Construction: Classical Guitar
Top Wood: Spruce
Back and Sides Wood: Madagascar Rosewood
Madera made a special order to the great young Argentina guitar maker Paula Lazzarini with this guitar. Quite a few different parameters and construction systems have been applied to this guitar. The main and most obvious one is that it is an elevated fingerboard guitar in the style made famous by the American guitar maker Thomas Humphrey with what he called his Millennium model. As you can see in the photos, the neck is elevated at the end, creating a much better access to the high notes from the 12th fret onwards.
But we also have other parameters that are different from those that Paula has been making for us in the previous guitars we have had the privilege to own from her. The scale length is 660mm, the frets are tall frets, and the bracing of the guitar is also different, this time Paula uses a 5-struts bracing.
The woods used are also different. For the top spruce and for the back & sides Madagascar rosewood. Unlike the Indian and cedar guitars that she made for us in the past months. Paula’s polish this time is a very nice aged/vintage orange tone giving a special look and beauty to the guitar.
And for the back she made another change which is to include 3 very thin one millimeter bars of very light Balsa wood that according to Paula in contact with the animal glue give rigidity and helps to get a chamber sound effect or added reverberation to the sound that at the same time gives sustain to the notes. You can see these thin Balsa woods bars on the back in the photo of the Lazazarini label. Below the label you can see one of them.
The result has left us impressed as it is a very different guitar to the previous ones with a very beautiful but also different sound that we find powerful with slower attack but at the same time more prolonged and projected sound.
The easy playability is still there as is characteristic of Lazzarini’s guitars but now with the tall frets it is a different feeling as the string never touches the fretboard.
This feeling and technique is explained to us in the video below by myself and also with Paula explaining why the high frets are used and their purpose.
These tall frets provide comfort as the finger effort is minimal to reach the sound of the string. Also according to Lazzarini these frets allow a higher strings height set up for the guitar without affecting much the playability. As we know many guitar makers and classical guitarists (especially professional guitarists) are fond with high strings height setups due to the sound of the guitar tends to be enhanced as the strings rise. And the opposite effect as the strings diminished in height.
But something that I consider more important and interesting is that it partly eliminates the need to play the string in a very right and precise place on the fret in order to produce a nice sound (as I explain in the video below with sound testing), because on normal frets if you put the fingertip of the left hand a little bit further back between the frets we know that you get that dirty distorted sound we don’t like of a note not well played. The higher frets allow the space where you have to put your fingertip to produce the sound to become more spacious and therefore gives you more confidence when playing and is also as we said more comfortable.
I explain all this in the video below and I also talk about why they are only used on classical guitars and never on flamenco guitars.
Another interesting observation about this guitar is the setup Paula Lazzarini makes for the saddle. As you can see in the photos below (after the videos section), in the part where the string touches the bone, the bass part has been tilted downwards, leaving the string to touch only the back of the bone (not the whole bridge bone). But she doesn’t do this, or more precisely, she does it much less with the treble part. Paula does this in order that the tuning of the strings is very precise and the tuning comping that the guitar makers do on the bridge in order to get as precise tuning as possible behaves with extremely precise measures and therefore we have an equally precise intonation on this guitar. The tuning of the guitar is extremely important and not as often as it is believed is ideal on all guitars. It is because parameters and systems used for intonation require knowledge and experience from the guitar maker.
The wood is of very high quality. We can see the medullary rays that can be seen all along the spruce top and also a few bear claws. The Madagascar is also of a great beauty, optimum quality and features just the way Lazzarini likes to achieve the sound she wants in his guitars.
As we have said, she has changed the struts system used by shortening the number of them to 5. This may remind us a lot of the struts system used by the great French guitar maker Dominique Field, but talking to Paula, curiously, she has never wanted to imitate or be influenced by him, but perhaps the search that she always makes towards the sound of the French school that she likes so much has made the paths converge.
A modern guitar with a traditional, dynamic, round and powerful sound that we are pleased to have available for our customers by one of the best and most talented guitar makers of her generation.
Scale Length: 660 mm
Nut Width: 52.5mm
12th Fret Width: 62.5mm
Guitar Length: 995mm
Body Length: 482mm
Body Waist: 240mm
1st Fret. 6th string to 1st string: 44.5mm
12th Fret. 6th string to 1st string: 51.0mm
Bridge. 6th string to 1st string: 57mm
Side Width Upper body: 94mm
Side Width Lower body: 98mm
12th fret to 6th String Height: 4.0mm
12th Fret to 1st String Height: 3.0mm
Tuning Machine: Schaller Grandtune
For this guitar Paula Lazzarini used Pepe Romero Strings model GRNM Classical guitar Set.
Paula Lazzarini was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During her youth, she studied History at the University. She explains here:
“ At a certain point in my career I found a strong interest in objects and artifacts from the past which eventually led me to enroll in a Masters’ Program in Restoration and Conservation at the University of San Martin, Argentina.
My curiosity for woods and musical instruments gradually led me to work, first, in instruments repair and, later on, in making classical guitars, under the direction of Ricardo Louzao, who taught me the art of guitar making as well as the passion to disseminate the Spanish classical guitar.
Since my early years in guitar making, I have always aimed for my own style and sound for my guitars.”
Paula made her first guitar in 2007. In 2016 she moved to Cremona, Italy where she opened her own guitar workshop. During her career, she visited and was influenced by European guitar makers from Italy, Holland, France … with whom she shared her passion for instrument making and restoration.
It is worth mentioning the brief stage he spent with the great master Daniel Friederich in Paris and more recently with guitar maker master Marín Montero in Granada, Spain.
An important moment in her career is the year 2021 when Paula entered the International Guitar-Making Competition in Granada and won the First Prize. It was a key moment for her excellent work and talent to be known all over the world and she started to be commissioned guitars, especially from the USA, China, and Japan.
“Guitar making is a long and dynamic process, whereby I not only transform and reshape the wood, but also my own passion for the instrument takes shape, in a ceaseless search for sound and, eventually, for the object that best represents me in every new guitar.”