2013 Thomas Malapanis

Woods: rich, straight grained Cocobolo back and sides, which the builder prefers on most of his instruments. It is the most dense of the commonly used guitar timbers.  Spruce top, cypress laminated sides. French polish shellac throughout.

Miscellany: Gotoh tuners, hard shell TKL type case. 650mm scale, 53mm nut, 43mm string spacing at nut, 60 mm at saddle. Normal string height with capacity to adjust action down if desired.

Condition: new. There is the slightest scrape in the top on the upper treble bout, visible only on close inspection. Case is new.

Comment: this is the fifth Malapanis guitar to come into my shop. They are remarkably consistent in materials (largely Cocobolo), style (similar colorful rosette, minimalist purfling detail),  construction (laminated sides, fairly ample neck profile), playability (very light under the left hand and effortless in upper registers), and sound (the guitars are warm and very even, neither bass heavy or trebly).  But other than the sweetness of the voice I hear equally in this spruce as well as his cedar tops, the feel of the guitar is wonderfully comfortable. It is slightly heavier than a typical traditionally built guitar, owing to the dense Cocobolo and the laminated sides, and it seems remarkably balanced when played. Once the player sets the guitar, it seems to be ergonomically right. It is like getting out of a Buick and stepping into a luxury auto. Fit and finish, perceived weight and balance, all is subtly impressive.

The sound sample will hopefully back up my assertion that Malapanis guitars, like others with laminated sides that I’ve played, have more natural resonance that comes not from a lattice or double top, but from the whole instrument. There is a gravitas here and one senses a great builder has created this guitar. It may sound silly to say it, but playing it proves my point.

This guitar has been held by the builder and is now being made available for sale.

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Price: $8295

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