Classical guitar: what to buy?

ddn215
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 3:11 am

Classical guitar: what to buy?

Post by ddn215 » Thu May 18, 2017 6:16 pm

Hi;
I am looking to invest in a second hand classical guitar.
I prefer luthier made one. My budget is around 3,000 USD.
Any recommendation would help.

Thank you.

Andrew Pohlman
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Classical guitar: what to buy?

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Thu May 18, 2017 8:50 pm

Well, you can start with the Classcial Guitar Sales page on this website.

But I would say you need to decide what attributes you want. Knowing your budget is ~ $3000 is a great start.

Cedar versus spruce? What back and side wood? Flamenco versus classical (high versus low action). 650mm versus 630 mm ? Collectible versus performance instrument? What goes on your pedal board? (Just kidding on that one!) Hand painted Hawaiian beach scene or American Cowboy theme? (Just kidding on that one too!) But the choice of finish will make a huge difference, for example, French polish is great but very very fragile. I will never own another French Polish because I am an obtuse lumberjack pretending to be a guitarist.

Honestly, in that price range, you should be reviewing many many instruments and see interests you. Check out Rosewood Guitar online. They have a bunch of guitars you can use as examples of what is available in the used market.
2013 Rodriguez FF Sabicas blanco
2015 Trevor Gore custom Neoclassical
- redwood top, Palo dorado B+Ss.

Kevin Cowen
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Re: Classical guitar: what to buy?

Post by Kevin Cowen » Thu May 18, 2017 10:31 pm

I have nice guitar for sale.
Yamaha P94
Hand made by Mr Yamaha himself.
Only 2999 USD

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eno
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Re: Classical guitar: what to buy?

Post by eno » Thu May 18, 2017 11:10 pm

Check out this thread and try as many guitars as you can before you buy, make sure you like the sound. Also listen to YT sound samples of differents luthiers and brands. For example here
Some factory guitars like top-of-line Yamahas or Takamines are very good, often better than many luthier-made ones in the same price range.
Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Takamine C136 and C128, Yamaha SLG200S silent, CompositeAcoustics steel-string, Fender Strat, Lineage MIDI

dtoh
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:54 pm

Re: Classical guitar: what to buy?

Post by dtoh » Thu May 18, 2017 11:49 pm

High end Yamaha, Takamine, or Cordoba. Another option is to buy from a Vietnamese luthier. I have a Cuong which I love and which was much less than $3000.

ddn215
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 3:11 am

Re: Classical guitar: what to buy?

Post by ddn215 » Fri May 19, 2017 2:01 pm

Andrew Pohlman wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 8:50 pm
Well, you can start with the Classcial Guitar Sales page on this website.

But I would say you need to decide what attributes you want. Knowing your budget is ~ $3000 is a great start.

Cedar versus spruce? What back and side wood? Flamenco versus classical (high versus low action). 650mm versus 630 mm ? Collectible versus performance instrument? What goes on your pedal board? (Just kidding on that one!) Hand painted Hawaiian beach scene or American Cowboy theme? (Just kidding on that one too!) But the choice of finish will make a huge difference, for example, French polish is great but very very fragile. I will never own another French Polish because I am an obtuse lumberjack pretending to be a guitarist.

Honestly, in that price range, you should be reviewing many many instruments and see interests you. Check out Rosewood Guitar online. They have a bunch of guitars you can use as examples of what is available in the used market.
Thanks Andrew.
I just want a decent guitar. I know 3K is not a lot. I don't expect a very good guitar for that amount. I am looking for classical guitar and thinking abut Cedar top. Look is not my priority and will avoid French Polish. Again, thank you for your advise.

Brynmor
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Location: United Kindom

Re: Classical guitar: what to buy?

Post by Brynmor » Fri May 19, 2017 3:25 pm

French polish is great but very very fragile.
Don't be put off a french polish finish. It is not as fragile as the scare stories would have you believe. It is just a matter of handling your guitar carefully. I have four guitars with this finish, the earliest from 2001 and I have never had a problem.

MessyTendon
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Re: Classical guitar: what to buy?

