IMO, I'd suggest your next step up is to ... upgrade your playing skills, either by taking lessons with a teacher, or join the online classes in this forum. When achieving certain level of playing, you would also develop your own taste and appreciation of different guitars, high end or not. At that time, you'll know what to select your next guitar that matches your preference.Bill-stl wrote: ↑Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:45 pmFirst off, let me say I am not in the market for a new guitar! (but always looking). I am just someone who plays for my own enjoyment. I have an Esteve Fernandez Valencia ( now a 4st, I believe) that I like. Curiosity has sent me to some local music stores to see what the had.
... Which leads to my question, if you have a student guitar with a solid cedar top, or spruce for that matter, with laminated sides, what is the next logical step up.
My knowledge of high end guitars is nil, as is my talent. But I find the quest for THE guitar fascinating to follow on this forum.
You have mainly answered your own question. Unless you have GAS you buy when you, and your teacher if you have one, realise that the guitar is holding you back or at least slowing you down. The next step is to play a bunch of different guitars to see which one "talks to you" and whether you feel it is letting you step ahead. Then look at the prices. This is where one of the good dealers comes in - there aren't all that many so you might have to travel. No idea about your area. In the meantime try any guitar you can. Do not be impressed by brand names. Don't worry in the least about the wood in the back and sides as regards tone - by all means consider the appearance but ignore comments about how one wood is "better" than anther..... When your skill level reaches a certain point, you will know. Then it is a matter of how much to spend.
I think Souldier pretty much covered everything for the OP's thought process to buy his next guitar, starting from "upgrading current playing skill level", to knowing what you want ...etc. However, in the end, why not take the plunge and a get a guitar you like, whether you can play it or not!souldier wrote: ↑Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:51 pmSome points:
-Expanding repertoire, improving technique, tone, musicality, etc. will enable you to know what your needs are in a new guitar and better assess the potential of a new guitar. Without these, you probably won't be able to determine what makes a guitar really great.
-Know what tonal characteristics are important to you. Try to rank things like volume, sustain, warm or bright, traditional/less traditional, slow or fast response, balance, separation, etc.... Over the years experience has refined my taste in instruments. ...
-Remember price does not equal performance and pricing in the classical guitar market is highly subjective. ..
Take what you can from these points, but in the end it really just depends on you. There are some who can barely play the guitar, but want to own as many high end instruments as they can for the sheer joy of it, and whose to say this is less valid?
My apologies, I don't mean to push you into buying anything, I just want to echo the point that one can buy a guitar just for the sheer joy of it!