Manuel Velazquez 1952 Classical "Hauser" Style
Manuel Velazquez was born in Puerto Rico in 1917, beginning his long and notable road to becoming one of New York's most respected guitar makers as a cabinet maker as a boy, eventually building his first guitar at twelve years old. After spending his childhood and adolescence building guitars with the help and tutelage of relatives who were instrument repairmen, he eventually moved to New York City in 1942, where he developed a reputation for an incredible eye for detail and sound, eventually dropping his day job in favor of being a luthier full time, building Hauser style classical guitars at an ever increasing level of quality.
Manuel moved to and from Puerto Rico a number of times for varying reasons, but always building guitars in limited quantity, maybe 15 or 16 a year, and eventually, retiring to Florida, passed on his business to his son. Though retired, Velazquez would often return to the shop to build "a few special orders" to fill constant demand for the maestro's instruments. Velazquez died in 2014, leaving behind a legacy filled with players who rank high on many peoples' list of notables, including names like Paul Simon, Jorge Morel, Rey de la Torre, Harry Belafonte, Ichiro Suzuki, Earl Klugh, Eliot Fisk, Tony Mottola, Al Casamenti, Bucky Pizzareli, to name a few.
This is a gorgeous example from 1952, in great condition, that features an incredible European spruce top, with perfect tight grain, that has aged to perfection with a few nicks and dings here or there, not excessive for a guitar its age.
The back and sides are what many would consider the perfect set of Brazilian rosewood: straight, even grain, with a nice dark figure line splitting the center. This particular set of Brazilian has tone that fits its reputation: powerful yet honest, complex but without confusion. The finish on the back and sides has noticeable texture issues, but it is only cosmetic, and does not affect the sound or stability at all.
This guitar has a slightly smaller size than a normal Hauser style classical, with a lower bout width of 36cm, and an upper bout width of 27.2cm. The body thickness is a normal depth of 9cm. This guitar is genuinely one of the best classicals we've had in years, with a present, honest sound fit for numerous genres.
This guitar has had a center seam repair, along with a back crack repaired on the bass side upper bout, but it's perfectly stable and the guitar is better than it's been in years. The tuners have been replaced with a budget set sometime in the past, but we'd be glad to discuss replacing them with a higher quality set if needed. Comes with a non original case.