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    • A few weeks ago I told you how I fell head over heels in love with everything on the wall at the Casa da Guitarra store in Porto, Portugal, especially one specific model, the Amarantina.

      You'll recall the shipping charge was 200 Euro, which seemed rather excessive. I just didn't have the available hands to drag another piece home with me, beyond the four bags we were already dragging. so I passed.

      But once home, I deeply regretted the decision and reached out to the store to see if I could order it after all.

      Cut to ten days later, 200 Euro shipping plus 300 Euro for what is called a "Viola" in Portugal, and the ten string beauty is now living in Manhattan Beach.

      Now I just need to learn the tuning. This is a ten string instrument, two more than a mandolin. Each string pair is tuned in octaves--high D and low D, for instance. Wikipedia says it's DABEA, as opposed to the traditional guitar tuning of EADGBE.

      I'll let you know how I fare and return soon with a video!

    • You're beaming, Jefferson! The love of your new instrument is radiating from your photo. I can't wait to hear what this sounds like and to see your expression as you play it.

      It's simple joy like this that makes my day.