Santos Hernandez (Madrid, 1873-1943) started an apprenticeship very early in Valentin Viudes’s workshop and then moved to Rafael Ortega’s workshop. After moving to a few other workshops and serving as a soldier for Spain, he eventually took over Enrique Garcia’s position in Manuel Ramirez’s workshop in 1905. His involvement in the building of Andrés Segovia’s famous 1912 Manuel Ramirez sealed his reputation as an extraordinary luthier. He opened his first own workshop in 1921 after having worked for Manuel Ramirez’s widow along with Domingo Esteso.
Marcelino Lopez Nieto (1931-2018) was one of the most emblematic Madrilenian guitar makers of the second half of the twentieth century. He was a talented guitarist and studied guitar playing with Daniel Fortea for five years. In 1949, he opened his first workshop at the young age of only 18, shortly after he had completed his apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker. Later he worked in the renowned workshop of Hernandez y Aguado. Marcelino Lopez Nieto dedicated his life to art and the guitar and left a great mark in the history of Spanish guitar making.
This fascinating instrument is one of the few known guitars made by Marcelino Lopez Nieto using parts from legendary original instruments. Elements of a Santos Hernandez guitar that was probably in need of restoration at the time were used for the construction. The shapes, timbers, and make of the neck, the label, and as well as the back and sides indicate that these very likely originate from an original 1922 Santos Hernandez. As a second label inside the body with the inscription “Reconstruida, Marcelino Lopez Nieto, 1979” testifies, the guitar was refurbished by Lopez Nieto in the late 1970s. The excellent condition of the spruce top suggests that it was renewed by Marcellino Lopez Nieto.
The sound of this instrument is fantastic. It has a lovely warm and rich tone, with a long sustain and excellent balance. The delightful old-world timbre is complemented by amazing dynamic possibilities and lots of resonance. In short, this guitar has not only a very interesting history but also the characteristics of an excellent guitar.
|Luthiers:||Santos Hernandez / Marcelino Lopez Nieto|
|Back and sides:||Brazilian rosewood (Pre-CITES)|
|Air resonance frequency::||G#|