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maandag 5 mei 2008

Manuel Romero Macias classical 1995 / Manuel Romero Macias flamenco 1990

Manuel Romero Macias

Manuel Romero Macias is a Sevilla based Guitarreros
and at this moment he is retired and his son took over the
business. The workshop is in Montellana (near Sevilla)
Presented here is a 2 front views of this spruce topped 
guitar. The second picture with new mounted frets.

A nice shot of the sides that shows us Palo Santo the way
you only can find it in the 19th century guitars (chocolate
brown) as opposed to the more common orangy colour they 
provide today. The materials used are premium quality 
but the final touch on this guitar could be better.

This is a recently obtained guitar made by the Sevilla
based luthier Manuel Romero Macias. I never had the
opportunity to try out one of his guitars so it was a buy
in the blind. However, the woods used are that nice
and only the Fustero tuners mounted made it worth to
buy it anyway. Spruce top and Palo Santo used for
sides and back. This guitarreros built his guitars
after Santos Hernandez and used premium materials.

You can see on this picture that the back is a
beautiful piece of Rio and allmost as can be
expected it does match the sides. 

The graceful head of this guitars that has been veneered with
Palo Santo the way he uses it in the sides and back of this
guitar: A perfect match. Strange thing is that the top nut
was a bit too long for its' slot. I made  a new one out of
ivory and did that for the bridge as well.
This builder would be more highly rated as the finishing
of his instruments lets something to be desired for.

A strange move on all of his guitars is the split neck.
So there is a seam in the middle what in fact means
there was more work. It could have been done for
stability reasons as it goes all the way up through the
head. This guitar is provided with a 650 mm scale.

As can be seen on this picture the Fustero tuners.
The Fustero firm is out of business since 2010.
They were located in Barcelona and were famous for
the engrave work done on these tuners and the
superior materials used. They still are available.

Mr. Manuel Romero Macias used a fairly plain label.
which he allways signed with the addition of the month
and year. The interior workmanship is not that high or
immaculate but he focused on sound and that is where
these guitars shine! Though the depth is rather small on
these instruments, the basses are firm and rich. The spruce
top adds enough clarity to the treble strings. The top has 
been handsigned inside. After replacing the frets with
higher and more "substantial" fret wire the tone improved
dramatically. more sustain as also the original fretwork
could have been done better. Manuel Romero Macias
worked together with his son until recently. His son
now has taken over business under his own name: 
Manuel Romero Iglesias.

Manuel Romero Macias (Flamenco)

Presented here is a flamenco model I recently bought.
Someone else picked up this instrument and the Fustero's
were gone: They were not in working order the seller
told so he removed them. A bad way of doing business!
What you are showing in your ad must be there of course!
Manuel Romero Macias is using first grade woods so
the fingerboard is ebony as I hoped for. Still the
frets look a bit odd to me and will be replaced.

The back of this instrument is still in good shape.

And this side too.

I knew about this damage but that can be cured in a better way.
With cypress as a wood it even can be an option to remove one 
half of the guitar. The soundboard has one crack that needs to be
redone as far as I can see. No big deal. Besides that the 
soundboard is still fairly straight.

The typical way of gluing together the two halves of the back
can be seen here. Luckily enough the model is his hand built 
one that answers to his highest standards. And the tone of his
instruments is mostly surprising in any way! As can be expected
a typical flamenco response: quick and dry and a nice addition
to the collection as a whole.

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