Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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Ted O'Farrell
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Location: Zephyrhills, FL, USA

Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Post by Ted O'Farrell » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:42 am

Just curious on what everyone thinks is the best classical guitar for the money? Which in your opinion is the
best value for the buck? All Solid woods? Ebony or Rosewood? Any specific makes? Luthiers? the best sounding?
Best Playable? All input is welcomed...

Thanks

Tedguitar
Hector Marrero 2001
"A Good Cup of Coffee"

"Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart." Andres Segovia

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Vesuvio
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Location: Northern England

Re: Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Post by Vesuvio » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:28 am

Hello Ted,

I think your question is too broad. You might get more response if you give an indication of what your budget is,

All the best, V
"There are only two things worth aiming for, good music and a clean conscience." Paul Hindemith

Doog

Re: Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Post by Doog » Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:52 am

tedguitar wrote:Just curious on what everyone thinks is the best classical guitar for the money? Which in your opinion is the
best value for the buck? All Solid woods? Ebony or Rosewood? Any specific makes? Luthiers? the best sounding?
Best Playable? All input is welcomed...

Thanks

Tedguitar
There are tons of excellent classical guitars available and a myriad of superior luthiers. It is probably a good idea to decide whether you want a 'factory made' or a luthier made guitar. It would also be wise to establish a price range that is comfortable for you. Once you have these parameters established, your best bet is to get up close and personal with as many guitars as you can in order to establish you personal preferences regarding the tonal qualities that various guitars have to offer. Finally select a guitar[s] that is [are] easy for you to play [excellent playability], has an appealing 'voice [to you], is comfortable for you to hold [size matters], and is fun/enjoyable to play.

The best classical guitar for the money is the one that you can afford and enjoy playing.

Good luck,

Doog

Rick-in-Annapolis
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:22 am
Location: Annapolis, MD (USA)

Re: Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Post by Rick-in-Annapolis » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:32 pm

I agree with the previous responders: there is a BEST guitar in each price range. You
are not going to get a $10,000.00 guitar for $500.00, a $20,000.00 guitar for $1,000.00,
etc. You might reasonably ask what is the best guitar under X dollars with a particular
set of features (overall tone, projection, type of wood, etc). Even that if most likely
going to be difficult because you will most likely have to make tradeoffs, e.g. give
up Brazilian rosewood for tone.

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Ted O'Farrell
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Location: Zephyrhills, FL, USA

Re: Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Post by Ted O'Farrell » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:21 am

Great input - thanks for all responding - so let's break it down...
what do you think is the best guitar in the following price ranges
A) $0-$500? B)$501-1500? C)1500 - 3000? D)3000 -5000? E)5001-10000? and
F) 10000 and greater?

and yes, I realize budget has a lot to do with it, as well as the woods... so...
If you could have the ultimate guitar as well - what would you choose?
Ebony or Rosewood fingerboard? Spruce or Cedar Top? Brazilian Rosewood, Indian or
Other? Tuners? Gotoh's? Rogers? Other? Cutaway or not? Size? 650 or ???
With a pick up? or not? ... I know it really is up to the player but there is a lot of
wealth in sharing what each player likes and dislikes... and since I'm asking...
(forgive my overkill...) What strings do you like the best? and tension?

So many questions - and so little time... I'll offer my answers and please answer as you
would...
For lower end guitars, I have found that Yamaha's make a decent guitar (A)...
In (B) I haven't found 1 particular guitar but Cordoba's and again Yamaha's have
played well... (C) Has moved me in the hand-made Luthier range and there are
so many to choose from - personally I have a Martin Humphrey - reworked by Humphrey,
Also - (D) A G. DelPillar and a H. Marrero - both builders from Puerto Rico influenced
greatly by Manuel Valesquez school of building... (E) & (F) I have admired "Ruck's" guitars,
Valesquez and Fisher's... and Humphrey's... for various reasons... Sound and tone, Valesquez's necks play smooth and
great, and all really are a piece of art as well as a great musical instrument...
As far as strings - I switch back and forth, but for now I play J45's D'Addario's... normal tension.

Again I would be interested in your opinions? Thanks again for your input and advice...
Ted :)
Hector Marrero 2001
"A Good Cup of Coffee"

"Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart." Andres Segovia

JQ.

Re: Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Post by JQ. » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:17 am

rick-in-annapolis wrote:I agree with the previous responders: there is a BEST guitar in each price range.
I disagree with that assessment. IMO, there's only what's best for you. Guitars are like women or cars... there's no saying that 5'6" blondes or Hondas are best in their price range. ;)

You have a lot of options.

