Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

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MauricioMedeiros
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Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

Post by MauricioMedeiros » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:08 am

Hi all!

I am thinking for some time already on upgrading my guitar, but the more I research, the more I get overwhelmed.

I bought a few years ago from t h o m a n n a Hofner HZ23 - a really simple student model, but at that time it was a LOT better than what I had. But now I really feel I could get a lot more from a better guitar. I am just a hobbyist which needs to control my time on guitar due to previous injuries, so most of what I feel "lacking" could be just a matter of "get better at playing" - sometimes I find it really really hard to go from pp to ff for example, or the sound quality just don't keep up with what I am "listening" on my head. But still I think a better guitar would make me enjoy a lot more my time playing.

That said, boy, it is hard to choose a guitar. I see over and over ppl saying "go with your ears", but I don't think that will really work for me. I don't know of decent stores nearby, so probably will have to buy online. And to be honest all the online sound samples are more or less the same to me and my crap notebook speakers.

So I was looking at a lot of reviews, and trying to find some more consistent brands to minimize my risk. I would like to have a loud guitar with a decent tone, and which was not hard to play. I don't really get what are talking about when they say a guitar is "easy" or "hard" to play though. Is it just the action? I also would like to get a spruce guitar, but mostly because I never had one before, so it would be something different :)

I saw a very positive review of a cordoba C12, from "this is classical guitar". The guys says it pretty much keeps up with his 7k guitar unless you go to a concert hall (which I don't expect to do in the foreseeable future, if ever). But I also see ppl saying that chinese guitars are just bad, or inconsistent at the best.

I also read a lot of good things about the Guitarra del Tiempo from Ramirez. Looking for Ramirez I saw also a Estudio 3, which appears to be better, but cost 1k more than the C12. Does it sound 1k better? It is over my target by a fair margin, but as I will probably use it for 4 or 5 years before thinking on a new guitar it could be worth the stretch, if this can make indeed any difference. I would just need to wait a few more months to get the money, but it is not that bad. There is the Estudio 2 which is more or less the same price as the C12, but I couldn't find any review for it. Writing this makes me realize I am biased towards the C12 because of that youtube review... Which is probably not a very good place to be while trying to decide what to buy :D

I tried to look for used ones near me (I live in Belgium), but did not find anything interesting, and to buy used I would need to find a really trustworthy seller, as I don't think I can really judge a guitar in that range - again, currently I have a guitar under 400 euros :) Also online stores apparently have a money return policy (at least t h o m a n n has), which can be helpful if things go wrong.

So.... can anyone help me to decide what could be a decent guitar for me? Personal opinions, technical advice, words of encouragement... Anything is welcome :D My budget is ideally up to 2k euros (I am using the C12 as a reference, which costs a little under 1800 at t h o m a n n), but I could save a little more and go a bit higher if it is really justifiable.

KR
Mauricio Medeiros

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joachim33
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Re: Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

Post by joachim33 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:53 am

If you are happy with a simpler finish, a Hanika Natural could fit you bill. I bought one last summer (Hanika Natural PC, Cedar top) and am pretty happy with it. I frequently wrote about it - search in here. I figure the simpler finish affords a better sounding guitar for the price.

On the Hanika website there is a tool to locate dealers. They have two in Brussels. I would contact the dealer before travelling to make sure they have the instruments, which you are interested in, in stock. I bought from a luthier (Ludger Wannenmacher) in Bielefeld - Germany, who ordered the instruments specifically for me to try.

For sure, Hanika guitars can also be mail ordered from a couple of dealers. Even with factory type instruments you have to allow for sample variations. Individual examples of the same model will/can be quite different.

I upgraded from a 500€ instrument. The Hanika is a substantial upgrade.

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MauricioMedeiros
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Re: Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

Post by MauricioMedeiros » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:11 am

joachim33 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:53 am
If you are happy with a simpler finish, a Hanika Natural could fit you bill. I bought one last summer (Hanika Natural PC, Cedar top) and am pretty happy with it. I frequently wrote about it - search in here. I figure the simpler finish affords a better sounding guitar for the price.

