Leftovers

Category: guitar world

Wandrè: vita, chitarre e opere.

Complicatissimo raccontare con la necessaria dovizia di particolari chi sia stato davvero Antonio Vandrè (Wandrè) Pioli, oltre ad essere operazione probabilmente inutile.
Le notizie in rete abbondano e i contorni della figura – come spesso succede per buona parte delle icone pop – sfociano spesso nel mito.

Il sempre ottimo portale Fetish Guitars dedica un’intera sezione all’artista–liutaio di Cavriago, rimandando anche ad un articolo di inizio 2014 pubblicato qui dall’Huffington Post.

Da par mio, mi limito a pubblicare qui una piccola galleria di foto che scattai durante la mia visita alla bellissima mostra ‘Wandrè… 10 anni dopo’ tenutasi ad aprile 2014 presso l’ex Mobilificio Musiari di Cavriago, durante la quale ho avuto il piacere e l’onore di conoscere personalmente l’appassionatissimo e disponibilissimo Marco Ballestri, biografo extraordinaire e studioso dell’opera di Wandrè, a cui ha anche dedicato l’edizione di un meraviglioso volume pubblicato da Anniversary Books e acquistabile proprio sul sito dell’editore.

Imprescindibile per chiunque voglia approfondire adeguatamente la conoscenza dell’opera di una delle più rivoluzionarie figure della liuteria moderna.

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Per la cronaca: per chi non avesse avuto l’occasione di visitarla, su YouTube c’è questo breve ma ottimo video di Andrea Dellonti girato nei locali dell’ex officina che hanno ospitato la mostra.

Acoustic 3/4 Framus guitar

This is a recent acquisition: a really sweet Framus model 5/15 acoustic guitar. It’s a classic 3/4 guitar, slightly larger than a normal Parlor and it’s part of the “Wander”-guitars series that were manufactured by Framus since the founding of the company in 1946.

I haven’t been able to exactly date the instrument, although these models were mostly build circa from 1950 to 1960.

“Wander”-guitars was the company denomination for the beginner series Framus models such as Spanish models, lady and youth models, etc. Solid fir tops and set mahogany necks are a testament of the early quality work and proven instrument manufacturing traditions.

Among the characteristics of this guitar are:

  • natural finish;
  • spruce top, back gold-brown varnished and laminated;
  • binding;
  • rosewood fretboard;
  • a sturdy built and chuncky neck to compensate the absence of the truss-rod;
  • slotted headstock.

Although an entry-model guitar, I’ve been struck by the quality of the building materials that are far better then the same-era italian made Eko and Crucianelli guitars available in the same market segment: this is a SERIOUS guitar, with great resonance and a robust and solid construction.

More info about vintage Framus guitars available online at the Framus Vintage Archive page.

Parlor acoustic by Ferrarotti

Parlor – or parlour – guitar usually refers to a type of acoustic guitar smaller than a concert guitar. Emerging in the late 1800s, these small instruments were popular among women, blues and folk musicians (cit. Wikipedia).

Nowadays vintage guitars come in many form. And this is not your typical vintage electric by famous brands like Fender or Gibson. Actually, it’s not an electric at all.

In its infancy, the Blues was played strictly acoustically mostly by travelling musicians that couldn’t but appreciate the easy portability – let alone the affordability – of these special breed of guitars whose midrangery tone (alongside with those of other small-bodied acoustics) most likely helped the player to project the sound of the guitar during noisy and crowded dances and outdoor parties.

I’ll let the always kind Steve Chipman of Vintage Parlor Guitars the task to better describe what a Parlor guitar is.

Anyway, I recently set off on a hunt for my first Parlor. I kinda was on a budget and given my love for italian guitars from the ’60s I was thrilled to find (and buy) this Ferrarotti on a local craiglist.

The Ferrarotti brand is one among many italian producer whose guitars became very popular in Italy during the ’60s along with famous brands like Eko, Crucianelli, Wandrè and Galanti, whose then futuristic shaped instruments sparkled the imagination of local youngsters fueling the beat movement that became rather popular in Italy.

The guitar is in almost mint condition and astonishingly well preserved; built with a birch top (just like worldwide renown Parlors like Harmony e Stella were), beechwood sides and back, european beechwood neck, mahogany fretboard and slotted headstock. Scale-length is 64 cm. (25.4 inches) with a 4,5 cm. (1 3/4″ inches) nut-width. A totally cool features are the shiny brass frets (that in those days were all built in-house) and a rather uncommon metal-made nut.

Goes without saying, this baby seems to deliver its best for fingerstyle playing and traditional Blues.

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