Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

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Beowulf
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Re: Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

Post by Beowulf » Sun May 20, 2018 2:41 pm

Arduous wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 6:56 am

I need something with lots of volume since I play a lot of ensemble music and the players need to hear me.
Can the players hear the instrument you have used to this point? Also how far apart do you sit and do you face the other players or are you all facing out towards the audience? If possible,take your present instrument and an ensemble confrere with you and compare the sound at a similar distance and position.
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Arduous
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Re: Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

Post by Arduous » Sun May 20, 2018 4:38 pm

The players don't hear me very well.
I play mostly with a string quartet but also have three duo projects going and those are with flute, violin and cello.
They would all enjoy it very much if they heard me better.

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Arduous
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Re: Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

Post by Arduous » Sun May 20, 2018 4:45 pm

rpavich wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 12:06 pm
I checked out your bio; you've been playing and performing and teaching for a long time, you are no noob. It seems to me that for what you want to spend, you don't want to play the guitar lotto. I'd go to Savage Guitars in NY or the Classical Guitar Store in Philly and play a bunch of guitar and pick what floated my boat. It's one thing for a noob to just buy their first $500.00 guitar without playing it first but for $15,000? I'd get a $350.00 round trip plane ticket and a hotel room and spend the day at one of those two shops.
No, lol, I'm not a noob....
I prefer the buy it and play it here at home approach. That way I can take it to our rehearsal place to see if the other players notice any difference. Plus I'd get to hear the guitar in acoustics I'm familiar with.
Some of the guitar selling places have ideal play rooms where a Torres could almost sound as loud as a Smallman. That being said I've never been to Savage.

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Re: Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

Post by D.Cass » Sun May 20, 2018 6:11 pm

If you are doing chamber music I think a a more modern built guitar, ie lattice or double top, will work best. I can only go by what I have heard or played.
In no particular order:

Martin Blackwell: Plenty of horse power and a warm sound, I have the spruce/cedar. Very sweet sounding guitar. The smart money would be here.

Redgate: Rich and very even tonally. Plenty of horse power

Contreras: loud and traditionally built.

Casimiro Lozano: patent fan brace. Traditional sound and wide tonal color. Volume wise on par with a Redgate. I haven’t tried his doubletops.

With a 15k budget you have plenty of options. Good luck in your quest.

es335
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Re: Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

Post by es335 » Sun May 20, 2018 6:12 pm

Arduous wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 4:38 pm
The players don't hear me very well.
I play mostly with a string quartet but also have three duo projects going and those are with flute, violin and cello.
They would all enjoy it very much if they heard me better.
That’s a really tough environment. Though there will be louder guitars which can be better heard, some doubt remains this will be fully sufficient. Have you ever considered amplifying? It’s amazing how discreet recent equipment looks and how neutral they sound! I know this is an sacrilege but IME any guitar will be in a more or less lost postion in a string quartet. :wink: :D

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Re: Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

Post by simonm » Sun May 20, 2018 7:17 pm

Arduous wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 4:38 pm
The players don't hear me very well. ….
Compared to the other instrument you play with the guitar has a problem. It is quite directional. So if the people you are sitting amongst can hear the guitar well and very loud, there is a definite possibility that the people at the back of the audience will not. The was a thread here not sol long ago where some one mentioned being at a concert or demo of some kind where the player was telling the audience that he loved this particular guitar because it was so loud: however, for the audience it was not loud - quite the contrary. When you are testing you would be better have someone else listening form a distance unless you have a very good sense of what kind of guitar will project. Guitars that sound really loud close up don't necessarily sound loud at a distance and vice-versa. Makes life complicated.

If I recall correctly, the duo I mentioned in a previous post have guitars by Sergio Abreu. Given the the Duo Abreu were/are probably the most famous guitar duo apart from Presti/Lagoya, I suppose he knows a thing or two about the challenges.

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Re: Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

Post by Michael.N. » Sun May 20, 2018 7:52 pm

es335 wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 6:12 pm
Arduous wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 4:38 pm
The players don't hear me very well.
I play mostly with a string quartet but also have three duo projects going and those are with flute, violin and cello.
They would all enjoy it very much if they heard me better.
That’s a really tough environment. Though there will be louder guitars which can be better heard, some doubt remains this will be fully sufficient. Have you ever considered amplifying? It’s amazing how discreet recent equipment looks and how neutral they sound! I know this is an sacrilege but IME any guitar will be in a more or less lost postion in a string quartet. :wink: :D
I'm very much in the traditionalist camp but given the other ensemble instruments: it's hardly the worst suggestion in the world. The very loudest of guitars will struggle somewhat and even double tops/lattice aren't that much louder than a traditional guitar. Unfortunately it's more gear to carry around, big watts aren't required though.
Historicalguitars.