Post by MessyTendon » Fri May 19, 2017 4:49 pm

You could get a brand new Picado, made in a small factory by a few hands...all the embellishments of a luthier guitar, for a lot less money. I'm biased to Picado, they make nice instruments, good woods, and reasonable price.

hatalap
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:16 pm

Re: Classical guitar: what to buy?

Post by hatalap » Fri May 19, 2017 6:46 pm

I'd recommend Andy Culpepper in Ithaca. If you search the forum you see some good examples of his work. Fantastic guitars. Can't recommend him enough.

Have fun!

Paul

hatalap
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Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:16 pm

Re: Classical guitar: what to buy?

Post by hatalap » Fri May 19, 2017 6:49 pm

duplicate post
Paul

mmapag
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Location: Philadelphia Area

Re: Classical guitar: what to buy?

Post by mmapag » Fri May 19, 2017 6:51 pm

Acutally, for $3000 you can get a very good guitar. Some new luthier built instruments are in that range and certainly a used luthier built is in that range. Heck, I got a used GV Rubio Estudio for 1/3 of that and it is a wonderful guitar. But only you can know what you like or not and why.There are some wonderful Japanese made guitars in your price range also. Also, I wouldn't rule out french polish. While it may not be the most sturdy finish, it is the easiest and least expensive to repair.

Why do you feel $3000 is not a lot for a used luthier instrument?
'13 Esteve 7 SM
'75 Takamine 132 S
'99 G.V. Rubio Estudio, Cedar, Palo Escrito

Andrew Pohlman
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Classical guitar: what to buy?

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Fri May 19, 2017 7:58 pm

Brynmor wrote:
Fri May 19, 2017 3:25 pm
French polish is great but very very fragile.
Don't be put off a french polish finish. It is not as fragile as the scare stories would have you believe. It is just a matter of handling your guitar carefully. I have four guitars with this finish, the earliest from 2001 and I have never had a problem.
mmapag wrote:
Fri May 19, 2017 6:51 pm
... Also, I wouldn't rule out french polish. While it may not be the most sturdy finish, it is the easiest and least expensive to repair...
I cannot agree and neither does Bogdanovich. In Bogdanovich's now famous article, he states (paraphrasing) that French Polish is too fragile for a working instrument. He goes on to say that "any" modern finish applied as thinly as French Polish (low mass, ~2 mils) will have excellent sonic qualities.

My personal experience is that I cannot handle my FP guitar with such judicious care that I avoid scratches. But then, I'm a self proclaimed obtuse lumberjack more suited to chain saws and double bladed axes than French polish guitars. For me, I flunk FP care and have placed Kling-On removable golpeadors. I'm not the only one with lumberjack genes, although many may be too embarrassed to admit it. For guitarists with tenderness genes, FP is fine. Now try flamenco on a FP instrument ... Sorry guys. I didn't want to turn this discussion into a flame of FP, but a new buyer should be wary.
2013 Rodriguez FF Sabicas blanco
2015 Trevor Gore custom Neoclassical
- redwood top, Palo dorado B+Ss.

Brynmor
Posts: 218
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:32 pm
Location: United Kindom

Re: Classical guitar: what to buy?

Post by Brynmor » Fri May 19, 2017 9:48 pm

French Polish is too fragile for a working instrument.
So why do so many respected makers still use it?

Number 6
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Re: Classical guitar: what to buy?

Post by Number 6 » Sat May 20, 2017 2:41 am

there is a Traphagen guitar for a little over 3K in the sales page that you might want to look at.

vesa
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Re: Classical guitar: what to buy?

Post by vesa » Sat May 20, 2017 5:34 am

Take your time ddn215.
For 3000 you can get a very good instrument.
As an example:
An older but with no flaws exempt visual ones luthier made guitar just passing my hands for 2000 €.
That instrument has been used in recordings, TV performances, concerts, I actually played my masters with it etc.
So it should be good enough for anybody (pro or ambitious amateur) if the character of the instrument suits.
I really can´t understand why you want to avoid french polish because most of the luthier made are french polished, some are not.
Vesa Kuokkanen

David Rubio ws. E. B. Jones 1979
Antonio Marin nr. 813 1995 (Bouchet)
Vesa Kuokkanen 2016

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