A Collection of Fine Spanish Guitars from Torres to the Present, Second Edition

A Collection of Fine Spanish Guitars from Torres to the Present, Second Edition

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A Collection of Fine Spanish Guitars from Torres to the Present, Second Edition

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A Collection of Fine Spanish Guitars from Torres to the Present, Second Edition

About This Item

By Sheldon Ulrik
Explore one fabulous collection of fine Spanish guitars, and hear them being played.

Over 80 guitars are presented with technical information, notes on the makers, and insights into their significance. Includes 3 CDs of music featuring the actual guitars.

Stunning color photography, painstaking detail
This book presents the most complete collection of modern Spanish guitars, beautifully photographed and documented. Each chapter is devoted to a single instrument and contains a physical description, comments on the guitar, and notes on its maker's place in the historical context of Spanish guitars.

    Essential info for luthers:
  • Top thickness (measured at multiple locations on the soundboard)
  • Widths of upper and lower bouts
  • Body depths
  • Headstock specs
  • Fingerboard widths
  • Soundhole diameter
  • Scale length
  • Neck thickness
  • Bracing patterns
  • Bridge dimensions
  • Weight

All of the great Old Masters are represented: Antonio de Torres, the F. González dynasty, Vicente Arias, the Ramirez dynasty, Domingo Esteso, Santos Hernandez, the Miguel Rodríguez dynasty, the Hauser dynasty, Marcelo Barbero Sr, Rafael Galan, Robert Bouchet, Vincente Camacho, Manuel Velazquez, Jose Romanillos, and many others.

224 pages, hardcover.

Includes 3 audio CDs featuring the guitars in this book.

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  • 4.75 average rating from 4 reviews
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Enjoyable Knowledge


Verified Buyer

Even if you aren't into nylon string guitars do yourself a favor and purchase this book. Beautiful pictures and the CDs' make it that much better.


a great reference


Verified Buyer

This is a well done book full of interesting facts. There are good photographs of the instruments and details about each instrument. This is a great over-view of the development of the modern Spanish-style guitar. This second edition has more instruments that have been added to the collection and more information about the guitars. Also, with the second edition, the recordings of the guitars are really fun and informative. I really enjoy spending time with this book. If you are interested in the history and development of this type of guitar there is a wealth of information available here. I highly recommend this sensitive and caring treatment of this splendid collection of instruments.


Beautiful book and CD's


Verified Buyer

A beautiful work on classical guitars indeed.

The majority of the book is laid out thus:
Each two page spread contains one classical or flamenco guitar.

~ Left page contains text detailing various aspects of the luthier and their instrument with some building information not listed elsewhere in the book e.g "the spruce harmonic bars and the cedar crossbars have tapered ends".

~ Right page enjoys colour pictures of the label, rosette, headstock, bridge (closeups) as well as the full instrument front and back. Also on the right page is a simple line diagram of the top/back bracing layout and a list of the 19 main measurements, dimensions etc of the instrument.

The last 10 pages (before the glossary and sources consulted) are dedicated to tables of measurements:
~ Thicknesses of top/back/side (with a diagram of each instrument showing the location of 14 points of measurement)
~ Bridge dimension (7 measurements)
~ Materials used for all aspects of the instrument- (top, linings, braces, nut etc)

CD's x 3-
The playing & sound quality is excellent for both classical (cd 1 & 2) and flamenco (cd 3) pieces.
Most importantly, "the recording environment was held constant and disc mastering was minimized to facilitate critical comparisons". Bravo for that. This makes listening to the 76 pieces (from a 1867 Torres, to a 1987 Smallman and 2009 Sheppard) very beneficial.

My problems with this book *as a luthier* (Some of these problems might not affect non luthiers):

~ Firstly: The book contains no measurements of brace dimensions.
A very interesting aspect I found in "Making Master guitars" by Roy Courtnall (VERY highly recommended) was the inclusion of brace dimensions and how these (sometimes) changed with a luthier. Did they use wide/low braces, or thin/high braces and did this preference alter over their career according to sound and/or structural reasons due to telegraphing etc. While I understand that each top is a different stiffness so copying what you see/read doesn't produce the same results, this lack of information was an oversight but probably only to the mind of a luther, not to a player who wants this on their coffee table. This somewhat leads into the second problem which is similar but different.

~ Secondly- There is only 1 internal pic [Torres] in this book which I found to be a shame.
Internal pics are not really important for luthiers (again, each top is a different stiffness so copying what you see doesn't produce the same results) , but they are always very interesting in regard to workmanship etc and at this considerable price (!!!) I expected such things.

~ Thirdly: The formatting is strange with a handful entries (perhaps around 10).
For instance Page 112 has only 1/2 a page of text with 1/2 page of blank space under it then the right side has the usual crowded collection of pics and list of measurements. I understand that maintaining a coherent format throughout is usually a nice thing in publication (ie Left= text, Right= pics) but is some cases I would have liked to see some pictures moved to the empty space on the left (ie the label pics which are nice and rectangle) in order to make room for either enlarged pictures of existing pic (ie rosette) or alternative new pics showing different closeups of always interesting elements such as the headstock, heel carving, end graft, mitering or some other unique element to that instrument/luthier etc. The current picture size is enough, but larger pictures is always desirable.
Perhaps the clean and coherent format is prefered over all else by some, I however prefer a nice pic (of ANYTHING) rather than look at a 8" x 6" space of blank paper...

In conclusion and as a luthier, I am reminded of the Roy Countnall and Ervin Somogyi books in regard to their price and size, but not so much in content for me as a luthier.
IF this were a thicker book or a 2 volume set akin to two volumes of the Courtnall book, it would REALLY be something special.
Perhaps the $165 price (I got it for $82 being a StewMax member but I still got "a talking to" from my wife about it...) was to pay for recording time for the ***excellent*** 76 pieces???
I'm not sure, but i'm very glad to have those 76 pieces recorded like they were and, lastly, like I hope I have made very clear, my wants as a picky luthier were a touch let down in a few aspects by this otherwise very nice work.


Very good book to help assessing excellent guitars


Verified Buyer

Very important works to know the historical guitars. Very helpful to assess / evaluate excellent guitars...tool book.