Juan Estruch is one of the venerable luthiers in Spain. Well known among the musicians are the guitars like this one from the “yellow label” period.
These guitars have a deep and rich sound and are appreciated by musicians and collectors alike.
They are also known through Chet Atkins. When asked shortly before his death which of his hundreds of guitars he most preferred, he unhesitatingly chose his 1964 Juan Estruch. In fact, this was the guitar that Atkins played daily and on which he made many of his “basement recordings” that were found after his death.
This guitar is a very rare and special 8-string version – built in the same style as the famous Jose Ramirez 8/10-string guitars.
These kind of guitars were popularized over the years by host of great players including Narciso Yepes, Vincenzo Macaluso, José Tomás and Goran Sollscher, the 10 and 8-stringed guitar has proven to be a versatile instrument. Particularly for performing repertoire that does not quite “fit” on the range of a normal six-string guitar.
Baroque lute music – most populary Bach and Weiss – requires most 6 string players to transpose bass notes up or down an octave in places that break the original musical flow intended by the composer. The 8-string guitar resolves many such inconveniences, and also makes it possible to perform arrangements of larger pieces originally written for the piano and orchestral settings.
The tone of this Estruch 8-string guitar has that essential warm, mysterious and moody quality.
The guitar has a great dynamic range. Each note is very intense, with the overtones closely packed in a solid and well defined key note. This gives an almost cathedral-like echo effect of the sound, which radiates from the body and gives the instrument an enormous presence – both behind the instrument from the playing position and at a distance from the listener’s perspective.
The scale length is 650 mm and the nut width 65 mm. The top is made of spruce, back and sides of Indian rosewood.
The condition is good. It has the usual wear from play and use. A luthier has also professionally fixed 2 cracks. The repair was very well done.
The guitar is now well adjusted and plays easily up and down the neck.
An excellent example of a fine 8-string guitar for either collector or concert player.