Traditional Classical guitar with cutaway?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by kram29, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. kram29

    kram29 TDPRI Member

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    I've been wanting to get a nice solid wood classical guitar for a while. I think I also want a cutaway for it. This seems to instantly limit my choices to thin, hybrid guitars with built-in electronics, no solid wood or increases the price by quite a bit. I was initially looking at one of Cordoba's solid wood offerings, but they don't have a cutaway model that fits the bill.

    Can anyone recommend a builder for what I am looking for?

    Much appreciated.
     
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  2. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    I have been known to talk incessantly about classical guitars, so I'll try to mention a few that could fit your requirements.

    Care to disclose a budget or a price range?

    There are several that are all-solid, with cutaway (and with or without electronics). So, don't sweat that. If you have the $$$, there will be something to be found that will work. :)
     
  3. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    Edit:

    Alhambra 9 P CW
    (All solid, cutaway)

    These have onboard piezo electronics (and all-solid, cutaway)
    Takamine TC132SC (solid cedar top, solid rosewood back/sides, cutaway, etc) about $1500
    Cordoba GK Pro Negra (Solid Rosewood Back/Sides) $1700
    https://www.guitarcenter.com/Cordoba/GK-Pro-Negra-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-1392739390670.gc



    I'll put more matches up here if/when I think of them.

    Oh, also..

    I might suggest buying the guitar without onboard electronics/transducer -- at least at first. Then, later have one (piezo, mic, etc) installed after the fact. You can focus on the basics of the guitar you want first, then, figure out how to 'amplify' it after you acquire the guitar of your desire.

    One final note -- Godin, Martin and Taylor *I think* also offer guitars that fit or get real close to what you want. I don't have first-hand experience with those, and they do tend to vary from the 'traditional'. So, I'll hold off on mentioning those, but you should be aware they exist.

    As Freeman says in a post below, knowing more about your requirements and context for it's use would help us direct you better to a set of suitable options.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
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  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    What genres of music do you want to play? How rigid and traditional is your playing style? Do you need on board electronics? What guitars have you played and what are your reactions? And of course, what is your budget?
     
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  5. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    You ask all the right questions Freeman! (I'm working on that..)
     
  6. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    OP seems to imply he does not want electronics.
    I mean, I could be wrong, it's happened once I think ;)
     
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  7. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    Nah, you stand correct. It was my sloppy reading (dinner time was intervening in my defense..) that was the culprit.

    That Alhambra 9 I mention above offers the electronics as an option. The base unit is w/o the piezo+controls. (And, it's a fantabulous guitar!)
     
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  8. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  9. kram29

    kram29 TDPRI Member

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    Hi all!!! Thanks for all the replies!!! I don't really want to spend more than 1500 US dollars somewhere in that range. I like some classical, but I like jazz, Spanish style as well. It's certainly won't be a strict classical or flamenco playlist. I will probably flatpick it some like Willie Nelson too. Bain of my life is I like a lot music.

    No onboard electronics, I just can't stand how they look.
     
  10. kram29

    kram29 TDPRI Member

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  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    OK, so in my mind that means you are looking more at the hybrid nylon string guitars than a true traditional classical. I'm going to go out on a limb and say a traditional classical guitarist will be primarily playing classical music (duh) - Bach, Sor, etc - and will play with formal rigid classical technique - foot on a stool, guitar on the left leg with the neck held up high, formal hand and finger technique. Lets just say that most people who play this style do not need a cutaway, they can play to the 19th fret without it.

    If you are in the market for that kind of guitar then it will most likely be built in Europe by one of the smaller factories, the construction is quite well defined (Spanish heel, fan bracing, tile rosette and so on).

    A hybrid nylon string guitar, in my book, is designed and intended for a player just like you. Probably someone who has a steel string or electric background who wants to add the nylon voice to your music. The play folk and jazz and styles other than traditional classical very nicely, yet they can also do Bach if you want to. People like Al Demiola and Chet and Willie all play nylon string guitars.

