As the Spanish colonized the islands of the Caribbean they brought many things, including musical instruments. Guitars were very popular and as time passed several new variants developed. In Puerto Rico the cuatro, with a violin-like shaped body, tuning in 4ths and a sound sort of between a mandolin and 12-string guitar, became the mainstay of jibaro music. At the same time Cubans in Oriente province altered the guitar a seis (regular Spanish guitar) into a smaller bodied form with 3 courses with variable tunings and both outside courses tuned with octave strings. This was the instrument of the guajiros, playing son and also changui and other forms. These two island guitars have been hard to find but now we can offer a tres and cuatro made in America of hardwoods. Both are modeled after fine traditional instruments and even incorporate some minor changes that improve intonation. The tres is not an altered guitar as are so many being played today - it's a special shape from a 1950's Havana design with small straight upper bouts and a plank-sawn top with special bracing producing a rich but loud tone. It is set up for tuning Gg-cc-Ee or Gg-bb-Ee, and has a tailpiece and classic style bridge true to the original. The cuatro is a standard body style, tuned Bb-Ee-aa-dd-gg, and the top is quarter sawn solid hardwood. Both instruments are matte finished for protection without sacrificing tone to a heavy varnish.