I want to buy my first classical guitar

Artmusic
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:51 pm
Location: France

I want to buy my first classical guitar

Post by Artmusic » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:25 pm

Hello everyone,

I play the piano and the celtic harp for a few years now, mostly classical pieces and a bit of celtic music with the harp.
6 month ago, I bought myself an acoustic guitar, the TAYLOR GS MINI and I love it.

Right now, I am in the market to buy my first classical music but there are some specifications I am looking for:

- I am used to a travel guitar and a narrow neck. I would like a classical guitar with a thinner neck for sure.
- Electronics would be good
- cutaway version would be great
- all solid wood would be great

What I want to play with this guitar is : French variety such as Serge Gainsbourg, George Brassens, classical music and a bit of bossa.

My budget would be around 800€ for this guitar.

I live in a small village in France and it's very hard for me to find a good music shop where I can try guitars. I have no experience with classical guitars and I would be grateful to have your advices and feedbacks.

I looked on the internet and find a few models :

- La PATRIE Hybrid CX Light burst (Love the look but I wonder about the neck...) : http://www.lapatrieguitars.com/guitar_4 ... burst.html
- LA PATRIE Concert cutaway ( The neck seems wide) http://www.lapatrieguitars.com/guitar_4 ... ertcw.html
- Gallato Unico (all solid wood and I can find it in a shop 2 hours away from home. I don't know how it sounds for classical pieces) commercial link removed

- TAYLOR 114 CE-N ESN (No solid back and sides but confortable neck for sure) commercial link removed
- CORDOBA FUSION 12 RW ( no solid back and sides) commercial link removed
- OVATION 1773AX NATURAL commercial link removed

Could you please what you think would be the best guitar for the music I want to play and with a 800€ budget please ?

Thank you in advance for your help !
Looking for my first classical guitar
TAYLOR GS MINI E WALNUT
EASTMAN MD 304 Mandolin
DUSTY STRINGS RAVENNA 34 Harp

Bax Burgess
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Re: I want to buy my first classical guitar

Post by Bax Burgess » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:14 pm

Taking to mind that these are factory guitars, I'm pretty sure that the Cordoba, if it's spruce topped, will give more richness than cedar to the Cordoba warm, signature sound. If the bracing is not particularly resonant, then cedar's comparative clarity, with quicker decay, may prove to be a minus, if a roundness of warmth (glow) is what you're pursuing. When I want loudness and clarity, I look first to cedar. The Gallato Unico looks to be focused on clarity, certainly lacking the warm bass that emanates from a soundhole. Let's not forget that you like the Taylor mini, which I find loud and harshly insistent, so cedar may serve you best, or the Unico with its solid top.

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Lysiane Chantre
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Re: I want to buy my first classical guitar

Post by Lysiane Chantre » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:21 pm

Did you try Yamaha C40 ?

doug
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Re: I want to buy my first classical guitar

Post by doug » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:35 pm

The Taylor will feel the most like your current model, because the neck width will be about the same. It is a nylon string, but it is not considered to be a "classical." It's more of what they call a, "cross-over."
My son plays steel string acoustic guitars, and he has a Taylor mini. When he comes to see me, he plays my guitars.....all of which are classical. He say's the wide neck feels awkward to him. Likewise, when I play one of his acoustics, the neck feels too narrow.....a little awkward.
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Artmusic
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Location: France

Re: I want to buy my first classical guitar

Post by Artmusic » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:15 pm

Thank you for your feedbacks !

@Bax, I think Cedar would be great and a change from the GS MINI Spruce top sound.
I have read a good review on the cordoba C9 parlor which has a top sold cedar top and solid mahogany back and sides http://www.cordobaguitars.com/p/c9-parlor.
It has no cutaway but the parlor size is good and the neck is larger than on a folk and a bit smaller than on a classic guitar.

But I have to say that I found different videos that I like and srpuce top it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-4gBfN6RCo - If someone can tell me what brand and model it is, it would be great :-). I love the size and sound.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1WXr9X09sU- This one is a Taylor NS24e and I may find it second hand in my area.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GCqA_dofXY - I don't know which guitar it is...

