Manuel Contreras, Sr. 1979 "Double Top" Concert Guitar

Keith
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Re: Manuel Contreras, Sr. 1979 "Double Top" Concert Guitar

Post by Keith » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:47 pm

play sweet, it is a good time to practice those picture posting skills so why not a shot of the back. it is, afterall, brw from the golden age of brw guitars. do you or a family play? nice guitar. I bet it is a monster of a guitar (a good thing as Martha stewart would say).
be true to the one you love but have many flings with different guitars

play sweet
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Re: Manuel Contreras, Sr. 1979 "Double Top" Concert Guitar

Post by play sweet » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:53 pm

Keith, you are so correct. Good opportunity to practice picture posting skills.
Thanks, for the encouragement,
play sweet
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Keith
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Re: Manuel Contreras, Sr. 1979 "Double Top" Concert Guitar

Post by Keith » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:46 am

Nothing like BRW--ear and eye candy. Nice!
be true to the one you love but have many flings with different guitars

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Contreras
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Re: Manuel Contreras, Sr. 1979 "Double Top" Concert Guitar

Post by Contreras » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:01 pm

Very nice ... Just like mine 😏
No, mine is Contreras ll, twenty years younger, but still Doble Tapa, Brazilian and Cedar in contrast to yours. I love it.
I would have thought yours was worth $5000 of anyone's money ... but why sell? đŸ€”
Put down the bagpipes ...
... and no one gets hurt.

play sweet
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Re: Manuel Contreras, Sr. 1979 "Double Top" Concert Guitar

Post by play sweet » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:45 pm

Hello Everyone,

Thanks, to those who helped me, with the value of our 1979 Contrerasi "Double Top" Concert Guitar. Special thanks, to Bob and Keith, with suggestions o contact, The Contreras Family, Zavaletas Guitars and the like. I did follow through, with your suggestions.

Th Contreras family offered to value the guitar, at their location, in London, sending it or bringing it, with a personal visit. Unfortunately, neither of those methods would work.

Next, I contacted Zavalets Guitars and got the following response, from James Greenberg. He estimated "the Contreras' normal value range as $5,000 - $8,000, and in "as new" condition, it could exceed this range."

Moving on to GSI, John Paul Trotter's reply stated, the value of the Contreras, would be between $3,000 - $3,500 (wholesale) and up to $5,500 (retail.)

Additionally, the Contreras was appraised, by a professional luthier, in 2004. The appraised value, at that time, was $8,000.

I'm sure, that by now, you have guessed, we are selling the "Contreras."

The tale (history), of the Contreras, and why we have decided to sell the guitar, is as follows:

We were living, in New England, USA, in the late 1970's. My husband, Micheal, was taking classical guitar lessons, practicing on his Yamaha guitar. His teacher suggested, he needed a higher quality instrument, matching at that time, his current performance level. His teacher mentioned, he he was going to Madrid, to purchase a guitar, for himself, and offered to purchase a better guitar, for Micheal, while in Madrid. Micheal agreed to his offer. On his return, from Spain, we purchased the Manuel Contreras "Double Top", from him. Micheal continued, with lessons and practice, with decreasing frequency. His professional demands (not as a musician), were increasing more and more of his time & attention. Needless to say, he has lost his "crops" and no longer plays.

The Contreras plays, with so much warmth. It possesses the depth of voicing, honoring it's reputation as a highly sought-after concert guitar. It's beauty and fine craftsmanship can be seen, in the pictures I have previously posted, on this site. The guitar has been respectfully cared for, throughout the years, of our ownership. However, it has become increasingly difficult to justify, owning the Contreras. It's rich beauty, in performance and with the high quality, of appearance and construction, the guitar begs to be played, as it's creator intended.

Lastly, we have decided to price our Manuel Contreras I "Double Top" Concert Guitar, at $8,000. We live, in the Chicagoland area, and would be happy to answer your questions and/or make the guitar available, for your inspection. We can be contacted, by emailing: adykascwynar@joltmail.com.

