Featured Luthier: Pepe Romero Jr., San Diego, California
Pepe Romero Jr. was born in 1978 into a family that lives the Spanish guitar—Los Romeros, “The Royal Family of the Guitar.” From an early age Pepe fell under the guitar’s spell, and was introduced by his family to some of the world’s greatest guitars by historic makers–like Antonio de Torres, Santos Hernandez, Domingo Esteso and Herman Hauser–and by contemporary legends of the luthier’s art–Miguel Rodriguez, Manuel Contreras, Jose Romanillos, Edmund Blochinger, among others. Pepe grew to believe that these makers set the standard for how a guitar should be made.
Pepe has made 240 guitars to date. Each one is hand-crafted and built using traditional Spanish methods. His guitars are in great demand by concert guitarists and collectors worldwide.
“To me, building guitars is about making beautiful music. The guitar and player come together to make the most beautiful music possible. I want to make a guitar that enables the guitarist to get all the tonal qualities that enable him or her to express themselves totally freely. And I want my guitars to have the perfect balance between beauty and power, to feel great in the hands and look amazing to the eye as well. More than just a tool, the guitar should be an inspiration to the player and the listener.”
–Pepe Romero Jr.
Pepe Romero Jr.
2011, San Francisco
Cedar top, Rosewood back & sides
“I made this guitar (#138) very much in the style of Miguel Rodriguez. It is a 650mm scale with a 52mm nut. The back and sides are CSA rosewood and the top is cedar. There are 5 fan braces, a treble bar and a bridge patch. At the time I made the guitar I was thicknesing my back and sides to around 1.8mm which is a very consistent measurement used by Rodriguez. One unusual element on this guitar is the flamed maple neck. I decided it would be fun to experiment with a beautiful block of maple I had and thought it would look beautiful next the the very dark rosewood body. It seems to me that the density of the maple neck adds some tonal brightness and focus to this particular guitar.”
–Pepe Romero Jr.