Advice on buying a new guitar ?

redmcq
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Advice on buying a new guitar ?

Post by redmcq » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:55 pm

I am looking to buy a new classical guitar, around range of 2000-4000. What are the best places (shops) in the uk for classical guitars. I have been reccomended by a few guitarist to try Kent classics which I am going to but wondering if there's anywhere else some may know of. I have also been to the London guitar studio and the classical guitar centre in Birmingham.

Was also wondering if anyone had any other advice on what to look out for and what to avoid when buying?

Thanks
.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Advice on buying a new guitar ?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:27 pm

If in the midlands also try Stafford and Nottingham centres. Any such place will be able to advise re any questions you have.
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Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

DerekB
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Re: Advice on buying a new guitar ?

Post by DerekB » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:01 am

Nugent Guitars is my recommendation. Tony is a Delcamper who is now in Grappenhall near Warrington.

If Scotland is within reach, DK Classical Guitars have some very interesting looking goodies. Both Tony and Dave have the advantage of not having to add VAT to the price.

The level of customer service that Tony Nugent offers is beyond what you would hope for.

Another dealer who does not have to charge VAT is Paul Gregory who trades as Maestoso Music. His prices are very competitive.
I've suffered for my music. Now it's your turn... - Seasick Steve

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James Lister
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Re: Advice on buying a new guitar ?

Post by James Lister » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:47 am

As Derek says, if you're going to a dealer, then finding one who's not (yet) charging VAT will save you that extra 20% on the price, and in theory at least you should be paying much the same price as you would if you went direct to the luthier.

If you're prepared to travel around a bit, there are a lot of great luthiers here in the UK. I've just got back from the West Dean Guitar festival, and there were 12 luthiers exhibiting there, all from the UK, and all making good guitars at prices ranging from just over £2,000 to over £5,000. Exhibitions at guitar festivals are a great way to see a number of guitars from different luthiers, and also talk to them directly, but as far as I know, West Dean was the last of the season. Not a bad time to be visiting luthiers though - as some of us have ex-exhibition guitars in stock...

The advantage of going to a dealer is that you get to see a number of guitars in one place, but if you go direct to a luthier, you have the option of commissioning a guitar to your exact requirements (neck/fingerboard dimensions, string spacing, tonewoods, tuners, armrests etc.).

Also worth having a look at the guitars for sale here on the forum.

Stephen Kenyon (another Delcamp member) has a useful list of UK classical guitar makers here: http://www.jacaranda-music.com/UKGuitar ... hor2277331

Enjoy the search!

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Advice on buying a new guitar ?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:21 am

Ha, was going to come back and mention luthiers, and James has got there first and better 8) I would add to have no fear of not deserving a luthier guitar, as all these makers sell greatly to the keen and discerning, not just fancy professionals.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

redmcq
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Re: Advice on buying a new guitar ?

Post by redmcq » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:19 am

Thanks for the replies guys very helpful!
.

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souldier
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Re: Advice on buying a new guitar ?

Post by souldier » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:29 pm

Miscellaneous tips:
-As has been said, travel far and wide and play as many as possible, comparing them side by side with what you currently have.
-If possible have repertoire that covers a wide spectrum, but try to play the same short passage on each guitar.
-Bring a clip on tuner with you for quick and easy tuning. It's best to judge each guitar at standard concert pitch. Guitars that are out of tune could also cause you to wrongfully judge the sound of a guitar
-I would prefer to buy used as you get a lot more bang for your buck. I also would buy after trying in person rather than buying blindly through the internet
-Judge each guitar without bias as much as humanly possible. Don't be swayed by price, luthier, woods used, construction methods (traditional, lattice, DT, etc.)... If you have clear judgment, you will sometimes be surprised how less expensive guitars outperform more expensive ones
-In the end, sound and playability is what matters most. Don't be swayed by huge volume and projection. Volume may impress you at first, but it is beauty of tone that will keep you falling in love with your guitar.
-Be patient. It is sometimes tempting to get a guitar TODAY, but waiting a bit longer, testing more guitars, waiting for good used guitars to show up on the market will be well worth the wait and will allow you to maximize your budget.

One last thing. James Lister's #100 guitar is still for sale on the forum at an excellent and discounted price for delcamp members. I would seriously consider making the drive to try it out as it is right within your price range and looks very promising. Here's a clip of Marcin playing it and it has stunning tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoF4c1RBDlo
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

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dta721
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Re: Advice on buying a new guitar ?

Post by dta721 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:24 pm

What's your take on an Almansa 457? Someone compares it to an Alhambra 7P as a starting full solid guitar?

Thanks!

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