1978 Pimentel Requinto

Requintos are very popular in Mexico and US states along the border, so it's no surprise that the Albuquerque, NM-based Pimentel family shop (famous for classical guitars) also build requintos. This one is dated to 1978 on both the label and the back of the headstock and is very much a high-quality, carefully-built instrument and even has the neat "sloping" cutaway one finds on many modern requintos.

These instruments are meant to be used as "quart" guitars tuned up A-to-A (like a capo at the 5th fret of a standard guitar), but I have it strung with $28 Thomastik KR116 strings and just tuned-up G-to-G in terz tuning at the moment. I did try it out tuned in standard E-to-E and it had a great voice that way, too, so perhaps strung with harder-tension strings it'd work as a great travel/walkabout instrument as well. Tuned-up it has a sweet, lilting, punchy, and carrying voice and you can easily see why these are popular as a lead instrument for guitar duos/trios.

Work included a fret level/dress, mild saddle-area shave and adjustments to the saddle, general cleaning, and a setup. The neck is straight and it plays on-the-dot with action running 3/32" bass to 1/16" treble at the 12th fret. The back of the neck has a slimmer, D-shaped front-to-back profile than many classical-style instruments.

Specs are: 22 1/8" scale, 2" nut width, 1 13/16" string spacing at the nut, 2 5/16" spacing at the bridge, 13 1/2" lower bout, 10 1/4" upper bout, and 4" side depth at the endblock. The board is flat-profile and the frets are medium-sized with lots of life left.

Woods are all solid: cedar top, walnut(?) back and sides, rosewood bridge, ebony fretboard, rosewood binding, and rosewood headstock veneer. There's average use-wear throughout but it's quite clean for its age and obvious use. There's only one 1" crack at the cutaway on the side that looks like it was repaired in the past as it's stable and good to go.

Both the nut and saddle are bone and the instrument appears all-original except for some newer gold-plated tuners put on by the last owner.

The little carving at the headstock's top edge is still used on Pimentel instruments. It's classy.

While there are no dot inlays, there are amateurly-applied "side dots" that serve.

Gorgeous back, right?