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Manuel Gaci Mayoral Flamenco Blanca Guitar Natural, c.1965

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Here we’re looking at a Manuel Gaci Mayoral Flamenco Blanca guitar, built around 1965 in Barcelona, Spain.

Manuel Gaci Mayoral of Barcelona, Spain was considered a leading Flamenco builder in Catalonia during the 1960s and 70s. He taught many of the next generation and was Maestro to such luthiers as Casimiro Gonzalez and Jaume Bosser, among others.

In the 1960s, Mayoral did not date his guitars. Fortunately, it was serviced in the Paris shop of Antonio Ruiz Lopez, Luthier D’art. M. Lopez, a Maestro-Luthier and builder of many fine guitars, always installed his own label in guitars that he serviced. He made longhand notations on the label in the tradition of fine violin luthiers; “Réparé par” (repaired by) at the top of the label and the year 1969 noted at the bottom. This gives us the information needed to estimate the year of construction, as built circa the year 1965.

The repairs done by M. Lopez appear to have been a refret and top crack repairs.
The tone and volume of this Manuel Gaci Mayoral Flamenco Blanca is remarkable: truly one of the fullest, best balanced and loudest flamenco guitars of that era that I have seen.

Construction of the Manuel Gaci Mayoral Flamenco Blanca is traditional: The top is Sitka spruce, and back and sides are cypress-wood. The bracing system involves five fan braces with a major transverse brace at the sound hole. The top is supported at the sides in the typical fashion with individually hand-placed lining blocks. The linings at the back-to-sides joint are modern-style kerfed linings. The neck is Cuban mahogany (also known as ‘Spanish Cedar’) with an ebony fretboard and fitted to the body with a traditional Slipper-Foot heel joint.

The workmanship and joinery by Mayoral is superb and the instrument was finished in Nitrocellulose lacquer, a finish popular throughout Spain in the 50s and 60s. Since those days, sprayed lacquer finishing has been banned within many city limits due to the flammable and explosive materials used, and finishing is now done outside of urban areas.

The guitar has seen some hard use and has a number of repaired top cracks, a minor back crack on the center seam that has been repaired and one large dent in the right-hand side, upper bout. None of these repairs affect the guitar in any structural way. The condition is typical of a guitar that was well-played with numerous minor surface scuffs in the finish — “Beauty Marks” as I prefer to call them.

In May of 2022, we extensively serviced Manuel Gaci Mayoral Flamenco Blanca guitar in our workshop. Three cracks under the Golpéador tap plate and one behind the bridge were closed up, glued and cleated. The Frets were dressed and polished.

Remarkably, for a guitar of this age, the neck-set angle is excellent. I did a 12-hole-tie-block conversion to the bridge to ensure maximum down-bearing at the saddle. Then, carved and fitted a new saddle and action is currently set at standard flamenco at 7/64” treble and 7/64” bass. There is 3.5 mm of saddle proud of the bridge so plenty of scope to lower the action even further if needs be.
This is a superb sounding instrument that is exceptionally comfortable to play. At nearly 60 years old, the woods are stable and settled and I am confident it will still be making wonderful music a century from now.

Grant MacNeill, Flamenco/Classical guitar specialist

Case is an 1970s Japanese hardshell, typical of the early Takamine/Hirade cases. Condition of the case is heavily worn; all clasps, hinges and handle function as they should.


 

Price: $2,950.00 CAD
  • Model: Flamenco Blanca
  • Year: 1965 | Approximate year
  • Finish Amber Gloss
  • Class: Vintage
  • Country of Origin: Spain
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 29/06/2022

  • Consignment Item

  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 2.86lbs 1.3kg
  • Scale Length: 650mm 25.59in
  • Nut Width: 51.05mm 2.01in

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