Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

Hello and it's a real pleasure to find so many people interested in these beautiful instruments! I have been restoring and building guitars for awhile now and am currently building the 1816 Jose Martinez  Salon guitar (thanks Scot for the great plans!) and should be finished with it in a few weeks now. It is being built with walnut back and sides, Douglas fir top, cedar neck and ebony fretboard, bridge and headplate. The rosette is made from walnut slices, tourquoise buttons and black mastic. An experimental design... so I'm devating a little from the plans but not much. My next instrument will be either a Lacote or La Prevotte inspired design. There are certainly some beautiful guitars in here! It's nice to see so many instruments being restored and built. Here are a couple photos of the Martinez I'm building.

Robert

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Those are excellent cases almost as well built as the basic Kingham, I use them as my standard shop case for my 19th century instruments. One still has to add a little pillow at the end to take up the extra space but it doubles as a leg pillow to get the guitar up a bit more. I didn't mention them because they are even bigger on the Martinez but as Mark says, add some  foam or little pillows.

I'm glad to hear they are almost as well built as a basic Kingham. I think they are one hell of a deal. Too bad they don't make lute cases, eh?

Those cases are an absolute bargain in Canada/US. By the time they arrive in Europe the price has gone up considerably. I bought a batch of 10 and even then I can't get close to the US price. They are still much cheaper than a Kingham but I can't agree that the quality is comparable. The Kingham is a much finer case. Still, the TKL is perfectly adequate IMO.

Yes, they are a bargain and you're absolutely correct Michael, they aren't as nice as a Kingham. I was actually being facetious but should have made that clear with some little quotation marks,  a ;) or something. However, for the price, I know of no better production made case that is close to fitting the little guitars. If someone does, I'd sure like to know about it.

 

I did contact TKL a few years back about making cases for the 19th century guitar, not for each size and design like a custom made case, but maybe something generic that would fit a little better than the Parlor. I don't remember, off hand,  the run numbers they wanted but it was many times beyond my yearly output...more like a lifetime supply. Things may have changed since then so it might be worth enquiring again.

I've been thinking about having custom small guitar cases made here and perhaps marketing them if there is a real need... how would I do this? Well, living in western New Mexico has its advatages, low production costs being one... and I going to take my Martinez over to a local maker of coffins... they make southwestern style coffins, and I thought, hey he's right down the highway, not far, maybe he'd be interested in making custom guitar cases. The coffins are pretty cool... think there's an interest?

Literally coffins?

Yes, literally coffins. I was at the local trading post a couple weeks ago and saw that they had posted photos of some of the coffins they build. I'm not especially a fan of coffins but these were different, beautiful and hand made with local woods and made for cowboys... Navajo blanket interiors, stuff like that. I had been thinking about not being able to find a case that fit my Martinez perfectly and when I saw these I thought these guys could make a beautiful case for my guitar, just scale it down...

You have , no doubt, heard of these:

http://www.coffincase.com/

Maybe not too appealing to the early music crowd, but cool none the less.

Back in the early days of building I made cases for my instruments that looked remarkably like those...there was nothing else available. My customers did mention getting odd comments at times...;)

Yes I've heard of those, although I was thinking something a little less "Addams Family" and a little more elegant...

"hey, hey, my, my. Early music will never die..."

Hi Mark, well Neil Young DOES play a pump organ... just thought I'd update the Martinez and all I can say is THANK YOU Scot! I love this little guitar and it was well received at the Classical Guitar Festival in Albuquerque in June. Other than the bridge and PegHed tuners I followed the plans almost religiously and the result was a very well balanced little guitar! People who play it smile and can't seem to put it down. The ERG strings do seem to be best, I did try some light tension La Bella 2001's but like the ERG's better. Maybe I just got used to them right away. It is the easiest guitar I have ever played. If anyone is looking for a guitar to build I'd recommend this one for sure. I started my next Martinez along with a Martin 1918 size 1. Hope you're doing well

Robert

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