Florante’s Guitars

Many have asked (mostly guitarists) what brand of guitar I use. Currently, I’m using a 2002 Fontanilla guitar built by Filipino-American luthier Alan Fontanilla. Although I typically favor the tender tones of the spruce-top guitar, Alan’s cedar-top guitar provides a “refreshing departure” into a more hot-blooded pagan sound (listen).

I like using the Fontanilla for live performances due to its great playability and superb sound projection. And simply because “it kicks ass”.

For the Art of Harana recording, I used a vintage spruce-top 1962 Velazquez “El Clasico” (except for tracks 3, 5 & 7*). It possesses a sweet and full-bodied sound with great sustain as only a 48-year old guitar can. This guitar perfectly complements the singing tones of a harana (listen).

But as often happens with older guitars, the fretboard has bent considerably due to decades of string tension. This results into higher action that makes it more challenging to play. If you’re detecting labored passages in the recording, that is my excuse!

Special thanks to Dean Kamei, owner of Guitar Solo store in San Francisco and GSP Publications for lending the Velazquez used in the Art of Harana.

Luthier Wood Samples
1. Fontanilla (2002) cedar listen
2. Velasquez (1962 “El Clasico”) spruce listen
3. Antonio Marin (1989) spruce listen
4. Kohno (1988 “Special”) spruce listen
5. Cordoba 75R (1999) spruce listen

* played on Fontanilla guitar

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1 Response to Florante’s Guitars

  1. ken carr says:

    recently e-mailed you but after reading this,I thought you might want to know my brother played a Gretch steel string.A beautiful look and sound.Also an older guitar.I accidentally shot it with his spear gun from across the room.Luckily it only glanced off the front of it.I tried to learn to play but never completed.I wish I had it now.

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