Anyone know of a good classical guitar?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by xtelesquirex, Sep 19, 2020.

  1. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    24 track: Nothing wrong with a decent 'cheap' guitar at all. I bought one of these (and after saddle, nut and tuners upgrade and a little fretwork..) I love it. It will never will any awards for aesthetics, but it is solidly constructed and sounds good (if a little different) -- but 'different', does not equate with 'bad'.
    It's my workhorse practice/project guitar (it's my Guinea Pig for testing stuff).
    And, if it gets knocked over and gets a great big 'ding' you don't feel quite so bad as if it happened to your brand new $1500 guitar. :D

    https://www.thomannmusic.com/thomann_classica_s.htm
    ($148 -- all solid wood!)
    Made by Hora in Romania.
     
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  2. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I love my Ibanez whatever-the-heck-it-is.
    [​IMG]
    But it's got a cutaway and a pickup and a narrow nut, specifications I desired but you do not, so, I got nothin.
    Happy hunting!
     
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  3. xtelesquirex

    xtelesquirex Tele-Holic

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    I've heard pretty mixed reviews about Hora. How has your experience with them been?
     
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  4. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    I'd have to say that is accurate -- but it really depends upon which aspect of the guitar is focused on.
    For the most part, with this particular guitar, everything is properly built but the one big bug-a-boo was frets. If you go watch the YT vid of the factory (well, there are several)..but in one, you get a look at the fret installer pounding them in! :cry: I have dealt with that satisfactorily by: doing the thin CA around the base of each fret (fill in airspace void near fret tang), level, crown and several polishes. Now, they are pretty darn fine. Wood quality seems good, neck angle was fine, wood type can be an issue for some I imagine. I needed to sideline my good guitar with a cheap practice unit that I could not have to be so super careful with (it's a 39 y/o Yairi CY140 [a Ramirez 1a clone essentially]).

    They (Hora) makes a model (SM20) that has:
    Solid Cedar top
    Solid Rosewood back/sides
    Ebony Fretboard
    Rosewood Bridge
    Bone Nut/Saddle
    .. for 407Euro (about $488USD + shipping)
    I haven't got brave enough to order one yet, but I am very tempted at that price. If I do, I'll post about it up here sometime/somewhere.

    Hora SM10 is:
    Solid Spruce top
    Solid Mahogany back/sides
    Rosewood Fretboard and Bridge
    Bone Nut / Saddle (?)
    for 211Euro (about $254USD +shipping)

    Update: more info..

    https://brandsofromania.com/product-category/romanian-musical-instruments/hora-romanian-guitars/

    ..I'm looking for the YT Vid which shows the fret install..
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
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  5. xtelesquirex

    xtelesquirex Tele-Holic

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    6:02 - 6:15 frets meet hammer

    I've been curious about these guitars. I might have to do some more research about them and decide if I want to try them. I've never worked on frets, nuts, bridges/saddles before. I'm a little scared.
     
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  6. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    Yup. You found it!

    I'd steer clear of the guitar work unless you're really prepared to take it on.

    In terms of difficulty:
    Saddle: pretty easy
    Nut: Harder, difficult if you don't have proper string slot files (good ones can be expensive)
    Frets:
    Leveling is pretty easy (you'll need flat block, super glue and some fine grade abrasive sandpaper)
    Crowning you'll need a decent crowning file (there is just not a good cheap substitute)
    Polishing is pretty easy and cheap.

    Patience and attention to detail are required.

    I'd say that the Hora option is probably best for players with some DIY experience. With your intended budget in mind, why not go for an Alhambra? -- they are fantastic guitars. The model 7 runs about $1k and it's about as 'classic' as you can get: Spanish design/build, cedar top, rosewood back/sides, etc. I've never heard of even a whiff of discontent by owners of those. Let us know what shakes out..
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
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  7. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Holic

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    I'd take a look at some good used guitars that come up at very reputable shops like Guitar Solo in San Francisco, Gryphon Strings, etc. I have a Cervantes that I really like, good bang for the buck. If you can spend a bit more than 2k, you can get an exponentially better guitar. Seems about 3k is the point of diminishing return until you reach the 10k level.
     
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  8. xtelesquirex

    xtelesquirex Tele-Holic

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    Alhambra is at the top of the list. I need to read some more about them. I see a 7C and a 7P. The difference seems to be which woods are used. Thanks for all the information!
     
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  9. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Holic

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    This is my Cervantes 'keep around the house' classical. You can find these for around 1,000 used. Great guitar for the money. I let the kids and anyone else play this one, so it's in the living room full time.

