5/12/2016

1970s Bruno Ventura Classical Guitar


This guitar was just in for a glorified setup and I snapped some pics just for posterity's sake. I see Bruno "Ventura" guitars from time to time and they're, as far as I know, all Japanese-made. By the time this one was made (late 60s to early 70s), Kaman (of Ovation fame) was owner of the Bruno brand and imported these for resale. Online legend claims these may have been related to the manufacturer Matsumoku (makers of Arias, among others) and that seems to hold water as this guitar is very, very, very similar to period Aria classicals I've worked on.

As you'd expect for a Japanese classical of this time, it's all-laminate in the body and extremely lightweight -- this is the reason they sound so good despite the non-solid woods. The top is lam spruce and the back/sides are lam rosewood. The neck is mahogany and the board and bridge are both Brazilian rosewood. Fortunately, this one hasn't experienced the average ravaging of time these are usually subject to, so after setup it plays on-the-dot.


Tonally, these are full-sounding, warm, and boomy instruments with a lot of volume. They're not refined and articulate like a good solid-wood classical guitar would be, but they make fine folkie fingerpickers or pseudo-flamenco strummers. Personally, I really do like many of the laminate classical machinations of 70s Japanese makers (Brazil's Gianninis are excellent, too).





Note the "Kay" bridge bolts -- happily relocated to this guitar. The bridge was lifting, along with bits of the top, and I absolutely despair regluing jobs on 70s lam-top Japanese guitars. Often the reglue works fine until the next layer of (weakened) laminate peels off and the bridge goes flying. We just bolted it to keep it going as long as possible without hassle.


All that multi-ply/edged binding gives a simple guitar an upscale look.





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