Construction: Classical Guitar
Top Wood: Spruce
Back and Sides Wood: Flame Maple
I could talk a lot about Pablo Requena because besides being today one of the great guitar makers in Spain, he was my teacher for a month, Monday to Friday, when I had the privilege to take his prestigious guitar-making course in Málaga. So I know him in depth both as a person and in his work.
Pablo Requena became well known on the internet for his great youtube channel where he teaches how to make different parts and processes of classical guitar construction. He was perhaps one of the first classical guitar makers (if not the first one) to make his work and lessons known widely in a rigorous, precise and very practical way. Helping countless guitar makers all over the world to build their guitars.
One of the things you learned in his Málaga Workshop course is how to make the different works and parts of the guitar with the utmost precision and straightforwardness. It was spectacular to see how many tools Pablo himself had created to use during his guitar-making processes. Always made these tools with that sort of Requena’s thinking and approach -the greatest precision with the greatest possible straightforward simplicity-. In a display of inventiveness and the ability to mentally draw himself the tool is necessary to make the difficult easy.
And that’s how it all ran its course. Making the “difficult easy”. It seemed that the work of making a guitar, which is in fact so so complex, seemed “easy” with him as a teacher and guiding you and using those tools he suggested. We have videos in @MaderaGuitarras youtube channel and in @MaderaGuitarras Instagram playlist ‘Making my First Guitar” where you can see part of his guitar-making method.
And we can transfer this to his work and his guitars. Less is more. Precision. Straightforwardness. Hard Work and Practise. Experience. Talent. Imagination. Methodology.
While, as he spoke to us, respecting the modern work of today’s guitar makers using modern materials such as carbon fiber, Pablo’s approach is traditional. Mostly employing methods of his admired Hauser I guitar maker including the use of Hauser fan bracing system. Which in turn is a copy of Antonio de Torres with slight variations such as the reinforcement under the bridge.
Requena’s plantilla (template) was devised by him after several years of experimentation and variation. For once established he realised on one occasion when he had a Manuel Reyes guitar to restore that it was identical to that of this great Spanish master.
This particular guitar is made of outstanding quality maple full of flames (see photos) so hard to find nowadays and so expensive too, and spruce top. It has a very very sweet warm sound typical of maple wood properties.
Fantastic sound capabilities and colour palette. Good projection and great playability. Balance I must say is also excellent.
As always in Pablo’s guitars we find a guitar with a general body frequency set between F# and G. This last fact is of relatively great importance for maestro Requena who considers that the best historic guitars he has had the pleasure to play and study were set in this frequency as he mentioned that on the below video interview.
Aesthetically you can see the great talent and work that Pablo brings to his guitars with great taste, exquisiteness, and again precision.
In our opinion, this is one of the best value-for-money guitars on the Spanish guitar makers market you can get today.
Scale Length: 650 mm
Nut Width: 52mm
12th Fret Width: 63mm
Guitar Length: 985mm
Body Length: 480mm
1st Fret. 6th string to 1st string: 43.5mm
12th Fret. 6th string to 1st string: 50.0mm
Bridge. 6th string to 1st string: 58mm
Side Width Upper body: 99mm
Side Width Lower body: 101mm
12th fret to 6th String Height: 4.0mm
12th Fret to 1st String Height: 3.0mm
Guitar Weight: 1337g
Tuning Machine: Perona
In his own words:
“I was born in Málaga, Spain and moved to Sussex in the UK to learn English in 1997 where I started my career as a guitar maker. (Pablo lived in England for 20 years and moved back to live in Málaga in 2017)
I had always been interested in the guitar as an instrument, from the range of music it produces to the way it is constructed. My passion, right from the start had been to find out how the old masters constructed their guitars, what made them so special and what techniques they would have used to implement their ideas.
Often I use tools like routers and bandsaws etc, but I really enjoy the making process when I can do things with my hands, even if it takes a bit longer. Attention to detail is very important to me as it reflects the high standards that I am trying to achieve with my instruments.
Over time I have been very fortunate to repair and restore instruments from great makers like Torres, Hauser, Santos Hernández, Ramírez and many others which have greatly influenced my work.
I build my guitars with the player in mind and my aim is to find a way to build an instrument so that the first reaction from the player is “Wow!”. The two main things that I focus on as a maker are the beauty of the tone and the playability. “