Guitars

  • Merula

    Back & Sides
    Brazilian Rosewood

    Neck
    Cedar

    Finger board
    Ebony

    Top
    Cedar or spruce

    “Superb balance and great projection”

     

  • Merula Special

    Back & Sides
    Brazilian Rosewood

    Neck
    Grenadilla

    Finger board
    Grenadilla

    Top
    Cedar or spruce

    “Depth in tone and unrivalled sustain”

  • Viscivorus

    Back & Sides
    Indian Rosewood

    Neck
    Cedar

    Finger board
    Ebony

    Top
    Cedar or spruce

    “Clarity of sound across it's full range”

     

  • Luscinia

    Back & Sides
    Maple

    Neck
    Cedar

    Finger board
    Ebony

    Top
    Cedar or spruce

    “Strong fundamental tone; easy to play”

     

  • Others

    Brahms-guitar

    10-string guitar

    Steel string guitar








     

 

Type Merula

Bert Kwakkel guitars type Merula have back and sides made of Brazilian rosewood. Over a hundred years, Brazilian rosewood has been the most demanded wood for the back and sides of concert guitars. It is favourite for most guitarists for its tone, as well as for its beauty.

In spite of the fact that since 1980 it has not been legal to cut fresh wood, Bert Kwakkel was very lucky to buy some very old Brazilian rosewood (at least 40 years old). Guitars made with this rosewood are delivered with a Cites document, which guarantees that the wood is legal.

The black and black/brown variety of this rare wood are the most common. Some pieces are very nicely patterned, while the most exclusive sets are quarter sawn with a straight grain.
Anyhow, each set has its own beauty and sound character.

Built for

Bert Kwakkel has built type Merula for among others: Ian Watt (UK), Fernando Millet (Argentina/France), Allan Neave (Scotland), John Feeley (Ireland), Miguel Garau (Argentina/France), Roland Gallery (UK), Simon Dinnigan (UK), Frank Lamm (The Netherlands), Dick Hoogeveen (The Netherlands).

Roland Gallery: "Bert Kwakkel's guitars rank among the finest I have ever played: projection, tone quality, balance and sustain are exceptional; effortless to play and built to the most exacting standard of craftsmanship."

Blackbird

Because Bert Kwakkel loves singing birds from his early youth, he gave their Latin names to his guitars, which in his view, express the fine and natural voices of his work. Turdus Merula is the Latin name for the blackbird. The song of the blackbird has sonorous characteristics, which he translates in a strong fundamental tone.

Prices

€6900 brown/black Brazilian rosewood
€7100 nice figured Brazilian rosewood
€7450 exactly quarter sawn and straight grain Brazilian rosewood

Prices including case; excluding VAT and shipping cost.
European Union customers are charged for 21%.
All countries outside the EU are exempt from this tax, but import duty may be added.

Type Merula Special

Bert Kwakkel guitars type Merula Special have back and sides made of Brazilian rosewood. For the finger board and neck he uses one piece of Grenadille (rosewood from Tanzania) in stead of ebony and decidious cedar. This unique rosewood has a very closed grain and is extremely durable. Because of this qualities it is not necessary to lacquer the neck, which results in very comfortable playing.
Since ebony is no sound wood Bert Kwakkel conceived the idea of building a new type of guitar in which the neck and finger board would be made of one piece of Brazilian Rosewood. In 2005 he introduced the MERULA SPECIAL. The result is a slightly heavier guitar (350 grams more) with a surprisingly royal and solid tone. There is also about 30% more sustain.
Nowadays Bert Kwakkel uses Grenadille for the neck and finger board of the Merula Special. This is a brown/black rosewood which looks like ebony.
Just like the type Merula, the back and sides are made of Brazilian rosewood. In spite of the fact that since 1980 it has not been legal to cut fresh wood, Bert Kwakkel was very lucky to buy some very old Brazilian rosewood (at least 40 years old). Guitars made with this rosewood are delivered with a Cites document, which guarantees that the wood is legal. The black and black/brown variety of this rare wood are the most common. Some pieces are very nicely patterned, while the most exclusive sets are quarter sawn with a straight grain. Anyhow, each set has its own beauty and sound character.

Built for

Bert Kwakkel has built type Merula Special for among others: Allan Neave (Scotland), Stefan Schmitz (Germany), Vadim Chebanov (Russia), John Mills (UK) and Kai Nieminen (Finland).
Allan Neave about his Merula Special: "Superb balance, clear and focused tone and unrivalled projection"

Blackbird

Because Bert Kwakkel loves singing birds from his early youth, he gave their Latin names to his guitars, which in his view, express the fine and natural voices of his work. Turdus Merula is the Latin name for the blackbird. The song of the blackbird has sonorous characteristics, which he translates in a strong fundamental tone.