On the Hanika website there is a tool to locate dealers. They have two in Brussels. I would contact the dealer before travelling to make sure they have the instruments, which you are interested in, in stock. I bought from a luthier (Ludger Wannenmacher) in Bielefeld - Germany, who ordered the instruments specifically for me to try.

For sure, Hanika guitars can also be mail ordered from a couple of dealers. Even with factory type instruments you have to allow for sample variations. Individual examples of the same model will/can be quite different.

I upgraded from a 500€ instrument. The Hanika is a substantial upgrade.
Hi Joachim,

Thanks for the suggestion. The Hanika Natural looks like a good option indeed! These two dealers in Brussels don't have it in stock though. I may go to Music Store, in Germany (in a city a little less than 3 hours from here) - they are quite big, and have that particular model too. No Cordoba C12 to be able to compare sadly.

They also have a Hofner HM-88, which appears to be quite good and has a similar price... Being a German company I think the prices here won't have a huge markup, so it may be a good value. Some mixed reviews though. Anyone ever tried one of those?

I don't really care about the finish, it is just a "nice to have" but less important than the sound itself of course. But this Hanika Natural appears to be quite nice actually. How loud would you say it is? Are guitars on this price range usually "loud"? I am thinking here on how much the guy on the C12 review was impressed by the C12. Is that something I would also find in this Hanika?

KR
Mauricio Medeiros

es335
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Re: Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

Post by es335 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:52 am

Not sure about how good the Music Store in Cologne will be in terms of classical guitar trying but there are other shops in Cologne or even closer to the Belgium border dedicated to classical guitars. Wegner Gitarren in Cologne or Das Gitarrenhaus at the Netherlands border with amongst others a wide selection of Hanika guitars!
Concerning reviews you are well advised to consider them just for orientation and the more of them are available the better. For instance you’ll find a lot of very positive reviews about Ramirez 125/130 anos guitars particularly in this forum as well from users as from official dealers. Based on this, I wouldn’t have a big problem buying such a guitar unseen, though these models are discontinued and only available second hand now.
With just one positive review on the Cordoba C12 I wouldn’t feel equally comfortable to buy unseen but fortunately t h o m a n n has a comfortable 30 days return policy. So for a first shot you may go this way and see how impressed you will be with your 400€ Hofner as a reference. :wink:

richtm
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Re: Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

Post by richtm » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:44 pm

I would always consider buying a used one from a well known shop such as Wegner, because with the new guitars you pay extra for
a) that the guitar is new, which mean
b) that it also might change its characteristic
And for 2000€ you might already even get a master grade guitar instead of a fabrique one.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ernest Köröskenyi 1977 Cedar; Pauline Bernabe Especial 2007 Spruce, 2012 Cedar; Andreas Kirmse 2017 Cedar DT; Philipp Lerche Torres 2018 Spruce

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MauricioMedeiros
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Re: Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

Post by MauricioMedeiros » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:00 pm

es335 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:52 am
So for a first shot you may go this way and see how impressed you will be with your 400€ Hofner as a reference. :wink:
Well, this is one of the biggest reasons I am looking for advice, I am pretty convinced that I don't need much to be impressed giving my current guitar :D This can most likely lead me to buy something more than overpriced, and I will probably only realize that a few years down the road.
es335 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:52 am
Not sure about how good the Music Store in Cologne will be in terms of classical guitar trying but there are other shops in Cologne or even closer to the Belgium border dedicated to classical guitars. Wegner Gitarren in Cologne or Das Gitarrenhaus at the Netherlands border with amongst others a wide selection of Hanika guitars!
I will try to call Das Gitarrenhaus and a few others. I was put off because their websites are almost useless, so I though they were like my local stores (with a very very limited classical guitar supply)... Das Gitarrenhaus is only 2 hours from here, so not hard to fit a visit using only part of the day.
es335 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:52 am
Concerning reviews you are well advised to consider them just for orientation and the more of them are available the better. For instance you’ll find a lot of very positive reviews about Ramirez 125/130 anos guitars particularly in this forum as well from users as from official dealers. Based on this, I wouldn’t have a big problem buying such a guitar unseen, though these models are discontinued and only available second hand now.
About the Ramirez, is it safe to assume that the new model (Guitarra del Tiempo) will be at least as good as the older ones? Not taking into account variations between guitars of the same model? This one is being sold everywhere online. I heard ppl complaining, saying it comes with cheap chinese tuners, but if they can hold the guitar in tune I honestly don't care.

