Anthony Gaillard Murray Classical
Sweet, crystalline, focused, charming
Excellent structural condition, Very Good+ condition cosmetically
$3,600 via personal check or Paypal (as ‘gift’), shipping included (CONUS only)
72-hour trial possible if you pay fully insured shipping to return if she’s not for you
Shepherdstown, WV (Washington D.C. metro area)
This 49 year old Tony Murray guitar was heavily played over the years, and sounds absolutely fantastic as a result. It’s not a loud powerhouse by modern standards but, instead, possesses a very charming, sweet, crystalline, bell-like response that is suited for chamber work, a small auditorium, or a more intimate setting rather than a large concert hall.
Murray was one of the first generation of San Francisco Bay area luthiers in the 1960s, along with Gabriel Suza and Warren White, and his work is top notch. Whereas Suza was very much a part-time builder, who built as many Django-inspired jazz boxes as he did classicals, and White’s work was very uneven due to his alcoholism (which led to his death in a homeless camp fire), Murray was a full-time luthier dedicated to classical guitars, with a shop in the Knob Hill neighborhood from 1964-1974. He made excellent lutes as well as guitars, and performed superb repair work. See a brief bio page I put together here:
And the Delcamp thread here:
From its heavy use, the guitar came to me with lots of scratches on the back and some mottled discoloration in the original French polish of shellac finish on the back. Additionally, the front had a few dings and an old crack right along the grain line (see close-up photo) that had been repaired by being glued and cleated.
I had my luthier do a refresh of the entire body in French Polish so, although scratches and some mild splotches of discoloration are still visible, the finish over them is completely smooth and glassy. The front crack is rock solid, and totally smooth to the touch. He also tweaked the action so it plays effortlessly. I managed to add only one small scratch to the front since the repolish.
The Brazilian Rosewood on this guitar is superb, master grade, quarter-sawn, old-growth…the kind we’ll never see again. The German Spruce top is tight grained, perfectly quartered, and has some lovely cross-grain silking (medullary rays). The guitar is all original, and the tuning machines work just fine.
If you want an enchanting, historically interesting, and increasingly rare guitar that also sounds fabulous, then this is it. The last one on the market—a 1967 Brazilian, also with a repaired top crack—was sold by Dean Kamei at Guitar Solo San Francisco a couple of years ago for $4,750. Grab this one for much less.
The pictured hard-shell German-made case is included, which has a permanently attached fabric weather cover.
Circumstances are such that I’m commuting 3 hours each way daily to DC to work for the foreseeable future. As I result I simply don’t have time to play this guitar, which is one of the best I have ever heard, which is why I kept it out of the 80 or so guitars that have passed through my hands over the decades…
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