Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Garry B
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Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Post by Garry B » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:03 am

Hello all,

A couple of months ago i spotted a Raimundo 104b for £150 on e - b a y, so, already having made the decision to commit to CG properly (i've played for years but am a newcomer to CG) i snapped it up. Apparently these guitars are between four and five hundred new, this one looks like it's never been played.

Was it worth it or have i wasted money on a guitar just because it's a fairly good name? Supposedly the guitar was handmade in Spain by M Raimundo, however i suspect the man himself never even cast eyes on the guitar.
I think i'm just checking with people who know their stuff when it comes to CGs if i got a good deal or if i could have done better for £150? Also, their are no fret markers on the neck nor the fingerboard, i've never had a guitar like this and am getting frustrated with position mistakes, are there any kind of unintrusive fret markers i could use to remedy this designed for the said problem? I'd also like to ask about lowering the action but fear i've already asked too many questions heh heh.

To my ear, the best sounding CG is the Redgate lattice, the lows sound rich and not boomy and the highs sound sweet and sparkly rather than thin and tinny, but alas they're hopelessly beyond my price range.

Thanks for any advice.

Carlos
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Re: Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Post by Carlos » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:43 am

Hi Garry,

Here some feedback on my side.

You basically got an entry level Raimundo guitar. As far as I can judge from the internet, you got it for 150 pounds while it sells new for 250 pounds.

As to Raimundo itself, this is certainly a good brand. Of course, these are "factory" made guitars. By factory this does not mean that they are not hand made, just that they are made with an industrial mindset, eg they are not produced by on single luthier but by a team of workers in a big warehouse, with the construction process of the guitar designed in a way to save working time spent on the guiar and also costs of material. That does not mean that the guitar is bad, but you cannot expect the level of care on the construction that you would have on a guitar costing 20 times that price. However, if you would have paid 20 times that price, you might not end up with a sound twenty times better...substantial prices increase only result into marginal increments in quality (however note you are at entry model level, so the curve is steeper there).

Personally, I have a Raimundo 148, which they market as a Concierto model, although this remains of course a study guitar. It sells at around 1000 euros. I bought it 20 years ago, meanwhile I moved to (much) more expensive guitars, so I can compare, and frankly the Raimundo is good. No regret. I bought it after having tried a few different ones in a Valencia shop, and in retrospect I can see I made a good choice. (Actually, a few years after I got another study guitar but from a french luthier, based on the insistence of my professor, and I did not find it really better than my Raimundo - in restrospect buying the luthier one was a waste of money)

Is it the best you can get from this price range? It´s hard to say. I have not tried the 104b so I cannot tell specifically how this one compares with other competitors within the same price range. I know the entry level of yamaha is very good for the price (the C40, I have one which I left with my step-family to avoid travelling with one guitar each time I go there). They can get it done very cheap using cheap labour in Phillipines (even cheaper than spanish workforce, also meaning the workers are not as nicely treated). You can also typically get good value for money with Esteve (I could test a few, and have a flamenco one the 8F), or - in a lower quality/price segment - with Prudencio Saez. Both from Valencia, like Raimundo.

In any event, for 150 pounds you should not have too much second thoughts, this is really cheap for a guitar. If the guitar has a nice sound and is playable (and I am pretty sure your 104b is playable, eg with not too high action, and also in tune), then you should be happy with it. For the next level of quality, you would need between 700 and 900 pounds. And the level after 1700 pounds. The best deals in my views are second hand luthier guitar- they sell for half the price new (if not one-third) and have the sound beautified by age. But first thing is to save the money.

For the fret markers just use some white stickers (cut for instance from a set of printable envelope labels), that will do the trick.

In a nutshell, I don´t think you´ve made a bad deal, if you enjoy playing the guitar that´s really all what you need, stop bothering about it, put the stickers for the playing comfort, and do enjoy practicing it without too much second thoughts.

Kind regards,

Carlos.

Lovemyguitar
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Re: Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Post by Lovemyguitar » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:45 pm

I agree with Carlos, that sounds like a good deal! While your new guitar is an entry-level Raimundo, it is better than some other entry-level guitars, mainly because it has a solid-wood top (while some cheaper guitars have laminated-wood -- i.e. plywood -- tops, and you don't want that!). It will serve you well as a beginner, and once you build up your skills, then maybe you can save for that Redgate! :wink:

The action on a classical guitar is higher than on other types of guitars, so give it a bit of time to see if you get used to it, otherwise lowering it is not a problem -- the saddle and/or nut can be filed down a bit. For me, a comfortable action is around 3mm at the treble E and 4 mm at the bass E (or a tiny bit lower), measured at the 12th fret from top of the fret to the string.

Cheers, and enjoy your new guitar!

Garry B
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Re: Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Post by Garry B » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:58 am

Thank you both for the advice and encouragement.

I've only had the guitar in my hands for a few days (i bought my little girl a keyboard for xmas and had to make a deal not to touch it til then) so i haven't had chance to put it through its paces properly as yet. It has quite a rich tone but not as rich as i expected, for instance i was given a Lauren100N beginner guitar roughly six months ago and when i plucked the unwound strings the sound resonated strongly and also projected nicely (i was completely amazed). The reason for this baffles me, unless the Lauren came stocked with superior strings (i think it had been played only once or twice) and this is the reason.

I have noticed the instrument is particularly light for some reason, does that make much difference in a nylon acoustic? The strings i put on the Raimundo are D'Addario Pro.Arté nylon core's, please could you recommend the strings that'll get the best result for said guitar? The action at the nut is perfect yet at the twelfth fret it's excessively high but i fear if i try to sand the underside of the bridge blade down myself i may ruin the guitar, and there are no luthiers in my area so i'm not certain what to do. The first thing i checked (as always) was the intonation, to my delight it was absolutely spot on. Will lowering the action have an effect on the intonation on a nylon acoustic?