KR
Mauricio Medeiros

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MauricioMedeiros
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Re: Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

Post by MauricioMedeiros » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:52 pm

richtm wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:44 pm
I would always consider buying a used one from a well known shop such as Wegner, because with the new guitars you pay extra for
a) that the guitar is new, which mean
b) that it also might change its characteristic
And for 2000€ you might already even get a master grade guitar instead of a fabrique one.
Thanks for pointing out at Wegner shop, there are some amazing guitars there :) I will take a better look after I go home today.

KR
Mauricio Medeiros

es335
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Re: Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

Post by es335 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:13 pm

MauricioMedeiros wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:00 pm
Well, this is one of the biggest reasons I am looking for advice, I am pretty convinced that I don't need much to be impressed giving my current guitar :D This can most likely lead me to buy something more than overpriced, and I will probably only realize that a few years down the road.
Got your point well but first a Chinese made Cordoba C12 is not very likely to be overpriced in general which is for instance not the case with Ramirez guitars, where you do pay some surcharge just for the name!
Second meanwhile Chinese made guitars of this level hold quite very well against instruments from other countries with a much longer tradition in guitar making.
Third, a trial period of 30 days gives the possibility to verify your impressions over some time. Switch back and forth between your Hofner and the C12, have fellow guitarist try her and express their opinion.
MauricioMedeiros wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:00 pm
I will try to call Das Gitarrenhaus and a few others. I was put off because their websites are almost useless, so I though they were like my local stores (with a very very limited classical guitar supply)... Das Gitarrenhaus is only 2 hours from here, so not hard to fit a visit using only part of the day.
I must admit that their website isn’t really informative but opposed to your local store they do sell only classical guitars and do have quite a few of them. :wink:
MauricioMedeiros wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:00 pm

About the Ramirez, is it safe to assume that the new model (Guitarra del Tiempo) will be at least as good as the older ones? Not taking into account variations between guitars of the same model? This one is being sold everywhere online. I heard ppl complaining, saying it comes with cheap chinese tuners, but if they can hold the guitar in tune I honestly don't care.
There had been some discussions here about if and how the Guitarra del Tiempo do continue the success story of the 125/130 anos models. Not sure about the outcome. Chinese tuners are no deal breaker but they might indicate, that cost cutting had been applied and presumably not only to the tuners!? I might be wrong but would personally prefer to buy a second hand 125/130 anos model.

Maybe you should visit one of the shops mentioned first to get a bit more experience with higher level concert guitars and develop your personal priorities you search in a new and better instrument. :wink:

Dave Stott
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Re: Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

Post by Dave Stott » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:32 pm

Personally, I liked the Cordoba C-12 but didn't see the need for the elevated fret board. I chose the C-10 Cedar.

FWIW - You can get a used Cordoba C-10 for under $800 US
2015 Cordoba GK Pro Negra
2017 Cordoba C-10 Cedar
2003 Froggy Bottom H-12 Deluxe

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MauricioMedeiros
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Re: Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

Post by MauricioMedeiros » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:46 pm

es335 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:13 pm
There had been some discussions here about if and how the Guitarra del Tiempo do continue the success story of the 125/130 anos models. Not sure about the outcome. Chinese tuners are no deal breaker but they might indicate, that cost cutting had been applied and presumably not only to the tuners!? I might be wrong but would personally prefer to buy a second hand 125/130 anos model.
Did not think about the cost cutting potentially not being limited to the tuners... It is a good point. I don't really trust my judgment to buy used ones, but I can try to get someone from my city's conservatory with me to some of the stores suggested on this thread. Not doing lessons right now but I can probably convince my old teacher or at least a more advanced student to tag along :)
es335 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:13 pm
Maybe you should visit one of the shops mentioned first to get a bit more experience with higher level concert guitars and develop your personal priorities you search in a new and better instrument. :wink:
I def need to do that. Will try to visit them as soon as possible. As I told above, with some luck I can take someone more knowledgeable with me, so I am not completely "lost" :)

Thanks again for the help. It is greatly appreciated.

