Pimentel guitars

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
washburn

Pimentel guitars

Postby washburn » Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:01 pm

I took my first guitar lessons while growing up in New Mexico. At that time Pimentel guitars were becoming extremely popular, being made in my city. They had a great sound and I almost purchased on. From research I see they have become quite popular. Has anyone here had any experience with them.

Marco.Silva
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Re: Pimentel guitars

Postby Marco.Silva » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:40 pm

No experience, but they seem very traditional and well built...
Regards,
Marco
1966 Di Giorgio Autor 3 1970's Riojy Matuoka Special#2 1973 Hiroshi Tamura 1974 Di Giorgio Belson 36 Flower mottif 1981 Di Giorgio C1 1965 Giannini Carulli

gansz
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Re: Pimentel guitars

Postby gansz » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:52 pm

Played one in a shop in Santa Fe when I lived there in 1982 (OMG, where did 30 years go???). Seemed well made. Many years later I owned one in Birdseye Maple. Very pretty, but lacklustre sound. I've found Maple to be hit or miss, however.
1863 James Ashborn, Spruce/Maple
1966 Manouk Papazian, Spruce/Maple
2010 David LaPlante, Spruce/Maple

washburn

Re: Pimentel guitars

Postby washburn » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:10 pm

Thanks!! As mentioned I had considered purchasing one. I moved away from NM and ended up buying a Garcia. It cost around $120 back in the seventies. Great sounding guitar with great action. But I can find neither hide nor hair on a Garcia classical guitar. Very few remember this make, and looks like it hasn't been made for a long time.

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Guitar-ded
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Re: Pimentel guitars

Postby Guitar-ded » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:09 pm

washburn wrote:... ended up buying a Garcia. It cost around $120 back in the seventies. Great sounding guitar with great action. But I can find neither hide nor hair on a Garcia classical guitar. Very few remember this make, and looks like it hasn't been made for a long time.


If you mean the famous/infamous Sherry-Brenner Garcias then search Delcamp for some comments or the big auction site for examples, there are often some there.
Getting better bit by bit, day by day.

washburn

Re: Pimentel guitars

Postby washburn » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:15 pm

Thanks. I have seen comments about some Garcia guitars that were supposed to be worth thousands, and other comments that Garcias were made in Japan. Though inflation has taken place since the 70's, the Garcia I had was definitely not a thousand+ guitar.

Whyman

Re: Pimentel guitars

Postby Whyman » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:42 am

I have a tremendous Grand Concert that was built by Don Lorenzo Pimentel in 1973. I really love it. The bass strings have the most magnificent tone I've ever heard. It's not the loudest guitar ever made, but it's the loudest guitar I've ever owned.

washburn

Re: Pimentel guitars

Postby washburn » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:04 pm

I saw on their website that Lorenzo passed about a year ago. He was 82. Of course his sons are carrying on the craft. I loved watching the video of their guitar shop.

Thanks

ironvic

Re: Pimentel guitars

Postby ironvic » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:41 pm

I've had three Pimentels and each one of them was a great guitar. My first Pimentel was a prototype for the folk size steel string model built by Lorenzo, the same guitar that was reviewed in Acoustic Guitar magazine. Being a proto it had a few issues as covered in the review, but was a really comfortable small bodied guitar. When I heard Lorenzo was missing it (it was his baby afterall) I traded it back to the family for a really nice classical cutaway. The classical was a custom order that had never been paid for, so was being sold. It had a red and green motif on the rosette and I thought of it as my Christmas guitar, even named her "Chiquita." Chiquita was an excellent guitar, nice sustain, warm, mellow and volume to spare-she had something special to offer for classical, jazz and fingerpicking. Hard times hit, lost my job with a mortgage to pay, and I sold Chiquita to a collector back east and greatly missed having a Pimentel in the house.

I went a few years without any guitar and felt disconnected, so bought an old Gibson archtop (L1) from a musician listing it on Craigslist. We sat in his living room talking about vintage guitars when the subject of Pimentels came up. When I told him about my love for these great family-built guitars, he grinned and pulled out his "everyday" guitar from a nook behind the fireplace (!) It was an old Pimentel student model classical dating from 1989. The cedar top was beat up from being previously owned by a professional flamenco player and looked very much like Tommy Emmanuel's trade mark Maton guitar with worn finish and gouged surfaces in almost the exact same places. She had an under saddle pickup installed and a big screw hole where a guitar strap stud was once attached to the neck's heel. But that old Pimentel, oh, the sweet tone...and she bore the scars of a life on stage, retired but still ready to be played, any time, anywhere..

So fast forward a year and I'm taking lessons at a local guitar store when the owner says, "Hey, you mentioned you like Pimentels...I just got one in yesterday, it's going to be hard to sell, but you might like it." And he brought in the old Pimentel, the same one I drooled over in that living room, built in their small shop on Lafayette Drive. The owner put it up for consignment at the guitar store. The shop owner/teacher told me the Pimentel would be difficult to sell with the damage to the top and it's overall "well-played" condition. So I asked, "How much?" We settled on 3 hun and I played it right away on my lesson that day. As soon as I got her home, she got a good thorough cleaning and polishing-and a soothing salve of hand rubbed shellac on her wounded top (just a light rubbing to protect the worn wood). A new set of D' Addarios gave her back her voice. Now old "Scarface" sits by my desk ready to play any time. She's light as a feather, her tone warm and inviting. In her retirement as a player's old friend, she sings out sweet and mellow and even gets a hug now and again when her voice is right in tune with my touch. I love my Scarface. I love Pimentels.

