2005 Paulino Bernabe Sr. “Negra”
Top: Very old Cedar
Back and sides: Very old Rosewood
This fine Bernabe Negra has found a great new home, if you are looking for a fine Flamenco Negra or Blanca please contact me…
Finding a great Flamenco Negra is not as easy as finding a great Flamenco Blanca for some reason. It just seems more of a challenge to find a Negra that blends just the right amount of Rosewood ‘richness’ and sustain to the voice, while still retaining that Flamenco bite that is so necessary for the music. This is one of those Negra’s that accomplishes that goal.
The guitar was custom built for a good client of mine in 2005 by Paulino Bernabe Sr, and he has been the only owner. This client takes impeccable care of his instruments and so this Negra is in absolute MINT, like new, right from the shop condition. Flawless in every way. The other advantage it has is that it is a Cedar Negra, so the character is all the more unique while still being firmly Flamenco in nature. The owner reminded me that some very notable Flamenco artists have played Cedar Negra’s during their careers, including Manolo Sanlucar, Serranito, Rafael Riqueni, Juan Carlos Romero, Manolo Franco and others.
With the passing of my friend Paulino, there will sadly be no more of these world class Negra’s built, making this like new example all the more special and rare. In addition, Paulino built this at the “Imperial level” in terms of woods and detail, so my guess is the perfectly matched Rosewood on the back and sides, as well as the cedar soundboard, were already more than 30-40 years old when the guitar was built. Builders these days are hard pressed to have woods of this level.
Tonally the guitar blends flamenco bite with musical beauty and richness, bold, yet expressive and quite balanced as you might expect from a fine Bernabe.
A rare, flawless and wonderful sounding Negra that as a side benefit, is very collectible in my opinion as well.