Sedgwick
Torres 11 String Copy This instrument today is considered to be a nylon or classical harp guitar because it has a number of strings that are not on the fingerboard. I made this  copy of the Torres SE83 back in 1999, although I chose to use different woods. I used the measurements in José L Romanillos' book 'Antonio de Torres,  Guitar Maker, His Life and Work'. It is a beautiful sounding instrument. The tuning of this instrument I found in a book was CFDGB, EAdgbe. I would  suggest finding your own tuning. The four strings that lay off the fingerboard can be plucked by the left thumb.   History: There was a small, dedicated group of eleven stringed guitar players in the last half of the 19th century in Andalusia, Spain. These players included  José Martinez Toboso, Juan Parga, José Rojo Cid and blind guitarist Antonio Jiménes Manjón (1866-1919, some people write Antonio Gimenez Manjón).  James Westbrook of 'The Guitar Museum' found a review of a concert Manjón gave in England in 1888. The article says that he played on a 9-string guitar.  Manjón's music for the eleven-stringed guitar was published by Romero y Fernández in two volumes called 'Escuela de la Guitarra'. Finefretted.com sells  some of Manjón's sheet music as well as other composers of multi-stringed guitars such as Mertz and Coste. I don't know if the music is arranged for these  kinds of instrument or adapted for 6-string.   With my interest in harp guitars I came across Torres's work from the wonderful book 'Antonio de Torres, Guitar  Maker, His Life and Work' written by José L Romanillos. This book gives an excellent description of Torres's  instruments and his work. José also gives some details to the restoration he did on the Torres 'SE83' eleven string.  These special guitars were said to be his interpretation of the Germanic bass-guitar (Kontra guitare). Although  Torres had seven strings on the fingerboard and the other four lay off the fingerboard. Antonio de Torres (1817-92)  made many guitars and 88 of them are listed in the book. It is not a complete list and hopefully a few others will  come to light in the future.  The earliest known surviving eleven string is Torres's 'SE 07', which was made in 1876 and was owned by José  Martinez Toboso. The 'SE' stands for the 'Second Epoch' of Torres's life of guitar making. In this era he numbered  his instruments. The 'SE 07' guitar was inherited by Maria Terol, who unfortunately had it converted from eleven  strings to six strings by Marcelo Barbero in 1945. The guitar has cypress wood back and sides, which is normally  associated with flamenco guitars. The best reason for using cypress is that it is not as heavy as rosewood and that it  was a local wood and so cheaper than rosewood, which had to be imported. This guitar has a three-piece spruce  soundboard. There is a photo of Toboso playing the eleven stringed guitar in Romanillos's book. It is hard to tell from  the photo but it can look as if the there were eight strings on the fingerboard.  Probably the first classical guitar duo to make a concert tour of America was formed by Práxedes Gil-Orozco and  José Martinez Toboso, personal friends of Francisco Tarrega. There is a photo taken of the pair of them in January  1889 in Valencia. In the photo are two eleven string guitars that were commissioned from the famous luthier Antonio  de Torres. From Valencia there was a three week journey to Venezuela. From Venezuela they went to San Juan de  Puerto Rico, to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Port au Prince in Haiti to arrive in Havana on the island  of Cuba. From there they went to New Orleans in the USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay  and Argentina. In 1890 Toboso returned to Spain and Orozco stayed in Brazil where he remained until 1907  developing a brilliant career as a concert performer, entrepreneur and journalist.  Guitar 'SE 71' was made in 1884 and was once owned by José Rojo Cid. In an article from 'American Lutherie Number 33', luthier Richard E Bruné talks  about its history and the restoration he made on this guitar. It is said that José Rojo Cid studied with Juan Parga, and Juan Parga knew Antonio Jiménes  Manjon. It is also said that Manjon owned two eleven stringed guitars by Torres. It seems that José Rojo Cid obtained one of these eleven stringed guitars.  The strutting in this guitar is different from Torres's normal fan bracing. The two outer struts on either side of the fan bracing continue under arches in the  lower harmonic bar/cross strut. This was to give the soundboard more freedom of movement and so more responsive to the lower frequencies of the five  bass strings. This guitar had been repaired by Marcelino Lopez Nieto and then by Bruné in 1993.  Guitar 'SE 83' was made in 1885 and this has locust wood for its back and sides, it is the only guitar to have used locust wood. Romanillos repaired this  particular guitar in 1981. He also gives measurements for this instrument, which I used for this eleven stringed classical guitar. There are also plans for the  instrument on the Internet. The SE 83 also appears in the book 'La Guitarra Española, The Spanish Guitar', which was published for an exhibition at the  Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, USA. You can see a picture of this instrument, which is now in Paris in the Musée de la Musique. To see photos of the SE 83 see bottom of the page.  Guitar 'SE 101' was made in 1886 and has found it's way to Buenos Aires. This could be the instrument that once  belonged to Práxedes Gil-Orozco. It has a German spruce soundboard with Cypress back and sides. There are  some good photos on the web site but unfortunately it states there are a number of cracks in the soundboard, back  and sides. The neck was also broken at some stage. The case for the instrument is original. The headstock and  bridge are in the style of Manuel Domínguez. My personal guess is that Orozco's Torres instrument may have been  badly damaged and at some point it was modified/repaired by Manuel Domínguez. Who later went on to make a  number of similar multi string classical harp guitars.  