Respectfully,
play sweet

Keith
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Re: Manuel Contreras, Sr. 1979 "Double Top" Concert Guitar

Post by Keith » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:30 pm

playsweet--I am a former Chi-town resident (2 "tours of duty" there) and thought I would give you another option. You might want to visit R.E. Brune in Evanston (just south of downtown Evanston off the L line). Mr. Brune is probably considered one of the top, if not THE top, person/luthier who knows guitars. If anything, going to his place is like will give you a chance to see a shrine of world class guitars. An appraisal by Mr. Brune could be very beneficial in your pursuit.
be true to the one you love but have many flings with different guitars

play sweet
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:44 pm

Re: Manuel Contreras, Sr. 1979 "Double Top" Concert Guitar

Post by play sweet » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:53 am

Keith,

Thank you, for your continued sharing, regarding the Contreras. It was nice to hear, of your 2 "tours of duty" as a Chi-town resident.

I am well acquainted, with Mr. Brune, of Evanston, Illinois, his establishment, where he displays a fine collection of world class guitars. His ability to analyze, repair and appraise fine quality classical guitars is well known to us. I agree, with you, he is one of the best persons/luthier in the business, if not THE top person.

Mr. Brune's first acquaintance, with our Contreras, was in 1995, when he personally "repaired two tiny hairline cracks, in the lower bout of the side located midway between the top and back, of the instrument, at which time he lowered the action." Quoting, Mr. Brune: "Otherwise, the instrument is in excellent, original condition." The guitar's last visit, to Marshall Brune's establishment, was on April 1, 2016, when the guitar was restrung w/ 815HT strings, buffed, polished & oiling of the machines. "A check of the instrument, for obvious flaws was done ---- None found."

As I stated, in my last posting, our Contreras was "well cared for, throughout the years of our sole ownership." We truly respected and valued it, as a fine instrument and as a work of art.

With appreciation,
play sweet

play sweet
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Re: Manuel Contreras, Sr. 1979 "Double Top" Concert Guitar

Post by play sweet » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:40 am

It seems like forever, since I posted a "note" or two, on the site. However, after reading "rinneby's" nice find, of his beautiful Contreras, I decided to share some info. I collected many years ago, regarding Manuel Contreras, Sr. and his Double Top system. The following material was found on the "Stafford Guitar," Informational, "Manuel Contreras Guitars. Made in Spain," Manuel Contreras II, Staffordguitar.com website, November, 2007.


Manuel Contreras, Sr. (1928-1994), a native of Madrid, Spain, acquired excellent woodworking skills, at a very young age, which led to a budding career as a furniture maker.

His cabinetry skills gained the attention of Jose Ramirez, III, who invited him to apprentice, as a senior journeyman, in 1959. *(It was Contreras, who made the first Jose Ramirez guitar, which Andres Segovia bought, in 1960). Within three years, he developed his craft sufficiently, as an independent guitar maker, resulting in 1962, Contreras setting up his own workshop, in the center of Madrid, at number 80 Calle Mayor.

Almost, from the beginning he earned the reputation as one of the finest, more creative and inventive luthier, in Spain. From the 1970's onward, he experimented with various unconventional designs and techniques.

Of the numerous creations, that came out of this period, perhaps, the best well-known and played was the "Double Top" model. Contreras presented the "Double Top," in 1974, after a number of experiments seeking to improve the tonal palette, increase the volume and the capacity to get the sound out of the guitar body. The most notable feature of this model is it's use of the soundboard material (cedar or spruce) laminated to the interior of the back.

Many accomplished players were enthusiastic with this model, from the onset. The "Double Tops" were used, by the mythical guitarists, members of the notably Romero family. Because, of the great reception this model rapidly received in the professional guitar world, encouraged Contreras to continue with this innovative way of working, far away from the mainstream of classical guitar designs.

Manuel Contreas, Sr. died in 1994.

*(11/2007: "Zavaletas-Guitarras")

Learning, a little about Contreras and his life story, gave me a greater appreciation for his creation. Thanks, for the opportunity to share.

