Tomas Estevan 11-string Guitar
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Some years back, a small cache of South American guitars was discovered,
purchased and brought to the States. I eventually wound up with two
11-strings, including this one which I acquired from Randy Osborne of Fine
Fretted String Instruments. You can see and hear it being demonstrated by
a colleague of Randyís on this extended YouTube
video. Sounds pretty nice, doesnít it?
bass string guitars of Spanish influence were commonly played by the
community of virtuoso guitarists that settled in Buenos Aires, Argentina
and Montevideo, Uruguay in the late 1800's. Surviving instruments
are exceedingly uncommon, especially (obviously) in the States.
havenít discovered anything on Estevan, but I do love his slightly
ďfolkĒ aesthetic. Itís a delightful and unique small-bodied
nylon-string guitar, being just 11-1/4Ē wide, but 5-1/4Ē deep!
(4-1/2" deep at the neck) Upper bout is 8-5/8" wide, scale is
25-1/4" and total length is 38-1/2".
guessing cedar for the top. Back, sides and headplate are Brazilian
rosewood; the back is quite nice, the other pieces are fairly
non-descript. Mahogany neck and some unknown light speckled local wood for
the fingerboard. Wood and pearl embellishments.
photos show the condition pretty well. The center back repair is open and
there are some loose back braces. I havenít addressed it, and for all I
know it was like that during the above video. The rest - a bit of side
damage and the top cracks and bracing are stable. It plays incredibly easy
as well, though one must of course deal with eleven friction tuners.
Current stringing (by FFSI) as in the video, though various performer
tunings were used and are possible. It has a padded soft case.
in all, an extremely rare and charming piece of South American harp guitar
and Spanish guitar history!
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