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souldier
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Re: Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

Post by souldier » Mon May 21, 2018 5:07 pm

If you're going to play along side a flute, cello, violin.. the fact of the matter is even the loudest guitar won't give you much benefit. The classical guitar by nature simply has a lower dynamic range than most other instruments. Realistically you'll have to amplify in such a setting in order for the audience as well as those on the stage to hear you. I've recently been using a Bartlett guitar mic either plugged directly into a venue's system or connected to a Fishman loudbox and I have to say that if it is tweaked right and you have good speaker placement, you can get really natural sounding results. A natural sounding amplified guitar is better than any guitar that cannot be heard.
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Podobin
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Re: Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

Post by Podobin » Tue May 22, 2018 2:05 am

Don't forget to look at dealers such as Savage Guitars, Guitars Int in Cleveland, Brune in Evanston IL, Chartwell in Georgia, they will also be happy to talk with you!!

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Re: Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

Post by Jack Douglas » Tue May 22, 2018 9:36 am

Podobin wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:05 am
Don't forget to look at dealers such as Savage Guitars, Guitars Int in Cleveland, Brune in Evanston IL, Chartwell in Georgia, they will also be happy to talk with you!!
Add Aaron Green to the list.


You haven’t stated where you are physically located. There are other dealers with excellent reputations that might be convenient for you.
I’ll be anxious to hear what’s on your short list.
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Re: Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

Post by riffmeister » Tue May 22, 2018 1:32 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 7:52 pm
es335 wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 6:12 pm
Arduous wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 4:38 pm
The players don't hear me very well.
I play mostly with a string quartet but also have three duo projects going and those are with flute, violin and cello.
They would all enjoy it very much if they heard me better.
That’s a really tough environment. Though there will be louder guitars which can be better heard, some doubt remains this will be fully sufficient. Have you ever considered amplifying? It’s amazing how discreet recent equipment looks and how neutral they sound! I know this is an sacrilege but IME any guitar will be in a more or less lost postion in a string quartet. :wink: :D
I'm very much in the traditionalist camp but given the other ensemble instruments: it's hardly the worst suggestion in the world. The very loudest of guitars will struggle somewhat and even double tops/lattice aren't that much louder than a traditional guitar. Unfortunately it's more gear to carry around, big watts aren't required though.
I totally agree.

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SeanWinkler
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Re: Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

Post by SeanWinkler » Tue May 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Arduous wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 4:38 pm
The players don't hear me very well.
I play mostly with a string quartet but also have three duo projects going and those are with flute, violin and cello.
They would all enjoy it very much if they heard me better.
I've done a fair amount of (amateur) chamber music: played for several years in a trio of flute, clarinet and guitar; currently play with two violinists in trio; various other combinations including violin/guitar/cello, flute/clarinet/guitar/cello, etc. . . .

I'd agree with the amplification suggestion for some settings, but I also appreciate the inconvenience if you have to move equipment often. With my ensembles, we could usually find a seating arrangement that allowed me to face the other players so that they could hear me better. The problem, of course, is that you end up in a different seating arrangement when performing, and if you haven't rehearsed that way you can get thrown way off. You probably know all of this, though.

In terms of instruments, I love my Aaron Green guitar and I find it does quite well in ensemble settings. As others have mentioned, Aaron also deals in fine guitars, so if you can visit his shop in MA then it's definitely worth the trip. A less conventional suggestion would be to look into smaller-bodied 19th century style instruments. They tend to emphasize frequencies that can cut through an ensemble much better than a modern guitar. The price you pay is that you get a less "traditional" solo tone that many find "boxy." I've heard a terz play unamplified with a small chamber orchestra in a medium concert hall, and it projected very well. I wonder if a flamenco might have a similar cutting ability--never tried it.
Remember Anthony Weller, please help. Contact myself or Aaron Green for details.

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Re: Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

Post by Adam » Fri May 25, 2018 4:19 pm

For $15k, I'd fly somewhere like GSI and buy something that cost $15k minus travel expenses.

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Re: Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

Post by simonm » Fri May 25, 2018 4:59 pm

SeanWinkler wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:26 pm
... A less conventional suggestion would be to look into smaller-bodied 19th century style instruments. They tend to emphasize frequencies that can cut through an ensemble much better than a modern guitar. The price you pay is that you get a less "traditional" solo tone that many find "boxy." ...
A sort of "more civilised" banjo approach. ;-)

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Re: Buying a new guitar. Give me some ideas - under 15k

Post by SeanWinkler » Fri May 25, 2018 5:07 pm

simonm wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 4:59 pm
SeanWinkler wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 2:26 pm
... A less conventional suggestion would be to look into smaller-bodied 19th century style instruments. They tend to emphasize frequencies that can cut through an ensemble much better than a modern guitar. The price you pay is that you get a less "traditional" solo tone that many find "boxy." ...
A sort of "more civilised" banjo approach. ;-)
I briefly owned a Deering Solana, which is a 6-string nylon banjo. It was actually kind of fun for playing Renaissance lute pieces. In the end I couldn't find a comfortable way to hold the thing, though, which is why I wound up selling it. But it sure was loud!
Remember Anthony Weller, please help. Contact myself or Aaron Green for details.

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