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7-String Classical Concert Guitar by Michael Gee 2015

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Robert's Gear Bazaar
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Joined Reverb

Michael Gee is arguably the finest Classical-Guitar luthier in the UK, and a 7-string from him is very rare. It was made in 2015 for a member of the Mela Quartet, who used it for some of their CDs and concerts. I bought it from him in 2020, and made a few video recordings with it. 

The guitar is great for both contemporary and early music. The sound is strong - Michale Gee makes what he calls a composite or layered top - some might say double top - soundboard for his concert guitars. A new price (with a long waiting list) is £5500 for a 6-string, nearer £6,000 for a 7-string. 

The headstock is quite discreet in its addition of an extra peg, in this case a Pegheds mechanical violin-style peg, which is superb, and works well. You can read up on Pegheds on their website. They are reassuringly expensive!

Strings: Michael recommends D'Addario EJ46 for the regular 6, and an extra-hard tension 6th-string used for the 7th string, obviously tuned lower. I tried a couple of other sets including Aquila Rubino, which were great, but also gut trebles (I play the lute as well) which also sounded beautiful.

Why am I selling? I'd rather not sell, but I have a lute to pay for, and they are not cheap. I work on projects, and the next will be 17th-century lute music in alternate tunings. You can visit my website rmclassicalguitar 

Condition: Very good. The woods are of the highest quality. A few little dings or slight scratches - see photos - but what I would expect for a professional guitar that is six years old. It will be delivered in its original Hiscox hard case, boxed really well - I have a lot of experience shipping guitars. 

Measurements: String length 654mm, distance between centre of 7th and first strings 52mm, nut width for 7 strings: 62mm, average depth of body 100mm. 

From Michael's website: 

This model includes

  • Premium CSA Rosewood back and sides

  • Spruce or Cedar layered top 

  • Ebony fingerboard

  • Hand made rosette

  • Hiscox Pro-II Case

Any questions, just ask. 

What's it like playing a 7-string? For most people it will just take a few hours to get used to, a week or two to feel comfortable with it. John Dowland's greatest pieces require the seventh string, and obviously it will be really useful for Bach. But there is also a lot of Brazilian and Russian music for 7 strings, and you will find the extra bass string really useful for arrangements of Albeniz and the like. You could keep the 7th at D to save you tuning down when required, or you could also tune it to C or even as low as A. It's a highly versatile instrument! Oh, and it makes a great ensemble instrument, as can be heard with the Mela Quartet.  

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