MessyTendon
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Re: Manuel Contreras, Sr. 1979 "Double Top" Concert Guitar

Post by MessyTendon » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:43 pm

Good luck finding a buyer. Don't go to a dealer unless they are going to offer you something close to 25 percent less than full retail. Even full retail is never an easy sell.

I think 5k...should be the target price. 8k maybe if you are really lucky.

play sweet
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Re: Manuel Contreras, Sr. 1979 "Double Top" Concert Guitar

Post by play sweet » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:06 pm

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In 2008, I wanted to learn about our 1979 Contrerea, Sr. Double Top Guitar. I happened to come across this very site and find a fountain of information, about Contreras Guitar Labeling. From this site"s 2008 discussion, I found that our Contreras was handmade by Contreras, himself. What a find!

Thanks, to all of you, I have found my way back.

-play sweet-

The following is the labeling discussion/information, I found in 2008:

M G Contreras Classical Guitar info needed
Post Reply

oldmusicman
M G Contreras Classical Guitar info needed
Postby oldmusicman » Thursday 20 November 2008, 13:56 pm
I have an opportunity to purchase a Contreras classical guitar from a trusted friend who knows less than I do about Spanish guitars. I would have to purchase it without seeing and playing it, but my friend will take plenty of pics and send them to me next week and I can post a few of them here for further help in determining if it's Artisian made or if it was made in the Contreras shop.

I do know that the label says M G Contreras, it's a 1981 model and the price will be a little over $2,000. It has been in his family since it was new and played very little. It has been detuned, in it's case and under the bed for most of it's life.

Is there anything in particular that I need to find out about this guitar, or will there be enough info in the pictures to determine if it's worth this much money? btw, my friend knows steel strings guitars well and can check the neck angle, cracks, and the normal things that one would look for.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you....... oldmusicman

M G Contreras Classical Guitar info needed

oldmusicman
M G Contreras Classical Guitar Re: M G Contreras Classical Guitar info needed

Postby Erik Zurcher » Thursday 20 November 2008, 15:19 pm
Seems like a bargain to me! Just look out for cracks. Manuel Contreras is one the most famous luthiers of Spain. New models cost now from 3650 - 8500 € (Euros) in my country. Does the label inside the guitar mention the model?
























wolfgang
Re: M G Contreras Classical Guitar info needed

Postby wolfgang » Thursday 20 November 2008, 15:45 pm
Here's another related thread which might be of interest for you.
The Whereabouts of my Contreras Guitar

Best wishes
Wolfgang




























oldmusicman
Re: M G Contreras Classical Guitar info needed
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Postby oldmusicman » Thursday 20 November 2008, 17:09 pm
Thanks fellas and that's very helpful. Like I said, I will get pics of the label, etc., next week and I can post them here in this thread.

Wolfgang, that's a good thread that you sent me to and it's mentioned that some of the Contreras guitars are made by Artistas, outside the Contreras shop. I just want to be sure that it's not an inexpensive student model that's worth less than the price quoted.






















Consiliere
Re: M G Contreras Classical Guitar info needed
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Postby Consiliere » Thursday 20 November 2008, 17:28 pm
Check the text above the M. G. Contreras name: If you see "Guitarreria" this means it's an estudio model made by subcontractors of Contreras, if "Luthier" or "Constructor" (on earlier guitars) stands there this means that the instrument was made by an artesan in the Contreras workshop. In the latter case the price is reasonable.
If there is the handsign of Manuel Contreras on the label this means that the guitar is a 1a and was made by the master himself and the price is a real bargain, assuming that the guitar is in an overall good condition since. Their current price on the market is between $5000-7000.
I had a 1981 "Luthier" guitar which I loved because of its very loud, deep and yet warm tone. The only reason why I sold was that I had a chance to buy a 1a from 1971 which beats my Ramirez 1a in every respect.
I suggest you to try it and if you are happy with the tone and the playability then go for it because a Contreras is a good choice anyway.

Good luck for the purchase!