So, yeah, I have some experience with Pimentels. They're great guitars, built in a family environment. In a small shop that smells like wonderful, fresh sawn tonewoods and craftsmanship permeates everything.
Last edited by ironvic on Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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kefka
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Re: Pimentel guitars

Postby kefka » Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:17 pm

Wow, i am amazed that there is a Pimentel thread. I thought I was the lone owner from these guitar makers. Now, I wish i could pay hommage with high praise to this guitar company like the rest of you all, but I have only complaints with my guitar. First of all its only a 1991, so maybe like wine, that was a bad year for Pimentel. I absolutely hate this guitar. Its the worst of my collection. It lacks in volume, treble, and bass equality; and its just a bad instrument. Its playablitlity however is ok, for the neck is rather small compared to say my Rameriz. It does have its uses though... I designate it as my "tuned down guitar." So I will bust it out every now and again to play like Tarrega's/Tolsa's Tango.
Sorry to be a bummer, but I just had to voice my opinnion, considering I have been a Pimentel owner since 1999. Like the moment I payed 1500 cash for the instument I have regretted it since day one. I mean it was an upgrade from my Yamaha 500 dollar student model, yet, dissapointing nevertheless.
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ironvic

Re: Pimentel guitars

Postby ironvic » Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:48 pm

kefka wrote:Wow, i am amazed that there is a Pimentel thread. I thought I was the lone owner from these guitar makers. Now, I wish i could pay hommage with high praise to this guitar company like the rest of you all, but I have only complaints with my guitar. First of all its only a 1991, so maybe like wine, that was a bad year for Pimentel. I absolutely hate this guitar. Its the worst of my collection. It lacks in volume, treble, and bass equality; and its just a bad instrument. Its playablitlity however is ok, for the neck is rather small compared to say my Rameriz. It does have its uses though... I designate it as my "tuned down guitar." So I will bust it out every now and again to play like Tarrega's/Tolsa's Tango.
Sorry to be a bummer, but I just had to voice my opinnion, considering I have been a Pimentel owner since 1999. Like the moment I payed 1500 cash for the instument I have regretted it since day one. I mean it was an upgrade from my Yamaha 500 dollar student model, yet, dissapointing nevertheless.


Sorry to hear about your Pimentel, kefka. Guitars are like individuals and a few bad ones get out there. You may have a guitar built by a younger member of the family, maybe a kid learning the trade? I can see where that might happen, or maybe you just got a lemon. I remember my ex-wife bought a brand new Martin D-35 back in 1975 and, even though it was a premier guitar from a premier maker, it had an atrocious fret installation and was way to bass-ey. I didn't care for the quality, especially coming from Martin, but she liked it and it was her money to spend. So far, I've been lucky. Not to say I haven't bought my share of lemons, but I always seemed to find a buyer who wanted it more than me (almost always selling at a loss...) When I bought the prototype Pimentel folk guitar, even knowing it had some "issues" I gladly paid up, but ended up having a really sweet instrument when I traded it back to Lorenzo. My mom was a personal friend of the family, so I knew they were good makers and they more than made me happy when Robert made the trade-Lorenzo got his baby back and I did alright, too. Live and learn I guess.

Theo
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Re: Pimentel guitars

Postby Theo » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:49 pm

Have a Pimentel Grand Concert Cutaway made by Robert Pimentel in 2007. Picked it up from e - b a y a few years ago and a really good deal!

Recently had Robert adjust the nut to eliminate some back buzz and other minor modifications. Also, put on some high tension Savarez Alliance trebles per his suggestion and the guitar has never sounded better (more punch and sustain in the trebles). Not too bright at all!

Also, using a hybrid tie off method to improve the break angle for the trebles - the carbon trebles are tied directly to the bridge (no loop) and the basses are tied in the traditional manner, see this link 7th post -

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=72654
Acoustic Guitars -

Cervantes Milenia PE - Cedar/Palo Escrito
Pimentel Grand Concert Cutaway - German Spruce/Indian Rosewood
Godin Nylon Multiac
Guild GAD-30PCE Steel String Cutaway
Guild 1974 d-25c Dread
Seagull Artist Peppino Dread

David Slocum
Luthier
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Re: Pimentel guitars

Postby David Slocum » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:26 am

The last time I played Pimentel was a good 10 years ago at his shop. I'm sorry to say I was not impressed at all. They sounded like better quality Paracho guitars, but at 10 times the price. A friend of mine had an older one that was made by Lorenzo, which sounded OK, but I kid you not, the saddle was about 16-18 mm above the top, because the neck was so badly aligned with the body. It was his best and most expensive model. I think they had the mechanics down, and certainly the marketing skills, and they look nice. They have a recognised name, too. You can do much better with a good factory guitar from Spain.


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