Which guitar to buy?

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souldier
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Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:45 pm

Re: Which guitar to buy?

Post by souldier » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:25 pm

Appreciate you sharing your experience. It also helps to add to our knowledge base and we get to vicariously visit Savage through you :D.

Some things that stood out to me from your visit:
-The Barthell you really set your heart on didn't live up to your expectations. This should be a lesson for anyone in the market that our preconceived ideas, expectations, perceptions of audio recordings, etc. can be quite deceiving. Buying online is a risky ordeal and we should let our ears and fingers do the final judging rather than merely trying to gather information online.

-You've discovered the critical lesson that price can be quite subjective in the classical guitar world. More money doesn't mean more guitar, so it is important to not be swayed by market value or perceived value.

-In terms of what you're looking for, it seems you are trying to find a guitar that will really wow you in terms of volume and response. Although these factors are important, I've come to discover that what really keeps me coming back to a guitar is the beauty of tone/timbre, especially in the trebles. I've often found that the most beautiful sounding guitars are not necessarily the loudest. Then again, sometimes these super loud/responsive guitars can seem loud to the player but not much different to the audience.

-In terms of workmanship, my experience with Luthier made guitars is that you're bound to find some workmanship flaws - some minor or some more noticeable. For me this is just a sign that it is a handmade instrument rather than something that is mass produced. Many factory guitars I've played actually are more immaculate than most luthier guitar's I've observed, though there are some luthiers that are exceptional in their workmanship. Personally, I'd be more forgiving toward these workmanship flaws that are often only visible when you look up close. I'd be more concerned with sound and playability. The point is, I wouldn't allow concerns over workmanship to cause you to pass on a potentially amazing guitar.

Thanks for sharing. Hope the right one will eventually come along. Until then, there is great value in increasing your exposure to what is out there.
"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

wombosi
Amateur luthier
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:00 pm
Location: Great Barrington, MA

Re: Which guitar to buy?

Post by wombosi » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:05 pm

Thanks guys.

I don't think my expectations are too unreasonable. I don't need the loudest, most perfect guitar ever built.
But as a woodworker, I'd like to buy something that shows off a high degree of skill and pride.

I don't know how to build guitars, but from a woodworking perspective, my furniture and cabinet fit and finish is better than some of these instruments. And as a woodworker I appreciate the subtleties of things made by hand - just not sloppiness or obvious mistakes.
The one rosette that was slurry filled was obvious as I looked at it in my lap, all the way around it.

My dad's Connor I almost find too loud, borderline brash. And it's somehow difficult to play. That's why I prefer my brother's Whisler, which is quieter, but to me more musical and super easy to play.

Aside from my house, this guitar will be pretty much the largest purchase of my life thus far, so I'm definitely proceeding cautiously.

Thanks!

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souldier
Posts: 1088
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:45 pm

Re: Which guitar to buy?

Post by souldier » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:27 pm

Sounds like you're headed in the right direction. I've learned all too many times the hard way that impatience is the fastest way to regret.

I've also heard Connors are monstrous in volume, sometimes hard to listen to if the room is too small and reflective. I'd imagine this could be desirable if one regularly plays in large settings without amplification.
"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

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Michael.N.
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Location: UK

Re: Which guitar to buy?

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:45 pm

That kind of tear out around rosettes (and subsequent filling) is indicative of sloppy work. Sorry but it has to be said. The point being that there are many makers these days who are executing extremely good work that there's really no need to accept it - especially if we are referring to the $5,000 mark. Now don't get me wrong I don't think for one moment that a handmade guitar should be free of all defects, far from it. If the tear out was very minimal at just one tiny point on the rosette, well disguised - well I can accept that. No one is perfect, we all overlook things but tear out to that degree and then using filler is a bit more than unconsciously missing a little scratch, scraper mark or other tiny defect. As ever we all have differing views or expectations on this stuff. My friend returned a guitar (not mine!) because he could see a scratch on the edge of the fretboard - bass side too. It took me a good minute of looking for it in raking light to find it and I've been making guitars for decades. Such an insignificant scratch, minuscule. It was a $750 electric archtop guitar. Now that's what I call obsessive compulsive!
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