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1964 Manuel Velazquez "Estrella"

Posted By Dan Caraway, Thursday, September 20, 2012

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!

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Tags:  Estrella  guitar for sale  Velazquez 

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