Gerardo Centonze, born in 1986 in Taranto, Italy, is a distinguished luthier known for his exceptional craftsmanship in guitar making. Initially self-taught, his formal journey in lutherie began in 2013 at the Civic School of Lutherie in Milan, where he mastered the construction techniques of various plucked instruments. In 2017, Centonze’s dedication and skill were recognized with a Master Luthier diploma. He further honed his craft under the guidance of Maestro Mirko Borghino, focusing on archtop and acoustic guitars. Returning to Milan in 2018, Centonze deepened his expertise in classical guitar making during a significant tenure in Maestro Lorenzo Lippi’s workshop. This period marked not only a refinement of his technique but also the establishment of his own workshop in Milan, where he began creating classical guitars and restoring vintage instruments. His work gained notable recognition at the Rome Expo Guitar (REG) in 2021 and 2022, and in 2023, he was awarded the 3rd prize at the “VI Marin Montero guitar building competition.” Centonze’s building philosophy, heavily influenced by the great Spanish school, is characterized by meticulous attention to detail and a contemporary aesthetic sensibility. His commitment to traditional craftsmanship is evident in his use of French polishing for all his instruments, showcasing a perfect blend of classical techniques and modern design.
Gerardo’s approach to guitar building is a harmonious fusion of traditional Spanish design with hints of contemporary French craftsmanship, resulting in an instrument that is both structurally sound and tonally exquisite. His philosophy is evident in every aspect of the guitar, from its internal bracing to its choice of tonewoods.
The soundboard, crafted from spruce, is a classic choice known for its clear, articulate sound, with a brightness that matures beautifully over time. Supporting this soundboard are seven fan braces, a traditional Spanish technique that ensures stability and optimal sound distribution. The unique design where the outer two braces pass through openings in the lower harmonic bar is a thoughtful addition, enhancing the guitar’s resonance.
In the upper bout, the addition of four more braces, fanning away from the heel, further exemplifies Gerardo’s commitment to structural integrity and tonal enhancement. The extension of the heel right up to the soundhole is another distinctive feature, adding support beneath the fingerboard and contributing to the guitar’s overall robustness.
In a nod to contemporary French lutherie, the guitar’s sides are reinforced with cypress braces. This reinforcement not only contributes to the instrument’s durability but also plays a crucial role in directing the vibrations predominantly towards the soundboard. This construction results in a sound that is thick, rich, and full – qualities that are highly sought after by guitarists for their depth and expressiveness.
Moreover, the guitar’s focused and directional sound production lends itself to excellent projection. This makes it suitable for performances in a variety of venues, from intimate settings to larger concert halls.
The back and sides, made from Madagascar rosewood, not only add to the guitar’s aesthetic appeal with their fine grain and rich coloration but also contribute to the instrument’s sound quality. Madagascar rosewood is known for its deep, resonant basses and clear, bright trebles, complementing the spruce top perfectly.
It’s an award-winning instrument that impresses both visually and sonically, a testament to Gerardo’s dedication to the art and science of guitar making.
|Back and sides:||Madagascar rosewood|
|Air body frequency:||F#/G|
|Strings:||Knobloch EDC 34.0|