I am a bit lost since there are so many models and I know nothing about 90% of the brands.

Next month, I will go the a Luthier exhibition to learn more about classic guitars and I contacted a music shop that can get a few models I want to try when I go visit them. But I have to know which models I want to try first.

@Lysiane, I didn't try the Yamaha C40 or any classic guitar yet. I have to say I am not a fan of yamaha guitars in general so I didn't look at what they offer.

@Doug, This is my most concern. How will be the neck ? I really love the GS mini, so easy to play !
Looking for my first classical guitar
TAYLOR GS MINI E WALNUT
EASTMAN MD 304 Mandolin
DUSTY STRINGS RAVENNA 34 Harp

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joachim33
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Location: Skåne

Re: I want to buy my first classical guitar

Post by joachim33 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:39 pm

Artmusic wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:25 pm
Hello everyone,

I play the piano and the celtic harp for a few years now, mostly classical pieces and a bit of celtic music with the harp.
6 month ago, I bought myself an acoustic guitar, the TAYLOR GS MINI and I love it.

Right now, I am in the market to buy my first classical music but there are some specifications I am looking for:

- I am used to a travel guitar and a narrow neck. I would like a classical guitar with a thinner neck for sure.
- Electronics would be good
- cutaway version would be great
- all solid wood would be great

What I want to play with this guitar is : French variety such as Serge Gainsbourg, George Brassens, classical music and a bit of bossa.

My budget would be around 800€ for this guitar.

I live in a small village in France and it's very hard for me to find a good music shop where I can try guitars. I have no experience with classical guitars and I would be grateful to have your advices and feedbacks.

I looked on the internet and find a few models :

- La PATRIE Hybrid CX Light burst (Love the look but I wonder about the neck...) : http://www.lapatrieguitars.com/guitar_4 ... burst.html
- LA PATRIE Concert cutaway ( The neck seems wide) http://www.lapatrieguitars.com/guitar_4 ... ertcw.html
- Gallato Unico (all solid wood and I can find it in a shop 2 hours away from home. I don't know how it sounds for classical pieces) commercial link removed

- TAYLOR 114 CE-N ESN (No solid back and sides but confortable neck for sure) commercial link removed
- CORDOBA FUSION 12 RW ( no solid back and sides) commercial link removed
- OVATION 1773AX NATURAL commercial link removed

Could you please what you think would be the best guitar for the music I want to play and with a 800€ budget please ?

Thank you in advance for your help !
For an 800€ budget I would say give up on electronics and cut-away. You should get a better sounding instrument that way. If you look for typical factory instruments, the cut-away of the same model is substantially dearer than the traditional model.

Consider CITES: Many (all most all?) guitars the days contain woods that are covered by endangered species treaties (e.g. all rosewood). Walk away from any instrument that contains such woods where the seller wouldn't provide you with a proper certificate showing that the wood is pre 2 January 2017.

MessyTendon
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Re: I want to buy my first classical guitar

Post by MessyTendon » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:04 pm

Ibanez makes an inexpensive cut away nylon, that is thinline...thin neck. Acoustically won't do much, but plugged in should be okay and they are about 250$ US dollar.

Artmusic
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:51 pm
Location: France

Re: I want to buy my first classical guitar

Post by Artmusic » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:28 pm

@joachim, thank you for your advices. Under 1500 euros/$ it's hard to find a cutaway guitar without electronics. I just think cutaway guitars are easier to play. Sometimes I wish my folk had this option.
I know about firewood and your right !

