José Mercado, luthier, any information on him?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
JohnEdwin
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:36 pm
Location: Denton, Texas

José Mercado, luthier, any information on him?

Post by JohnEdwin » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:10 pm

I acquired a 1966 José Mercado classical guitar, ex. Earl Klugh. Solid provenance and I am the fourth owner. The only information I have on José Mercado is from the third owner to me. He said that Mercado was apprenticed to Manuel Velazquez. There are many of the same design features and it is a beautiful SP/BRW guitar with a very deep resonating bases and bright trebles. (My seller's photos attached.) I have no reason to doubt the story of the seller, but I would like to find out more information on this luthier for myself--but I have come up empty handed so far. Does anyone have information on this José Mercado? Thank you.
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John Edwin Snyder, Denton, TX USA (Student)

1966 Mercado ex. Earl Klugh
1971 Ramirez 1a (#4567 JG)
2012 WoodRing
2017 Cervantes Class Lattice IR C
2017 Hanika 58CC

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rinneby
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:52 am
Location: Sweden

Re: José Mercado, luthier, any information on him?

Post by rinneby » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:31 pm

Looks nice. But more importantly, how does it sound and play? :)

/Jon
1965 - Masaru Kono
1996 - Masaru Kohno Maestro

You are the instrument, not the guitar

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petermc61
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: José Mercado, luthier, any information on him?

Post by petermc61 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:53 pm

I have no information but I do note the label is very much Valezquez inspired and Mercado has signed over the writing in the label just like Velazquez did. Both suggest an element of 'copying' Velazquez.

Guther
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Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:20 am
Location: California

Re: José Mercado, luthier, any information on him?

Post by Guther » Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:40 am

Looks great. As Peter mentioned it looks like a copy of a Velazquez down to the label. I've seen the rosette on a Velazquez currently listed at Chris Kamen's shop in Santa Barbara. I'm sure the sound is fantastic. Nice find!
Guther

Guther
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:20 am
Location: California

Re: José Mercado, luthier, any information on him?

Post by Guther » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:51 am

Hello, John. Given the limited amount of information on this luthier, I'd be interested in reading about your thoughts on the instrument. Given the provenance and similarities to a Manuel Velazquez, what are some of your findings?
Guther

Bill
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Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:43 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: José Mercado, luthier, any information on him?

Post by Bill » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:30 am

This guitar has been for sale a couple times in the last year or two. It does indeed look like a very nice guitar. There was another guitar for sale by a different Velazquez apprentice/employee, "Rivera" several years ago. It looked very similar. I can't remember the year, but it was Brazilian and had a different rosette.
In the early 60's Velazquez did have a small production shop in NYC. I think Juan Orozco, Tito Amadei, and a few others built the El Classico, El Classico Special, La Mixta, & El Maestro instruments in that shop. Maybe Mercado and Rivera worked there.

JohnEdwin
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:36 pm
Location: Denton, Texas

Re: José Mercado, luthier, any information on him?

Post by JohnEdwin » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:33 pm

Thank you all for your thoughts on my José Mercado. This guitar is very playable with excellent projection, separation and sustain. The overall tone is on the warmer-fuller side. I have had a variety of string sets on her and find Savarez Alliance Cantiga NT best so far.

The top is highly checked, but it appears to be superficial. I'm not sure how others my feels about such cosmetic issues. For me, it is just part of the life of this 51 year old guitar. (To think I was a junior in high school when she was built!)

I returned to classical guitar a year ago at the age of 67 after a 45 year hiatus. I find it difficult to describe guitar tonality. Much like fine wine, I cannot describe it in the terms of a connoisseur, but I know what I like and what sounds good to me. So this Mercado has been a real delight--and similar to my recollection of the Velazquez (and Papazian) that my teacher had many years ago.

My attempts to hear back from Earl Klugh have not been successful to date.
John Edwin Snyder, Denton, TX USA (Student)

1966 Mercado ex. Earl Klugh
1971 Ramirez 1a (#4567 JG)
2012 WoodRing
2017 Cervantes Class Lattice IR C
2017 Hanika 58CC

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