Monday, February 07, 2011

Giannini Brazilian Classical Guitar

I bought this guitar in August 1985. It was my 5th guitar at the time. My first was a cigar box guitar that my father made for me before I was 6 years old. Later in about 7th grade, Mom and Dad gave me a child's student acoustic folk guitar, wire strings--very similar to the First Act kids guitars you can get at K mart and Walmart these days.

In my junior year I bought an electric guitar and an electric bass to play in two different bands, The K and R Rangers (Country), and Thief of Hearts (Pop). After High school I continued to play in various ways and that helped pay for some of my college and rent.

Just before I went to college I bought this Giannini. This guitar was priced at $600, but since the music store was going out of business and being repossessed by the bank, I got it for $110.

It looked funny, but when I took it off the wall to try it out, I loved it right away. I eventually sold the electric guitar and the electric bass. But I still have the Giannini, and it has gone through some hard times.

This Giannini is an AWKN 6 Brazilian "Craviola" style Classical, full size. 2 piece spruce soundboard, 19 nickel frets, bone nut, bone bridge. The body is pitched at low E.  I don't know what the rest of the woods are. The Craviola body style originated in the 1970s.

 I've replaced the head gears and tuning pegs twice over 25 years.The problem was my handling of the guitar and moving too often.

 There are 5 layers of varicolored wood purfling around the front edge of the body.

 The sound hole is in the Giannini Brazilian style, the rosette is a complicated pattern made with at least 4 different colors of wood cross cut very fine, with multi layered purfling inside and out. This is not a decal.

You can see the Model is AWKN 6 and the serial number is 10/0, a proof guitar.

 The bridge has the same 4 tones of wood in 7 lines of purfling along the back edge of the bridge.

 If you look carefully on the bottom left side you can see a very well done repair. In the fall of 1986 I fell asleep with the guitar in my dorm loft. I rolled over, it fell 8 ft and broke. My chemistry professor knew a luthier in Mankato who was able to do a brilliant job fixing it and charged me less than $40.

If you look closely you can see small inset mother-of-pearl fret markers on the top edge of the fret board. There are none on the face of the fretboard. The neck broke away from the heel sometime in maybe 1998. Probably moving damage. I don't remember. Mary took it secretly to a friend in Mankato who is also an excellent Luthier (David Begalka) and got it put back together for me for Fathers' Day that same year.

I've taken this guitar all over the US, from Atlanta to Seattle. It's been through a lot, and it still plays great.


Anonymous said...

Hello from Australia. I bought one of these guitars back in the 80's here in Aus' also from a music store in trouble, in Townsville, Northern Queensland. I was travelling at the time, when I spotted it in a guitar shop. They told me it never sold as it was a bit too weird for musicians of the time, so I got it for $250.00. That left me just enough money for the train fare back to Brisbane where I came from, 1000 km's away. No money for food. but I didn't care, I was in love!!!
This was my first guitar and I couldn't play a note,well maybe an Am and a G chord- I just fell in love with the craftsmanship, the tone and the workmanship. It didn't come with a case,so I carried it around in a cardboard box. A month after I arrived home, it was stolen from the back of my panelvan right under my nose. I must have turned my back for a second when I went to the laundromat,I swear I was no more than 20ft away from it when it went!! I couldn't believe it!!! I was so devastated it took me ten years before I picked up another guitar. Although I since have played and owned many unique guitars I have never found another Gianinni, or discovered what happened to mine.... Seeing your guitar really brought back some memories for me...VIVA TRANQUILLO GIANINNI !!!

Joe A said...

Thank you for telling that great story.

Will Williams said...

A former girlfriend said that her ex husband had left her a guitar. I looked at it and it just happened to be this Giannini Craviola style AWKN 6. This guitar felt and sounded so good to me. When we broke up, she said, "I'll never play it, you might as well take it." That was back in the late 70's. I still own, play and record this guitar in my studio and it feels and sounds like the 1st day I played it. Quite a gift from a good friend that I am still in touch with! :)

Joe A said...

Mr. Williams,
Thank you for the great comment. I enjoy your website. I use the Giannini pretty much every day. It's great to find out that there are good guitarists out there using the same and recording with them. Remember the lesson of Anonymous' comment, don't leave the van unlocked. Keep the guitar safe! If you ever tour in the Grand Forks/Fargo or NW Minnesota area I'd like to catch a show.

Will said...

My pleasure Joe! Hard not to comment on such a great guitar.
Thanks for checking out my site and for the kind words! As much as I have traveled in the past, I've never set foot in minnesota.
Traveled the rest of the country, Canada and Europe but maybe fate will run me through your area one day. If I do, I'll be sure to look you up!
Anonomous' tip is well taken even though I rarely travel with the Giannini. Either way, my doors stay locked like Fort Knox! :)
Hope you are enjoying your week!

Best Regards

Christopher Nagy said...

had anonymous left a google contact I would send him my 78 Giannini. I have had guitars gifted to me and I would love to do the same. especially after getting it ripped off like that. The 78 that I have sounds so deep and warm, so nice. the under sides of the frets (E/1st)seem sharp as if they slipped down?? but other that a little sharpness on the frets it plays and sounds great. so Aussie, if you read this, I would love to reunite you. my name is chris and Ill check this blog in a month or so to see if you by chance look back? shot in the dark I know... just another guitar player trying to help another one out.