Rodrigo Javier Castellanos Garcia of Colibrí Guitars and Basses México, a man of many names who builds beautiful instruments, is from Mexico City. Every time he contacts the shop we are bound to say his name in full. With emphasis.
Where are you located? We are located in Mexico City, in the downtown area, among a hundred colonial buildings!
How long have you been building? I have been building and repairing instruments for 12 years. I use to play bass years ago, and my luthier found I had some skills, so he asked me to join. I said… let me finish my studies in Graphic Design. The day I finished school I found a place with him as an apprentice.
Why do you build instruments? For love! What else!
How many instrument do you build per year?12-15
When did you start using Nordstrand Pickups? I have been using Nordstrand for 6 or 7 years. well, a good friend of Carey´s and customer, Edie Keller, showed me some basses Carey made for him.
Do you have a favorite Nordstrand Pickup? Difficult question… but, for guitar, the NDC and for bass, FatStack and the P4 Alnico 3 with Angled poles… Angled poles were my idea! jajaja Just kidding!
What do you believe are the most important factors in tone? Here at Colibrí Guitars and Basses, electronics, woods, touch of the player, it’s a mix of all…… but in fact, pickups, location of pickups and a selection of woods can be a good tool for musicians.
Who are some of the top players that you have built instruments for that use Nordstrand Pickups in their basses? Well, here in Mexico our brand is very well known, and have build basses for great musicians with a huge resumes such as as Aaron Cruz, Victor Gil, Fernando Tort (now in Las Vegas), Abo (Las Vegas),
What are your favorite materials to work with? Are you kidding??? wood! Seriously though, for necks, the “magno legno” aka Maple and I’ve been working with mahogany for my Gedovius Model, semi-hollow with piezo and shortscale.
For bodies, just alder and mahogany, as it is difficult (almost impossible) to get Swamp Ash in Mexico. The ash I can find here is heavier than steel!!!.
For tops, we have a nice hard woods! ziricote, chechén, palo escrito, and for sure, flame and quilted maple that we import from USA.
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