Construction: Classical Guitar
Top Wood: Cedar
Back and Sides Wood: CSA Rosewood
Granada guitar maker José Vigil seeks excellence in his work through the execution of the smallest detail as perfectly as possible.
Jose Vigil knows that it is in the details that the difference lies. And in the ability to see those details and make them conscious.
In fact, those of us who have some experience in the world of guitar making know that any detail, no matter how small it may seem, influences the final result. Something that for any mortal is insignificant for a guitar maker who makes guitars of this quality, is not.
Jose Vigil for me represents that guitar maker who pays attention to absolutely everything. From the initial treatment of the woods, he is going to use to the most exhaustive humidity controls, to the taking of measurements in the smallest detail that he knows will lead him to make a guitar of exquisite quality… A guitar that when the owner receives it there is only a great admiration as a response. Impressive. How a craftsman has been able to make something with such mastery?
You only have to look at the photos of his guitar head, purfling, bridge, and so on… on Jose Vigil’s guitar to be somewhat amazed at the level close to perfection. Check the accuracy of the rosette. If you find any mistake that José has made in making those very tiny mosaics, please let me know. 😛 I have not been able to see it.
Well, that “close to perfection” in aesthetics doesn’t make any sense in a guitar if the most important thing, the sound, is not also a very high-quality one. And it is.
Vigil makes a modern classical guitar but with profound traditional roots. Both in sound and aesthetics. It is one of the most beautiful sounds you can find now in Spain through guitar makers.
The quality of the materials is exceptional. He selects them in a very impressive way as he discards hundreds of tops that he doesn’t like in order to keep only a very excellent group of guitar tops (cedar or spruce) that meet his very high standards and what a high-quality top has to be for him.
His sound is powerful as modern guitars are required for big concerts hall, and it also has depth and personality. It is warm when you want it warm. It can be bright when you want and you play it to be bright. It has such a wide range of possibilities.
And it is a palpable sound. You feel the sound intensively, it has presence. You play his guitar in a good acoustic room and it fills the room intensively with all its richness of sound. It seems the sound is coming from all directions.
We have been enjoying Jose Vigil’s guitars already for a long time and every year we like them more and more. He is for us in Madera Guitarras definitely one of our favorite guitar makers.
Scale Length: 650 mm
Nut Width: 52.0mm
12th Fret Width: 61.75mm
Guitar Length: 986mm
Body Length: 482mm
1st Fret. 6th string to 1st string: 42.55mm
12th Fret. 6th string to 1st string: 48.65mm
Bridge. 6th string to 1st string: 56.10mm
Side Width Upper body: 95mm
Side Width Lower body: 98mm
12th fret to 6th String Height: 3.8mm
12th Fret to 1st String Height: 2.8mm
Tuning Machine: Schaller GrandTune
José Vigil was born in Avilés, Spain.
He visited Granada in 2005 and made contact with Granada guitar-makers for the first time. He returned two years later in 2007, this time to settle there and learn the craft. Little by little he gathered the material, tools, and patterns he needed to set up his workshop. He made his first guitar that year with the knowledge he could glean from books and short visits to different makers. These days José builds around ten guitars a year. He says his guitar-building took a great leap forward when he moved to the city center and became friendly with Antonio Marín, who taught him the assembly methods used in Granada.
Antonio Marín Montero even invited him to bring his work to his workshop and advised him how best to proceed. It gives a clear idea of the human dimension of this great guitar maker master and person from Granada. Cause not only did that with Vigil but he did the same with so many other young guitar makers during his whole life.
José Vigil is adamant that it is a great privilege to be able to learn guitar-making in Granada from maestros with decades of experience, who have themselves learned from previous great masters. He maintains that there are processes and methods in Granada that cannot be learned in books or from teachers who have studied in lutherie schools.
“I can think of two different moments I feel when my guitar-making took a turn for the better. The first time was when I got in touch with professional guitar makers. First I tried to learn by my own. I felt I was trying to study a language reading and studying a dictionary.
And then I met some guitar makers in Granada and especially Antonio Marín Montero and José Marín Plazuelo and when I started to visit them and see them working and they explain to me the fundamentals of guitar making in Granada… it was like… learning a language traveling to the country and living in a country and spend the time there. Then you realize how much you didn’t know and how much you were doing wrong.
The second is when I started measuring more and more things about the tops I used. Up until that moment I look to the top I flex it, I thickness it, and flex it again with my hands and try to feel it, tap it… Then I started measuring; flexibility, densities, frequencies … I am not letting that part guide me on which top I am using but I am trying to complement what I thought a good top was with actual facts and actual measurements about that top. And that’s been very interesting”