernabe Model 50

Year:   2005

Top:   Spruce

Back/side:   Brazilian Rosewood

Finishing:  French polish

Country:  Spain

Scale Length:   650mm

Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:   This guitar is loud and projects well. It has that typical Bernade sound. The neck has a very unique touch for ease of handling and very easy to play.
 

 



7. Juan Hernandez "Maestro Especial"

Year:   2004

Top:   Spruce

Back/side:   Brazilian Rosewood

Finishing:  French polish

Country:  Spain

Scale Length:   650mm

Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:   Juan Hernandez started building guitar at the age of 15 at Franscisco Esteve Workshop. He was born in Turis Valencia and had been involved in the construction of the top concert model made at Esteve prior to offering his own label. This guitar was the top model that Mr Hernandez made at the moment. The guitar was very easy to play. It was lyrical even at the high registers. The sound was bright and could project well in most recital halls. As this guitar was lightly played, it will probably take a couple more years before it can reach its full potential. Check out some of the recordings I did at the recording section. The guitar was made of very fine quality Spruce and Brazilian Rosewood. The Rosewood used was well aged, dark chocolate quarter sawn. Headstock was finely crafted and goes well with the Fustero Tuners. The owner has decided to sell this guitar to make room for other collections. Asking USD$5900. Do email if you're interested.
 

 



8. Paulino Bernabe 20

Year:   2005

Top:   Spruce

Back/side:   Brazilian Rosewood

Finishing:  French polish

Country:  Spain

Scale Length:   650mm

Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:   This is the entry level guitar by Bernabe that is made of Brazilian Rosewood. The treble is really sweet and can really sing.
 

 



9. Conde Hermanos "Esteso"

Year:   2006

Top:   Spruce

Back/side:   Brazilian Rosewood

Finishing:  French polish

Country:  Spain

Scale Length:   650mm

Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:   This guitar comes with top-quality quarter-sawn German Spruce top. It features a rich, and warm tone with excellent focus and balance. Playability is really easy and setup comfortably. It comes with a customized tuning machine head with a "esteso" engraved onto one of the knob. This guitar is definitely a collectable item.
 

 



10. Paulino Bernabe "Imperial"

Year:   2006

Top:   Cedar

Back/side:   Brazilian Rosewood

Finishing:  French polish

Country:  Spain

Scale Length:   650mm

Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:   This guitar is definitely a collectable item. I really love the sound and its playability. It is well balanced and the sustain is great.
 

 

11. David Rubio

Year:   1974

Top:   Spruce

Back/side:   Brazilian Rosewood

Finishing:  French polish

Country:  England

Scale Length:   650mm

Width at Nut:   52mm

Description: David Rubio has been famous in the musical world as a maker of stringed instrument since the mid-1960s. He died in October 2000 at the age of 65. His guitars are played by famous artists such as Julian Bream, Paul Galbraith and many well known artists. This guitar has a sweet sound with amazing sustain and is definitely a collector's item. Want to hear how this guitar sings, check out the recording sections.
 



12. Paulino Bernabe "Royal"

Year:   2006

Top:   Spruce

Back/side:   Brazilian Rosewood

Finishing:  French polish

Country:  Spain

Scale Length:   650mm

Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:   This is the highest model that Mr Bernabe produces today. According to my sources, he only produce a few Royal each year. From what I know, John Williams has purchased one of this Bernabe's Royal recently for his future recording.
 



13. Manuel Contreras Double Top

Year:   1984

Top:   Cedar

Back/side:   Brazilian Rosewood

Finishing:  French polish

Country:  Spain

Scale Length:   660mm

Width at Nut:   52mm

Description: Manuel Contreras was born in Madrid in 1928. In 1959, he joined Jose Ramirez and within three years he had developed his craft sufficiently to set up as an independent guitar maker in Madrid. His first achievement, was the design of the model "Double Top", which Contreras presented in 1974, after a number of experiments in order to improve the tone and the volume of the instrument. His first double top was sold to Celedino Romero. Manuel Contreras died in 1994 and now his son continues his legacy. The double top is made of a matched piece of cedar laminated to the inside of the back. The result is of better projection and improvement of tone. This guitar is easy to play. The sound is warm, focus and lyrical with great sustain even at higher registers. I had the privilege to try this guitar in Dec 2006 and was interested to purchase it. However, the priority was given to a guitar collector. After a couple of months, with the help of my teacher, we managed to convince the collector to sell the guitar to me. It was Aug 2007 that I finally own this double top. I really love this guitar as the sound is really musical. Sincere thanks to my teacher and the collector for their help. Check out some of the recordings I did at the recording section.
 

 



14. Juan Hernandez "Maestro"

Year:   2004

Top:   Spruce

Back/side:   Solid Amazonian Rosewood

Finishing:  French polish

Country:  Spain

Scale Length:   650mm

Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:   Juan Hernandez was born in Valencia (Spain) in late 1940. He started his guitar making career under Francisco Esteve's workshop at age 15 and worked his way up to become the production manager. He had been involved with the construction of the concert model made at Esteve before deciding to carry his own label. The "Maestro" model is one level below the "Maestro Especial" model and is made of Solid Amazonian Rosewood.
 


15. Paul Fischer "Taut Premier"

Year:   2006

Top:   Spruce

Back/side:   Brazilian Rosewood

Finishing:  Lacquer

Country:  England

Scale Length:   650mm
       
Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:  
 


16. Manuel Bellido

Year:   1983

Top:   Spruce

Back/side:   Brazilian Rosewood

Finishing:  French polish

Country:  Spain

Scale Length:   650mm
       
Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:   Manuel Bellido was born in Granada in 1939. Prior to guitar making, he was working as a cabinet maker at the age of 13 and entered the Casa de Eduardo Ferrer workshop as a apprentice in guitar making. After spending a couple of years at Ferrer's, he decided to start his own workshop. This particular guitar that I have tried has great intonation, and color. I believe it will be a great instrument for studio recordings.

 


17. Wataru Tsuji Model S-3

Year:   2007

Top:   Spruce

Back/side:   Indian Rosewood

Finishing:  Lacquer

Country:  Japan

Scale Length:   650mm
       
Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:  

 

 


18. Jose Ramirez 125th Anniversary Model (No. 10)

Year:   2007

Top:   Cedar

Back/side:   Brazilian Rosewood

Finishing:  French polish

Country:  Spain

Scale Length:   650mm
       
Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:  


19. Alhambra - Jaime Julia

Year:   2007

Top:   Spruce

Back/side:   Brazilian Rosewood

Finishing:  French polish

Country:  Spain

Scale Length:   650mm
       
Width at Nut:   52mm

Description:   Jamie Julia is the head luthier of Alhambra. Apart from supervising and maintaining high quality of the Alhambra guitars, he continues to work on the top of the line concert guitar model.