Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
westcoastblues
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Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Post by westcoastblues » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:13 pm

I've just had a very nice lunch break trying some new classical guitars in a lovely shop called the London Guitar Studio. I told the salesperson that I was looking to spend up to £1,500 and I tried a couple of guitars, a Cordoba C9 and a Burguet 2m. I couldn't tell much difference between them and the salesperson told me that there isn't likely to be a significant difference between a £1,000 and a £1,500 guitar, so I may as well buy the cheaper one. If I wanted to get a noticeably higher quality guitar she suggested I would need to spend more than £2,000, on an Alhambra Linea. I tried this and it was better, the neck was more comfortable and the tone was more refined.
Is this true that one should buy a £1,000 guitar or keep saving and buy a £2,000 plus guitar ? Or was the salesperson just encouraging me to spend more money ? I realise that all guitars are different but I'm just looking for some guidance on what for me will be a big purchase. Thanks :D

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rinneby
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Re: Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Post by rinneby » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:27 pm

westcoastblues wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:13 pm
I've just had a very nice lunch break trying some new classical guitars in a lovely shop called the London Guitar Studio. I told the salesperson that I was looking to spend up to £1,500 and I tried a couple of guitars, a Cordoba C9 and a Burguet 2m. I couldn't tell much difference between them and the salesperson told me that there isn't likely to be a significant difference between a £1,000 and a £1,500 guitar, so I may as well buy the cheaper one. If I wanted to get a noticeably higher quality guitar she suggested I would need to spend more than £2,000, on an Alhambra Linea. I tried this and it was better, the neck was more comfortable and the tone was more refined.
Is this true that one should buy a £1,000 guitar or keep saving and buy a £2,000 plus guitar ? Or was the salesperson just encouraging me to spend more money ? I realise that all guitars are different but I'm just looking for some guidance on what for me will be a big purchase. Thanks :D
Always buy the best guitar (for you) that you can afford. If that means keep saving, so be it. Simple as that :)

/Jon
1964 - Masaru Kohno No.7
1999 - Lorenzo Frignani
2017 - Tobias Braun

Feel free to ask me anything about Japanese classical guitars.

rwe
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Re: Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Post by rwe » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:38 pm

It depends on the brand / the luthier. Some luthiers build Student models with the same wood and craftmanship as the master models but without any optical gimmicks. My Krempel student model has a very simple rosette, nickel machines, no inlays, very simple binding etc. - Other luthiers have no such student models, they combine better woods only with expensive optical artwork.

My advice: Buy a used Instrument for 1kGBP, it will be better than a new one for 2k... Or buy one for 1.5k, it will be better than ... I paid 700EUR for my Krempel, it's different (of course - different woods, different luthiers) to, but not worse than my Hopf Virtuoso (new: about 8000EUR, I got mine used for <2kEUR).

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StuMayes
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Re: Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Post by StuMayes » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:23 pm

I once had a Burguet 2am, very nice instrument & yes the next rung up is probably a 'master-built' instrument with the associated cost.

Perhaps visit some more shops (you're lucky that London has quite a few) and try as many as possible in your price range, in my experience a good dose of patient evaluation and eventually at least one guitar will stand out from the crowd.

Happy hunting. :D

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Julian Ward
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Re: Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Post by Julian Ward » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:30 pm

Definitely buy used!
Classical guitar teacher

DerekB
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Re: Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Post by DerekB » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:51 pm

If you can manage a trip down to Brighton, Maestoso Music has a couple of luthier-built guitars for under £1,000. Kent Guitar Classics in Sevenoaks has a good range of guitars in your price range.
I've suffered for my music. Now it's your turn... - Seasick Steve

Ana Espinosa 2014 Swiss spruce/IRW
Yulong Guo 2009 640mm scale cedar/IRW

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Mike Atkinson
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Re: Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Post by Mike Atkinson » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:04 pm

Anyone who tells you there is no difference between an instrument costing 1000 vs 1500 is nuts.

This, however, does not mean that you won't like the 1000 instrument as much, or more than the 1500 instrument.

I play a Cordoba Esteso, which has an MSRP of 2700 US. When I purchased it, I compared it against several other Cordoba Master Series, with MSRP's of 5000 US. All of the instruments were within my budget. I choose the Esteso, because it spoke to me most clearly of the instruments I played within my budget. Believe me, if the Rodriguez felt and sounded better to me, I would have purchased it. Another person, might have found the Rodriguez a more attractive instrument.

