How to choose a new CG

ajguitar
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How to choose a new CG

Post by ajguitar » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:41 am

Hello.
I am in the market for a new CG around the €4000 range. I’m going to travel to London where there is a great CG dealer. I’ve never spent near this much on a guitar yet, so it is a very big decision for me.

How do I tell the difference between a good and a great guitar? Any advice on making sure I choose the right guitar for me?

Thanks :D

simonm
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Re: How to choose a new CG

Post by simonm » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:22 am

ajguitar wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:41 am
...
How do I tell the difference between a good and a great guitar? Any advice on making sure I choose the right guitar for me?
...

My immediate reaction is that if you have to ask that question you should probably not spend that amount of money on a guitar yet. If you are going to a truly reputable dealer then ask their advice. I would suggest that you don't go much over 1500 and and keep the rest of the money until you have more experience.

The biggest differentiator between a good and a great guitar is the player in two different senses. Firstly, a very good player will get the best out of any guitar and secondly what one player considers a "good" guitar may be considered a "great" guitar by a different player.


Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely no issue spending 4k on a guitar and good dealer will make sure you get something nice but remember your taste will change. I am taking it from the angle that 4k is a significant amount of money for you. If on the other hand if any of your cars has a 4k+ sound system and low profile run flat tyres and wheels that cost way more than that, then completely ignore my remarks and follow the dealers advice. Once you can go up to 4k you have a massive choice especially when you include second hand guitars which good dealers will have a fine selection of.

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: How to choose a new CG

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:09 pm

To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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andi33x
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Re: How to choose a new CG

Post by andi33x » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:01 pm

Hi,
I compelety agree with the idea that different people prefer different guitars.
Some people have played so many guitars and I am sure they can go to a store and see a guitar and instantly know it is a great guitar for them or not. But this is not the case for e.g. me and probably for you, too.

So the solution might be: Playing as many guitars as you can and learn to judge them.
Also looking for a new guitar, I did that last year and went to Siccas in Germany. They have many new and used master instruments from around the world. I tried there more than 20 guitars between 6000 and 20000 Euros and compared them with my old one.

In fact these 2 hours there were eye openers. I learned to judge a guitar and see if it meets my wishes or not. Interestingly the guitars with lattice or double tops were the worst for me. Also, there was another learning curve because many of the guitars were again or still in "sleep mode". With the time I was able to judge that. Finally I had 2 guitars, a Hauser 3 and a Marin Plazuelo which were quite similar in playing and tone. I bought the Marin Plazuelo (from 2016) and I am very happy with it.

Here are 2 more tipps which come into my mind:
- I would not accept hard tension strings when trying out a guitar.
- Don't do that alone. The guitarist has the worst place. It is important to have someone with you to hear the guitar like the audience.

Hope that helps a bit.
Andreas
There is nothing more beautiful than the sound of a guitar - maybe aside from that of two guitars (Frederic Chopin)

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James Lister
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Re: How to choose a new CG

Post by James Lister » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:07 pm

Best advice is to take your time (by which I mean months rather than weeks). Visit several dealers, and if possible several individual luthiers. You will gradually get an idea of the type of guitar you are looking for - modern vs. traditional construction, spruce vs. cedar (don't worry too much about the wood used for the back and sides - just go for something you like the look of!)

One important decision you will need to make is whether you want to buy a guitar off the shelf, or have one commissioned. Buying off the shelf (from a dealer, or a luthier who has a guitar or two in stock) has the advantage that you know exactly what you are getting. If you have a guitar commissioned, you will be able to choose the tonewoods you want, neck dimensions, scale length, extra features (armrest, soundport etc.), but even the best luthiers struggle to make two guitars exactly the same, so there is a small element of risk.

Finally - it can be helpful to take another experienced player with you when you visit dealers/luthiers, who can give a second opinion, and play the guitar for you so that you can hear it "out front".

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

Jason
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Re: How to choose a new CG

Post by Jason » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:20 pm

Keep it simple, play them, take your time, buy what speaks to you
2018 Yamaha gc42s
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(At the moment)

ajguitar
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Re: How to choose a new CG

Post by ajguitar » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:31 pm

Thanks for all the great answers here, this will definitely help me! 😀

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souldier
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Re: How to choose a new CG

Post by souldier » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:21 pm

ajguitar wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:41 am
How do I tell the difference between a good and a great guitar? Any advice on making sure I choose the right guitar for me?
This can be a highly subjective question. What is most important is that you have a decent repertoire and decent technique, tone production and musicality. If you can barely play guitar, then you won't be able to really test and discern a guitars potential. If you expect this to be a long term investment rather than constantly buying/selling, then I would really take my time to travel and play as many guitars as possible side by side with your current instrument. Also do not neglect to improve your playing ability so that you can more thoroughly bring out an instruments potential.

One other thing I've personally found that you might find useful... years back I subconsciously pursued a louder guitar, thinking that volume = value/quality. Overtime as my tone/technique got better, I discovered that what really draws me to the classical guitar is the beauty/complexity of tone. A loud guitar may wow you at first, but it is the beauty of tone that will keep you in love with your instrument. In the end, most high quality guitars have ample volume for the majority of people, especially if you're an amateur playing in your living room.
"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

Nikos_Greek
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Re: How to choose a new CG

Post by Nikos_Greek » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:38 pm

There are some very useful threads here on testing evaluating a guitar. You will get practical advice which you can put into practice when you try new guitars. You will need to look into issues such as intonation, balance, voice separation, playability, tone, projection, top stiffness, etc. Plus what the other users have already pointed out!

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