Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

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Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by nmshu1 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:51 pm

There is Spanish Style guitar for sure!
I have 2 Spanish guitars, 3 American Guitars, 1 Holland Guitar..... They are different. The 2 Spanish guitars are similar, have some same characters...

I prefer to Spanish sweet, warm, balanced and bright sound...
Otto Vowinkel Concert 650 C/BRW; Córdoba C9 650 C/MH
Paulino Bernabe Torres 645 S/MP
Juan Hernandez Torres 640 S/IRW; Sweet Tone 640 S/RWLam
German V. Rubio Concert 635 S/MP; German V. Rubio Estudio 635 S/PE
Kenny Hill Performance 630 DT/MP


Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by jscott » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:31 am

There is no such thing as a Spanish sounding guitar. And a Hauser is the most un-Spanish sounding guitar design.

But any particular Hauser may be made to sound Spanish indeed!

The guitar: "I am large, I contradict myself". Ah, reality.

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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by Wuuthrad » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:40 am

Hello fellow plucking compatriots!

With all due respect and best wishes, please take some time to watch this 3 and 1/5 hour documentary (it's a great video!) Afterwards, can you explain to me how there isn't a Spanish sound, or for that matter, a Spanish Guitar?

And despite the market forces' advertising slogans, with their constant attempts at defining our many mutual creative and artistic endeavours-

Let us not forget our roots!

After all, there is much truth in the Spanish sound, despite what pleasure or relief (or whatever else) might be found in these forums in defying the defenitions placed upon us by marketing slogans and ad campaigns.

And as you may see, I might hope, when we gaze a bit further into the past, with some help from this video, there is certainly a bit more than a little validity in the terminology in question here. Spanish guitar is very real. Without it we wouldn't be having this discussion.

As for my opinion, a guitar with less harmonic resonance and more fundamental sound typically describes an "un Spanish" sound, which for me is associated with deep and resonant tones and somewhat less clarity. A "Romantic" sound no doubt!

Whereas the "un Spanish" sound may be in fact a bit more virtuosic in the right hands, as it possibly can play more repertoire. The main reason having better note clarity and separation.

This is perhaps also one of those questions that can quite possibly be better explained by a cliche:

"If you have to ask, you'll never know"

At the same time some of this description is hogwash, as a great player can get a variety of tone. But when shopping for a guitar there is distinct differences between the specific timbres of guitars and the music they are more appropriately suited to playing.

Truth be told:

Tarrega sounds better on my Cedar/Rosewood Spanish guitar (made in Japan)

Bach sounds better on my Spruce/Maple Spanish guitar (made in USA)

That being said they both sound great on either guitar.

Go figure....!
"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." -Jean Sibelius

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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by Stringmusic » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:39 pm

Choice of strings can make my guitar sound more spanish or not.

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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by Carlos » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:51 pm

As a difference to the spanish sound I would put forward the "french" sound, which I would qualify as follow:

clear, clean, robust, not warm but rather cold, yet accurate and precise, with a good balance between notes and some degree of perfection in the setup of the guitar and the quality of the output, eg a clear separation of voices despites many being played, full of harmonic and rich timber. Offering a capacity to be warm, but only on demand when for instance using vibrato. Deep and profound but always with a cold touch, not necessarily expressive if you do not ask it to be.

I am not sure I capture it all, but this is more or less what I got when playing on a Delarue or a Friederich (I tried a few). And I got a similar impression on a Rohe i could try. You could also say this of a Roffler. Or a Burlot.

I couldn´t try a Dominique Field, but while trying a Simplicio (from Barcelona) with one young talented professional who plays himself on a Field, this young talent said the main difference with the Simplicio (which was an extraordinary examplary) is that the Field does not impose its tone, so somehow you can use it the way you like, it´s actually an instrument, whereas the Simplicio has this Tarrega like character which will always make it sound warm and naturally expressive.

I am a big fan of Simplicio, by the way...

And I haven´t yet watched the 3h1/2 video with Julian Bream

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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by Nikos_Greek » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:41 am

I think the closer a guitar sticks to the Torres design, the closer it keeps to this branch of traditional guitar making (after all the guitar IS a Spanish instrument) the more Spanish it will sound. The design of a guitar definitely imparts on its sound. Deviations from the archetypal design make the guitar sound unspanish, many posts have very well explained that already. It is not only the repertoire as some claim.


Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by jscott » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:23 pm

The one thing I don't like about a French guitar is that it's constantly correcting your pronunciation...

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Re: Most "unspanish" sounding guitar

Post by Carlos » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:05 pm

jscott wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:23 pm
The one thing I don't like about a French guitar is that it's constantly correcting your pronunciation...
And probably rightly so :-)

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