Manuel De La Chica (1911-1998) is one of the most important guitar builders from Granada up to date. He was a self-taught luthier who studied and reproduced the guitars of Santos Hernandez in the 1930s. He later spent some time in Pepe de la Alhambra’s workshop, who worked with Benito Ferrer, before setting up his workshop. Unfortunately, he had to retire due to a health problem caused by the inhalation of dust and chemicals in 1973.
This 1968 Manuel de la Chica guitar is a zenith of Spanish guitar craftsmanship. Embodying the rich heritage of Spanish luthiery, this guitar is a testament to the talent and mastery of the legendary guitar maker Manuel de la Chica. This fine instrument showcases an exceptional state of preservation, holding a remarkable semblance to its original form despite the years since its creation. A meticulous repair was made to the middle joint of the soundboard, and a thin yet solid layer of spruce has been affixed for enhanced stability, testifying to the careful maintenance it has received. The guitar’s back, and sides are crafted from stunning CITES-certified Brazilian rosewood. The aesthetic allure of this wood, its grain, and its hue contribute a distinct touch of artistry to the instrument. The spruce soundboard is a marvel of structural integrity and acoustic engineering, featuring seven fan braces and an additional short diagonal brace on the lower bout’s treble and bass sides. These reinforcements bolster the instrument’s resilience while influencing its tonal characteristics. Sonically, the guitar boasts a primary body resonance at the F frequency, producing bass notes that are profoundly deep and haunting, enveloping the listener in a captivating auditory experience. The trebles are bright and lively in perfect counterbalance, cutting through with clarity and brilliance. Together, this guitar’s bass and treble ranges create a harmonious interplay of sound that can only be described as music at its purest form. This 1968 Manuel de la Chica guitar encapsulates the epitome of Spanish guitar-making tradition, preserving the artistry, craftsmanship, and tonal excellence that Manuel de la Chica himself championed. An instrument of such caliber is more than just a musical tool—it is a piece of history, a work of art, and a source of inspiration for musicians and aficionados alike.
Watch the presentation video of this particular guitar below, where you will find a lot of additional information about its playability and sound.
|Luthier:||Manuel De La Chica|
|Back and sides:||Brazilian rosewood (CITES-certified)|
|Air body frequency:||F|
|Strings:||Knobloch EDC 34.0|