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1962 Manuel Velazquez El Clasico Special Vintage Nylon String Classical Guitar w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1962 Manuel Velazquez El Clasico Special vintage nylon string guitar in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. Born in Puerto Rico in 1917, Velazquez built his first guitar at just 12 years old. He would later come to prominence after impressing Andrés Segovia with one of his instruments, surprising the Spanish legend with his young age. Segovia’s iconic 1937 Hermann Hauser was a significant influence on Velazquez, with its balance, sustain, articulation, and warmth acting as the benchmark for his own guitars throughout his life.

The El Clasico Special was, for a time, Velazquez's top-of-the-line offering. This particular example comes from Velazquez’s New York-based production run in the ‘60s, when he was operating a small shop in Brooklyn, and features a two-piece fan-braced spruce top, bookmatched Brazilian rosewood back and sides, and a mahogany neck capped by a thick slab ebony fingerboard.

Tonally, this guitar delivers the balance and sustain for whcih Velazquez instruments are known, with a harmonically complex, full midrange; sweet, singing highs; and a tight, responsive low end. It’s on the warmer end of the spectrum for a spruce-topped guitar, with a bell-like clarity in all registers. The body width at the lower bout is 14 1/2”, and the body depth is 3 3/4”. Weighing just 3lbs, 4oz, this Velazquez has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with normal tension D’Addario strings and optimal classical action.

The mahogany neck has a slender D-shaped profile carve with full, inviting shoulders and faintly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .785” deep at the 1st fret and .925” at the 9th. The thick slab ebony fingerboard retains the stock slender fretwire, with moderate wear beneath the strings on the crowns of frets 1-4. This Velazquez plays cleanly up the 650mm scale, with action measuring 11/64” at the 12th fret on the bass side and 9/64” on the treble side. The stock nut measures 2” in width, and the slotted headstock sports a Brazilian rosewood veneer, with original etched tuners that turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch.

On the body, the Brazilian rosewood bridge sits flush with the spruce top on all edges, and the saddle is essentially at its lowest point of adjustment. String spacing at the bridge measures 57mm (2 1/4”). The body is framed by multi-ply purfling, and the soundhole has an ornate multi-ring rosette. Visible through the soundhole, the original label has M. Velazquez’s signature and dates this guitar to 1962.

The body retains its original gloss finish, highlighting the particularly dynamic cuts of bookmatched Brazilian rosewood chosen for the back and sides. There is a singular professionally-addressed split on the bass-side upper bout on top, paralleling the fretboard extension. Cosmetic wear includes play wear across the strum path, light horizontal finish checking on the back and rims, and a number of scattered minor nicks and dings on the body as a whole. The gloss finish on the neck profile has extensive palm wear behind frets 2-9, giving it a worn-in, almost satin-esque easy-playing feel.

The original hardshell case is included.