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Giannini Craviola 12-string
Overall Rating
Submitted: September 11th, 2017
by barefootdesigns
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Sound Quality
Still love the sound and handling of a Craviola.   
Nothing has changed from my first review regarding the poor reliability of most Craviola 12-string guitars.   
I've noticed that the prices of the old ones have risen quite a bit.   
General Comments
This is an update.   Based on other reviews, I'd like, as a luthier who has torn apart a Craviola 12-string and knows the product rather well, to make some corrections.   First, none of the old (first) Craviolas used solid wood--not for the top or back and sides.   The laminated backs and sides generally hold together pretty well.  The tops were not only a plywood, but an especially weak version given to delamination, especially the 12-string guitars.     Giannini's solid-wood guitars came much later and were quite expensive, by comparison.   I can't say that I've played one but suspect that they're quite nice, based on the one I put a solid top on.   Second,  I'm pretty sure Giannini DOES make a fitted case for the Cravs.   Sometimes original cases can be found on ebay, but they are pretty rare and are pretty expensive, because they're rather cheaply made chipboard cases that don't hold up well.
Reviewer's Background
I have about 20 years experience as a  luthier (both as a builder and as a specialist in restoration) and many more years of playing and collecting guitars.   For many years I've been fascinated with Craviolas, which have traditionally had a rather cult-like following.    I believe that the Craviola shape is a superior shape for guitars and have used a modified version of that shape for a lot of the guitars I build.   I've even gone to the trouble of making two identical classical guitars from bookmatched woods, with only the shape difference in that one is a craviola shape and one a traditional classical shape.   When my customers and friends played them side by side, they agreed that the Craviola had a better sound.   The reasons are pretty technical, but basically, the blown out bass side gives the big low notes plenty of loose top to vibrate, while the sharp waist on the tenor side tightens up the top to produce those chimey trebles that everybody loves.   Regular guitars with identical side architecture are naturally hampered to produce different sounds.     I make a custom order Craviola-shaped travel guitar I call the Traviola which is very popular.     As I am getting pretty old and now semi-retired, I'm hoping that somebody else will help bring the Craviola out of the closet and into the limelight as I have tried to do.   
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