Doog

Re: Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Post by Doog » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:41 am

JQ. wrote:
rick-in-annapolis wrote:I agree with the previous responders: there is a BEST guitar in each price range.
I disagree with that assessment. IMO, there's only what's best for you. Guitars are like women or cars... there's no saying that 5'6" blondes or Hondas are best in their price range. ;)

You have a lot of options.
There you go! Picking a guitar is so much like choosing to be friends with someone or deciding that there is someone special that you want to spend your time with. Guitars are too much like people [in that each one is unique and has a 'personality' of its own] to be slotted into a "best" category. My best is very likely to be quite different from someone else's. As with people, the most expensive/rich guitars are not always the best. Only an in depth assessment and experience of the individual's/guitar's characteristics and qualities with reveal a particular 'best' choice.

Doog

anthony_v

Re: Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Post by anthony_v » Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:59 pm

are you looking into buying a new guitar?

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GEO
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Location: US

Re: Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Post by GEO » Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:47 am

The answer is simple--a $100,000 guitar that you sell for $500,000. :mrgreen:

This flippant answer shows that "best value" is ambiguous in the extreme and you'd need to clarify what you're asking for to get better targeted answers. A guitar that you took a bath on selling but gave you a lifetime's pleasure might be a better value than one that you made a nice profit on but didn't really care that much for. It's a complicated question. Sorry.

Cheers,

geo
(US) (GER) The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own - Disraeli

Just Strummin

Re: Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Post by Just Strummin » Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:37 am

I often contemplate this question, but it is such a personal decision that the answer requires qualification. What do you like about a guitar? Loudness, sweetness, definition, balance, playability, looks, features, build quality, projection, etc... Each player develops preferences, and those define value. Thus, one man's junk can be another man's treasure.

I have played steel string guitars for about 5 years and in the process of buying, selling and trading well over 50 guitars during that period I have found some guitars that I really enjoyed. What I think is important is less important than what you think is important. That's why there's a guitar out there for someone. Similar to wanting to know which is the best wine for the money, it is really up to the consumer to find which gutiar they enjoy the most because who we are as people plays such a significant role in our preferences.

That is what makes the journey of discovering an instrumet that you perceive as a "Best Value" such a wonderful and complicated part of growing as a player.

Right now I have an Alhambra 7P that I like very much for the price being a solid wood factory built guitar with a German spruce top and beautiful Indian Rosewood. However, I'm sure other players would prefer a Pavan, a Takamine Hiarade, or some other factory built guitar for the same price. I'm just starting to play, but I wrote to Pepe inquiring about his guitars after reading such positive reviews on this forum. There are other builders in whom I'm interested, Huipe, Hippner, etc... My point is I will continue to grow as a classical guitar and my preferences will continue to be influenced by each guitar I play and hear. It is a journey without a finish line.

That being said, if you want to know what I believe is/was the Best PERCEIVED Value, look no further than a Brazilian Hippner Hauser with a German spruce top that the owner sold for $750 because it had a crack in the back. It was a crack that was repaired prior to the finish being applied. The crack was stable, and the guitar had no other issues. However, the owner wasn't happy with it and it took several months to sell. God has a funny sense of humor, so by the time I found the ad the guitar had "just" sold. That guitar MIGHT have been the best value in all of guitardom unless you found something at a garage sale or in a relatives attic. But, I'll never know because I didn't play it. It may be worth three to four times the amount it sold, but it may have never sung for me...as it didn't him.

Guitars will speak to the player and sometimes its voice fills the soul without draining the wallet. That is the best value. Good luck in your quest, but I fear it is a journey that only you can decide which was the best step...as I shall have to decide for me.

Regards,
Mark

dc_aperture

Re: Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Post by dc_aperture » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:07 pm

I've noticed this is an old thread yet want to give some advice, we made specific article regarding best value guitars https://www.themusicianlab.com/guitar/b ... nder-1000/ and wich options are a good contender.

Let me know what you think and if we are missing some important options.
Hope that helps.
Best regards!

Jose Marques
Luthier
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:36 pm

Re: Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Post by Jose Marques » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:16 am

I believe that you are in USA, then in your area try to find luthiers, old ones and new ones, and test guitars. Maybe you will be surprised.

Do not bother of the woods, if the guitar as soundboard of spruce or cedar that is a kind of choice that you can be not totally sure that you prefer, best thing is always test, or read about this 2 different soundboard (top) woods. Google it or look here in the forum .

