Unknown guitar

watches
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:13 pm

Unknown guitar

Post by watches » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:41 pm

I have this guitar that would I like any information on. There is no label and the only markings is number 4 written in pencil. Here are some pictures.
Last edited by watches on Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
George Crocket
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9126
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:48 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Unknown guitar

Post by George Crocket » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:54 am

Larry, we need more information - a description, photos, any label?
George
2010 Stephen Eden spruce/cocobolo classical guitar
2012 Stephen Eden cedar/IRW classical guitar

watches
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:13 pm

Re: Unknown guitar

Post by watches » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:20 pm

Took a while to downsize my photos.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

watches
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:13 pm

Re: Unknown guitar

Post by watches » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:29 pm

I just installed some very cheap e - b a y tuners because the original ones were worn and broken.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
zavaletas
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 9:51 pm
Location: Tucson

Re: Unknown guitar

Post by zavaletas » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:55 pm

I can tell from the woods that it is a Mexican guitar, typical of Paracho. However, as there are about 1000 makers in Paracho I can't identify the maker.
James, Zavaleta's La Casa de Guitarras

Lovemyguitar
Posts: 2933
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:50 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Unknown guitar

Post by Lovemyguitar » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:05 pm

No idea who built it, but I hope you've changed the strings and tied them properly at the bridge (that photo of how they are tied at the bridge is shocking!).

watches
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:13 pm

Re: Unknown guitar

Post by watches » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:53 pm

Oh yes the strings have been changed. That picture was taken when I got the guitar. Here is my first ever string change attempt.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

MessyTendon
Posts: 1402
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:33 am

Re: Unknown guitar

Post by MessyTendon » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:04 pm

How does it sound? Zavelta is probably right...like 99.9 percent sure it's a Mexican guitar.

I wouldn't write it off as a junky guitar. The problem with most Paracho guitars is that they don't have good climate control. Visiting the shops there I saw lot's of awesome ornate guitars like yours...and priced cheaply.

You should really make a new nut and saddle and maybe shave a portion of the top of the bridge/saddle. I think with a good setup you could get some great sound out of the guitar.

It's really amazing that some of those 75$ guitars have somewhat exotic tropical tonewoods...

Paracho guitars can be a real bargain. I wouldn't hesitate to find somebody to set it up for you, even if the setup costs more than the guitar is theoretically worth. I don't think you will find a guitar with those woods...enjoy, have fun.

Lovemyguitar
Posts: 2933
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:50 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Unknown guitar

Post by Lovemyguitar » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:13 pm

watches wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:53 pm
Oh yes the strings have been changed. That picture was taken when I got the guitar. Here is my first ever string change attempt.
Oh, that's better (more twists than necessary, but they should stay put!). However, for the next time, you may wish to tie the basses so that the ends of the strings are on the side of the bridge, where you've got the treble ends tied, rather than on top of the bridge.

Enjoy the guitar -- hope it sounds nice!

watches
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:13 pm

Re: Unknown guitar

Post by watches » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:49 pm

Thank you for the posts. I have ordered a new nut and saddle from e - b a y just two days ago. I am looking forward to installing them. They are cheap bone ones from China but they look like an improvement over the the original ones. The nut is actually cracked. As far as sound and tone goes I have never been in a room with someone playing a classical guitar so I don't what it should sound like. I like it's sound but I don't have anything to compare it to.I listen to many beautiful videos on YouTube but it not the same being near the player and getting the vibration in the air.
So finding out the maker would be next to impossible? How about dating it. How old?

Thanks again!

watches
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:13 pm

Re: Unknown guitar

Post by watches » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:47 am

Looking into MessyTendon's advice about shaving down the bridge I read a lot and it seemed that there was way too much wood there. I shaved the tie block down about 4mm and cut the saddle slot deeper too. I made a saddle from some plastic that I had and the tone, volume and playability improved very noticeably. I have ordered a new nut and saddle and when they come in I will fine tune the bridge and the setup. I am thankful for the advice.

watches
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:13 pm

Re: Unknown guitar

Post by watches » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:51 am

2017-09-30 06.29.54.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

watches
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:13 pm

Re: Unknown guitar

Post by watches » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:55 am

2017-09-30 06.54.07.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

MessyTendon
Posts: 1402
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:33 am

Re: Unknown guitar

Post by MessyTendon » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:11 pm

Be patient fitting the bone saddle...you want it to be tight not too looks like you did a good job. Be sure the new bone saddle fit's good and firm in the saddle slot.

The nut if you ordered a pre-cut one won't necessarily be a universal fit. So be careful about that. Use whatever is clever to shave the nut slots, so long as the string sits good, it shouldn't buzz. If you get odd sitar buzzing...look at the nut slots and make a new one, or shape them better.

Cheap old Paracho guitars can sound great. Amazing how fast some of those guys build stuff. It's tough to say, but the top wood looks like some sort of Sycamore family type wood.

Keep it going, the setup looks like it's going good.

User avatar
zavaletas
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 9:51 pm
Location: Tucson

Re: Unknown guitar

Post by zavaletas » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:33 pm

The back and sides of this guitar are made from paloescrito (dalbergia paloescrito). The top is jabonsillo or soapwood (sapindus saponaria). Both common Mexican woods used widely in cheaper instruments in Paracho. The fingerboard and bridge appear to be Indian rosewood. This is the sort of guitar that could be purchased in Paracho for certainly for less than $200. A competent Paracho guitar maker can make a pretty good sounding instruments with these modest materials. Paloescrito is in the rosewood family, and so now has come under CITES and requires permits to import and export as of January 2nd 2017.
James, Zavaleta's La Casa de Guitarras

Return to “Advice on buying, selling or valuing a guitar”