Lorenzo Pimentel, renowned maker of handmade guitars

Associated Press / January 6, 2011

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ALBUQUERQUE — Lorenzo Pimentel, whose handmade guitars are played by professionals around the world, has died.

Mr. Pimentel died Dec. 27 after a long battle with prostate cancer, family said. He was 82.

Mr. Pimentel, who moved to Albuquerque in 1963 with a few hand tools, founded Pimentel & Sons Guitar Makers Inc.

Mr. Pimentel’s handmade classical guitars gained an international reputation after the music magazine Frets featured his work in 1965 and guitarist and music publisher Mel Bay published photos of Mr. Pimentel’s work on the covers of his guitar method books.

His reputation for quality endured because he resisted mass-producing guitars, said his son, Rick Pimentel, president of Pimentel & Sons. Today, the company builds just 40 instruments a month, ranging from $1,200 student models to concert instruments costing up to $15,000.

Lorenzo Pimentel, born in Durango, Mexico, made his first guitar at age 15 in a workshop in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, under the guidance of two brothers.

His fortunes improved with the soaring popularity of folk music in the 1960s and 1970s.

Lorenzo Pimentel leaves his wife, Josefina Pimentel Garnica; sons Carlos, Hector, Agustin, Rick, Robert, Victor, Lawrence, and Gustavo Pimentel; daughters Zoyla Munoz, Maricela Pimentel, and Aida Pimentel; a brother, Agustin Pimentel; 22 grand- children; and 17 great-grand- children.