I picked up this guitar yesterday after about a year of waiting time after I made the commission.
It's a replica of a pre-Torres guitar originally made by Vicente Arias in 1889.
Karel Dedain of Ghent did the restoration of the original instrument and this is the third copy he made of it.
To me, Arias guitars are kind of a missing link between 19th century romantic guitars like Panormo, Stauffer or Lacote; and the modern Torres design that we are used to nowadays.
Arias was kind of a free thinker, none of his existing guitars are the same; they are all quite different in construction, ornamentation and size, but all of them are rather small bodied guitars compared to modern instuments.
The first thrill comes when you pick up the guitar: It is unbelievably lightweight to an amount that seems nearly impossible. My guitar weights 1020 grams ... it is quite a miracle that it doesn't implode just like that!
The second thrill comes when you play the first notes. It immediately makes you smile and wonder "where the hell does all that sound come from???" The guitar is extremely resonant and warm sounding, even though it is brand new and needs a bit of time to be played in. I can't wait to see how it will develop over the next few months.
The sound is hard to describe but nothing I've heard or played before, very different from a regular classical guitar, very delicate and round, but still surprisingly loud ... it's just ... something different.
Beside of all that ... well, it's a real beauty, have a look...
Here's a little test video, sound straight of the camera though: