1920s Cerrito-made Galiano 5-String Plectrum Guitar

I've worked on several Cerrito-made Galiano products in the past (click here and click here to see them), but this 5-string plectrum guitar has to be the strangest Cerrito product I've seen yet. 4-string plectrum guitars (click here and click here to see some) are quite rare but not super-uncommon. 5-string versions are rare, rare, rare, though. I've seen one or two out there but this is the first that's come in-shop. There's precedent, though -- 5-string plectrum banjos (click here) exist more frequently in the wild.

Just like other Cerrito products, this instrument has a tenon-style neck joint and very light ladder-bracing which seems to be shored-up with a thicker-than-average top. Still, it's very light and so I used quite thin gauges when stringing this up post-surgery.

Tone is warm, woody, and very sustained -- just what you'd hope from a 26" scale length and a parlor-ish body. I've got it tuned GDGBD (open G, Keith Richards style) low to high, though a "modified plectrum" tuning of FCGBD might work well on it, too.

Repairs included: a neck reset (and double-bolt-internally reinforcement for the joint), board level/plane and refret with medium stock, new side dots, lots of cleats added for previously-repaired top cracks, seam repairs, brace repairs, bridge reglue, new bone saddle and nut, replacement bridge pins (cool old '20s celluloid ones from my bins), a couple coats of finish to seal the back (it'd been stripped), cleaning, and setup.

Setup notes: action is bang-on at 1/16" overall at the 12th fret and the neck is straight under tension. I've strung it really light with 36w, 24w, 17, 13, 10 gauges low to high for GDGBD tuning. I compensated the bridge for an undwound G string to keep excess tension off the top -- and also because it works just fine with a long scale like this... it gives it a banjo-y feel and response.

Scale length: 26"
Nut width: 1 7/16"
String spacing at nut: 1 1/8"
String spacing at bridge: 2"
Body length: 18"
Lower bout width: 12 1/4"
Waist width: 7 3/8"
Upper bout width: 9 1/8"
Side depth at endpin: 3 3/8"
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: solid mahogany
Bracing type: ladder
Fretboard: ebonized pearwood?
Bridge: ebony, bone saddle
Neck feel: medium C-shape, flat board

Condition notes: this was much-grosser looking when it came in. The finish is original everywhere save the back -- which is refinished. The top cracks all have discoloration from previous glue injections in them. There's general wear and tear, light scratching, and scuffs throughout. There are a ton of old top cracks but they're all cleated-up and stable, now.

I modified the saddle slot to drop-in for easy action adjustments. It's also wider and compensated so, ya know, it plays in tune up the neck.

I love the headstock shape...


Alex said…
Wow Jake!!!
Love this. Is it for sale?