KR
Mauricio Medeiros

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MauricioMedeiros
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Re: Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

Post by MauricioMedeiros » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:50 pm

Dave Stott wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:32 pm
Personally, I liked the Cordoba C-12 but didn't see the need for the elevated fret board. I chose the C-10 Cedar.

FWIW - You can get a used Cordoba C-10 for under $800 US
I will try to play the C12 somewhere. There is a consensus that the elevated fingerboard on the C12 is not really elevated enough to be useful anyway. I am curious about the sound though. Did you notice any big difference in the tone, with the C12 being lattice braced? Or in the volume, comparing with the C10?

The elevated fingerboard being less than useful, and the tone more or less the same, there is apparently very little else to justify a quite big price increase.

richtm
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Re: Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

Post by richtm » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:43 am

You might even consider this luthier, if you want to see sound samples shoot me a PM

http://www.liuteriadammassa.altervista. ... ex.php/en/
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ernest Köröskenyi 1977 Cedar; Pauline Bernabe Especial 2007 Spruce, 2012 Cedar; Andreas Kirmse 2017 Cedar DT; Philipp Lerche Torres 2018 Spruce

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Jacek A. Rochacki
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Re: Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

Post by Jacek A. Rochacki » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:18 am

Perhaps it would make sense to take under consideration guitars by Otto Vovinkel in Amsterdam. I am under positive impression when thinking on his model 2a, it is constructed in cooperation with very good small workshop of Antonio Picado in Berga, Spain, the area of Barcelona.
https://ottovowinkel.com/model-2a-english/

Or maybe you would be lucky to find the PIcado guitar somewhere in your circles ? is is also possible to contact Picado via internet. There is a lot of information about Picado guitars at this Forum.

EDIT At the Vovinkel web pages in section contact there is information on availibity in different countries including an adress in Belgium.
Antonio Picado, model 60, 2015, Cedar/IRW. Scale 640 mm.
Antonio Picado, model 62, 2018, Cedar/Madagascar Palosanto. Scale 640 mm. Doble Tapa.

Dave Stott
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Re: Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

Post by Dave Stott » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:15 pm

I was not able to A vs B in the same environment when trying out the C-10 vs C12... Plus I'm not sure my ears and playing ability are able to discern the
any difference in lattice bracing.

For me, it was simply a matter that my ears, playing & wallet just couldn't justify the cost difference between the C-10 and the C-12.

Dave
MauricioMedeiros wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:50 pm
Dave Stott wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:32 pm
Personally, I liked the Cordoba C-12 but didn't see the need for the elevated fret board. I chose the C-10 Cedar.

FWIW - You can get a used Cordoba C-10 for under $800 US
I will try to play the C12 somewhere. There is a consensus that the elevated fingerboard on the C12 is not really elevated enough to be useful anyway. I am curious about the sound though. Did you notice any big difference in the tone, with the C12 being lattice braced? Or in the volume, comparing with the C10?

The elevated fingerboard being less than useful, and the tone more or less the same, there is apparently very little else to justify a quite big price increase.
2015 Cordoba GK Pro Negra
2017 Cordoba C-10 Cedar
2003 Froggy Bottom H-12 Deluxe

Nikos_Greek
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Re: Few questions on buying a guitar under 2000 euros

Post by Nikos_Greek » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:20 pm

As the OP mentioned, C 12 is lattice braced, it is difficult to compare it with other Cordoba models fan braced. You may like the loudness of a lattice braced guitar, but the tone might be not of your liking, in which case the purchase won't make any sense. 2000 Euros bring you a nice factory made guitar when bought new. But if you add some money you can get a second hand luthier made guitar which will be a great upgrade from what you have and will probably keep it for many years. For this you will need to have patience and be ready to undergo a few trips to try the instruments yourself. Since you live in Belgium and since there are some shops in your vicinity you may decide to go this way. Otherwise, reviews are pretty much worthless, you need to try the instrument yourself before buying. I have bought online and have not been disappointed, but if there is a next purchase I would like to try the instrument myself before buying.

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