Prices

€8800 brown/black Brazilian rosewood
€9000 nice figured Brazilian rosewood
€9450 exactly quarter sawn and straight grain Brazilian rosewood

Prices including case; excluding VAT and shipping cost.
European Union customers are charged for 21%.
All countries outside the EU are exempt from this tax, but import duty may be added.

Type Viscivorus

Bert Kwakkel concert guitars type Viscivorus have back and sides made of Indian rosewood. Indian rosewood is the most common rosewood used for back and sides of a guitar.
Normally the trees are big and grow with straight grain. That makes it easy to cut the wood quarter sawn. The darkest wood contains much resin and produces the deep sound, while the light wood sounds clearer. Bert Kwakkel has also some very rare sets with an exotic pattern in stock. All his Indian rosewood is 30 – 40 years old.

Built for

Bert Kwakkel has built type Viscivorus for a.o.: Matthew McAllister (UK) and Amanda Cook (UK).

Matthew McAllister: " Bert Kwakkel's guitars are amongst the finest in the world. The guitar he made for me in 2000 has been my main instrument and I have used it for practically all my concerts and recordings for over thirteen years. It possesses a luxurious tone coupled with crystal like clarity across its full range."

Mistle thrush

Because Bert Kwakkel loves singing birds from his early youth, he gave their Latin names to his guitars, which in his view, express the fine and natural voices of his work. Turdus Viscivorus is the Latin name for mistle thrush.

Price

€5900

Prices including case; excluding VAT and shipping cost.
European Union customers are charged for 21%.
All countries outside the EU are exempt from this tax, but import duty may be added.

Type Luscinia

Bert Kwakkel guitars type Luscinia have back and sides made of maple. Maple creates an impressive strong fundamental tone.
For many years they were Bert’s main guitars and still they are a favourite with several guitarists. To make the tone longer Bert Kwakkel lacquers the inside. He stains the white wood red/brown which combines better with the top. Type Luscinia with cedar top is the easiest Kwakkel-guitar to play.

Built for

Bert Kwakkel built type Luscinia for among others: John Mills (UK), Marius Gundersen (Norway), Julian Byzantine (UK/Australia), David Härenstam (Sweden) and Kai Nieminen (Finland).
John Mills about the type Luscinia: "Splendid instruments which have not only great carrying power, but a clarity of sound in balance, as well as that typical sweetness associated with maple.”

Nightingale

Because Bert Kwakkel loves singing birds from his early youth, he gave their Latin names to his guitars, which in his view, express the fine and natural voices of his work. Luscinia is the Latin name for the nightingale.

Price

€6300

Prices including case; excluding VAT and shipping cost.
European Union customers are charged for 21%.
All countries outside the EU are exempt from this tax, but import duty may be added.

Others

For most guitarist are six strings the absolute maximum for a guitar, but there is a noticeable trend among classical guitarists to play baroque music on a guitar with more strings. In commission Bert Kwakkel builds 8-, 10-, 12- and 13-string guitars, sometimes with fretless bass strings. The tuning might be different. The 8-string Brahms-guitar played by Redmond O'Toole for example is tuned: a' e' b g d A E D.
A 12-string guitar could be tuned either in a' f' d' a f d A F D C B A' (Weiss-tuning) or in a' e' b g d A E D B' G' F' E'. The tuning, string length and number of strings depend on the music the guitarist prefers to play.


Steel string guitars

Although Bert Kwakkel can not play his own guitars well, he used to play the steel string guitar in the past to accompany a youth choir. That's why he still makes a number of these instruments, constructed on a classical way. The body starts at the 12th fret (usualy at the 14th fret). The result is a very balanced instrument

Built for

Bert Kwakkel has built other instruments for among others: Redmond O’Toole (Ireland) two 8-string Brahms guitars, Erik Visser – Flairck (The Netherlands) several steel string guitars and Harry Sacksioni (The Netherlands) two steel string guitars.
Redmond O'Toole: "I have performed exclusively on Bert's guitars for my entire professional career. They have subtlety, projection and an unsurpassed palette of timbre. But the main reason I keep returning to him for custom instruments is his ability to make fine adjustments to meet my taste. He listens well to my requests and with precision and artistry creates an ideal instrument. He displays an incredible attention to detail and a consistency that is rare in the complex art of guitar making."