View Full Version : Ronroco - luthier built Pedro Quespe Torrez

mark howard
02-26-2019, 12:24 PM

For sale is a rare, I don’t use that word often as it’swell over used, but in this case I will, as Ronrocos are very rare and difficult to get in the Uk, you might be lucky and get one from Europe, but without doubt it will be a mass badly produced one, similar to the tourist instruments you can buy, this instrument is hand made by Pedro Quispe Torrez working in La Plaz in Bolivia,this particular Ronroco if your not up to speed on them, is known as a big charango, visually Itlooks scaled up, but the sound is very different and much nicer, there a fewtop makers of these instruments Pedro Quispe is one, the other is Pablo Richter, both these guys make custom builds,which is what this one is, scale length is 465mm I have strung this in several ways with the correct

Strings, it can be strung GCEAE, or DGBEB, AND also a tonelower CFADA.

To get an idea of the sound in the popular Argentinian tuning made famous by Gustavo Santaolalla, ( my one is also tuned as his DGBEB)

check the link below, he is film composer and musician famous for Broke back mountain, 21 grams, Motorcycle diaries, and aload of other films, and also the Sony game the last of us where he composed the music with the Ronroco playing the haunting theme, loads of players on youtube to see the tone, but Gustavo is king, Gustavo plays a Pablo Richter, another great maker



I purchased this a year ago from a musician in spain, who had it custom built, pictures ( 8 is Pedro Quispe Torrez the luthier holding the actual Ronroco during the build, I have subsequently had a mahogany arm rest fitted this is permanent and very solid and keeps your arm off the top of the instrument, I also had the under saddle pick up replaced for a slightly better one although I have not used it with an amp, it works well with my son small Yamaha ac amp, bear in mind it is an under saddle pick up, so picks up the sound vibration from the saddle area, it also includes a built in tuner.

I have included a book on the Ronroco in the DGBEB tuning and 4 packs of strings, that’s 10x strings per pack, DGBEB these can also be tuned down 1 whole tone to CFADA these alone are £15 per pack, I can also letyou know the guy who always has them in stock in the Uk, he also has the GCEAE strings as well.

I have taken as many pics as I can to show the condition, it has a great finish and is well built, bridge is super strong and absolutely no movement or lifting, action is nice, frets are perfect, fret board is ebony the darker wood is Narajillo and from memory the lighter wood is Jacaranda, you can see the tool marks in the wood as you would expect from this type of instrument and how it’s built, , the grain is very pronounced which I have tried to show also includes a decent hard case


picture 7 - 1 small area on the back near heal where the varnish has been scratched, I carelessly had my large bunch of keys in the case and caught them against the ronroco near the heel, it's been touched up with a gloss varnish and the laquer hard finish Pedro uses it intact, and will last for years. the retouch area is about an a little over an 1 inch by 2/3mm, doesn't affect sound in any way

some info about the luthier Pedro Quispe Torrez below and a youtube video from some years back about the build, theres a few others on there as well - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8ISXib9wFo

Pedro Quispe Torrez spent about 10 years working in the Achá workshop, then started his own company the Ronrocos and charangos
manufactured by Pedro Quispe Torrez are recognized worldwide for their high quality and exceptional sound. their impeccable finish and carefully selected first quality materials make the Quispe Torrez ronrocos charangos the best choice to have a professional instrument with magnificent characteristics.

Now, after 18 years of experience, Pedro Quispe Torrez continues to perfect the manufacturing techniques by searching and innovating his procedures in order to satisfy the needs and demands of the musicians who have chosen the Quispe Torrez ronrocos and charangos all over the world.Without a doubt the Ronrocos and charangos of Pedro Quispe Torrez are the inheritance of an ancestral art made musical instrument.

I paid £850 total to purchase and get it to the Uk from Spain, If you were to order from Pedro direct, you'd be looking at the equivalent of £1150, of that £250 would be vat and duty to pay to HM tax office, then shipping to the UK from La plaz in Bolivia, not to mention the headache and stress, and something called ( CITES ) which basically gives UK customs the right to confiscate and impound any item that has or is made of Rosewood/ blackwood, from my research though Jacaranda ( fret board ) and Naranjillo ( main body ) are not on any endangered species list, so in theory shipping is possible, just need to find prices

Viewing and playing welcome, I’m based in west sussex, I can ship, please ask as many questions as you want, not a lot more I can say, but please ask, or throw in an offer, genuine reason for sale so it does have to go

mark howard
02-26-2019, 12:27 PM
more pictures and price...... I am after around £650 and will entertain offers, the reason for sale is I have now re-connected with my classical guitar roots, and am retaking lessons

primarily playing Parlour sized/romantic guitars, so would also consider a trade for an old classical guitar short scale

02-26-2019, 12:54 PM
Amazing looking instrument.

Best of luck with the sale.

mark howard
02-26-2019, 01:25 PM
cheers Kenn2018, hopefuly someone will snap it up

Jim Hanks
02-26-2019, 04:19 PM
I know nothing about ronroco so please excuse these basic questions:
Strings are nylon?
Are the courses unison, octave, mix?
What's the nut width? String spacing at nut and bridge?

Is shipping to US an option? Or no because of CITES?

mark howard
02-26-2019, 09:45 PM
Hi Jim,

sorry, with all my blurb, I've forgotten the detail.

strings are Nylon the low B is a special nylon wound string that Medina Artega make specifically for the Ronroco, very similar to a classical string, but no metal parts

dd / gg / bB /ee /bb this link is the Argentinian tuning which is as it's set up now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp7LSwM588Y

and this is the Bolivian tuning Gg / Cc / EE / AA / EE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHupDlIoIgg which needs a different set of strings

CITES, again good question, from the info I have from Rafael the guy I purchased it from it's made of ( Naranjillo not protected ) and the finger board is a wood called ( Jacaranda again from my research it is also not protected) both these woods grow very abundantly in south America

so shipping worldwide would be no problem, but not sure of the cost, cased it's quite heavy, I'll get some rough price later and add them to the post

nut width 51mm = 5.1cm
12 fret width 60mm

string space gap between courses at nut = 7mm
action at 12th fret just shy of 3mm that's approx, my rulers not that great

hope that helps

Jim Hanks
02-27-2019, 10:45 AM
Thanks! It is a very interesting instrument. I better pass as I'm feeling much more comfortable with narrower nut widths now - I passed on the 50mm Cordoba Mini and I'm having a guilele built with 46mm. Good luck with the sale!

mark howard
02-27-2019, 10:52 AM
no worries Jim, if it doesn't sell I have had a reasonable part ex offer with a local music shop, not the best way to go, as they'll mark it up a crazy amount, but I really hate good instruments gathering dust so to speak,
i'll give it a few weeks before giving into the part ex.

Cheers Mark

mark howard
03-01-2019, 06:17 AM
To cover all enquiries on shipping, rough-ish shipping prices..... with a Zip code for my sisters location in Los Angeles and one in New york

USA - Depending on Zip code and service - $45 to $68
Europe - Depending on location and service 25 to 40 Euros
UK - £22 24 Express £16 48 express
The rest of the world would have to be specific on location, like Japan etc

mark howard
03-02-2019, 06:41 AM
price update, and a huge drop, I have had an offer accepted on a guitar so will happily take a hit on the Ronroco

£500 gets it

Cheers Mark

mark howard
03-03-2019, 01:21 PM
Now sold, thanks for the enquiries