Barcelona

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Nikos_Greek
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:18 am
Location: Vienna, Austria

Barcelona

Post by Nikos_Greek » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:27 pm

I am visiting Barcelona with my partner in 1o days approximately, the trip being a birthday present from family. Of course it is a must to visit Casa de Luthier. As I am planning to buy (my last?) guitar next year I would like to start my research from there. My budget is from 5000 to 8000 Euros. I admit I am a Madrid school fan and although I don't dislike spruce this guitar will be cedar. I would like some suggestions from members of the forum as to what instrument meets the following criteria in this price range:
tone: warm, dark, mellow and sweet with rich overtones
volume: it doesn't have to be the loudest guitar on earth but volume should be there
sustain: a good deal of
playability: an even, ergonomic frettboard is the most important to me. fret metal should not protrude past the edge of the neck, barre should be easy along the fingerboard.
construction: fan bracing
body size: like most Madrid guitars big

a separate question is: I love the sound of IR, but I could consider any other tonewood for B&S, but it should be at least as stable and reliable as IR. Is ziricote extremely prone to cracking in your opinion?
Needless to say, I will keep you updated concerning my visit and guitar testing there!
Best regards,
Nikos

simonm
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:22 am
Location: Germany, Würzburg. Spain, IB

Re: Barcelona

Post by simonm » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:52 pm

In that price range, you can get any kind of guitar you can imagine barring a few of the biggest names. Worth considering buying direct from a luthier as in many European countries their annual production will be such that they don't have to charge vat which the shops cannot avoid. Or of course used.

Fret metal protruding is often times simply a minor humidity issue. Generally it is a totally simple fix. I would scarcely even call it a repair - more a "tune up".

I will send you a pm with a suggestion.

Philosopherguy
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Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:40 am
Location: Niagara, Ontario, Canada

Re: Barcelona

Post by Philosopherguy » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:44 pm

You will have plenty of options with that budget. Play as many guitars as you can!

I would stay away from the Zircote though. It does tend to crack. If not rosewood, there is plenty of maple guitar choices that look beautiful. Maple is generally a pretty stable wood for instruments. I think birdseye maple can have a tendency to crack a little more often, but in the hands of a good luthier, I doubt this would be a problem. Personally, I love the look of a flamed maple guitar.

Martin
*************************************************************
2013 Ramirez 130 Anos - Spruce
2013 Ramirez 4NE - Cedar
1998 Dean Harrington - Spruce
1977 Kuniharu Nobe - Spruce
1971 Yamaha GC3 - Spruce

Nikos_Greek
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:18 am
Location: Vienna, Austria

Re: Barcelona

Post by Nikos_Greek » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:31 pm

Thanks Martin, do you think walnut is a good alternative as well? Maple may look a bit awkward with a cedar top though. cocobolo may also be an option, but I have to try any guitar with this wood B&S first.

simonm
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:22 am
Location: Germany, Würzburg. Spain, IB

Re: Barcelona

Post by simonm » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:27 am

I love walnut. It has so many good characteristics it would be hard to list them all. I don't know how it goes with cedar but I suspect quite well. Mahogony and cedar is a great combination.

I don't know if any big names are building with walnut but I am sure almost anyone would be delighted to build a walnut for you.

There are pictures of 3 sets of walnut I have in this thread. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=85246&start=30#p927718 The wood is actually much darker. In fact further up the same page another member posted another set - that is much more accurate in colour terms. If you look at that thread in its entirety you will see that walnut comes in plenty of variety.

The wood itself varies quite a bit too. The sets I pictured above are much "softer" than the American walnut I have used until now. Not sure what effect that will have on the tone. I will be building with one of those sets, or another from the same batch, sometime this year so I will be able to compare the two types.

The next time I am near one of the tonewood suppliers I buy from, I am planning to stock up on walnut: 10-20 sets is what I have in mind. :mrgreen:

Nikos_Greek
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:18 am
Location: Vienna, Austria

Re: Barcelona

Post by Nikos_Greek » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:05 pm

I have now returned from Barcelona where I spent 3 days earlier this week . The weather was horrible on arrival, pissing with rain, unprecedented for the region as the locals told us later. The first day we spent on a city tour on a hop on hp off bus, got frozen after 2 hours, but I had to satisfy my partner’s wish, you know how it works... Next day we visited the Museo de la Musica where there was a Granados exhibition, but most importantly a section with early, 18th, 19th and contemporary guitars, among which 3 Antonio de Torres, 3 Ignacio Fleta, Simplicio and a few more which I now forget. Later in the afternoon I managed to steal an hour and a half and I rushed to Casa Luthier. There I tried 6 guitars all cedar top since I have already a Raya Pardo spruce and to be honest I am not expecting to find anything better than that. The guitars I tried were:
Ana Espinosa IR; Antonio Marin IR; Daniele Chiesa IR; Elias Bonet IR; Arnoldo Garcia MR; Arnoldo Garcia IR
Of the 6 guitars I tried the Chiesa IR stood out considerably. Very comfortable to play, rather flat neck, good projection, sweet, velvety tone with subtle overtones, well-balanced with correct intonation, good separation and very good sustain. In all it had everything one expects from a great guitar, plus for the lovers of Spanish sound, a characteristic Spanish “sound” (yes I know some of you will mumble what the hell there isn’t such a thing, but I know “it” exists!).
The Marin surprisingly did not live up to my expectations (there was one more in the shop with spruce top which I didn’t see. Now both Marin guitars are made in 2018 and one cannot help wondering how Marin could manage 2 guitars in one month...). a good guitar, no doubt, but Chiesa and Garcia would beat it any time, to be sure. The Garcia IR was also very good, very close to Chiesa in sound and playability, well-balanced as well with good projection. Not so impressed by the >Garcia MR though. I was disappointed by the Espinosa, I found the evenness between notes to be poor, not so good projection, mediocre sustain. Nothing special about the Bonet guitar, although it was not bad either and it was the cheapest. I can PM anybody interested in the prices, the Marin guitars were surprisingly cheap to me.
In general it was a very good experience, the staff was very helpful and polite i must say. I have come to the following conclusions in the wake of the visit:
I won’t buy any guitar for the next two years. I have to study a lot first and then venture a buy
I am very pleased with my guitars for the time being
I will never buy any guitar without testing it and comparing it with others at the price range, although this involves a premium of course
When I die I will have my body buried in an IR coffin!!! I just love this wood as B&S for a CG

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