What would you possibly question, if I tell you about Spanish Guitar Company making Spanish guitars with Spanish craftsmen and founded by Spanish luthier? Yeah, this is a real deal. The history of Rodríguez guitars is as rich as the wood from which they are crafted. Manuel Rodríguez — grandson of flamenco guitarist Manuel Rodriguez Perez Marequi and son of classical luthier Manuel Rodríguez Perez — learned the art of constructing a guitar firsthand. His apprenticeship began at the age of 13 in Madrid, where he also began exporting his finely crafted instruments to France, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. Fast forward to 1959, Manuel Sr. opened a shop Los Angeles, making classical guitars for a myriad of professional players, teachers, students, and even the Hollywood elite. He and his son moved back to Madrid in 1973 where Rodríguez guitars have been designed and built ever since. His son, Manuel Jr, continues on with the family tradition of crafting exquisite instruments with the fire and passion he learned from his heritage. Using only the finest tonewoods and expert craftsmanship, Manuel Rodríguez develops distinctive guitars fit for the world’s preeminent artists. Each instrument is as unique and individual as the musicians who play them. Embodying the skills he learned as an apprentice to the master luthiers of Spain, Manuel Jr. ensures each guitar is a work of art to be treasured for generations.
“If that which cannot be repeated is art, then our guitars are also an artistic instrument. It is even more so when each artist constructs his guitar by creating exclusive ornamentation, using precious and unique woods, creating a mosaic, which distinguishes this soundhole from all the other soundholes. It is like a feather; a purfling that will never be repeated as far as color, thickness and taste are concern. We are therefore talking about an art piece that has a life of its own, produces elegant sound, and provides the guitarist with their own one-of-a-kind instrument to express their musical skill and harmonic knowledge. It is held in the hands and close to the body; it is an art piece of precious natural materials built to the luthier’s taste and woodworking skills; it is your trade, personality, and dignity in doing a good job.” — Manuel Rodríguez Jr.
Let me present Caballero 11 or Gentleman 11(Caballero in English).
Featuring a carefully chosen, solid Canadian cedar top and laminated bubinga back and sides, the Caballero 11 classical guitar is a beauty to behold and play. The headstock and fretboard are made of Indian rosewood. Nickel-plated tuners and Silver-plated frets are installed to last a lifetime. The body binding and wood rosette is exquisite.
The Rodriguez Guitar is hand crafted and glued to create precise balances. From the invisible careful sanding, even inside the body, that ensures the finished instrument's purity of tone, to the beautifully unique rosette inlays around the soundhole and on the back of the neck, each guitar is a credit to its luthier and worthy of being handed down from one generation to another.
The tone, resonance and beauty of fine guitars are all dependent upon the wood from which they are made. The wood used in the construction of Rodriguez guitars is carefully chosen and aged to guarantee the highest quality. No wood is purchased before the tree has been cut down, and at least 2 years must elapse before the tree is turned into lumber. The wood has to be well cut from the log. The grain must be close and absolutely vertical.
The Rodriguez Caballero 11 guitar features a multi-coloured wood rosette, as exquisite as the sounds that issue from it. Their intricacy and beauty signify the attention to detail that characterizes every Rodriguez guitar. This classical guitar has a look that can only be provided by Bubinga, as natural finish. With a top made of Cedar, the most impressive feature of this piece is its back side finish, a natural deep brown. For C11 model, all Bubinga back and sides are mated to a solid cedar top for a rich tone with a roundness and warmth seldom found on instruments in this price range. The beautiful figuring of the Bubinga adds to the overall aesthetics. A mahogany neck combined with the rosewood fingerboard will make sure the neck stays straight and true, and the wood rosette and binding will ensure great looks accompany your incredible sound. These woods give the instrument a rarely seen colour, because it is not commonly used.
How about if we discuss more about its tone woods?
Woods such as Bubinga are used by custom guitar-makers, but don’t feature highly in mass-production guitars. These are mostly hard, dense woods with distinctive grain patterns. The colours can be appealing in their natural states, and they are usually used as one ingredient of many in a multi-wood body.
Cedar ranges in colour from honey brown to light chocolate. It has a quickness of sound that exceeds any of the spruces, a higher overtone content, lower fundamental content, and lower stiffness along the grain. Additionally, cedar tops require a significantly shorter break-in period than spruce tops, a phenomenon that a few dealers of new guitars are beginning to pick up on. Cedar has been used extensively by makers of classical guitars. Cedar-topped guitars are characteristically lush, dark-toned, and bursting with flavour. They are often less powerful in projection than their spruce cousins, however, and they tend to lose clarity near the top of their dynamic range. Having enough bottom end is never a problem for a cedar guitar, although preventing the sound from getting muddy sometimes is. Because of its pronounced weakness along the grain, I find cedar to be used to its best advantage in smaller-bodied guitars or with non-scalloped braces.
The second most common guitar-neck wood after maple, mahogany is most often coupled with a solid mahogany or mahogany/maple-topped body. This more porous, open wood doesn’t quite have maple’s hardness, strength, or stability, however, and it isn’t suitable as a fretboard material. Mahogany has a warm, mellow tone with good presence in the lower mids. The mahogany/rosewood pairing contributes to complex highs, thick and creamy lows, and an appealing midrange that isn’t honky or excessively punchy.
All in all this is the perfect guitar for all the classical gentlemen out there, who are looking for an excellent setup to begin their musical journey!