    8C5132A4-D4DE-4975-AEEE-786D608E9B5D_1_105_c.jpeg 7CD119DF-58CB-4F73-8F02-EDD760C6FDF0_1_105_c.jpeg
     
  10. fishermike

    fishermike Tele-Meister

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    You might take a look over at classicalguitardelcamp.com. Lots of great information there.

    I ended up with a Kenny Hill New World Player, in part based on my research over there, and it's a wonderful guitar. Insanely tight-grained cedar over EIR. Only neg is poly instead of FP or shellac, but if compromises are going to be made, I'd rather it be there than in the woods or construction.
     
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  11. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    At my level of play, this (above) is probably more likely for me, unless a NX700 owner needs rent money "today" and I have 5bills in my pocket.
    That said, @PhredE and @Freeman Keller tips are examples of the generosity I sincerely appreciate about this joint.
    A $1k plus instrument wpuld probably be wasted on me.
    I now have a better idea why I had a meh reaction to the nylon inventory I tried @ satan's big box store.

    I'm currently getting legit entertainment from a Victoria Japan mid-60s guitar I pulled from a dumpster about a month ago.
    Probably because it has no cutaway and no electronics... :rolleyes:

    Thanks to each of the posters so far - for not just boosting a particular brand or model, but pointing out specific FEATURES to look for (or avoid).

    Peace - Deeve
     
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  12. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    For me evaluating a nylon string guitar is somewhat difficult. I build and play steel strings and I am very much a blue/folkie style player - I thumb fret the sixth string, do a lot of partial barres, hold the neck too low and pick all wrong. I watch my classical instructor friend play and I know I should have studied with someone like that a long time ago.

    I'm also not used to the general feel of a classical - I like wide flat fretboards but not that wide LOL and the action just seems all wrong to me. But I have absolutely enjoyed the one that I just finished, it might even make me a better player

    You might get a kick out of this

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/fir-classical-a-challenge.1048261/
     
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  13. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    Right on. I see my message was not wasted! :)

    Two axioms apply in my experience:

    1. Not everyone needs a 1960 Fleta (a 20k-50k guitar), certainly not I.
    2. The quality of the guitar is not directly proportional to the amount of cash spent on it.
    (My statistical background would suggest an r value of about 0.5 LOL). I've seen lots of expensive guitars that sounded crappy, and seen some 'cheap' budget guitars that actually sounded and played quite well. (I'd be happy to PM with some suggestions if you're looking for such an animal...)

    There are many great options in the $500-$1000 range nowadays. If a person has some basic upgrade/troubleshooting skills, *some* guitars can be enhanced or tweaked to make them much better sounding and playing. A lot of factory guitars are actually reasonably well built, but suffer from 'hurry up and get it out the door' syndrome -- a high fret here or there, a nut that wasn't filed right, a saddle that doesn't sit square in it's slot, etc . Of course, a super thick finish (of any kind) is going to dampen the response of the top. So, if you have your 'radar on' to look for these things, you might be able to better pick through available options or know what you can (or can't) take on to fix/tweak yourself.

    I chose the cheap guitar so I could work through that stuff. I am glad I did. It started out very average and mediocre. With the right TLC and working through the bugs, it is very good sounding and playing guitar.


    Good luck and stay out of the smoke!
     
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  14. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Deeve, I see you list your home turf as Ballard. I assume that is the one in washington, maybe close to seattle? If so I'll suggest putting a couple of events on your calendar for next year. First is to go up to La Conner for the guitar festival - dozens and dozens of hand made guitars to drool over (and play). You'll have to check the dates, its early summer. Also the Guild of American Luthiers hold a convention every three years at PLU (Tacoma). They skipped this year, I'm assuming it will take place next. The do some really interesting seminars including a listening session for both steel and nylon string guitars. The idea is the builders all submit their guitars, they are tuned and played by the same person, the same little piece. The builder stands up and describes the guitar, woods and bracing and her building philosophy. Then the next and the next and .... In an hour you will hear 20 or 30 guitars played back to back to back and have an opportunity to hear what the builder had in mind. Later those instruments will be in the display room and you can play them and talk to the builder.

    Both the Seattle and Portland areas are hot spots of lutherie - some incredible builders in both towns and some pretty darn good players. If you ever across the hills in Wenatchee I would love to have you play mine.

    Last but far from least, there have been some really interesting experiments on phycho-acoustics lately. This is one of the premier ones, you might enjoy reading and listening

    http://www.leonardo-guitar-research.com/
     
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  15. joeybcdt

    joeybcdt Tele-Meister

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