What we do

Omar Corrales’ is one of the few luthiers in this hemisphere who learned his craft in the traditional European guild system.  There, instrument construction was taught using entirely hand built methods.  An apprentice is required to do long hours of sawing, planing and sanding, all by hand, and must master these techniques, before he is allowed to cut a joint.   This class of work produces an instrument with a different look and feel.  Factory built instruments, under correct manufacturing protocol, can produce excellent construction, and a smooth, seamless perfection.  While they are often small operations, luthiers producing today’s premium instruments also rely on machine manufacturing technique.

 

Don Omar prefers to use a minimum of machinery.  Having learned the furniture craft myself under a guild trained Austrian, Leo Yonke, I appreciate this approach.  Leo preferred a hand plane to his planer machine, unless the volume was just too large to make it practical.  Even then, he would often pick up the hand plane to finish things off.  He just did not like the look of  machined surfaces, and felt a responsibility to keep the tradition of hand work alive.  After all, if these men do not do it, it will soon be lost forever.

 

Our instruments, then, will have a “hand built” quality to them that has almost no comparison today.  The delicate string rosettes alone, (an impractical machine procedure) are immediate testament to Don Omar’s skills.  There is a certain degree of “imperfection” compared to instruments built with machine protocol.  Do not confuse this with those overseas instrument makers who work by hand from necessity and simply do crude work.  Ours have a unique quality that is hard to define: obviously handmade, but with a refined technique.  The difference is immediately seen, felt and heard.

 

At this point, add to the hand construction two more elements.   First our use of aged woods.  Then second, the old glow of our finish formulae, with the warm resins and centuries old recipes from another era (see the Woods and Finish pages).  The result is that at first glance, one of our instruments appears to be a well preserved relic.  Play it, however, and a different impression immediately takes hold.  We do not build these instruments in standard forms, and we feel our layouts have superior sound possibilities, certainly better than a “relic” would provide (for more details, see the Design Notes page).

 

Our production is limited.  Omar has a waiting list for his concert classical guitars.  Therefore we offer instruments as they are available. We feel with one of our works, you end up with the best of all worlds.  An instrument drawing on tradition, made with the touch of a master’s hand, a soft old patina, but with totally modern design and performance             

 

 

 

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