I just discovered that a guitar of mine is for sale on eBay. It’s the first time one’s been offered this way and I’m very interested to see how it performs. My guess is that someone will get a bargain. Buying on eBay has to be by name and reputation and as a very small scale individual maker I won’t score as highly as would be the case if you were there in person comparing this instrument with others. I’m sure this can work in the other direction. Even the best, biggest and most expensive makers occasionally turn out duds. Paying the going rate just by the name on the headstock without being able to try an instrument must be risky. I’ve never done it.
I made this particular guitar in 2005 in the Lewes workshop of Pablo Requena. It’s the only full on classical concert guitar I’ve made. It’s made of top class materials with a particularly fine (and expensive) set of tuning machines by Alessi. The spruce front was chosen more for sound than for appearance – my experience is that spruce that is perfectly even in grain and colour, the stuff that gets top grade from the dealers, isn’t necessarily the best sounding. The finish is French polish, not ideal if you want a guitar to take down to the pub but generally felt to be the best choice for tone and beauty. Sound is always a hard thing to put into words but this guitar has a very big, well balanced voice, it fully deserves the “concert” tag. Last time I saw it it was in good used condition and the photos on eBay certainly look exactly as I remember it.
Making an instrument in another luthier’s workshop is a very good way to learn and although you can’t expect to learn everything about how an expert maker works repeating the process certainly adds up to more than the sum of the parts. One thing I was determined to do for this instrument was get my head round the making of a traditional Spanish rosette – I was very pleased with the result.
Whoever ends up owning this guitar I’ll always be happy to see it, hear how it’s getting on and carry out any setups or minor fixes free of charge just as I would if they’d bought it from me personally. As I’ve said elsewhere, seeing and hearing how instruments develop over the years is part of learning about them.