Exotic Guitars
from Paracho

Handmade by Jose Luis Diaz R.


           lance k martin 

    Mr. Jose Luis Diaz R. is one of Paracho Mexico's formost 
acoustic instrument constructors, with over 40 years of experience.
He started by helping his grandfather make violins and other 
instruments.  Today he mostly makes guitars, and has won many 
first prizes in the national competition, which is held annually 
in August in Paracho.  

    Awards are given to the constructors of the finest musical 
instuments.  An award is given for concert guitars and student 
model guitars.  The judges are usually constructors themselves.
They closely inspect craftsmanship, detail, and tone quality. 

    For those not familiar with Paracho approximatley 60 percent of 
the jobs are related to the production of accustic instruments.  
This includes wood sales, paints, and mechanical parts.  
There are factories that mass produce instruments, 
but these are referred to as "comon" or common.  
Only a few of the craftsman produce "fina" or 
fine instruments.  The best work is done totally by hand. 
A fancy custom bridge may take 20 hours to craft to perfection.
Custom inlayed names or designs in (antique) ivory or shell 
may take even more time. 

    I didn't want to pay an exorbitant amount of money to have them 
made in America, and I did not want to risk being disapointed 
by inferior handiwork.  After some research, I found that the 
best guitarts in the world are considered to be those handmade
in Paracho, Mexico.  Mr. Diaz was noted in the New York Times and
elsewhere.  Perhaps more importantly, he was well known by word 
of mouth in Paracho, even from other top instrument makers. 

    Mr. Diaz is a humble man with great integrity, as well as a
very enjoyable person with whom to spend time.  When I met him
in Paracho, I was interested in buying a fine guitar and I had 
a few specific designs in mind.  The woods vary as does the price, 
according to the design, or special requests. 

I noticed that he had two same guitars with the same body designs.  
They were raw, unfinished, and unstrung.  I asked him which would 
be better,when completed.   He picked one up and tapped it on the 
back with his knuckle.  Then he did the same to the second guitar, 
detecting more of a thud.  He recommended the first one, and 
proceeded to finised it for me. 

++++ I am happy ++++

For further information contact:	 romancerecords@juno.com" 

Composite (all photos -- large & slow!)

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