This is a 1964 Manuel Velazquez "E3
Estrella” classical guitar, serial #A 64 0038. This is NOT a
signed guitar, it is my understanding that it comes from his
shop in Puerto Rico, made while he was there on a government program,
built by him and a handful of workers under his watch between '61 and
'64, I believe.
It has a spruce top with nice
bear-claw, like many of Velazquez's guitars. The back and sides are
solid rosewood, I cannot tell what type, it's awfully light for
Brazilian if that's what it is; my guess is E. Indian.
The instrument is in solid condition,
but has been handled somewhat roughly. There are many finish
scratches and dings, many denting the wood, but nothing I would call
severe. It has clearly been played with a pick at some point, and
there is considerable marking around the sound hole. All of the
joints and structure seem sound. I cannot see that there have ever
been any cracks/repairs. There is a bit of fret wear. The original
tuners were removed and replaced with Gilbert individual machines. I
have the originals and will send them along. They seem to be in good
shape except that the barrels upon which the strings wrap are coming
apart. The action is perhaps a bit high, I measure the sixth string
as 5/32” at the 12th fret. The scale is 650mm.
This guitar sounds lovely. It is full
and balanced. Strong basses that are clear and don't interfere with
the trebles, which are very clear and have marvellous separation. It
is a rather light instrument, and I find that it sounds best with lighter
tension strings. The neck is quite thin but appears straight and
solid and is very comfortable. I mention that the action seems a tad high mainly because the
saddle is already quite low and there is not much downward
compensation available there. I have not noticed any change in the
geometry during the 10+ years I've had it.
I will include what I believe is
probably the original hard case. It is in very poor shape
cosmetically speaking, but is still solid.
I am ready to sell this for a fair
price, but confess I'm not sure what that is. I propose $3,000. Let
me know what you think!