“My objective is to make guitars that are both modern and traditional.
Modern in handling, easy and immediate in the sound emission, providing balance and support in all ranges (even high ranges) as well as volume and sound power, allowing fast and extended dynamic changes.
Traditional in its intimate and poetic voice, soothing, deep and clear. Traditional in its adaptability, allowing shades of timbre and variations from clear and cristal to profound and warm.
To do this, I use a combination of traditional and modern techniques. Traditional by applying fan bracing and Spanish style neck joint.
Modern in the innovative materials used in the composite assembly of the soundboard (doubletop).
I have always sought to understand the physics behind sound production. In addition to touching, tapping and bending the wood, I use acoustical measurement techniques such as modal analysis and frequency response functions.
This approach guarantees an acoustic result in my instruments that is constant. “
In 2001 he won third prize at the 5th International Guitar Making Competition of Baveno. He has restored and developed several original historical instruments including Guadagnini, Panormo, Pascual, Galan, Gallinotti, Fleta, Romanillos, Monch …. He took-over various dimensional measurements of important historical instruments, including Torres, Hauser, Bouchet, Fleta …. He constantly participate in major guitar festivals, holding seminars and conferences on technical and organological guitar features. Its goal is to produce high quality guitars, from both acoustically and aesthetically point of view, instruments that communicate elegance, refinement and acoustic harmony, into a unique modern style and in compliance with the very best tradition. The all production is made by hand, in the guitar-making workshop in Lecco.
My classical guitar is the result of a careful design, inspired by a selection of the most important authors of the 800, 900 century and contemporaries, resulting in a modern instrument in the respect of the tradition.
Modern in handling, easy and immediate in the issue, in balance and support in all registers (including the high register), as well as for volume and power in the sound, which allows fast and extended dynamic changes.
Traditional in its intimate and poetic voice, sweet and warm, deep, clear and clean. Traditional in ductility which allows shades of timbre and varied from light to full bodied round brilliant, with elegant and clean treble, and well defined deep bass.
These are very balanced instruments, both between the different registers, (even in the more acute one, up the 12th key) both in the polyphony, between two or more voices, well-defined and distinguishable by them. Other recognized features are the volume and the power of the sound, sought to allow dynamic changes from “piano” or “pianissimo” to “strong” or “very strong”. Much attention is given to the quality of sound produced by the variation of the force, which always produces a pure voice, not forced, leaving unaltered the tonal characteristics.
The sustain is great in all registers, especially in the high register where is inhevitabily weak. To achieve this, great care is required, very long time needed, and careful selection of raw materials.
The tonewood used in my guitars are aged 15 to 50 years. I use Italian spruce from Val di Fiemme, Swiss and German, a selection of high quality Canadian Cedar, Rosewood from South of India and Ceylon island, now a rare stock of Honduras mahogany and a very rare lot of Rosewood Brazilian 50 years aged. The woods are stored in an optimal level of temperature and humidity constantly inspected.
This is not a line production : I begin and complete one or two instruments at a time. Everything starts with the preparation of selected woods both in quality and in the seasoning. Before being used, each material is checked from elasticity, specific gravity, and tenacity side. Particular attention on the study of the soundboard: type of cut and fiber continuity. For example, the spruce wood is just a cross-section, since it keeps the whole fiber and significantly enhances the mechanical and acoustic characteristics ensuring an excellent stability. Wood is a discontinuous and unstable material: with the experience and feeling you can feel and understand his proper use. Every single piece of wood is beaten, listened, examinated. There is special attention to the produced sound, which must be warm, clear, consistent and extended. After this very serious test, the wood is considered only if all parameters fully meet with the expectations and the practical test is convincing. Once selected, the material is subjected to a first processing. After this stage the wood is left a couple of weeks to rest for acclimatization and bedding. In the next step I make the assembly, I spend a lot of time and necessary care in this sensitive stage to achieve the best level in the project. Care and skill with which a guitar is put together, largely determine the success. I think the recepy to make a successful instrument is determined by a 1/3 of the project, 1/3 by the selected material and 1/3 of the care and precision in gluing, assembly and finishing. With the finishing touch, the guitar gets that fine cut, clean and elegant that is given by the attention of the details. In this stage the aesthetic approaches and general overview of the instrument is studied. Even the next stage of the finish is done by hand. For the soundboard I use only fine natural shellac applied with the manual technique of French polish using a rubbing pad. For the back, sides and neck I use a mixture of shellac and nitrocellulose. The varnish used have fundamental aesthetic and acoustic qualities: in fact, for their light weight and texture, respond very well acoustically and aesthetically better express the inherent beauty of wood without covering the natural appearance. The final tuning is done very carefully, defining the action and the right intonation of the instrument. In this phase, the guitar gets those details that determine the best handling.
The sound quality of a guitar depends particularly on the fan bracing used under the soundboard. The first examples of thin strips of wood supporting the bridge glued inside the soundboard appeared towards the end of the 1700’s in the SANGUINO guitars, with only had three bars, and then progressively evolved in number, layout and shape in the models of BENEDICT, PAGÉS, MUNOA and PANORMO. In the 1850’s, the evolution of the fan bracing was completed with the TORRES instrument which presented the 7 fan bracing, we all know.
The advantages of using this structure are surprising: it allows you to have a harmonic table less than 2 mm thick and is half the weight, while maintaining the same flexibility and resistance of a 5 mm thick soundboard.
This lightness helps the spontaneity and the vivacity in the emission of notes and allows a better definition of sounds.
Today I use the NOMEX in the lower lobe of the soundboard of my guitars applying the same concept:
in fact, this material allows an extremely effective bond to the soundboard, increasing its flexibility and resistance both longitudinally and transversally, allowing a considerable reduction in thickness and further expanding the characteristics made possible by subtlety and lightness.