9/04/2013

c.1964 Levin-made Goya S-16 Guitar


This 000-sized 14-fret guitar is a Levin-made (Swedish) product built for export to the US market under the familiar "Goya" name. It's a beautifully-made instrument and has a faithful, 000-18 sort of sound which floats equally well between fingerpicking and flatpicking. The best part about Goya/Levins, though, is that the necks feel simply great and the price is a lot more welcoming than that of a Martin from the same time!

This guitar is owned by a customer of mine and I did a quick setup for him. That's it! He found it in nearly-unplayed condition, though the frets showed just the barest hint of wear and the finish is (of course) crackled throughout with weather-checking.


This has a solid spruce top (x-braced), solid mahogany back, sides, and (one-piece) neck, and Brazilian rosewood fretboard and bridge. The nut and saddle are typical Levin synthetic stuff as are the endpin and the bridge pins.


The truss works nicely. I love the headstock shape on Levin/Goyas. It's classy in the same way that a Gibson open-book is classy and timeless.


Faux-pearl dots and bound board. There's a slight radius to this board and the neck shape is somewhere between a 60s Martin and 60s Gibson. This is ideal for me: it's fast like a Gibson but not too skinny and it's bigger like a Martin without feeling stiff.


The bridge saddle has lost is vintage yellowing as I've reprofiled it to a modern compensated shape and set the action height properly.


I like the simple rosette.



And who can argue against solid mahogany?



Steel-string Goya/Levin necks from this time have a bolt attachment system which means they can be tightened up or adjusted for proper angle internally. I "sort of" understand why makers don't use this system but I also think it's pretty foolish for most makers to not even consider bolted necks. They make lifetime adjustments super easy and if done right sound just as good (or better) than glued joints.





 Yup, I'm jealous!

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