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Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding your instrument, repairs, any instruments we have for sale, ordering an instrument, or any instrument you wish to sell.

800 Greenwood St
Evanston, IL, 60201
United States

847-864-7730

I began making guitars in 1966 in Dayton Ohio, where I worked out of my house. From 1968-1970 I lived in Mexico City, returning during the summers to build instruments at the Dayton location. 

During this time I was studying Anthropology and playing flamenco guitar professionally in various troupes in Mexico and around the U.S. In 1972 I moved to Chicago and worked briefly out of the back of a music store before moving to my present location in 1973. 

At that point I gave up any pretensions of being a professional guitarist and dedicated myself full time to lutherie.

 


My 800 Greenwood Street shop has undergone several renovations and changes over the years, the most recent being the 1995 massive renovation I did of the outside and inside of the building. 

As a result, my building is now climate controlled throughout the entire 4,000 square feet, and it has now acquired a nicer facade, with more interior showroom space than was previously available. 

Consequently, we are better able to serve those who prefer to visit the shop to select an instrument from our extensive inventory, which is housed in glass fronted rosewood cabinets. Being able to play many instruments side by side is very helpful in making a final selection, and we have full repair/restoration facilities on the premises for minor action adjustments to major restorations of valuable collector instruments.

1973 M. Contreras

1973 Manuel Contreras (Spain) 656 mm scale, 51 mm nut spruce top, Spanish cypress sides and back, original catalyzed urethane varnish, original rosewood friction tuning pegs.  The frets were replaced by the Bruné workshop several years ago and are like new.  This is the late Manuel Contreras Sr’s best signed 1a flamenco model.  Manuel (1928-1994) began his career in the shop of José Ramírez III, and was part of the original group of Ramírez craftsmen responsible for perfecting the design of the iconic Ramírez 1a.  Manuel left the shop in 1962 to begin his own shop, and went on to be highly productive and well respected with patronage by all the great players of his era.  This splendid example of his personal work is exceptionally well preserved, the only repairs being a small heel crack and a short hairline back crack, both now all but invisible.  The original varnish shows almost no playing or handling wear, and the action is perfect, low but not to the point of buzzing.  The sound is full and solid, with “in your face” projection.  The balance is perfect and this would be a perfect instrument for the virtuoso soloist, as the focus and definition of the notes is uniform and very controllable, without wild notes or blank areas on the fretboard.  Many notable flamenco soloists have used contreras guitars, particularly Juan Serrano who has recorded several albums on Contreras instruments.  $6,000