2002 Manuel Reyes “Negra”
Back and Sides: Palo Rosa
This extremely fine and rare Reyes Negra has found a new home, if you are seeking a great Reyes please let me know…
I visited Sr. Reyes recently and I asked him if he had any more Palo Rosa wood and he said “no” and as his waiting list is now permanently closed he had no plans to acquire any more at that time. So this may be one of the last Palo Rosa Negra’s that Reyes built, adding to its rarity and special nature. A fine and very rare Negra built by one of the worlds best builders of Flamenco guitars.
Manuel Reyes, along with Arcangel Fernandez are perhaps two of the most famous living builders of the finest Flamenco guitars. Sadly, both of their waiting lists are now closed and they already have orders that will no doubt exceed the lifespan of even the healthiest among us! Sr. Reyes is one of my favorite people, he is genuinely the personification of the phrase ‘Spanish Gentleman’. Always happy, always eager and alert, always interested, always in love with his art. Even after all these years he exhibits a unique love and passion for building his guitars. He has been kind enough to build six guitars for my own personal use and of those, this is perhaps the most unique, rare, and special.
For years I had heard stories of the famous ‘Coral Guitars’ of Arcangel and Reyes. These legendary guitars were very rare and there is almost a mythical magic to them. Because Palo Rosa is very difficult to work with, Arcangel and Reyes seemed to limit building guitars of this wood to only friends and artists that had a special relationship with the builder. The wood requires substantially more work than Indian or Brazilian to prepare for the French Polish process, filling the pores in the wood takes much time, care and effort to produce a perfect end result. But the wood is special and produces a superb Negra. The challenge with a Negra of course is to build it in such a way that it does not sound ‘too classical’, and that is not as easy as it seems. Rosewood Negras can suffer from this fate of sounding ‘too classical’ at times. Coral wood produces a brighter tonal character and so it creates a Negra that has the additional body and sustain that players seek in a Negra, but also the brightness and clarity that we all love in a Blanca. For this reason, Negra’s of Coral are prized. I chased a legendary Coral Negra built by Arcangel for years, all over spain trying to acquire it but eventually losing track of it. So, when I visited Sr. Reyes in his shop around 1997 I asked him if he ever built guitars from this unique wood. He smiled with a twinkle in his eye and said ‘sometimes’. I asked him if he had any of this wood and he said he had three or four sets remaining, already shaped and aged, and that once he used those sets he did not plan to acquire any more. Then the big question: ” would you build a Negra of Coral for me?”, my response was just a smile and a ‘we shall see’. Well five years later I received a letter from Manuel saying he had completed my Negra of Coral wood. Of course I was ecstatic. When it arrived I almost stayed up all night playing it. There was something very unique and magical about this guitar, I bonded with it immediately. The volume is plentiful, a very loud and focused Reyes. It has full, clear, incisive trebles and punchy, raspy, driving basses and a really low action that plays like a dream. A dream Negra.
The guitar comes with a custom Karura case and cover and the lid inside says “Manuel Reyes Coral Negara 2002”
Please contact me to discuss if you are interested.