"What's best" is always a personal decision, but if I had to describe it, I'd say that the best flamenco guitar, whether it's a traditional "blanca" or a modern "negra", would need to possess a sound that's clearly evocative of Southern Spain. It would also need to be finely handcrafted from master-grade woods and perfectly set-up for the demanding techniques of the flamenco guitarist.
As a guitarmaker who is dedicated to the design and construction of custom-made "concert-quality" flamenco guitars, I create a limited number of instruments each year and the photographs in this online collection represent some of what I consider to be my "best flamenco guitars".
If you are interested in having a guitar custom-made to suit your requirements, I'm always pleased to discuss your preferences and make recommendations for an instrument — that's uniquely yours.
Daniel Turner Flamenco Guitarmaker
A limited-edition pair of concert-quality flamenco guitars has been designed to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the birth of flamenco. Each pair includes an acoustically powerful "negra" guitar (Super Negra) built with exotic Macassar ebony and a Port Orford cedar soundboard, and a beautiful "blanca" constructed with premium Spanish cypress and a master-grade European spruce soundboard. Both guitars have custom-made Rodgers or Alessi tuning machines, guitar-matched cejillas (capos), and hand-inlaid purflings that compliment the luthier's signature rosette.
Listen while you browse ... Spanish Guitar Radio features some of today's best flamenco guitar players, including Paco de Lucia, Vicente Amigo, Gerardo Núñez, Pepe Habichuela, Tomatito, and Paco Peña.
Click on the animated icon to view a short presentation of four special custom-made flamenco guitars.
Sixteen photographs from the gallery of images (above) have been combined into a Screensaver that can be installed on any computer running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. The process of downloading and installing a screensaver is relatively quick and easy, but if you are not familiar with it, you may find the "Download and Installation Guide" helpful.
A cellular telephone ring tone, created especially for flamenco guitar enthusiasts, can be downloaded from this website. The ring tone, which will work on any mobile telephone that supports MP3 sound files (most new ones do), can also be sent directly to your mobile phone (or to your computer) by e-Mail. If you would prefer to receive the ring tone by e-Mail, you can request it by using the e-Mail form above.
The Super Negra, designed and handcrafted by Daniel Turner, is a next-generation flamenco guitar born with an inspiring sound and a work-of-art appearance. Whether it's created from exotic Macassar ebony, snakewood, ziricote, or East African blackwood, a Super Negra has power, brilliance, clarity, and exceptional dynamic range.
Benjamin Woods has developed an impressive international reputation as a talented composer, band leader, Flamenco artist and accompanist with a rich understanding of the authentic and deeply complex forms found in Flamenco guitar music.
Custom-made guitar prices vary depending on the final specification of each instrument. To obtain the exact price of a custom-made flamenco guitar, based on your own particular requirements, contact the guitarmaker at: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a luthier, Daniel Turner is known internationally for his custom-designed and exquisitely handmade flamenco guitars. The instruments he creates are frequently constructed from beautiful exotic woods, which he also utilizes to make handcrafted capos (cejillas). Each capo is "custom-made" and is based on a traditional Spanish design that has its origins in the 18th century.
The "tightening peg" and the center part of each capo (capodastro) are shaped from Madagascar ebony and the sides, depending on the requirements of the "guitarrista", can be made from a wide selection of exotic woods, including :
East Indian Rosewood
This is the luthier's personal "concert-quality" version of a traditional "blanca" Flamenco guitar. The back and sides of this model are constructed with Spanish cypress, curly maple, or quilted maple (as shown here), and the soundboard is made from master-grade European or Engelmann spruce.
Although it has the visual stylings of a traditional "blanca", this guitar includes all the luthier's structural innovations that are an important and universal part of these fine instruments, including a unique method of lining, doming, and bracing the soundboard. After each "Blanca" is constructed, the complete guitar is French polished to enhance and maximize its acoustic qualities and preserve its long-term value.
The flaming Hawaiian koa that is used to build this guitar gives the instrument a stunning appearance and a acoustic profile that lies between that of a "blanca" and a "negra" flamenco guitar. By modifying the set-up and strings, this instrument can be used to project a clean, well-sustained, balanced tone that works well when playing a classical repertoire ... or it can be easily re-configured for a Southern Spanish sound and feel for the traditional flamenco guitarist.
