April 18th, 2012, 03:39 PM
I have played guitar for many years, electric and acoustic. Mostly fingerstyle on the acoustic - Laurence Juber, Merle Travis, John Renbourn, standard tunings, altered etc. With time and patience I am able to get some fairly difficult material under my fingers.
So now I would like to tackle some classical pieces and really need a nylon string classical guitar. I've been looking at the Cordoba 45R at MF that comes with a humidcase. At $899 that is about the top end of my price range right now. I know the standard signs of quality in an acoustic - single piece top and the like, but I don't know what tonewoods are best for top back and sides. I know this is a lot of personal preference, but can anyone give me some food for thought? Some have red cedar tops, some have spruce...? I don't know the difference.
All I know is I would like a quality, warm sounding instrument with nice highs. I would rather spend the $ on the guitar itself than electronics and built in tuners etc. too. Any input would be appreciated. I tried to do a search first but didn't come up with much. Maybe I'm using the wrong terms? Thanks
April 18th, 2012, 04:52 PM
I'm guessing you're after standard classical neck dimensions and body size etc.
With classical guitars it's similar wood as in spruce or cedar tops with rosewood back and sides.
Flamenco guitars are built lighter and use cypress for the back and sides which has fast attack and decay which make them ideal for percussive playing.
Rosewood is heavier and the attack slower, it takes a little longer for the wood to get moving but once it does move it's slower to stop, hence more sustain.
As you're in the states I'd look out for a used Francisco Navarro concert model.
He's one of the better mexican luthiers. If not, a new student model would do nicely.
But like everything, the more you look in to it the more you'll realise there's a massive choice of decent guitars.
Have fun searching.
April 18th, 2012, 05:08 PM
That's great feedback on the woods - I was wondering what the deal was with Flamenco guitars. I will check out the Franciso Navarro's. Yes I am looking for standard dimensions and body size. I am a tall guy with big hands.
April 18th, 2012, 10:30 PM
I think you can get some Made in Spain models such as from the Alhambra line. I think they have responded to Asian import pricing and kept pace. It might be nice to get the "real deal". You could google the name and see what you think.
I feel that the thing that you seek - as you seek a better instrument - is the response, clarity and timbre of the lower and higher registers as you go up the price structure. It is really a different instrument when you get the response all around the fingerboard that you are hearing when you hear "the masters".
Now, that might strike you as obvious but see if you can get to a shop to try a range of instruments. Or, impose on a few owners of better instruments to let you play theirs. You might see what I mean,
April 19th, 2012, 03:04 AM
I think you can get some Made in Spain models such as from the Alhambra line. I think they have responded to Asian import pricing and kept pace. It might be nice to get the "real deal".
That's a little misleading Greg. FN guitars are very much the real deal and have made a great impression on the flamenco market both in Europe and the USA. As have other Mexican luthiers such as Salvador Castillo. I wouldn't be too quick to right them off.
Because a guitar is made in Spain doesn't mean it's better than a guitar made elsewhere. It very much depends on the luthier and the range in their line up.
April 19th, 2012, 09:32 AM
I have been to the one remaining guitar shop in our area (everyone else has gone out of business). They had a few very cheapos and then several in the 4-5K range that were super ornate, but not something I could justify.
I'm not in a huge hurry, so I will take some time on this, maybe head down to Boston and try a few. Thanks
April 23rd, 2012, 11:48 AM
Be sure to check out the Etude by LaPatrie - big sound for half the price of what you were looking at in NH, and you can plug it in. Sounds great from folk to Bossa Nova.