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donderdag 28 augustus 2008


Guitar of Juan Orozco 1950, Madrid (Spain)
Manzanero collection.

Juan Orozco model 10 (1978 - Japan)

This picture shows us the number 10 model of Juan Orozco.
This guitar is from 1978 as the label states on another picture.

The head of this guitar that in fact is a copy of the
famous classical Fleta head. The same design can
be found on the TAMA, SAKURAI and KOHNO guitars
that were ment for the world market.
In the eighties Orozco decided to have another
head design on his guitars.
The back of the number 10 Juan Orozco that shows the
double ebony stripes in the neck. Same feature can be
found on the other guitars.

The rosette of this instrument.
In fact only the model 15 of Juan Orozco has a
spanish heel inside the soundbox. This instrument
hasn't got this feature.

Mr. Juan Orozco handsigned all his labels on
the 8, 10 and 15 models. I'm not sure he
also did this with his range of cheaper models.
Not really obvious on this picture but the models
8, 10 and 15 all have varnished backs: Not a real
high gloss but very well detactable.
The Kohno guitars are showing the same feature.

With many thanks to Joris de Baat who made these
pictures that shows a panoramic view of
the strutting of the soundboard.

As can be seen the strutting was very neatly done.

To my opinion the struts are placed parallel
to each other. This can play an important part
in claiming the Kohno guitars to be from these
luthiers or wether if the instrument was made by
Mr. Kohno himself. For this purpose: read what
Robert Ruck has to say in an interview regarding
the Kohno bracing: Under the Ibanez part in
this Blog or the following link:
(With many thanks to Johannes Orphal)

The front page of a 1984 catalogue showing
the Orozco guitars of that time.

The newly designed head is there allready.
By clicking on this picture you are able to read the text.

Juan Orozco's three models: 8, 10 and 15.
The model 15 has been built with brazilian
rosewood however they are not allways
the best sounding instruments as I was
able to compare some guitars.

This picture gives us a view on the back of a model 15.

The pricelist at that time! Comparable with prices of
the José Ramirez clase 1A guitars the model 15 sold for
about half the price of the concert Ramirez model.

Juan Orozco Model 15

Thanks to Laurence Balmain who was asking me some
things regarding her Juan Orozco guitar model 15.
I'll include some of her pictures.
This picture clearly shows us the soundhole reinforcement.
Two layers are visible from the outside. The curve of the
reinforcement goes with the soundhole itself.

The side reinforcement which is supposed to be spanish tradition.

The beautiful woods used for the sides are visible here
though they do not match the much darker coloured
back which I specifically like.

Again the same lattice bracing that can be found
as well in the model 8 and 10 guitars.

A nice shot of the tuners with the engraved roses also
present on the model 8 and 10 Juan Orozco guitars.

The label that gives us the year of production as well as the
model number. The red stamp and the signature of
Juan Orozco  in blue is there as well.

The double (ebony) reinforcement of the neck.

I've seen several model 15 Orozco's in the past but this
guitar has the beautiful dark Rio palissander the way I like it.

The guitar from the front shows us the guitar in good
condition as far as the pictures shows us.
And then of course the "Red Violon" story of Laurence:

"I contacted the Royal Albert Hall archives and in 1979
Paco de Lucia played with John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell
and also that year Manitas de Plata performed there.
But in 1980 there were no flamenco players or concerts
performed at the RAH. So this confirms that it was
definetely 79. The sound board of the guitar is not scratched or
damaged, so i'm wondering if may be Paco de Lucia had it
as a back up guitar but did not actually played it.
Possible as I read in your blog that he
did visit J. Orozco shop in New York and he did buy his
strings from there.
There are videos of this concert on you tube and I can
confirm that the guitar Paco is playing is different from mine,
the head is different, maybe you can have a look and
identify his guitar! But definitely not mine, shame!

You know, I've had this guitar for nearly 30 years now
and have never bothered to really look at it. I did play it a bit
at first but I'm no guitar expert and then I stopped playing
altogether. A shame really. Until now when my daughter
started to enquire about my mystery guitar!!
She started learning and wanted to play it.
And that's when I really discovered it and remember
its origin and unusual history.

It was in fact given to my ex-husband's boss who was
a music impressario and shop owner (in London) and
of swedish origin. The guitar was given to him
by the mysterious flamenco player. He then asked
my ex to sell it on his behalf. My ex didn't sell it
and the following year his boss sold his business
and went back to Sweden and he never heard
from him again and was left with the guitar which he then
gave me as I was playing classical guitar at the time".

Another Label - Another Quality

This is a model 5 Juan Orozco from before the collaboration
with the Tama factories. Mahogany bodied, no ebony
fingerboard and most likely not a solid top to it.

Not a sticked Rosette anyway…. But obviously
not a spanish tongue inside and not a lightly sprayed
inner soundbox though decently built anyway.
With many thanks to Brian Graham.

Here are some pictures sent to me by Eric Gzimalowski.
It doesn´t look at all like the other Japanese made models
or even the Aranjuez labelled guitars of a lesser quality.
What we see here is a student guitar equipped with simple 
tuners but on a Fleta styled headstock. but what surprises
me here is the apparantly screwed  (and glued ) bridge of
which the two plastic dots are a witness. No rosewood
veneered headstock or a high quality fingerboard and
the sides seems to be made out of some kind of mahogany
(take a close look around the label)

I never have seen this label but the adress in New York is present
so in fact I´m curious where these entry level instruments were
made. No markings in ink or a stamped signature.
It certainly makes the story around Juan Orozco even completer.

Not quite the same but most likely from the same factory is
this label found in a guitar owned by Brian Graham. You
are able to enlarge these pictures by clicking on them.

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