Looking for a small guitar

07/17/17 06:39:02AM
6 posts

Hello people,

I am looking for a small guitar, to produce small quantities of cremini, truffles and pâte de fruits. Does anyone have experience with the one from Martellato?

I have this one in mind: http://www.martellatoprofessional.com/en-GB/0/0/0/Double-cut-mini-guitar__p-33141-33174-33185-2304.aspx

I have to special order it, so I'd like to know if it's any good.


07/18/17 08:41:36AM
6 posts

Does anyone have experience with the big Martellato guitars or their products in general? I don't know the reputation of the brand.

Greg Gould
07/19/17 01:27:14PM
68 posts

I have a Martellato full size double guitar and it's incredibly frustrating. I'm not sure if another brand would be better, but I know a large company who had a Dedy, sold theirs and cut by hand now.

Strings break all the time and you'll wreck your fingers trying to restring it with piano wire.  Cleaning it is a pain in the ass, something to consider if you need to wash between every recipe.

A guitar cutter should be a great thing and at some point I hope to try and work with it again, if I can hire a piano tuner to restring the frames.  In the meantime, I score with a caramel cutter and cut with a blade.

updated by @greg-gould: 07/19/17 01:28:29PM
07/24/17 09:53:23AM
6 posts

Thanks a lot, Greg, for your insights. They are very helpful.

Can you tell me a bit more why the strings are so difficult to replace? Is it like tuning a guitar? This model is quite small (0,5m x 0,5m) and supposedly dishwasher safe.. I wonder if the strings will break as easily as the full size's longer strings.

Jim Dutton
07/24/17 04:24:15PM
75 posts

I have a full-size Dedy. In about 30 uses, I have broken one string--and that was my fault, not the guitar's. It's not a pleasant job to replace a string, but it's not super-difficult. There is a video showing how to do it. My experience suggests that the strings are not so fragile; rather the whole issue is cutting the right ganache at the right time. By that I mean not trying to cut substances with chopped nuts or coconut or nibs, etc. and having the ganache at a consistency where it will cut cleanly but is not too firm. The time I broke a string was when I was cutting a gianduja layer--it firmed up faster than usual, and I wasn't paying close attention. With ganaches and gianduja, I watch it fairly closely until it begins to crystallize around the edges and gets that matte (rather than wet) look, and then I test around the edges of the slab (which I will eventually trim off anyway) by sticking a small knife repeatedly into the ganache. It's like testing many cakes--wait until the tester comes out almost clean. It may sound like a tedious process, but there are two things I can say definitively about a guitar: Once you break a string, you will be more careful in the future, and getting those perfect pieces with completely straight edges is very satisfying (and I don't think it is possible to duplicate that with a knife).

You might want to check out the lengthy thread on guitars on the eGullet forum. If I recall correctly, someone on that thread was planning to buy a small guitar, and people asked the poster to report on it, but there was never any more information provided.

07/24/17 09:19:56PM
287 posts

I have a small Dedy - it's a beautiful thing! The large Dedy was as well - it's in use elsewhere these days. I know that one of the eGullet Matt's has a small Martellato and he has found it works well for what he does. The Martellato actually has a slightly larger bed than the Dedy so cuts more pieces for the size which is an advantage I'd say. It's not a double though.

The objection I have to the Martellato's is the plastic - I've seen some where the raised plastic edge gets splits in it - then it is the thing that catches then breaks the wires as they come down.

Changing a wire is tedious initially - you get better at it. But I have not broken a lot of them over time, by watching what I'm cutting as Jim mentions above. 




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