Classic guitar maker brings generations of experience to East Na - WSMV Channel 4

Classic guitar maker brings generations of experience to East Nashville

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Manuel Delgado's family began making guitars in 1928. (WSMV) Manuel Delgado's family began making guitars in 1928. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Manuel Delgado makes guitars because his father did, and his father made guitars because his father did.

Three generations of handmade classical instruments that started in East Los Angeles now calls East Nashville home.

A good eye and a good ear is what makes Delgado’s guitars great.

“When you’ve been doing it this long, you just know it. I don’t know how to explain it,” he said.

As a boy, he learned from his father and grandfather. The Delgado family began making guitars in 1928.

“I still get to work on instruments from time to time that someone brings in that my father and grandfather built,” Delgado said. “And to know they’re no longer here but their instruments still are, that’s because they were built right.”

Only 28 Delgado guitars are made each year. Two-hundred hours of sweat and precision goes into each one.

“If you want a new instrument built, it’s not going to happen quickly,” Delgado said. “Somebody wants it good and fast, it’s not going to be cheap. Someone wants it fast and cheap, it’s not going to be good.”

Delgado isn’t changing. History won’t let him.

“We’re dealing in a world where everything is going to mass production. People don’t appreciate things made by hand,” Delgado said.

“It has my family’s name on it, so it has to be done correctly,” he added.

Delgado Guitars have history in the hands of great musicians. Jose Feliciano, Los Lobos, Jackson Browne, Sheryl Crow and Earl Scruggs have all played on.

Delgado, his wife Julie and 10-year-old daughter Ava have a family band. Los Delgados appear regularly on stages across Nashville.

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