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1989 Manuel Velazquez Vintage Nylon String Classical Guitar, Spruce & Rosewood


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Up for sale, a 1989 Manuel Velazquez classical guitar in excellent condition and in perfect working order. 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. This particular example follows the tonewood parameters of that iconic guitar, with a two-piece fan-braced spruce top, rosewood back and sides, and a mahogany neck capped by a thick slab ebony fingerboard.

Tonally, this guitar delivers the ample sustain and ideal balance between voices for which Velazquez instruments are known. It’s dynamic and highly responsive, with excellent projection and a big, tight low end that really opens up with authoritative strumming. The broad midrange has inherent warmth, and like the best Spanish guitars, the tone has a touch of darkness and a rich treble response with a pristine bell-like quality This Velazquez weighs just 3lbs 8oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with normal tension D’Addario strings and optimal classical action.

The mahogany neck has a full-feeling D-shaped profile carve with round, inviting shoulders and faintly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .870” deep at the 1st fret and .999” at the 9th. The thick slab ebony fretboard retains the flawless stock slender fretwire. This Velazquez plays cleanly up the straight neck, with action measuring 12/64” at the 12th fret on the bass side and 9/64” on the treble side. The scale length is a full 650mm, and the hand-carved bone nut measures 52mm (2”) in width. The slotted headstock sports a dark rosewood veneer, and the engraved brass tuners turn smoothly and hold pitch well. The G-string tuning peg is slightly angled, yet stable and entirely functional.

On the body, the rosewood bridge sits flush with the spruce top on all edges, with plenty of height left at the saddle for future adjustment. String spacing at the bridge is 57mm, the lower bout body width is 14 1/2”, and the body depth is 3 7/8”. The body is framed by multi-ply rosewood binding, and the soundhole has an ornate multi-ring rosette. The original label is visible through the soundhole, featuring Manuel Velazquez’s signature and dating the instrument to 1989.

Well-kept and crack free, cosmetic wear on the finish includes a number of pinhead-sized dings on the top at the upper bout, some scuffing along the strum path, and a handful of microscopic marks and faint scratches on the body as a whole. The semi-gloss finish on the neck profile has an easy-playing, worn-in feel, with a smattering of microscopic nicks on the shoulders behind frets 6-8 that have no impact on playability.

A hardshell case is included.