Spain’s Handmade Guitars

Photos by Francisco Seco

Spanish flamenco guitars are known for their lightness, rich wood colors and full-bodied, crisp musical tones.

Within this world, guitars made over the past century by luthiers of the Conde family in Madrid are among the most revered, with orders coming in from as far away as the United States and Japan.

World-renowned musicians like the late Paco de Lucia and Leonard Cohen have enjoyed guitars made by members of the Conde family, as have Al Di Meola, David Byrne and Lenny Kravitz.

Carrying on the family tradition is Mariano Conde, who operates out of his workshop in downtown Madrid where he and his son, also called Mariano, build their hand-made, individually sounding, classical and flamenco guitars.

Conde says it can take between four and seven months to produce an instrument that costs up to 20,000 euros ($21,300). The guitars are made using pine, cedar, ebony, cypress and palo santo wood, and can contain up to 150 hand-crafted pieces.

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Text from the AP news story, AP PHOTOS: Famed Conde guitars still handmade in Madrid


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