Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Neelyd1

Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Post by Neelyd1 » Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:02 pm

I am wanting to start looking for a step up type instrument. I have been playing a Córdoba c7 for about 6 months and it's a nice guitar but i feel that I am ready to start searching for something a little nicer. I have played steel string acoustic and electric for over thirty years but have only been playing classical for about 6 months now. My budget is going to be in the $1500 or less range. Mainly interested in a traditional instrument not a "crossover". Also want to buy new rather than used. When I have bought used in the past Ive never felt as though the instrument was "mine". I know that it is certainly best to try as many as possible before purchasing but that is where the difficulty lies. Even though I live just outside of Nashville, TN, I have encountered difficulty in finding classical guitars in this price range. That is part of the reason for this post as I was hoping someone might know of a dealer or shop in this area that I may not have found. Also was wondering what some people's recommendations were for instruments would be as this price range seems rife with choices. Cheers and thanks in advance for any guidance that the delcampers can provide.

PS I introduced myself a few weeks ago in the introduce yourself forum. If you would like to read it you can search under my username neelyd1. Thanks again!
Last edited by Neelyd1 on Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:30 pm

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Re: Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Post by Bill B » Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:40 pm

My advice, Which i heard but did not follow myself, is to forgo the step up instrument. wait until you know what you truly want and get that one. Its cheaper in the long run. But if you saw my guitar closet, you would know how impossible I have found it to hold out for "the one." But I still think its good advice. As far as a solid wood instrument goes, I don't think the back and sides will make as much difference, especially in that price range, as we often think. I would look into a solid topped Miguel Rodriguez, or Ramirez estudio in that price range.
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Re: Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Post by guitarseller345645 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:07 am

The C7 is a very good guitar and will be hard to beat (by a large margin - unless you are really willing to spend).

There was this chap who owned a C5 and wanted to upgrade to a entry level solid Esteve. I thought it would be a small difference but he was skeptical and went ahead.

He and his wife found miniscule difference - but he later declared that "the solid guitar was better after all".

Maybe you would need something like (at least) an Adalid 9C/B, an Aparicio AA100 or Ramirez 2NE...just my 2 cents :)
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Re: Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Post by MessyTendon » Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:30 am

I would look at the Picado Model 53. It's 1595...a touch over budget.

The difference between Picado and Cordoba will be that the Picado will play like a luthier instrument, for a fraction of the cost. Picado guitars are voiced in the very traditional sense, but if you insist they do have the double top guitar in the same price range. I recommend the Spruce over Cedar for the long haul.

I don't know of many guitars in the price bracket that can compete with Picado. They are just beautiful guitars and the factory lacquer is quite thin and durable.

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Re: Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Post by attila57 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:08 pm

If I were you, I'd buy a broken (but not hopeless) second hand solid wood instrument, maybe after a thorough check by an expert friend. I'd mend it myself, or have it mended by a good luthier. You can get much further this way than with a new instrument in the given price range. Age usually does good to wood, and the guitar will certainly be personalized. Forget factory lacquer and sheen, finish it with thin natural varnish, like shellac. Even if you are not completely satisfied with the end result, at least you'll get to know what qualities you really want in a guitar.
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Re: Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Post by Number 6 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:30 pm

$1500 or less to buy something new will not get you an instrument that is a major improvement over the c7. I think the next step is the $3000-$4000 range to get a nice used luthier built guitar.

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Re: Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Post by Adam » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:17 pm

MessyTendon wrote:I would look at the Picado Model 53. It's 1595...a touch over budget.

The difference between Picado and Cordoba will be that the Picado will play like a luthier instrument, for a fraction of the cost. Picado guitars are voiced in the very traditional sense, but if you insist they do have the double top guitar in the same price range. I recommend the Spruce over Cedar for the long haul.

I don't know of many guitars in the price bracket that can compete with Picado. They are just beautiful guitars and the factory lacquer is quite thin and durable.
I'm going to play a 53 and 54 this weekend. I've heard great things about them, very curious to see how they play and sound.

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Re: Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Post by Adam » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:33 pm

Number 6 wrote:$1500 or less to buy something new will not get you an instrument that is a major improvement over the C7. I think the next step is the $3000-$4000 range to get a nice used luthier built guitar.
Not sure I agree that the next step up from a $500 guitar with laminated back and sides is a $3000+ guitar. Lots of nice and interesting options in the $1000 - $3000 range, especially if you are also considering used instruments.

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Re: Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Post by Guitar-ded » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:12 pm

Honestly, for $1500 new I wouldn't bother changing because I don't think there will be too much/enough improvement. If you're willing to look at used then you'll probably have a bit better choice, probably. Personally, I'd say that if you must have new (why?) keep your money and add to it over time. The C7 will do you OK for a while yet. If you *must* spend then maybe take a look at the Hill Player range and if you can add a little bit of $$ then look at Stephen Edens' Cadenza, a real guitar with the 'pretty' scaled back but with the sound as you'd want it.
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Re: Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Post by Gregory Gleason » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:37 pm

The C7 already has a solid top. Do you feel that solid sides/back will make a big difference? A lot of luthiers make laminated sides.
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Re: Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Post by Bodhi » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:48 pm

Hi I would recommend you look a Loriente Clarita which is the model below Marieta and will come in your budget. I have had a spruce for 10 years and it is wonderfully playable and clear in sound. When i invested recently in some concert guitars i couldnt bring myself to sell it and i still enjoy playing it. I think the new cost is around $1500
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Re: Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Post by souldier » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:33 am

I concur with many of the above posts... the C7 is a great instrument (which I have owned) especially considering its price and you'll need to spend a considerably higher amount to play something with a considerable improvement. I totally understand the desire to have something better. In my experience it takes time to really know what "better" actually is and if you pull the trigger too soon, you might discover that you could of easily spent that money more wisely. Especially with a $1500 budget, I would rather use this money when:

1. I have reached a higher level of playing and expanded repertoire
2. I have a more refined idea of what makes a guitar better
3. I have a bigger budget and can combine it with the $1500.

The C7 is really no slouch and nothing to be ashamed of especially early on. Your time and energy right now might be better spent on finding a good teacher and really improving your playing ability. You can also spend this time travelling to different dealers with your C7 so you can play as many high end classical guitars as possible to refine your ear to know what to look for in terms of tone, playability, etc.

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Re: Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Post by Lovemyguitar » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:12 am

Gregory Gleason wrote:The C7 already has a solid top. Do you feel that solid sides/back will make a big difference? A lot of luthiers make laminated sides.
Please note that there is a huge difference between the wood used in a cheap(er) guitar that is called "laminated", which is essentially nothing more than plywood (that is, really cheap wood/plywood with a thin solid wood veneer to make it look nice), versus the wood used in a luthier-built guitar with "laminated" sides, the latter of which uses two pieces of high-grade solid tone-wood glued together presumably to increase stiffness. These are two totally separate types of guitar construction, with two very different qualities of wood, and should not be confused as being the same.

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Re: Starting the quest for a solid wood classical

Post by Debussychopin » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:08 am

There is a considerable difference in quality of sound between a Cordoba c7 also including c12/c10 and an Esteve 8 and Alhambra 9p both i have bought new below $1500.
Im sorry I have to disagree w many here who say there is no real difference I have handled and played these specific instruments for a considerable time and have unbiasedly noticed these differences almost immediately upon comparisons at same time in my living room along w one another who concurred.

Not sure if it is the nature of the cheaper guitar factory makes or if it is just Cordoba, im not sure , but im not buying into cordoba any time soon.

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