1965 Levin-made Goya F-11 Flattop Guitar

The F-11 was the Levin-made Goya brand's entry-level "folk" guitar. It looks almost the same as their classical "folk" model the G-10 and shares the same spruce-over-birch design and classical-style neck size/shape/feel, but it's specifically made for steel strings.

Years ago I worked on an older F-11 that had fan bracing like a classical (but stiffer), but this one has ladder bracing and a pin bridge setup. The guitar's size, shape, scale length, and bracing pattern means that it basically sounds a lot like a '20s or '30s ladder-braced parlor/00-size guitar -- it's clean and shimmery-sounding, loves fingerpicking, sounds decent (but not amazing) as a flatpicker, and has sustain that lingers enticingly. So, yes, as a fingerpicked "folk" guitar, it lives up to its name and model designation.

This one came in via consignment and at first glance it looked like it could get by with a bridge and saddle shave and some fretwork. I went whole-hog, however, and did more to it. The result is a guitar that plays on-the-dot, has a nice tall saddle, and sounds more authoritative than it otherwise would. These have a fairly wide nut, flat fretboard profile, and slim/medium front-to-back depth, so they really do handle like an "older" guitar -- though the "duraluminum" non-adjustable rods installed in the necks of Goya/Levin products like this mean that the necks tend to stay dead straight (like this one).

Repairs included: a neck reset, new bone saddle, fret level/dress, cleaning, and setup.

Setup notes: it plays bang-on at 3/32" bass and 1/16" treble at the 12th fret, has a straight neck, has plenty of saddle height adjustment room, and is strung with 50w-11 gauges. Some folks use 12s on these but I think the 11s are safer over time and more fun to play.

Condition notes: it looks good but has a lot of pickwear/uswear in evidence on the top and fairly-heavy finish weather-checking you'd expect on an old guitar. There's also a repaired old hairline crack on the top-lower-bout (pictured). The guitar is all-original except for its new bone (compensated) saddle.

It comes with: its presumably-original chip case.

The birch back and sides are stained dark like you might see on old Gibson products from the '20s.