A Dotras Cordoba

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
MarcGordon

Re: A Dotras Cordoba

Post by MarcGordon » Mon May 26, 2014 12:41 am

Is this thread still going? I have 3 of these, mainly because one was my first spanish guitar (well it's actually a flamenco guitar which probably explains some of the strutting options). This one was bought around 1968, from a folk club on Majorca. It was pretty old when I bought it and has had a tough life since with one or two treks around europe.... but all the repairs have held. I haven't spent much effort researching them, but what I believe is the most recent one is more of a standard spanish, and not as good sounding. The 3rd one I have only just got and needs a bit of work before I can really hear what it's like - this one looks like a half-way house between flamenco and spanish.

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George Crocket
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Re: A Dotras Cordoba

Post by George Crocket » Mon May 26, 2014 7:01 am

Hi Marc. Welcome to the forum. Could you please introduce yourself here.
George
2010 Stephen Eden spruce/cocobolo classical guitar
2012 Stephen Eden cedar/IRW classical guitar

sandymaw

Re: A Dotras Cordoba

Post by sandymaw » Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:18 pm

Saturday 14 June 2014.
Re guitar labelled: A Dotras Cordoba Calle San Pablo 28 Barcelona ESPANA.

In 1970 I wanted to learn to play the guitar and one of my flatmates sold me hers and gave me the name and phone number of a tutor local to where we lived in Northwood Hills, Middlesex UK. The guitar had been owned by her and it turns out she was not the first owner so the guitar is definitely over 45 years old.
The guitar is very identifiable to anyone who had seen or used it before because of imperfections in what I shall call the woodwork.
I made an appointment for my first paid lesson and as soon as the tutor saw the guitar he asked me how I came by it. When I explained about my purchase from my flatmate, he became upset. it turns out he had sold my flatmate the guitar himself, when she had some lessons from him and he had asked her to sell it back to him if at any time she no longer wanted it.
He then proceeded to lovingly play the guitar and continued doing so for most of the paid lesson, with me just looking on and not wanting to say that he was supposed to be tutoring me. I booked and paid for a 2nd lesson and the same thing happened again. I never made any further appointments and decided I would have to find another tutor.
Time went by and I never did anything more about lessons. The guitar moved with me to different counties in SE England. It was always in good condition until I lent it to one of my children (at university, in the 1990s) who sheepishly handed it back to me one day explaining it was now in not as good condition. I was saddened that better care had not been taken, and simply put the guitar away in its case and in a cupboard at my home.
I got it out today thinking I would try and sell it and in trying to find info about it went to Google and found your thread. This is the history of my guitar from my secondhand purchase of it to now. I have no idea of its age except that I know it is at least 45 years old.

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George Crocket
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Re: A Dotras Cordoba

Post by George Crocket » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:35 am

Hi Sandymaw. Welcome to the forum.

Your story about your guitar is touching.

Could you please introduce yourself here.
George
2010 Stephen Eden spruce/cocobolo classical guitar
2012 Stephen Eden cedar/IRW classical guitar

Colin Bullock
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Re: A Dotras Cordoba

Post by Colin Bullock » Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:29 pm

Hello sandymaw and welcome to this forum.
By quirk of coincidence, we live about a mile from Northwood, Les who started this thread is not far away in Aylesbury.
You say the instrument is in poor condition, but I assume you think it is worth restoring. Can I ask what the condition problems are?
Regards
Colin

sandymaw

Re: A Dotras Cordoba

Post by sandymaw » Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:39 pm

15 June 2014.
Hello Colin, Thanks for your greeting. I have no expert knowledge of guitars or indeed music but I feel certain that my guitar can be restored. I listed it on e - b a y about 24 hrs ago to see if it is of interest to someone and have so far had a good number of viewings. If it does not sell then I shall have to think about what to do with the item. I included several pictures within the e - b a y listing. Those will probably give you a better idea of the state of my guitar, than I could verbally express.
The e - b a y listing number is: :261506359535

Regards, Sandy

Debs

Re: A Dotras Cordoba

Post by Debs » Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:57 pm

I have one of these guitars which my parents bought for me when I was having guitar lessons when I was 15 years old. It was ordered directly friends m the makers in Spain. These guitars are hand made. I have the original paperwork with mine which tells me it was made in 1979. The pattern around the hole is made with individual pieces of wood and it explains how it was made and how many pieces of wood it took to build. At the time the guitar cost £200 and I have lovingly looked after it throughout the years

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GeoffB
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Re: A Dotras Cordoba

Post by GeoffB » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:59 pm

Hi Debs, welcome to the forum. Could I ask you to introduce yourself here?

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Re: A Dotras Cordoba

Post by MessyTendon » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:06 am

Find a qualified person to make the necessary repairs to the structure of the guitar and then finish it yourself. A hand rubbed shellac finish is not really that difficult to do, you just need to be patient. It takes a few weeks to make look nice.

