The flamenco guitar Alhambra 10FP Piñana is the latest addition to Alhambra’s flamenco line of guitars. It was introduced at the last Frankfurt Messe 2017 and its now in our hands.
The Alhambra 10FP Piñana is a professional flamenco negra guitar made with high quality solid woods and a very exclusive matte finish. For those who don’t know what a flamenco negra is, I will say that while the traditional flamenco guitar is made with Cypress or Sycamore back and sides, the flamenco negra guitar is made with Rosewood back and sides. Rosewood gives more volume and projection to the traditional flamenco blanca guitar made of Cypress or Sycamore and also gives the guitar a warmer tone, but preserving the sharp sound of a real flamenco guitar.
I had my first contact with the Alhambra 10FP Piñana a few weeks ago, when an Alhambra representative brought one of the first samples to me for a quick test. My first impression was very positive mainly because this guitar is very different to the typical flamenco guitar with its solid cedar top (in stead of the spruce top found in most flamenco guitars) and with this beautiful thin layer of matte varnish. The elegant rosette and the original headstock immediately catch your eye, making you like the guitar even without trying it. I had a little play on it. Not enough to have an idea of its enormous potential, but enough to realize that this was a very nice guitar indeed.
The guitar has been designed with the collaboration of the flamenco guitarist Carlos Piñana, one of the new talents in the flamenco scenery in Spain and with the amazing craftsmanship of Mengual and Margarit, two of the best luthiers from Alhambra. The result is an amazing guitar that will not go unnoticed.
Like a proper flamenco guitar, this model comes with “golpeador”. Two pieces of transparent pick guard are located to both sides of the strings on the soundboard. The contrast between the matte finish of the guitar and the gloss finish of the “Golpeadores” gives an additional interesting look to the guitar.
The back and sides of the guitar are made with solid Indian rosewood, the book matched back and sides are beautifully decorated with elegant and minimalistic inlays of cedar and the finish enhances the natural beauty of the wood.
The design of headstock is totally exclusive for this guitar and you won’t find it on any other Alhambra model. The rosewood plate that covers the head is the only glossy finish that you will find in this guitar and it gives a very nice contrast to the overall look of the guitar. The head of the guitar is fitted with the professional artisan machine heads found in the top Alhambra models. Its operation is smooth and precise and its appearance elegant and minimalist.
Now we have received one of the first units of the Alhambra 10FP Piñana for our stock and of course, we have tested it. Once I had a chance to sit and play the guitar on my own, all these impressions that I had on my first contact, became real. The guitar sounds big, loud and incredibly resonant. Apart from the high quality solid woods used in this guitar, the fact that it is finished with a very thin layer of varnish, makes the guitar so resonant that you can actually feel it in your body while you play it, and I love that. You do have these sharp and dry mid and high notes from a good flamenco guitar but you also have prominent basses that are not so common in most flamenco guitars, which makes this guitar very versatile. You soon realize that you can play more than flamenco with the Alhambra 10FP Piñana. In fact, you can play practically any music with it. The guitar really responds and it’s so easy to play thanks to the lower action you would expect on a flamenco model.
But there is something else that attracted my attention. I felt that my left hand was playing faster and more comfortably than normal (my left hand is not as fast as I would like it to be, perhaps that’s why I was so impressed). Then I remembered something that the Alhambra’s representative told me in his last visit. They have introduced a new profile neck in this guitar with a smaller thickness. Yes!! I like it. It feels so good. At least for me. Not too thin, not too thick. Just right. Of course, the same satin finish is applied to the neck and that makes it feel even better.
The well balance sound in the Alhambra 10FP Piñana gives you a wide palette of tones, from deep basses to sharp trebles with a good transition on the middle notes. The sound comes fast when you plug the notes at it has plenty of attack like you may expect from a good flamenco guitar. A very good guitar not only for rasgueados and falsetas but also for solos because of its great projection a and definition of each individual note.
Whether you are looking for a professional flamenco guitar, or looking for a versatile guitar of great quality to play practically any music with it, the Alhambra 10FP Piñana is one of the best options you will find in this price range, and even in a higher price range. In fact, to find a guitar with these finishes and this sound you would have to pay several thousand euros. Now for much less than you would expect, you can have a professional guitar that will make you smile right out of the box without breaking your bank account.