To complement the Hawaiian koa ... Brazilian, Madagascar, or Cocobolo rosewood is used for the bindings along the edges of the guitar. The soundboard is usually made from bear-clawed Sitka or creamy-white alpine spruce. The Oro is a versatile instrument that works equally well in an acoustic setting or when amplified with its optional internal wireless pickup system.
The seductive acoustical characteristics of this instrument can be attributed primarily to its beautiful rosewood back and sides. The Cacao model is constructed with Brazilian, Siam, Cocobolo (as shown here), East Indian, or Madagascar rosewood ... usually matched with a "master-grade" European or Engelmann spruce soundboard. As an alternative, the top can be made with a "chocolate" cedar for a more mellow, lyrical, percussive sound.
The bridge, bindings, and head veneer often match the rosewood of the back and sides. As with all of the luthier's models, the Cacao is finished completely by a traditional technique called "French polishing" ... and in the case of this particular model, the finishing is often done with a dark shellac to bring out the contrast in the naturally attractive grain of the rosewood.
The Ébano model (Super Negra) was designed for maximum acoustic projection with a dynamic tonal range that allows the instrument to be used in a broad spectrum of musical styles ... from Flamenco and Jazz, to Classical and Latin. Its acoustic strength comes, in part, from the use of the finest Port Orford cedar on the soundboard and a selection of dense woods for the back and sides.
Although the Ébano’s back and sides are most frequently constructed with Macassar ebony, this model is also available with back and sides of African blackwood, ziricote (as shown here), snakewood, or Asian ebony. As an alternative to the Port Orford cedar top, the soundboard can be made from European spruce, which gives the instrument a slightly more sophisticated (although less bright) sound that may be an attractive option if it is to be used primarily for recording.
Interested in the exotic woods that are used by the guitarmaker to create his custom-made flamenco guitars ? Click here to see images of some of the back and side woods he currently has in his workshop, including Hawaiian koa, ziricote, Mexican cocobolo, Brazilian rosewood, Monterey cypress, quilted maple, bubinga, and Tasmanian tigerwood.
The Spanish Guitar Seminar, which is held in Santa Barbara, California once every 2 years, is a very unique two-day event for classical and flamenco guitarists, fine instrument collectors, guitar aficionados and connoisseurs ... in other words, for anyone that has a passionate interest in the Spanish guitar. (Who should attend ?)
The Seminar focuses primarily on the hands-on evaluation and appraisal of high-quality, collectable, and historic instruments. The next Seminar begins on the morning of Saturday, July 19th, 2014 and concludes the following evening. Attendance is limited to 25 participants. Register online at the Seminar's website.
All Seminar activities are held at the Hotel Oceana, a charming Spanish-style beachfront hotel in the heart of Santa Barbara, a city that is located on the Pacific coastline about 90 miles north-west of Los Angeles.
Throughout the "flamencoguitarmaker" website you will find detailed information about the individually handcrafted guitars Daniel Turner builds for players, fine instrument collectors, and flamenco aficionados around the world. If you are interested in having a very unique flamenco guitar made to your own specifications, the "Custom" page will help you evaluate all the available options.
"Cocobolo Classic" ... An exquisite trio of flamenco 'negra' guitars, created from the same cocobolo tree by luthier Daniel Turner, which have inspired an equally exquisite poem by Brazilian writer and poet JE Beni Bologna.
The Spanish Guitar Seminar, which is held in Santa Barbara, California once every two years, is a very unique and informative two-day program for Flamenco and Classical guitar enthusiasts and collectors.
For Sale : Handcrafted flamenco guitars. Although most of the instruments that the guitarmaker creates are custom-made based on individual orders, he does build a few special flamenco guitars every year that are available for sale through this website. (in English, Spanish, French)
Handcrafted custom-made Spanish guitar capos (cejillas) by guitarmaker, Daniel Turner. These unique capos are based on a design that dates from the 18th century and can be made from any one of 27 different exotic woods. (in English, Spanish, French, German)