Consiliere
Re: M G Contreras Classical Guitar info needed
Quote
Postby Consiliere » Monday 24 November 2008, 19:05 pm
As this instrument is from 1981 I suppose that however the instrument was made outside of the Contreras workshop it was at least not in a factory in China. I mean with this that the instrument is from a workshop where artesans were manufacturing guitars according to the plans and instructions of Contreras in true luthier manners. Due to my correspondence with Contreras Jr. at that time the final setup was carried out in the Contreras workshop which supposedly means that the quality and features of the guitars were under a strict control. At that time there were not so wide the model range: there were only the 1a, 2a and the estudio. If you take a look at Contreras website you can find a very wide variety of deifferent models and I think most of them has nothing to do with Contreras except the label. Tiny minority of the models and individual instruments see the Contreras workshop and I wonder if Contreras Sr. himself even touches wood at all.

I think an estudio instrument from 1981 is definitely different than a recent estudio, particularly the lower range of this kind, and is worth more than a recent one. If you consider that at that time better quality wood were more plentiful than today and were used even for estudio models then this could be an aspect (besides some other) that can help your decision.



Re: M G Contreras Classical Guitar info needed
Quote
Postby jorpheus » Monday 24 November 2008, 21:26 pm
Hello,

Well, I have a "M G Contreras" Estudio guitar made in 1980. ...

Here are some pictures: http://www.guitareclassiquedelcamp.com/viewtop ... 67&t=14679

It has a very good sound, nice to play. But it is not a master guitar.

The back and sides are laminated wood, first I thought it was massive wood since it is well made and very fine grain. But it is not massive wood.

However the soundboard is excellent, really very fine grained red cedar. The colour is red-orange, like my Taurus made in 1977 (they made student guitars for Ramirez).

The fingerboard is palo santo, as is the bridge, beautiful wood too.

The head shape is very simple, but still nice wood. The neck is very well made. but Inside the guitar one can see that the "spanish heel" did not receive a lot of fine work (it is raw cut)

The overall aspect of the guitar is very nice, especially because of the colour and very fine grain of the top. The tuners are chrome but still very good (after 28 years).

The guitar is surprisingly light.

There are small pearl marks on the 5th, 7th and 9th frets.

I think they probably had really good "estudio" guitars then. I have another more recent student model (M9 from 1998, Contreras II) and also this is better than many "standard guitars", again the top is phantastic, and the guitar is very light.

jorpheus
Re: M G Contreras Classical Guitar info needed
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Postby Consiliere » Tuesday 25 November 2008, 00:52 am
I wasn't careful enough, so I failed to check the label posted by oldmusicman properly. This "Guitarra de Estudio" and the one which is mentioned by jorpheus are the results of the '80s and are lower level things then those which were labelled “Guitarreria".














Re: M G Contreras Classical Guitar info needed
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Postby manguitar » Wednesday 07 December 2011, 02:29 am
hi i bought a contreras, unsigned, from the shop in 1976. I have used it constantly. I think it says guitarreria so I presume it was made in the factory (ill check when i get home).Nevertheless it is an exceptional guitar: brilliant of tone with considerable volume, easy to play. I also own a 1955 barbero which is as smooth as butter and has the classic barbero growl under the bonnet. But the contreras must have been made by a young apprentice who had the touch because it is definitely in the same league.












Re: M G Contreras Classical Guitar info needed
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Postby manguitar » Wednesday 07 December 2011, 03:03 am
on second examination, mine says
"constructor de guitarras
m.g. contreras
calle major 80
Madrid, 1976"

It is definitely not laminated wood and the craftsmanship is excellent.
So is the tone, but I wonder if it was factory made and can we tell by the label?















Re: M G Contreras Classical Guitar info needed
Quote







Hello,

this is the "good " label meaning it was really built at the Contreras workshop. If it is not signed, it is not a "1a" build" by the master, but still a top instrument.

Is it a cedar or a spruce top? If it is spruce, look at the bracing with a lamp, or try with a small mirrow. Some of the 1a Contreras guitars from that period have curved bracing.

Best wishes,

jorpheus
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