Dear Maestro Gustavo,
Please forgive my lack of communication since you shipped my requinto. It did not arrive quite as DHL promised -- by Monday November 22nd. For some unexplained reason it sat in Cincinnati for 24 hours and did not arrive until Tuesday the 23rd, by which time we'd had to leave on holiday. But in some ways that was ok, since the case I'd bought for it had to be modified anyway -- I would have worried taking it in the baggage section on the plane ride.
In any case it was there waiting when I got back on the 27th, beautifully and carefully packed, perfect. The craftsmanship is beautiful, the finish impeccable. But the sound ... Dear Gustavo, I spent 4 years in music school at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, studying with Aaron Shearer, and over the years have played several fine guitars. But I have never heard or played a more beautiful instrument. It speaks immediately, clearly, whether whispering in molto tasto or ponticello, or commanding near the sound hole. The 7th string is simply out of this world. The ability to add the lower 5th, for example in the Milan Pavans or Bach, is indescribably thrilling.
I played the opening piece for our church's Christmas Eve celebration the past Friday night -- Lo How a Rose 'eer Blooming -- in an arrangement that goes from whispering piano to maximum forte, and uses all 7 strings, and people who have heard me play that piece many times before on my 6 string all were moved by the beautiful voice of your requinto. It projects better than my 6 string, even with a much smaller box. And while the shorter string length limits the absolute tonal range a touch compared to the larger instrument, it really is very hard to tell.
From the Oribes and Ramirezes I've played, and many others I have heard, I've never heard a better instrument. The fingerboard fits my hand as well as any I've tried. I'm still getting used to 7 strings, but I'm loving the process.
Had I played an instrument like this as a student many many years ago, it's hard not to imagine I would have made music my career instead of my avocation.
I look forward to many many years of enjoyment with this gorgeous guitar, and of many compliments from listeners who are lucky enough to hear it.
These words can only begin to express my thanks.
I am, with deepest gratitude, yours truly,Scott Johnson, PhD