The Fleta tradition
Fleta Classical Model
Ignacio Fleta (1897-1977), once called the Stradivarius of the classical guitar was one of the most influential builders of the the 20th century. In the 1960’s and 70’s his guitars were much sought after by many of the world’s top recitalists. Andres Segovia and John Williams concertized with Fleta instruments as have scores of other world class guitarists.
Fleta, a native of Barcelona and originally a luthier of the violin family, took a different perspective from the Madrid and Andalusia schools. His guitars are more heavily braced, using 9 instead of the more traditional 7 or 5 fan braces, as well as an additional lower transversal bar. This bar is arranged diagonally thereby creating asymmetry in the resulting soundboard stiffness which results in a more efficient use of the longitudinal dipole resonance mode thereby improving projection, especially in the center front region. The Fleta plantilla is somewhat longer than many traditional Torres based plantillas, and with a wider upper bout.
The Fleta sound is characterized by great clarity, presence, and sustain. There’s immediacy to the sound once plucked, and the discrimination of notes within chords is very distinct. The guitar is quite responsive at low action, but can also be set up with high concert level action allowing for very strong attack of the right hand. It’s more robust bracing provides great headroom for the player who wants to maximize dynamic range. The voice can be characterized as bold, precise, focused, and very balanced. The Fleta design lends itself to both spruce, as well as cedar soundboard material.