Guitars with great playability and low action

njoneja
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Guitars with great playability and low action

Post by njoneja » Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:56 pm

Hi,

Getting back to playing after a hiatus of a few years and noticing my hands aren't as able to handle higher action as they used to be. My ideal situation would be to lower the action of my guitar (Bernabe), but in looking at the construction, there doesn't appear to be room to lower the saddle more than 1mm, which I don't think will cut it.

Any suggestions for a concert quality instrument that comes with, or has room for adjustment to, relatively low action without buzzing?

Thanks very much!

hesson11
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Re: Guitars with great playability and low action

Post by hesson11 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:41 pm

Lowering the saddle by 1mm will result in a lowering of the 12th fret action by .5mm. What does your action currently measure at the 12th fret?

As to your question, just about every competently built guitar should have enough room for adjustment to reasonably low action. If it doesn't, there is probably a problem with the neck angle. I wonder how old your Bernabe is. It it possible the neck angle has changed over a lengthy period of time?
-Bob

Lovemyguitar
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Re: Guitars with great playability and low action

Post by Lovemyguitar » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:17 am

Perhaps measuring the action on your Bernabe will give us an idea of what it is, first, and whether it is unusually high or not (as Hesson suggests). If you just started playing after an absence, it may just take a bit more practice to get your strength/dexterity back. Of course, all that being said, a 1 mm lower saddle may make more of a difference than you think -- it is worth a try, before buying a new instrument.

Adam
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Re: Guitars with great playability and low action

Post by Adam » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:07 pm

You might like a flamenco negra. They have low action, and are loud and responsive. They can work well for classical, but whether it would be right for you I don't know.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Guitars with great playability and low action

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:18 pm

You might be able to get it on the Bernabe if you use bridge beads, unless the action is pretty high that is.
If you want low action I'm afraid you are going to have to accept some buzzing, there's no free lunch. Flamenco players accept it, even celebrate it. Classical players don't, which means you may end up playing in a timid manner. So if the Bernabe doesn't work out either buy a guitar with a few saddles or get one with an adjustable neck. You may well have to go to higher action if or when you regain the facility. Of course good technique helps enormously with the left hand.
Historicalguitars.

njoneja
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Re: Guitars with great playability and low action

Post by njoneja » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:05 pm

Pardon my ignorance, how do bridge beads help with lowering action? (They look like a significant improvement for installing strings anyway, so I'll give them a shot regardless).

Thanks also for the suggestion re. Flamenca Negra, I'll have to see how I can check one out.

In the meantime I'll find a local shop to get a lower saddle and see how that goes.

Johnny Geudel
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Re: Guitars with great playability and low action

Post by Johnny Geudel » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:21 pm

I have a Fernando Mazza australian model ( cedar, lattice).
It has an adjustable rod-bar and a thin neck.
Approx. 4500 euro at Guitarras de Luthier in Madrid.

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pima1234
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Re: Guitars with great playability and low action

Post by pima1234 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:44 pm

My Sobel Blackwood has been absolutely excellent with the bone saddle Chris provided, but I prefer the guitar with low tension strings (Dogal Maestrale, at the moment). Makes difficult Bach passages less taxing on my left hand.

I do need to check the frets, as I believe some adjustment took place with the change in humidity.
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bchi123
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Re: Guitars with great playability and low action

Post by bchi123 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:51 pm

I recommend GV Rubio. I have played quite a few of his guitars (and I own one), and they all had great playability and comfort.
When words leave off, music begins. ~Heinrich Heine

astro64
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Re: Guitars with great playability and low action

Post by astro64 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:44 pm

njoneja wrote:Pardon my ignorance, how do bridge beads help with lowering action? (They look like a significant improvement for installing strings anyway, so I'll give them a shot regardless).
If you have a "single hole per string" tie block on the bridge of your guitar, bridge beads may improve the break angle of the string over the saddle. That also means you may be able to lower the saddle more and still get an acceptable break angle to hold the string in place.

vigmostad
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Re: Guitars with great playability and low action

Post by vigmostad » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:17 am

I just got the Cadenza model made by Stephen Eden. The playability is simply fantastic and the sound likewise. 2000GBP at Kentguitarclassics. You can listen to it on a youtube review.

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: Guitars with great playability and low action

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:19 am

The easiest guitar to play in my own experience is a Greg Smallman. The thing practically plays itself!

Bodhi
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Re: Guitars with great playability and low action

Post by Bodhi » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:06 am

Depending on your price range do look at Loriente guitars. Great playability and tone for the money
Juan De La Mancha Allegro 1980 Cedar
Loriente "Clarita" 2004 Spruce
Frederico Sheppard Barrios "Morant" 2010 Spruce
Hermanos Camps Primera Negra-A 2016 Spruce
Yulong Guo "Philharmonic" Double Top 2016 #01 Cedar French Polish

nnovoa
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Re: Guitars with great playability and low action

Post by nnovoa » Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:45 pm

vigmostad wrote:I just got the Cadenza model made by Stephen Eden. The playability is simply fantastic and the sound likewise. 2000GBP at Kentguitarclassics. You can listen to it on a youtube review.
I second that. I own an Eden concert model and the playability is really excellent. I made a second saddle lowering progressively the action to a minimum of 2.8mm and 2.2mm in the 12th fret , and to my surprise it didn't have any buzzes even with a rather aggressive playing style! It, however, lost some strength, so I went back to my normal action of 3.8mm and 3mm which is really comfortable too.
Last edited by nnovoa on Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bacsidoan
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Re: Guitars with great playability and low action

Post by bacsidoan » Sat Oct 08, 2016 7:42 pm

Denian Arcoleo wrote:The easiest guitar to play in my own experience is a Greg Smallman. The thing practically plays itself!
Smallman guitar is extremely easy to play. The carbon fiber fingerboard is super smooth.

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