Thanks again.

Lovemyguitar
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Re: Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Post by Lovemyguitar » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:42 am

I don't know what a "Lauren 100N" is so I have no idea what the comparison may be. Classical guitars are very light in weight, compared to their steel string cousins, because the string tension is so much lower, thus the instrument need not be as heavily built. Also, nylon strings are not as loud as steel strings (if that is what you are comparing it to) -- it should generally be softer and mellower, that is the nature of a classical guitar. As well, entry-level classicals sometimes tend to be rather softer and less resonant/less projecting than more expensive models, in my experience, so your expectations may be a bit high.

You may, however, wish to experiment with strings, if you want a different shade of sound: carbon strings will be brighter than nylon, if that's what you like. Also, if you are worried about damaging the original saddle, you can buy a blank and sand it down. On the other hand, any guitar tech at any guitar store ought to be able to adjust it for you -- it need not be a "luthier" per se. Not sure if that would affect your intonation, but I've lowered the action on all of my classical guitars by lowering the saddles a bit, and I haven't had any intonation problems.

By the way, since you said that you like the sound of Redgate guitars, do note that Redgates are quite a bit louder and brighter sounding than a traditionally-built Spanish instrument, which is what the Raimundo is. In fact, many people who love the traditional classical guitar sound are not all that fond of the Redgate sound, because it is rather different in an overly bright and some might say "harsh" way (but, of course, that is subjective!). As I mentioned, carbon strings will help to brighten up your Raimundo, if you want that.

Cheers!

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Michael.N.
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Re: Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Post by Michael.N. » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:29 am

Measure the action at the 12 th fret, from the top of the fret to the underside edge of the string. Normally we measure bass 'E' and treble 'E'.
You will need a 6" metal ruler - they start at 0, most of the plastic rulers start at minus zero, if you get my meaning.
As for position dots. That's a difficult one. Some people come to rely on them, some don't need them at all. They certainly aren't necessary, which is why people can sight read whilst flying up and down the fretboard. It's also why blind people can play guitar, piano, violin etc. The question then becomes whether they should be used for beginners.
Historicalguitars.

Rob
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Re: Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Post by Rob » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:06 pm

You can buy removable fret markers from Strings by Mail (and elsewhere) that are low cost and stay on well.

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Debussychopin
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Re: Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Post by Debussychopin » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:29 am

Or you can make your own. Buy a stickers set (maybe at Target or a 99 cent store) those kids sticker items you see in stationery.
Cut them out to small circles and stick them wherever you need it.

You'll need to be dainty with the scissors. Perhaps a razor blade and tweezers would work best.

Yamaha GL1

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:03 pm

If your guitars intonation is spot on, as you say, lowering the saddle may cause it to be a little flat. Take it to a tech and have the action and intonation double checked and have them lower the saddle if you wish. It shouldn't be more than fifty bucks if you take it to guitar center or someplace like that. I do this kind of work myself. All you need is some sandpaper and a flat surface. Be careful though as you don't want to change the angle on the bottom surface of the saddle. When you check the note at the 12th fret against the open string, be sure you use a strobe. Don't trust a snark, or some kind of regular electronic tuner. They aren't accurate enough. Good luck.

steve lu
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Re: Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Post by steve lu » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:29 pm

I don't know the 104 B but I own a second-hand 140, and I don't regret it. I tried other guitars in the sale price range but the raimundo was definitely sounding a lot better, with more warmth and brightness. Even my guitar teacher seemed to be surprised when he tried it. I haven't tried other models but it seems like you can hardly go wrong with that brand.

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:53 am

By the way, you got a bargain on the Raimundo. Congratulations.

Garry B
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Re: Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Post by Garry B » Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:26 am

Thanks for the replies. I've put it through its paces, i only have one gripe with it. The G string is slightly proud at the nut. This doesn't effect fretted notes on that string, but sounds very very slightly muted when sounded open. I'm tempted to take a file to it gently but am terrified of wrecking the guitar as i have no money for another one, there are no luthiers in this town nor in any nearby and i know more about instruments, amplification and sound than the people who run the guitar shop in town, there are no luthiers there. The strings are Pro Arte. It looks like it's going to have to be a D.I.Y. job, before i begin, does anyone have any precautionary suggestions please?
Thanks again.

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:22 am

Don't know if you've done it yet, but if your action is between 8 and 10/64th inch, leave the action alone. You don't want to lose too much height and affect the brake angle at the bridge. This is something you could do, but better to wait if the action is in the ball park. is it spruce or cedar? May make a difference in the types of strings you use and what sound you are after.

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petermc61
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Re: Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Post by petermc61 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:29 am

You could try a carbon g string, say a Savarez Alliance or a ProArte carbon which should be widely available, as it is likely be a bit thinner and sit a little lower. It might also sound better on your guitar.

simonm
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Re: Raimundo 104b for £150, was it worth it?

Post by simonm » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:50 pm

Garry B wrote:…. The G string is slightly proud at the nut….
First off take Peter's advice about changing the g-string. You will come to learn that Peter is the forum's honorary chief string consultant. {with Honorable mention to Ramon as chief of the low tension string society :-)}

Nuts are essentially "disposable" - on most classical guitars they are held in place by the strings and the slot they are sitting in. Don't work on the one you have. Go to the auction site and you can get nuts blanks or semi-prepared nuts for a couple of pounds. If get one that might roughly fit you can adjust it with sandpaper.

I will pm you.

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