@MessyTendon, will check on the Ibanez guitars ! Thanks
Looking for my first classical guitar
TAYLOR GS MINI E WALNUT
EASTMAN MD 304 Mandolin
DUSTY STRINGS RAVENNA 34 Harp

Artmusic
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:51 pm
Location: France

Re: I want to buy my first classical guitar

Post by Artmusic » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:14 pm

In 2 days, I will be able to try 2 second hand guitars in my area :-)

- A Taylor NS24e
- A Castellucia Crossover 14 :http://www.castelluccia.fr/produit/crossover-14cases/

Do you have any feedbacks on these two guitars.
They are electro-acoustic but it's second hand. The Castellucia is from a famous luthier
Looking for my first classical guitar
TAYLOR GS MINI E WALNUT
EASTMAN MD 304 Mandolin
DUSTY STRINGS RAVENNA 34 Harp

simonm
Amateur luthier
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Location: Germany, Kronberg (near Frankfurt).

Re: I want to buy my first classical guitar

Post by simonm » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:33 pm

Have you checked on the French forum? It is quite active (this is a french site after all) and some of the folks there will have a very good idea about what is available on the french market.

Regarding the Castellucia - it reminds me very much of a chinese stage guitar I saw here in Frankfurt a couple of years ago. I felt it was really great value. For me it beat the pants off a couple of classicals from two well known makers which were 3-4 times the price. A very comfortable style of guitar to play. Again you could check on the french forum for opinions.

Artmusic
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:51 pm
Location: France

Re: I want to buy my first classical guitar

Post by Artmusic » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:27 am

Hello simonm,

I saw the French forum later after I registered on this one. I posted my topic but it's not as active as on this forum.
And the advices are very different. I have a tendency to like american/Canadian brands so every advices here can be good :D
Looking for my first classical guitar
TAYLOR GS MINI E WALNUT
EASTMAN MD 304 Mandolin
DUSTY STRINGS RAVENNA 34 Harp

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bear
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Re: I want to buy my first classical guitar

Post by bear » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:07 pm

Don't let the neck scare you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEX7OzzXr7U
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souldier
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Re: I want to buy my first classical guitar

Post by souldier » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:21 pm

If you can find them in your area I'd look into Cordoba C5-CET (Cutaway with electronics). I feel that Cordoba makes guitars that perform above their price point and they make transitioning from steel string really easy due to their thinner C-shaped necks.
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tom3949
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:50 pm
Location: Liverpool

Re: I want to buy my first classical guitar

Post by tom3949 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:40 pm

For all solid wood guitars at your price point you could look at La Patrie Collection, Kremona Fiesta, and Hannika 50 models.

Good 'starter' guitars, (in the £400 range), which appear to be highly recommended. are the Paco Castillo 204 and the Alhambra 4P, these are not 'all wood' models though. Moving up in budget would bring you to the likes of the Paco Castillo 205, Hernandez Professor, and Antonio Picado model 49 or model 53. I believe all of the latter, (apart from the Picado 49 which has a laminated back), are 'all wood' models.

None of these guitars are cutaways or have electronics, but as has already been previously mentioned perhaps the best way to go is a 'standard' model.

I am new to the classical guitar myself and of the above I have only actually played the Alhambra 4P, but all of these guitars appear to get very good reviews on-line. At the end of the day, as lots on the forum keep telling me(!), the only way of determining suitability is to play them, but if that is not possible due to location, like me, you need to rely upon recommendations as there seems to be an absolute 'maze' out there for the newcomer to classical guitars. I hope this helps.

Artmusic
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:51 pm
Location: France

Re: I want to buy my first classical guitar

Post by Artmusic » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:53 pm

@ Bear, love the video :-D !!!

@Souldier, the cordoba models are on my mind ;), I would love to try a few models.

@tom3949, Thank you for the Paco Castillo guitars. I contacted a music shop today, a bit far from home but I need a good set-up for my folk guitar. The shop will be open next week and I just saw they have :

- PACO CASTILLO guitars
- Some CORDOBA
- ALHAMBRA Models ( I will try the 4P)

Ok, so tomorrow I will try the Taylor and Castellucia and next week I will try the brands above. The Paco Castillo seems nice !
I will give you my feedbacks and tell you which one I chose :-)

Thank you !
Looking for my first classical guitar
TAYLOR GS MINI E WALNUT
EASTMAN MD 304 Mandolin
DUSTY STRINGS RAVENNA 34 Harp

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