Making a Rosette

Getting back into the flow of things. Here are some photos through the process of making a rosette. Inspired by the Antonio de Torres FE09 owned by Miguel Llobet. It's become a classic design often used by Hauser and Velasquez. I've always been a fan of this motif, so I've done a number of different variations of my own often incorporating a little bit more color. This one includes Spanish cedar, walnut, padouk, ebony, rosewood, maple, cherry and dyed poplar.

First Guitar of the Year

Strung up the first guitar of the year yesterday and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. Big lively sound, an even response and nice loose singing trebles. All handmade rosette, purflings and bindings.

  • Western red cedar top
  • Indian rosewood back and sides
  • Spanish cedar neck
  • Ebony fingerboard
  • 650mm scale length
  • 52mm nut width
  • Elevated fingerboard
  • Alessi tuners with ebony buttons

New Review

Pretty happy about this review and photos from guitarist and designer Teppei Teranishi of the instrument that I made for him. Thanks!

"My dude @cadizguitars absolutely crushed it. I gave him a couple really loose ideas of what I wanted out of a classical guitar and let him take it from there. Spruce and walnut, perfectly understated with the tastiest details. Ridiculously beautiful craftsmanship. Magical sound. Every note sounds like a thousand unicorns singing in unison. Thank you Michael!!✨🦄🙌🙌🙌"

First Coats of Shellac on New Modern Concert Model

Put the first coats of shellac on a new cedar and rosewood Modern Concert model. Really dark and straight grained Indian rosewood. Hard to get a good picture of though. Elevated fingerboard. 20th fret. 52mm nut, 43mm string spacing at the nut and 58mm at the saddle. An ever-so slightly re-proportioned headstock shape. Very excited to get strings on this thing.

Custom Walnut Classic Concert Model

Finished up a new spruce and walnut Classic Concert Model today. This particular guitar was made custom for a friend of mine Teppei. On top of being a great guitarist for the band Thrice, he is also an super talented designer and leather worker. You can see his work at Teranishi Studio.

I was super excited when he asked me to make a guitar for him and also to get to try out some new ideas. I wanted to do something fairly traditional and elegant, but also very simple and understated based on what I know of his aesthetic and personality. This guitar is broadly based off of the Torres SE114. The arrows on the heel cap and ladder motif in the rosette are also inspired by Torres.

It has a loose, lively and romantic sound, but also a clear attack and a lot of presence. What I like about walnut is that it is somewhere in between rosewood and maple in terms of its density. It has an excitement and clarity that comes with a lighter wood, but not as much damping and dryness of maple in particular. It has a matte open-pore finished with is smooth and very light. 

Two New Guitars

Strung up these two guitars about a week ago and I'm finally getting some time write a bit about them. At a quick glance, they both look quite similar aesthetically, but they are quite different both in design and sound.

The first is my newest Classic Concert Model. It is what I have previously been calling my Torres Model, but while that was the original inspiration, I feel that it has become more generalized and is now more accurately my own interpretation and best effort to emphasize what I like most about this style of guitar. I has a very colorful old-world sound. It has a lower body frequency, a loose bloom to each note, but with a clarity and attack that speaks out an projects. It has a nice resonance and complexity, but isn't too chaotic at the same time. 

The second is a custom Modern Concert Model. It is as slightly larger body shape and braced quite differently. This guitar uses a bracing system inspired by a particular Barbero (hijo) guitar that I found particularly exciting, but modified the design a bit to reign in some of its raw enthusiasm. It has a slightly more robust and modern sound than my other model. It has a bigger dynamic range and a stiffer tension allowing the play to push it harder. It is a bit more homogenous across the strings and up and down the fretboard, but still very colorful and lively. It also features a sound-port and armrest. Tuners are made by Nicolo Alessi.

New Videos and New Rosettes

The very nice people over as Siccas Guitars made a video of Spyros Konidaris playing my latest Concert Model that I delivered to them recently. Great playing and great recording!

In other news, I'm starting two new guitars. After the last two Romanillos rosettes, I'm going for a more restrained and modern look. The first is for a cedar top Modern Concert model and the second is for an aesthetically stripped-down spruce and walnut Classic Concert model. Very excited for both of these guitars.

Finally, I tried to make my own video of the Prelude from the lute suite in A minor BWV 997. Turns out it's actually a pretty good exercise to record yourself. As embarrassing as it may be, you can more objectively see and hear things that need to be worked on... and I've got plenty to work on! Anyway, I'm not crazy about this performance and I'm just getting the hang of this multiple camera angles things, so I will probably redo it, but here it is until I do.