Can't afford an original Torres?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
RobMacKillop
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Re: Can't afford an original Torres?

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:04 am

So you have, Stephen, I'm sure. It's nothing new, but still people can be reminded or introduced to the idea. You and I collaborated on an interesting project into early inexpensive cypress guitars and an early flamenco-guitar tutor [ https://rmclassicalguitar.com/flamenco/ ]. These days I have osteoarthritis in my fingers, so have been selling all my instruments in favour of ones with thin necks, between index and thumb.

Richard Brune's essay would support the notion, of course, that the flamenco guitar, or should we say the guitar for flamenco players in the mid-19th century (whatever that sounded like) was Torres's main guitar, with the classical guitar developing as an offshoot of that, not the other way round. All very interesting.

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CarbonElitist
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Re: Can't afford an original Torres?

Post by CarbonElitist » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:08 pm

Rob, what are you using to record that sound?
"If at first you don't succeed, don't go skydiving."
"When I want expert advice, I look at the comment sections on DIY videos."

RobMacKillop
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Re: Can't afford an original Torres?

Post by RobMacKillop » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:11 pm

A microphone, a hard-disk recorder, and no nails, on gut strings.

chrisb
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Re: Can't afford an original Torres?

Post by chrisb » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:57 am

thanks rob!
sounds great!
chrisb

RobMacKillop
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Re: Can't afford an original Torres?

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:59 pm

Cheers, Chris!

Hank Matallana
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Re: Can't afford an original Torres?

Post by Hank Matallana » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:08 pm

Thank you!
And, I've done the same with my lightly built 60's classical. Built close to the style of what most makers today would call a Negra Flamenco. I quit using hard tension in trying to make it sound better in concert, so I had the action raised in several different areas and installed slightly higher frets. I now use Augustine red classic strings; which is a lot of less tension that Augustine regal blue or one of Hannabach's HT.

And, I've also in the past used gut strings on this particular guitar before the change set up and the voice really changed to a distinguished opera-like voice. I have yet to try gut again on it for I know I'll have to polish the nut, saddle and even the frets. Augustine bases sound great with gut trebbles, at least on this particular guitar. (Better than the expensive wound silk strings.)
Hank
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RobMacKillop
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Re: Can't afford an original Torres?

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:55 pm

Good to hear, Hank. We have a convoy! :-)

Francisco
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Re: Can't afford an original Torres?

Post by Francisco » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:11 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:16 pm
Very different from the double-top guitars I have from Juan Hernandez. All three are very good guitars - my "Luthier" model from Juan Hernandez is in the For Sale section. They are both very modern instruments - I wanted to show what a no-nail technique sounds like with modern construction. But at heart I prefer the traditional sound. This Camps negra has very quickly become my favourite guitar.

I'm not the first one to do the gut on flamenco idea. Check out Carles Trepat - who owns a Torres - playing his 1970s Conde flamenco with gut and silk strings: https://youtu.be/FMj65AIgRWI By the way, his mic costs as much as my guitar...just saying.
Jesus. What a beautiful and beautifully sounding guitar you got there Rob. You are very lucky.

I am not sure if you've seen this interview, but Trepat talked briefly about his Conde guitar during an interview he gave a few years ago when he presented his double CD with the music of López Quiroga. If you listen to what he says, it is not clear that this was considered strictly a “flamenco guitar” at the time when it was built. I suspect that the sharp distinction between flamenco and non-flamenco guitars is a development that occured later. He says the guitar is “almost” more of a flamenco guitar than for the classical repertoire. I have transcribed here his comments during the part when he speaks about his guitar, and then translated them into English below.

Transcription and translation from 8:24 to 10:01

Es una guitarra de Faustino Conde, que trabajaba con su hermano, Conde Hermanos, de los años 70, aunque por el aspecto y por, no solo porque se ve que ha estado muy trabajada, e incluso por guitarristas flamencos, la guitarra es casi más una guitarra flamenca que para el repertorio clásico, pero guarda, esta guitarra, algunas características de un tipo de guitarra del siglo 19, que luego se fue agrandando, y eso para conseguir más sonido, para poder proyectar más, pero en las guitarras flamencas se ha conservado algo del espíritu de Tárrega, más que en nuestras guitarras llamadas clásicas. Esa es mi creencia y con esta guitarra voy a interpretar. Y con la característica de que la toco con las cuerdas de tripa, y de seda en los bajos, como se hizo hasta los años 50, que apareció el plástico, el nylon, y nos plastificó la guitarra. Es un poco estar encima del instrumento, quiere una esclavitud mayor todavía el tocar con este tipo de cuerdas, del que ya requiere el dominio de un instrumento por sí. No sé si vamos a volver a ver como habitual la tripa y la seda en nuestra música.

This is a guitar by Faustino Conde who worked with his brother, Conde Hermanos, from the 1970s. Although by its looks -- and not only because you can see it has been pretty well worked over, even by flamenco guitarists –- the guitar is almost more of a flamenco guitar than for the classical repertoire, but it retains, this guitar, some characteristics of a certain kind of 19th century guitar, which then started to grow in size in order to produce a bigger sound, get more projection, but the flamenco guitars have retained something of the spirit of Tárrega, more so than our so-called classical guitars. That’s my belief, and it is with this guitar that I am going to play, with the added detail that I play it with gut strings, and silk on the basses, as was done until the 1950s, when plastic, nylon, made its appearance and plastified the guitar for us. It takes a bit more of being on top of the instrument, playing with these kinds of strings requires an even more dedicated slaving than what is already demanded by the mastery of the instrument per se. I don’t know if we will ever see again the use of gut and silk as something habitual in our music.

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Can't afford an original Torres?

Post by RobMacKillop » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:28 pm

I was wondering what he was saying in that video, so, many thanks Francisco, for the translation. I agree with him, of course :)

printer2
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Re: Can't afford an original Torres?

Post by printer2 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:38 pm

I am disappointed in the talking, I really liked the tune.
Fred

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Julian Ward
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Re: Can't afford an original Torres?

Post by Julian Ward » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:31 pm

Very interesting.... I dug out a video of me playing a very lightly built cypress wood flamenco which was set up as a classical with 4mm action at the 12th. This sound is kind of similar, even though the strings are nylon. Flamencos like this have extremely 'deep' overtones to the bases because of the delicate, thin build and the mid tones are very strong. The lack of sustain (in this guitar) is very apparent in the higher trebles and you can definitely hear that on this recording. Like has been said, this guitar is very, very easy to play even set up as a classical. I sold it to a student.
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John higgon
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Re: Can't afford an original Torres?

Post by John higgon » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:46 pm

Of the half dozen or so guitars that I have made, the best was definitely the lightest - back and sides were around 1.5mm. It had a nice tone, but the back cracked as I was planing it down... (Btw, when I say a nice tone, I'm not comparing it to a Torres :lol: )

RobMacKillop
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Re: Can't afford an original Torres?

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:14 pm

I'm loving a cheaper flamenco I got from Camps, the Primera-A, which weighs only 1.250kg.

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