Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

I have added a list of 297 guitar builders between ca 1770-1850 on my page. Not complete of course... If someone has information about a guitar builder not on the list please let me know.
I also have pictures for most of the dated instruments mentioned on the list.

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Hi Yong


As far as I know the baroque guitar always had 5 courses (maybe there were some  exceptions ? )


The feedback on the Thomann guitar seems not  bad at all - I might think about getting one at some point


Hi Yong.


I just ordered the guitar, so perhaps I took a little chance.... I have no plans to try real gut strings in the near future, the nylgut sounds good enough for me at this time. When it comes to the first course, I've copied something Monica Hall wrote in another discussion:

Historically it is more common to have a single string on the first course of the baroque guitar.   It is referred to as the "canto" and some of the sources point out that there are 9 strings arranged in 5 courses.  

I think the Thomann baroque guitars, if judged on their own merrits,  are absolutely fine for a beginner or novice player. I have recently seen one (the first in my hands) and in the context of an entry level instrument one could do a lot worse.


My impression of the one I saw was of an instrument of reasonable quality materials (the back wood was very nice actually, nice albeit lower grade top) and competent workmanship. Over all it did seem a fair bit overbuilt but If one had the inclination and funds, taking it to your favorite luthier for a modest makeover might turn it into a fine instrument indeed (maybe hopeful thinking here...I don't know). 

I'll be most interested in any update mel might post for us on the makeover he is doing on the one in his shop.


As a luthier, I have no idea how they can offer them at the price they do but good on them for being able to do so. We need inexpensive instruments available to the new student if the popularity of baroque guitar, vihuela, lute etc is to grow...but that has been hashed elsewhere and we don't need to get into that one again.

Here, here. Especially in a topic entitled 'Luthiers 1770 - 1850'...

Hi Rob, how much did you pay for the Thomann baroque guitar. Was it Euro dollars 419 or something like that?  I understand  you bought it one or  have I mistaken you for someone else who bought one.

    I couldn't find any member who lives near Bavaria to check out the Baroque guitar before I buy one so I guess I had to to take the gamble and just order one on line. Just hope I don't have to send it back. I wonder who is paying for the air-freight charges if  in case it is a really bad guitar and it had to be sent back to the store.

    I often think about this baroque guitar because I just love the music it makes,that little difference between Baroque guitar and Classical guitar seem to make me long for the baroque guitar. Or is it the novelty? I don't think it's the novelty. I am too old for the novelty stuff.

I have said all I want to say on this guitar. See other thread. Please use this thread to discuss luthiers 1770 - 1850...
Hello Hans,  I believe that I can add one more to your list of makers and have just placed photographs of an instrument on my page.  The maker is probably Bernardo Rotella of Spoleto. The label fragments had been detached when I acquired the guitar.  Somebody had obviously intended to restore it but given up.  We need to 'downsize', so I will not work on it myself.  I shall probably be presenting the guitar itself to the Edinburgh museum very shortly.

Dear Hans, thanks for doing all this great work!

I have a romantic guitar by Bonnel of my own. I can send you pictures, and you can listen it in some videos I posted in this net, and also, in my www.youtube.com/gschebor . I read that Bonnel was known as a repairer of instruments, but there are at least 2 guitars signed by this luthiers.

What's your opinion?

Best regards


dearr friend,

i have buy the last week in vichy the guitar pierre renaud 1775 she is on your list but i cannot to find some informations about pierre renaud  plaese can you help me thanks 

thank you Hans, i have added  to day in this site new photos of my guitar, with the information on the title perhaps  we can find more about this luthier .

Very interesting. Lalonso is probably Lorenzo Alonso who worked in Madrid between 1758 and 1788.

In the following link you can have a look at one of his (3) guitars restored by Carlos Gass:



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