This is very, very interesting! It made me think if something I did a while ago and now I'm curious to hear your opinions on old vs. new guitars. We recorded six different classical guitars build by the same luthier. Nothing was changed from one recording take to the next other than the guitars. Even the player stayed sitting in the same position. Check it out, some of you may have already seen this:
In order, the guitar styles are:
1 - Hauser (built to the Elliott drawing from GAL)
2 - Romanillos (built to a 1990s drawing, larger than the Courtnall one.)
3 - Friederich (cedar top)
4 - Friederich (spruce top)
5 - Double top (cedar, balsa-core)
6 - Double top (spruce, balsa-core)
The first two guitars are built traditionally, the second two are modern-traditional, and the last two are very modern. If guitar construction has changed to the point that we don't like the sounds of our recordings as much as we used to, then #5 and #6 would be the least favorite.
Recording gear today has changed, and in the process it has gotten drastically cleaner, and with far less noise levels.
Maybe the Aaron Shearer picking technique has also changed things quite a bit.