Yorkshireboy

Re: A Dotras Cordoba

Post by Yorkshireboy » Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:19 pm

I too have an A Dotras Cordoba. I bought it new in 1964 from the Bristol Classical Guitar School where I was taking my first lessons. It came in a wooden crate of 6 guitars directly from Dotras in Spain to the school. The school's idea was to get decent but "inexpensive" student guitars. I helped open it and the instructor (who I think was Julian Bream's father or some other well-known classical guitarist at the time) chose what he thought was the best of the bunch. It cost 9 English pounds which was a week's income for me at the time. I was a biochemistry undergraduate at Bristol University. I still have the guitar and it has a thin crack from the bridge down to the butt end. Otherwise it is in good nick with a little wear on the soundboard when I used it with a pick (a mistake). I recently compared it to my approximately 15 year old, $3,000 CF Martin-Thomas Humphrey on some simple classical pieces. As you might expect from the difference in prices the Martin-Thomas was overall clearly better. However, the Dortras had a richer sound for singly thumb runs of the bottom two strings and was certainly still a nice play in the other registers. The fret board width seems perfect for the size of the guitar.

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GeoffB
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Re: A Dotras Cordoba

Post by GeoffB » Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:18 pm

Hello Yorkshireboy, welcome to the forum. Could I ask you to introduce yourself here?

Geoff
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Mitchell26

Re: A Dotras Cordoba

Post by Mitchell26 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:16 pm

Hello,

My name is Mitchell and i'm an 18 year old self taught guitarist From Birmingham UK. I decided to learn the guitar when i heard The smiths for the first time, when i was 15. i then asked my mom for a guitar and then she got me a acoustic guitar for my next birthday. As an inexperienced player i put Flamenco strings on my acoustic guitar and i loved the feel and sound, so i started to look for a Flamenco/Classical guitar on e - b a y. One caught my eye which was only 35 pound and it wasn't too far away. It's a A.Dotras Cordoba - Calle San Pablo 28 Barcelona. the surface of the wood was very dirty and beat up but with some wood oil it came up quite nice. The family who i got it off said they didn't really know much about the guitar. All they told me was it was their fathers, and he brought it back from a trip to Spain. They were also we kind enough to email me a picture of their father playing the guitar, which appears to be sometime in the 70's. I've looked around on the internet and not really found much information on the guitar, i don't how old the guitar is but it still plays nice. One thing i have notice is the pictures other people post of their guitars don't have pick guards and mine dose. just thought i would share my story.

Mitchell
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GeoffB
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Re: A Dotras Cordoba

Post by GeoffB » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:04 pm

Hi Mitchell, welcome to the forum. Could I ask you to introduce yourself here?

Geoff
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GreatGuitars
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Re: A Dotras Cordoba

Post by GreatGuitars » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:46 am

It is funny to see that this thread allready started 10 years ago. Not that I'm replying
to the first post but I just want to add information though I have my questions as
well. I recently bought an old Antonio Dotras Cordoba on a household auction. Though
it was a bit beaten up the vital elements were good and the sound was allready quite
promising. To be honest I am quite spoiled having various concert guitars but I think
as an older man you still can remember seeing the first guitars in shops you weren't
able to buy by then. That's also one of the reasons I bought it. And for 15 Euro's you
can't go that wrong!

It is a modest guitar with concentric circles around the soundhole, a black stained
fingerboard (Why??? The wood underneath is of good quality and dense enough for this
purpose.) It missed one tuning key and had a too high action.

To start with that problem I'm allways flattening out the fingerboard and shave it
a bit more towards the head. In fact the most simple trick to get a sort of a neck reset.
The copper frets had to be replaced anyway. The soundboard is equipped with a
3 piece fan bracing. No bridge plate and individual blocks to glue it to the sides.
The kind of wood used for this guitarpuzzled me a bit but it could be mahogany or
possibly walnut.

A Spanish inner heel is a kind of proof that it wasn't the cheapest model. And then
you allways want to know how old it is. As A.Dotras Cordoba worked in the years
1957-58 in Calle San Pablo 28 one would expect it to be from that period but there
are too many guitars with that specific label to believe that. They used it for several
years afterwards is my expectation! I found three different labels with the adress
Calle San Pablo 28 !

As with new strings this guitar was sounding remarkably good I decided to proceed.
Stripping the whole guitar was a next thing to do. And then tapping the bridge and
the soundboard to listen to its' resonancy. You can't simply shave the soundboard as
you are weakening the construction but what makes a huge difference is to thin the
soundboard along the edges of the lower bout. The soundboard then has the ability
to act as a membrane. Also a slightly bigger size fret wire installed will improve the
sound of an instrument and of course the right angle the strings are making over the
bridge bone. Change the plastic one, although older Spanish guitars tend to have
bone mounted. A securely made new topnut enhances easy of playing as will do the
reshaping of the neck and that's no problem once stripped.

This guitar sounds brilliant - lots' of volume - very even balanced - and with a real
personal flavour on the higher notes. The relacquering took place in about 8 layers
of sprayed Alkyd lacquer and yes, I know, I have to learn the French polish method.
But that's for my next project.

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