Emilio Bo was a concert guitarist who studied with Carlos Garcia Tolsa and was also a student of Antonio Jiménez  Manjon. Emilio at some point moved from Spain to Argentina and in 1916 he had a son called César Antonio Bo  Puente. César also took up the guitar and was considered a child prodigy by the age of eleven. He became  successful performing solo pieces and duos with his father in public and on the radio. There is rare photo of a  young César playing an eleven stringed classical, a clear continuation of the Manjon school of guitar. A CD of  César's music can be purchased at Fine Fretted String Instruments. A number of otherf11-string classical guitars  have come out of the woodwork in Argentina, most probably due to some influence of Emilio Bo and Práxedes Gil-  Orozco. Instruments from Manue Domínguez 1920 as well as Breyer 1910, Manuel Gil and Francisco Nuñez 1910.  Picture 67 and 70 in the book 'Ivan Padovec 1800-1873 and his time' show a Vincente Arias and a Manuel  Domínguez 11-string classical with 8 strings on the neck and 3 floating.  Carlos Garcia Tolsa ( 1858-1905 ) was the nephew of Manjón and was taught by Julian Arcas. To the right there is a picture  of Tolsa holding an 11-string guitar, made by Francisco Nuñez c1895. Randy Osborne of Fine Fretted Instruments  demonstrate the instrument.  It is also known that Andrés Segovia's (1893-1987) original Ramirez guitar that was given to him by Manuel Ramirez de  Galarreta (1864-1916) was once an eleven stringed classical before being converted. The well known story behind this  instrument is once again linked to Antonio Jiménes Manjón. I have seen this instrument myself in the Metropolitan Museum in  New York and I also have the plans for the instrument. You can see the conversion where the peg holes were plugged and  then the head stock was then re-shaped. The 12th fret slot is also cut all the way through suggesting the original soundboard  was replaced. The slipper heel inside the body is the width of a 7-string neck.  Musée de la Musique: I have tried a number of times to get a direct link to the photos of the SE83 in the Paris Museum, but it  does not seem to work. To see the photos click on the link above which will take you to their photo library. In the first box  labeled 'par mots-clés' type in 'Torres',. In the box below type in the number of the photo you wish to see and then click the  button 'Valider'. If you just type in Torres you will see their small collection of Torres guitars. To see... The front- 19176, The  back- 19177, Side profile- 19178, Heel profile- 19179, The label inside- 19180, a nice photo of the SE83 with another Torres-  15152.  YouTube videos Radmila Besic with an 11-string classical guitar that was built and tuned in the way Antonio Jiménez Manjón played his instrument. The instrument  she plays was made by Curt Claus Voigt. Bach's Prelude BWV1008, played on a 1920s Manuel Dominguez eleven string.  Tomas Estevan 11-string from around 1895 Montevideo played by Randy Osborne of Fine Fretted Instruments.  Carlos Garcia Tolsa original instrument played by Randy Osborne of Fine Fretted Instruments.  11 16 13 Francisco Nuñez c1895 11-string played by Professor Kenneth Andrade.  11 16 13 Tomas Estevan c1895 11-string played by Professor Kenneth Andrade.  11-strings for For Sale  Francisco Nuñez c1895 at Fine Fretted Instruments  Tomas Estevan c1895 at Fine Fretted Instruments  The owner of this rare 1890 11-string guitar made by Vicente Arias (1840-1913) to the right, is interested in exchanging   it  for a Antonio de Torres or Marcelo Barbero guitar.  The guitarist Raphaella Smits talks about her 1899 8-string Arias guitar and there is also some good information about Airas  on the page as well. She has also recorded a CD with a number of pieces by Antonio Jimenez Manjon, played on her Vicente  Arias 8-string. You can find a couple of Arias guitars on the web. Most seem to be in collection, there is one here in England in  the Granary Guitar Collection. 
Soundboard: Western Red Cedar  Back & Sides: Honduras Rosewood  Neck: Cedar  Fingerboard: Ebony  Bridge: Ebony  Rosette: Custom  Bindings: Ebony  Finish: French polish  Tuners: Rosewood pegs  Nut and Saddle: Bone  Nut width: 70mm (2.75")  Scale length: 650mm (25.59")  Body width: 380mm (15")  Body depth: 110mm (4.3")  Body length: 484mm (19") 
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© Copyright 2003-2021 Stephen Sedgwick
Torres 11 String Copy This instrument today is considered to be a nylon or classical harp guitar  because it has a number of strings that are not on the fingerboard. I  made this copy of the Torres SE83 back in 1999, although I chose to use  different woods. I used the measurements in José L Romanillos' book  'Antonio de Torres, Guitar Maker, His Life and Work'. It is a beautiful  sounding instrument. The tuning of this instrument I found in a book was  CFDGB, EAdgbe. I would suggest finding your own tuning. The four  strings that lay off the fingerboard can be plucked by the left thumb. A  copy of this instrument would costs £2750 with a Cedar neck, Indian  Rosewood back and sides, a European spruce soundboard and French  polished. Please inquire for alternative woods and options.
Soundboard: Western Red Cedar Back & Sides: Honduras Rosewood  Neck: Cedar  Fingerboard: Ebony Bridge: Ebony  Rosette: Custom  Bindings: Ebony  Finish: French polish  Tuners: Rosewood pegs Nut and Saddle: Bone  Nut width: 70mm (2.75")  Scale length: 650mm (25.59")  Body width: 380mm (15")  Body depth: 110mm (4.3")  Body length: 484mm (19") 
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