Torres Model

I was introduced to the guitars of Torres, like so many others, by the fascinating book by José Luis Romanillos ‘Antonio de Torres Guitar Maker- His Life & Work’. It became my workbench companion for many years and I still dip into it frequently for inspiration.

During my career I have made many guitars in the style of Torres, trying to capture something of the essence of the original Spanish sound, convinced that this was what attracted so many of us to the ‘classical’ guitar in the first place.

I’ve had close contact with a few original Torres guitars over the years, including La Leona (1856), previously owned and performed on by Julian Arcas, Tarrega’s famous maple Torres FE17 (1864), and SE111 (1887) which is currently played on by Stefano Grondona. What struck me about this guitar was its emotive power and purity of sound, somehow devoid of the influence of personality or ego.

When a customer gave me carte blanche to make a Torres copy I chose SE111, partly because of the impact it had made on me but also it gave me the opportunity to use bird’s eye maple for the first time, an alternative to the exotic rosewoods.

I’m very pleased with my ‘homage’ to Antonio de Torres and it has been a popular choice for players who are looking for a guitar ideally suited to the romantic sound world of Tárrega and Llobet etc.

Available in European spruce and bird’s eye maple, the dimensions are as follows:

Width of upper bout 272mm; width of waist 232mm; width of lower bout 357mm; depth of body 86-95mm; scale length 650mm. Resonance typically E/F.

Finished in French polish of shellac, fitted with Rodgers tuning machines and supplied with a Hiscox Pro2 case.

“I do not hesitate to say that the great master Antonio de Torres himself would be be so very proud of Simon’s homage to his SE 111. The beauty of this guitar is surpassed only by the purity of every note played. As a guitar player and collector for 45 years I have owned and played some very beautiful instruments. Without a doubt Simon has captured the true essence of the ‘Spanish Guitar’. He is a very gifted luthier and artist”.

Paul Gilbert

The Sound of a Simon Ambridge Torres Model

Stephen Kenyon plays four pieces by Francisco Tarrega; Prelude no 1, Lágrima, Marieta and La Alborada.

Stephen Kenyon plays Capricho Arabe, Serenata para guitarra; Tarrega’s timeless classic.
Stephen Kenyon plays the Sarabande from Bach’s suite for lute BWV 995.
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