Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

Hello all,

I'm new here but thought I'd leap straight in!

I live in the UK.

I've already got an 8 course lute and a classical guitar but I'd like at some point to expand my instrument collection. I've been looking into Vihuelas recently but would like to ask how much people payed for their Vihuelas, where they got them from and where they advice me to get one myself. I can't afford one yet but I like to have a target to save up to! I have a very low budget and so I'm looking for the cheapest effective Vihuela one can get.

If you're a maker, don't worry about pointing out your own shops!

Any advice? Many thanks in advance. :)


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Hello, Jamie. I bought a very cheap vihuela at a surprisingly good quality for ca. 600 USD from TiendasLatinas, made by one of their luthiers in Mexico, Martin Zalapa, and best of all, it arrived after only 6-7 weeks! String length 56 cm and with a slightly vaulted back. I can send some pics and give you more details if wanted. Considering the very low price compared to other vihuelas, I think this is a very good bargain!

Best wishes
Thanks a lot for the help Harry!

I actually found that shop too but was concerned about the quality - thinking it might be a horrible instrument but now I see that it is better than I thought.

Some pictures and details would be brilliant! I see you are from Norway? And the Vihuelas are sent from Mexico? 6 - 7 weeks is very fast, but is it dangerous being sent so far? Do you know how much postage cost approximately?


Thanks again.


Thanks for the picture,

It looks like a lovely instrument. Did it arrive well packed and protected?

Shipping costs to Norway: 60 USD, it arrived in a cardboard box, stuffed with plastic and isopor, seemed a bit fragile, but both the vihuela and a Panormo I ordered later arrived safe and sound. But you could arrange to have it sent in a hardshell case, although a bit more expensive. I was told by TiendasLatinas that they had the full responsibility for damages during transit. Since I play the classical guitar like you, I ordered the vihuela to be 52mm at the nut, and I do not regret that. Normally, the courses are closer, which makes playing and switching from the vihuela and the guitar more difficult. I can only give TiendasLatinas and Martin Zalapa my very best recommendations for two fine instruments at a most reasonable price, I got the Panormo for less than 800 USD. Feel free to ask for more information if needed!
Best wishes
That photo looks nothing like the terrible-looking photo on their website. They should use your photo.

Yes, I completely agree with you. The only thing I didn't like were the white plastic frets on the board, but I added some colour to them after this picture was taken to make them match with the soundboard. So now they do not stand out like they do on this photo, colourwise at least. After having watched your fine videos where you play Sor on your Panormo, I also ordered a beautiful Panormo from the same luthier, quite identical to the Edinburgh original, apart from a nut width of 52mm, with a surprisingly fine tone considering the low price, less then 800 USD, shipping costs to Norway included. Being only an ordinary, self- taught guitarist with no aspirations whatsoever , these inexpensive instruments were just what I needed! I am still waiting for my Voboam from Luciano Faria, but friends on a Brazilian guitar forum have offered their help, so I have been in contact with Luciano, and the Voboam will arrive soon, hopefully. If not, my Brazilian friends will contact him again, I guess he has a reputation to uphold.

Best wishes

When did you get the guitar in the photo?
I got it in the beginning of January this year. Isn't she wonderful?
Well, Harry, I'm glad my videos influenced you in some way. The Panormo copy looks very nice. I think you are happy with your purchases, and I hope you are getting stuck in to the repertoire. Maybe we'll all hear you some day.

I do think the baroque guitar would be more popular if beginner instruments were available. They won't ever be as cheap as steel-string guitars, but Harry's looks good for the money. I would like to play one, of course, before personally recommending one to students, and I would certainly replace the bridge (Harry, you might consider taking it a luthier and getting a proper baroque guitar bridge). I imagine you are tempted, Jamie?
Rob, thank you for your appreciation and good advice concerning the bridge!


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