Marcelino López Nieto, with more than a half-century of experience, is one of Spain's most respected and accomplished luthiers. He is one of only five living Spanish makers included on Summerfield's list of the finest guitar makers since 1800. Like many luthiers in Spain, Marcelino worked as a cabinet maker before entering his current profession. He was drawn into making guitars, because he was studying with Daniel Fortea, and wanted a fine guitar, but could not afford one. Unlike many makers, he is a fine guitarist, and still performs.
Although, he confesses that as a luthier he is largely self-taught, he worked for a time (1971-75) making guitars for Hernandez y Aguado, and he informally learned much the theory of his craft from the widow of Santos Hernandez in whose workshop he hung out regularly as did many of the leading musicians of the time. He established his own workshop in Madrid in 1947.
Marcelino Lopez is one of the few builders in Madrid that was never influenced by the large body instruments of the Ramirez school, and continues to build a more traditional instrument. His classical guitars have a soulful Spanish character. Because he uses well aged woods (for example the spruce he is currently using for tops has been drying 20 to 25 years) his guitars have a rich, clear, open sound that one associates with aged spruce top guitars. Marcelino is a complete luthier, and makes not only fine handmade classical and flamenco guitars, but historic guitars and ancient instruments.