Michel Brück – Germany

Double tops combining the tonal beauty of an old Hauser with the power and focus of a fine Dammann…

Michel Brück’s flawlessly crafted double top guitars easily achieve his stated aim “to achieve a fusion of ‘old’ and ‘new’: the unique tonal quality of old European guitars in combination with the power and dynamics of an outstanding new technique”. His guitars raise new expectations for the double top guitar…

Elegant, inspiring double tops from Germany I have the pleasure of seeing, hearing and playing more double top guitars than probably anybody in the world. The double top concept, as originated by Master Builder Matthias Dammann, has taken the classical guitar world by storm and is now recognized as one of the most significant permanent evolutionary directions of the classical guitar in the past 100 years. I have spent considerable time testing, playing and researching double top builders over the years, always using the double tops of Dammann as the standard for comparison. In this way I feel I have selected the finest double top builders in the world for my clients.

It was this process that led me to the elegant double top guitars of Michel Brück. I have known Michel for many years, having sold is fine fan braced guitars more than ten years ago. However Michel, like many forward thinking Luthiers today, found himself drawn to the seemingly endless possibilities offered by the double top concept. He began building double top guitars of the highest quality, and eventually brought one for me to see and hear. I instantly recognized the flawless craftsmanship, work of the very highest and most precise level, but I was transfixed by the tone. He somehow captured the beautiful personality of say an old vintage Hauser 11, but complimented the gorgeous tone with such power and volume that just to hear it played in front of me literally ‘bolted’ me to my chair in awe. His guitars are the result of years of work and familiarity born as a result of maintaining some of the finest guitar collections in Germany (Torres, Santos, Hauser1 etc) fused with a superb understanding of the dynamics and intricacies inherent in a fine double top. The resulting blend is a double top like no other. Flawless craftsmanship, choir-like basses, and full round singing trebles all supported by tremendous volume. The highest level of expectations are met with his guitars.

Michel was born in 1965 and comes from a family of three generations of craftsmen, joining his father and grandfather in their love of working wood. He discovered his passion for the classical guitar at age 16 and thanks to his parents received several years of expert training at the Justus-Liebig University. In 1986 he began an apprenticeship as a luthier and ultimately built a guitar in 1989 under the guidance of Jose Romanillos, who left a warm lasting impression on him, as well as his work. By 1991 he had established his own workshop at Konigsberg, of this Michel says “Here I had the opportunity to devote myself intensively to instruments of old Spanish masters. The diverse sound qualities and the construction of the old instruments were of central interest to me. Guitars of Antonio Torres, Santos Hernández, Hermann Hauser I – exceptional instruments – have had a lasting influence on my work up to the present. In this respect, I have always been interested in guitars of lightweight build, deeply tuned instruments with a warm, dark character.”

Highly inspired by the guitars of Matthias Dammann Michel now focuses “intensively with modern approaches to guitar building. The aim of my efforts is to achieve a fusion of “old” and “new”: the unique tonal quality of old European guitars in combination with the power and dynamics of an outstanding, new technique”.

Michel sums up his feelings about the classical guitar by stating “It is an idea, a fantasy, formed and brought to life. It provides both the builder and the musician with the possibility of expressing to the outer world what is contained in their inner world. There is a magnificent magic inherent in it.”

There is magic in Michel’s guitars indeed, and his guitars raise new expectations for the double top guitar.