But .. personal preferences does not negate value.
2018 Cordoba Esteso Cedar

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souldier
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Re: Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Post by souldier » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:14 pm

Over the years I've tried very cheap guitars to guitars costing $15k+... believe me when I say that classical guitar pricing can be extremely subjective. On top of that, everyone has their own tastes and preferences. What might be worth $5k to one person might only be worth $500 to another. There are various factors that drive the price of an instrument, which doesn't always translate to a better sounding guitar. It is entirely possible for someone to prefer a $2000 guitar over a $10k, as crazy as that might sound.

The point is when playing guitars, just try all the ones within your budget, and if possible play them blindly, without knowing the price, the brand/luthier, the woods used... just choose the one that sounds and feels the best, even if it turns out to be the less expensive one!
"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

rwe
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Re: Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Post by rwe » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:20 pm

souldier wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:14 pm
The point is when playing guitars, just try all the ones within your budget, and if possible play them blindly, without knowing the price, the brand/luthier, the woods used... just choose the one that sounds and feels the best, even if it turns out to be the less expensive one!
+1 .... and if you will play with other people or to an audience then let someone else play the instruments and sit in front of the player.

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Post by Adrian Allan » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:00 pm

I will echo some comments made on here.

I have been extremely non-impressed by some very expensive luthier instruments and equally, I have been very impressed by some lesser-known names.

Try not to look too much at the price tag and choose something that sings to your ears.

If you can afford £300 more, I highly recommend the Burguet DV model, or the guitar that appears in my signature below.
D'Ammassa Spruce/Spruce Double Top

ChristianSchwengeler
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Re: Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Post by ChristianSchwengeler » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:49 am

The difference is exactly 1000 GBP. But if you are smart you buy a used guitar and you will have the real thing for lesser money. Just a matter of how pacient you are to inform you about what is around and what it is exactly and if it fits your taste!

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Julian Ward
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Re: Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Post by Julian Ward » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:42 am

It is actually true... There is little between guitars around the 1000 to 2000 pound mark. This is why, as said above, buying used is the smart thing to do. And I also agree with some of the comments - there are plenty of poor sounding luthier built guitars out there!
Classical guitar teacher

westcoastblues
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Location: London

Re: Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Post by westcoastblues » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:25 pm

Thanks everyone for the great advice. I guess I need to take my time and try lots of guitars and keep checking the second hand market.

rwe
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Re: Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Post by rwe » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:20 pm

westcoastblues wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:25 pm
I guess I need to take my time and try lots of guitars
Right. You already have an Instrument. You can look for an Instrument that fits (almost) perfectly. Perhaps you will find it in two years, perhaps tomorrow morning. I didn't look for a new Instrument when a local store announced the Krempel.

Grasshopper
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Re: Difference between £1000 and £2000 guitars

Post by Grasshopper » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:40 am

westcoastblues wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:13 pm
I've just had a very nice lunch break trying some new classical guitars in a lovely shop called the London Guitar Studio. I told the salesperson that I was looking to spend up to £1,500 and I tried a couple of guitars, a Cordoba C9 and a Burguet 2m. I couldn't tell much difference between them and the salesperson told me that there isn't likely to be a significant difference between a £1,000 and a £1,500 guitar, so I may as well buy the cheaper one.
The obvious difference between the two guitars here is that the Cordoba is made in China and largely machine built for the mass market while the Burguet is hand-made in Spain in limited numbers. The cost of a guitar is mainly determined by the wood used and the labour time involved (and to a lesser extent the hardware). The labour costs on the Burguet will be vastly more than those of the Chinese built guitar. So the question is whether you think "hand-made" is better than machine built - I personally doubt it, although it obviously depends on the luthier.

I remember a few years ago I bought a Gitane guitar (a faithful copy of the Macaferri guitar), which was Chinese built - an excellent guitar. I took it to a local luthier to have a minor change made to the nut. He asked me how much it cost. When I said it was £400 he said he couldn't even buy the wood and the hardware for that price.

If I were you I'd try to compare a Cordoba C10 (about £1100) with a Cordoba C12 (about £1700) - if you can find any shop that has both, which might be difficult. The thing is that you're then comparing like with like (from the manufacturing cost point of view) and the differences between the two are down to the wood used and/or the design. I think you'll be able to hear a large difference between the two - with the C12 being in a different league. The C12 is a more modern design (with raised fingerboard, slightly domed soundboard and lattice bracing). The other difference between the Cordobas and the Burguet is that they have a truss rod. I have never been a fan of the truss rod because of the weight it adds but Cordoba seem to have managed to keep it very light (carbon-fibre maybe) - but, of course, it does allow you to tailor the neck profile if you don't like it or if it changes. On a guitar without the rod you're stuck with what you've got.

I bought a C12 a few years ago and I reckon it's the best classical I've ever played.

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