Newb's first guitar choices

Billj
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Location: Central Ohio, USA

Newb's first guitar choices

Postby Billj » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:31 pm

Hi all,

I've made a resolution to take up classical guitar in the upcoming year and I need some advice. While I plan to eventually have 2 guitars (one cedar & one spruce) I plan to buy one "nice" one now and a beater later that can stay at work to allow for a half hour of practice during lunch. After reading through many posts here I've decided that buying a solid wood guitar is the right choice for me. That means considering mainly used guitars for my budget and I have a few choices to run past you. All come with cases and could be returned but they aren't local so I can't test them out.

$900 = Alhambra 11c used cedar
$675 = Takemine Hirade H5 used spruce
$600 = Yamaha GC22 used cedar
$500 = Yamaha GC12 used cedar
$450 = Alvarez MCA70 new spruce

I'm sure all the choices are much more capable than I will be for several years but any insight into future appreciation, build quality, etc?

Thanks,

Bill

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souldier
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Re: Newb's first guitar choices

Postby souldier » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:53 pm

At that price I think the Yamaha GC22 would be my choice. Great clarity and response
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Ramon Amira
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Re: Newb's first guitar choices

Postby Ramon Amira » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:28 am

Yamaha GC12 or GC22, whichever seems to be in better condition. Depending on your financial situation, since you're just getting started you might be better off with the GC12 - it's a great guitar, and would be all you would need for a long time to come.

Ramon
Classical and Flamenco guitar lessons via Skype worldwide - Classical and Flamenco guitars from Spain

cool09
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:28 am
Location: Chesapeake, MD

Re: Newb's first guitar choices

Postby cool09 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:34 am

Buy my Picado 49 guitar for sale in the "sales" section. Some guitars that have laminated backs or sides can sound as good as a solid guitar.
The Picado 49 can compete with my solid Picado 53 which sells for $1595.

dandan
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Re: Newb's first guitar choices

Postby dandan » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:37 am

I would also go for the Yamaha GC22 out of those. The Alhambra 11c is also a very nice guitar, but the Alhambras have quite chunky necks which are not to everyone's taste.
1969 Rokutaro Nakade A9
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Norman2
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Re: Newb's first guitar choices

Postby Norman2 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:13 pm

Hi, I would ad another guitar to your list. The Almansa Concert 457 has solid cedar top, solid rosewood back and sides, ebony fingerboard. high
quality tuners, and most of all it is made in Spain. I bought mine for $800.00 in pristine condition and the sound and sustain are better than most
of the guitars you listed. Do a search on it and read the reviews. There are some used in the market that you could get for 600-700 USD. The Yamahas
you list are no match for the Almansa 457. Regards
Norman2
Almansa 457

Billj
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Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:17 pm
Location: Central Ohio, USA

Re: Newb's first guitar choices

Postby Billj » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:15 am

Thanks for all the replies, I will look into the Almansa which I haven't heard of before. I ended up buying a new Alvarez MCA70 for a great price ($355) just to get started so I will still be looking for a cedar top.

Lovemyguitar
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Location: Canada

Re: Newb's first guitar choices

Postby Lovemyguitar » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:40 pm

Congrats on the new guitar -- that Alvarez sounds like a nice one, all solid wood, too! Enjoy!

By the way, do be aware that no matter what guitar you buy nor what you suggest as possible guitars you may wish to buy in the future, somebody on a forum will tell you that you should have bought/should buy something else entirely. Don't let that bother you!

Pat Dodson
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Location: United Kingdom

Re: Newb's first guitar choices

Postby Pat Dodson » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:58 pm

Congratulations! That's a real find! May it give you much joy.

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Debussychopin
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Location: Orange County, California

Re: Newb's first guitar choices

Postby Debussychopin » Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:37 am

The alvarez master series are underrated on here for student models. That is a good price

Also something of interest is the Spanish made esteva Westwood all solid artesano model listed at $350.

This is supposedly similar to Esteve 8. If so, this is a steal. Please someone buy it before I entertain buying it just out of principle.

Esteve 8 cedar
Alhambra 9P cedar

Billj
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Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:17 pm
Location: Central Ohio, USA

Re: Newb's first guitar choices

Postby Billj » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:50 pm

It arrived safely yesterday and I left it alone so the temperature could slowly equalize once inside...safe to tune & play with tonight? It's beautiful by the way and now all I have to do is learn to play it...

Just curious, as it's too late now, but has anyone compared the Westwood Artesano to the Alvarez MCA70? You guys are making me GASsy! :merci:

Seriously though, I do appreciate your help. I learn something here everyday!

Lovemyguitar
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Location: Canada

Re: Newb's first guitar choices

Postby Lovemyguitar » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:01 pm

Billj wrote:It arrived safely yesterday and I left it alone so the temperature could slowly equalize once inside...safe to tune & play with tonight?...

Oh yes, that's loads of time for it to acclimatise to its new surroundings -- it'll be good to go! Enjoy!

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Debussychopin
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Re: Newb's first guitar choices

Postby Debussychopin » Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:53 am

I don't know much about the alvarez guitars but I do have an Esteve 8 guitar. And if the artesano Westwood guitar bears exact resemblance to it ( I don't know; I'm just going off of what others said here claiming the artesano is the Esteve 8 ) , it would be a Spanish-made , robust -sounding, solid guitar which is worth 1200-1300 dollars (which I paid for the Esteve.

Comparing the mca70 to it, I can only say the obvious bc I have never played or heard its sound. So i notice the Westwood has an ebony reinforced cedar neck while the alvarez has a mahogany neck.
And the fretboard is ebony on the artesano while the alvarez is rosewood.

Esteve 8 cedar
Alhambra 9P cedar

MessyTendon
Amateur luthier
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Re: Newb's first guitar choices

Postby MessyTendon » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:49 pm

Check out the Esteva model from Reverb web-site. They have a solid indian rosewood guitar for 400$ and free shipping, if they haven't sold out, that's the one I'd get.

Billj
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Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:17 pm
Location: Central Ohio, USA

Re: Newb's first guitar choices

Postby Billj » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:47 pm

Sure...now you tell me :shock: First it was a guitar and now I'm waiting on William Kenengiser's "Effortless Classical Guitar", a footstool and a capo to arrive.

As far as the Westwood Artesano models go I have to say they do look awfully nice and it would be an incredible price if they are as well built and respected as the Esteve. I'd snap one up in a second if they were cedar just based on the opinions here but I can't justify two spruce guitars in a week. My fingers are already sore from my first two practice sessions but I did search and see that one was just bought leaving only two more. If I buy one and have it shipped to debusseychopin can we strongarm him into a comprehensive review? Do we think he would ship it back to me after the review if he loves it as much as his Esteve?

I realize I don't know much at this stage but I'm very happy with my Alvarez so far. 4 strings stayed in tune overnight and 3 & 4 just needed a slight tensioning to fall in line before practicing this morning (which seems normal for new strings from what I've read?). I noticed no buzzing during practice or when lightly tapping around the soundboard but with no experience I may not recognize it anyway. I have no way of judging playability yet but string heights seem within norms and the frets are well polished to my beginner eyes/hand. Everything I did seemed hard and awkward but I'm not sure any guitar would help me with that at this stage. I am currently looking for an instructor for some lessons and will get their opinion at that time.


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