About the back and sides, neck, etc well i believe that was proved for lots of times that the effect in the sound is very very low, of course that as some, but if i were you i just don't think about that. Maybe if you prefer a dark or a non dark guitar (in aspect) otherwise just test guitars.

i have listening guitars made of some different woods (and different makers), for example Brazilian rosewood, indian rosewood, maple, walnut all have different characteristics and, IMO, all were great .
I'm a Luthier living in Bury st Edmunds UK

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zupfgeiger
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Location: Wezembeek-Oppem, Belgium

Re: Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Post by zupfgeiger » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:45 am

Ted O'Farrell wrote:Great input - thanks for all responding - so let's break it down...
what do you think is the best guitar in the following price ranges
A) $0-$500? B)$501-1500? C)1500 - 3000? D)3000 -5000? E)5001-10000? and
F) 10000 and greater?

and yes, I realize budget has a lot to do with it, as well as the woods... so...
If you could have the ultimate guitar as well - what would you choose?
Ebony or Rosewood fingerboard? Spruce or Cedar Top? Brazilian Rosewood, Indian or
Other? Tuners? Gotoh's? Rogers? Other? Cutaway or not? Size? 650 or ???
With a pick up? or not? ... I know it really is up to the player but there is a lot of
wealth in sharing what each player likes and dislikes... and since I'm asking...
(forgive my overkill...) What strings do you like the best? and tension?

So many questions - and so little time... I'll offer my answers and please answer as you
would...
For lower end guitars, I have found that Yamaha's make a decent guitar (A)...
In (B) I haven't found 1 particular guitar but Cordoba's and again Yamaha's have
played well... (C) Has moved me in the hand-made Luthier range and there are
so many to choose from - personally I have a Martin Humphrey - reworked by Humphrey,
Also - (D) A G. DelPillar and a H. Marrero - both builders from Puerto Rico influenced
greatly by Manuel Valesquez school of building... (E) & (F) I have admired "Ruck's" guitars,
Valesquez and Fisher's... and Humphrey's... for various reasons... Sound and tone, Valesquez's necks play smooth and
great, and all really are a piece of art as well as a great musical instrument...
As far as strings - I switch back and forth, but for now I play J45's D'Addario's... normal tension.

Again I would be interested in your opinions? Thanks again for your input and advice...
Ted :)
So many luthier names, so many price ranges, so many different options. There is no definitve answer to your question. Take the spruce or cedar option. It's one of the core discussions on this forum. Another important option would be between traditional bracing and modern construction like doubletop and lattice. Don't bother for the tuners for the time being. Instead make up your mind on certain fundamental desicions related to the sound charatcter you prefer and to the money you want to spend. And then we can maybe help with some concrete advices.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started (Mark Twain)

Tobias Braun, Santos copy, spruce/yew, 2017
Andrea Tacchi, Enrique Garcia model, Spruce/BRAZ, 2016
Giovanni Tacchi, Daniel Friederich copy, cedar/EIR, 2017
Alain Raifort, cedar/EIR, 2004

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rojarosguitar
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Location: near Freiburg, Germany

Re: Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Post by rojarosguitar » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:19 am

Best value for what?
Ifyou want to heat with them, take an ovebuilt heavy factory guitar as cheap as possible and order them by a truck load. But you might get poisonous fumes because of all the synthetic stuff in them.
If you need a weapon, take an electric, best a Les Paul from the end of the 1950's, they are heavy and indestructible...
If you nead the biggest bang for the buck take one of those heavily underbuilt guitar that impresses so much by their initial bang ... But make sure to order another one because they are not going to bang for long... :mrgreen: :lol:

Now seriously: this question cannot be answered because you ask for something that doesn't exist. It just doesn't exist.
If it existed, only one maker would still be in business. Even performing artists use different guitars in different situations, one for live concerts, another for studio recording, maybe yet another one at home... Instead of taking their best value guitar for everything.

It all boils down to: the guitar wich you like, you can play well and that let you soar, and that you can afford, is the guitar with the best value for you. In that case I sincerely wish you'll find a great guitar for the money you pay!

Best wishes
Robert

If you are not a player but a collector closing their treasures away in a safe and hoping to obtain an even higher price in the future, we playing people would be stupid to give an advice, because these are the people who make the guitars more and more expensive and less and less abailable to players. Many luthiers have waiting lists full of people who will probably never play the guitars they order, but they have heard that such and such luthier has a waiting list getting longer and longer and they speculate with the profit they can make on it...

Please don'take it personally but that's how it is. :desole:

I hope that you are really looking for a good guitar for yourself to play. In that case many good advices have been already given
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

Pat Dodson
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Location: United Kingdom

Re: Classical Guitar with the Best Value

Post by Pat Dodson » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:32 am

The OP, Ted posted his question 9 years ago and within 24 hours was no longer posting on the thread. He has not asked any similar question since. Ted last visited the forum a month ago so won't yet be aware of the thread's coming to life again after 9 years of dormancy.

The thread has been awakened by a member who, far from seeking advice, is advertising a website s/he is associated with which is actually offering advice on just this topic though we are invited to make suggestions about what the website might add to improve its coverage of the subject.

So it's not clear that anyone here is seeking advice; or at least not in the usual way.

It's a fascinating topic of course so I'm sure that won't stop us. :D

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