Cumpiano guitars Cumpiano articles archive Make a guitar with William
Currently in Inventory
Y ou may browse through the gallery (below) of these instruments that are currently in stock and available for immediate purchase. As they are sold, and as new instruments are added, the gallery will change, so if you don't find the kind of instrument you are looking for, please check back soon. Arrangements can be made to send you an instrument for a tryout.
The seven-string's back and sides (and headstock veneer) are made entirely of 4-inch wide slats of Amaranth (also known as purpleheart or violetwood), a resonant hardwood similar in density and tambour to rosewood. The narrow slats were fashioned into a multi-piece wide guitar back, arranged in converging, wedge ribs, giving the impression of a lute-like shell.
|Purpleheart Seven-string Jumbo Steel String Guitar (wrc 220a)
Like new, never owned. An extremely rare, and hard to get seven-string
variant of the American flat-top steel string guitar was made by William
Cumpiano for his personal use a decade ago, when his love for Brazilian
music instigated him to create a Violao de Sete Cordas in a plan
to learn to accompany his work partner Harry Becker, an excellent guitarist,
during R & R music sessions in the shop.
The guitar is tuned like an ordinary steel string guitar (it's scale is Martin standard long scale) with the customary light-gauge set, but a seventh .060 wound string is added on the bass side, which can variously be tuned to a low B, C or D. The existence of a large, low-tuned string and it's sympathetic vibrations colors the entire sound range of the instrument, lending a unique baritone quality to the instrument--regardless of its standard guitar scale.
Including case, less shipping....... $4000.00
Para Rosewood Jumbo Steel String Guitar (wrc 186)
SOLD!Its strictly straight-grained, uniform (yet colorful ) Para Rosewood back and sides; and a perfect Bavarian Sliver Spruce soundboard lend a smooth, silky, formal and distinctively "baritone" sound to this large guitar. Its markedly arched fingerboard makes barring particularly easy and fingering secure.
Less case and shipping.... $4000.00 Download a short video slide show of this guitar with the guitar being played in the background ( 1.6 Meg .Quicktime movie). Live acoustic performance in the background: Antonio Jobim's arrangement of Ari Barroso's "Estate" performed by Harry Becker on this guitar. Note: if you receive any error messages while attempting to view this file, simply click past the error message) View additional photos with closeups
|Becker & Cumpiano
Steel String guitar (wrc 162)
instrument features a slim neck and exceptional holding comfort due to a reduced sound box
size under your arm--while keeping full sound box air capacity by the expanded lower side.
Read more about the wedge design here. Satin finish lacquer back and sides. Polished lacquer
soundboard. Fully warranted.
Hear my partner Harry Becker play a fragment of his original composition. Note: if you receive any error messages while attempting to view this file, simply click past the error message)
Listen to this guitar 450 k
|Sitka/Koa Acoustic Bass Guitar
You don't have to back your acoustic folk group up with a Fender
Bass any more! It's actually a super full-size jumbo guitar with a long scale
(34"). This refined instrument features abalone sound hole inlays, multi-color
marquetry purflings and beautiful, AAA figured Hawaiian koa back and sides. Custom-fit
hard-shell case included. Due to it's long neck, the use of a full length
guitar-strap is recommended for best balance. Slight shop wear, but guaranteed new and
Note: if you receive any error messages while attempting to view this file, simply click past the error message) View larger pictures and closeups
This rotund fellow to the left immediately below is none other than living legend Yomo Toro, perhaps Puerto Rico's greatest living senior Cuatro player. My dear friend Yomo is seen in my shop trying out one a series of six cuatros, made in my shop by my longtime partner Harry Becker with my encouragement and assistance.
a audio-video slide show of
these cuatros with John Sotomayor playing one of his compositions in the traditional style
while you view it. (1.4 meg Quicktime movie)
SOLD OUT. We've just sold the last instrument of the current batch of 10.
Becker is no longer making cuatros, but Cumpiano is. However he is making
only a very limited number a year, and if your order make it onto this
year's batch, you may have to wait for next's!
[back to top]
I will continue offering individually handcrafted guitars made in the American, European and Latin-American traditions, on a tailor-made, custom basis. Prices for made-to-order steel string guitars begin at around $4500. Prices for classic guitars begin at about $5000. They are available in a wide variety of materials and configurations to suit the owner's preferences. Delivery of these instruments varies according to Williams work load and teaching commitments. An instrument can take four to six weeks to complete from the time that it is begun, but it may take as much as a 12 months before the buyers particular commission can be attended to. The order in which commissions are begun is determined by the order in which commission deposits are received, so if you are seriously planning to commission a Cumpiano guitar, it is advisable to reserve your position in my work list at the earliest possible time.
Commissions for custom made instruments usually follow this sequence:
1- The buyer contacts me by phone, email, or makes an appointment to visit my shop.
2- Preliminary discussions regarding design, materials and appointment are begun. An approximate commission price is proposed.
3- Before any further detailed discussions can proceed, a deposit representing a third of the proposed commission price must be paid. At this point, the commission is entered on my building schedule. Details are subsequently established precisely after one or more additional conversations.
4- I submit by mail a commission contract specifying final costs, features, appointments, materials and design of the commission and applicable refund policies. Signed copies are exchanged.
5- Contact is renewed when construction of the buyers instrument is about to commence. The instrument is actually begun after I receive a second payment representing 50% of the balance of the final costs specified in the commission contract minus the original deposit.
6- When the instrument is completed, the final balance becomes due before the instrument is delivered. If the instrument is shipped to the buyer, a check for the final balance must be received before shipment. The check is held un-cashed until the buyer receives, evaluates and approves the sale. If the buyer does not accept the instrument for good cause, the final balance check is returned immediately upon receipt of the instrument in saleable condition.
Returns and refunds:
Either because of skill or luck, (or a combination of the two), in almost three decades of professional guitarmaking, I have never had an instrument refused or have had to refund a commission fee (save for instruments that were damaged in shipment), either due to the instrument not passing muster or from neglecting a feature which was originally requested. Indeed, every one of my instruments have met or surpassed buyer's expectations! However, there is always a first time, and I know that potential buyers need understand what my refund policy is, so that they can decide the nature of the potential risks which are indeed involved.
I feel that I risk that the buyer will not be able to pay for the instrument when it is completed, and that I may end up owning an instrument that has an unusual or unpopular design feature that I will find difficult to resell. On the other hand, the buyer is certainly entitled to the perception of a risk that the instrument may not appear in a timely fashion, or even appear at all, or that it will be a disappointment when it does appear. Thus I feel that it is reasonable that these risks be shared between maker and buyer in the following fashion (the following is included in the commission contract):
If the finished (completed) instrument is deemed to be a disappointment for a clearly articulated and well-defined reason ("I don't know, it's just not right for me" is not a valid reason), I will cheerfully refund the already-proffered payments in the following manner and under the following conditions:
If the commission must be cancelled before the instrument is finished (completed) because the buyer or the maker realizes that the buyer is unable to pay either the second or final payments, the following considerations apply:
If due to illness or accident, fire, earthquake, civil insurrection, etc., the maker himself is unable to complete the instrument, the earlier payments are returnable within sixty (60) days.