    True classical players almost never plug in (or even use a mic), they prize guitars that will carry to the back of the music hall. Many of the hybrid players will plug in so manufacturers include on board electronics. It seems like plugging in goes along with playing way up the neck so most of these guitars are the ones with cutaway - the "CE" option is pretty standard.

    These guitars are made in the US by Taylor (and a few Martins and others) in their nylon series

    https://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/acoustic/features/specialty/nylon

    Two of their models do not have electronics but unfortunately they don't have cuts either.

    Yamaha makes a bunch of nylon string guitars, many with cuts (and electronics). Cordoba is another manufacturer of hybrids, Godin makes a couple. Unfortunately the C option usually includes the E option.

    Last possibility is a custom guitar but that's pretty much not in your budget. There are many fine luthiers world wide building some great nylon string guitars in all kinds of formats - lots of them could build your dream guitar.

    Good luck
     
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  12. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    It has built in on board electronics just like I said in my last post. Most C's will include E's.

    Also remember that Martin is not noted for building quality nylon string guitars, its just not their forte'. Definitely play one first.
     
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  13. joeybcdt

    joeybcdt Tele-Meister

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    https://www.kremonausa.com/en/performer-series/fiesta-f65cw-kremona
     
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  14. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    I'm a fan of Kremona too (good choice ;))
    I scoured the KremonaUSA site for a match for the OP. I believe he was saying he did not want electronics, so I didn't make any mention of a Kremona. Too bad, those are really nice guitars!


    For OP and Freeman perhaps..

    I think Freeman was giving a good overview and probe of the 'whys' and requirements. Not all people buy exactly what they need, and unless a person really needs to drop $1500 on an instrument, maybe considering a less expensive option might be appropriate. A couple points I'd throw out for the OP and possibly Freeman.. in using a guitar with an under-the-saddle (UTS) transducer, you do (by virtue of the location and nature of the piezo wire) sacrifice a bit of tone/sound -- and this sort of offsets the 'gains' in having all solid back/sides in addition to the top. If it were me, I think I'd opt for a good quality laminate back/sides model having the most appropriate piezo/preamp combo to get the most sound amplified.

    Going all solid (top, back/sides) really is to ensure max acoustic projection (eg; never 'amplified' except for the case of a carefully placed quality mic -- sort of deal). Putting anything under the saddle can just kill the sound for a classical guitar if not implemented well/properly (they just weren't designed to accommodate such things and were added on as they became convenient).

    As I said before, I'm also a fan of the lower cost producer up the road too: Hora. It is to classical guitars what SX is to Tele knock-offs or Joyo is to preamps/pedals.

    You can buy a terrific all solid guitar and buy a (separate, but great) microphone and still be hundreds of $$$ ahead. :)
     
  15. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    Also, speaking of Kremona and as an afterthought..

    I had @Nahtabot send me a PM question about the transducer/amplification issue.
    I mentioned the following product to him:

    The Kremona NG-1
    https://www.kremonausa.com/uploads/products/ng-1_mah_e.jpg

    It's a removal piezo that installs under the strings at the tie block, but on top of the tie block itself.
    For a quasi-realistic sound (most I think, will say it is superior sound-wise to regular piezo UTS, but never as good as a well placed quality mic..) and modest cost $70 USD it can be a suitable option for some.

     
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  16. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Another C+E. My understanding is this isn't what is wanted

    Well, as PhredE knows, I'm a bit of a heretic when it comes to the things we think we know.

    I don't particularly care for piezo UST's. I don't think they sound natural and I don't like the quack. I'll install them if someone wants one altho I have other preferences. I personally have no use for a pickup in an acoustic guitar so it would be waisted.

    I have no need for a cutaway on an acoustic guitar. Most of my steel strings are twelve fretters and I play a lot at the 12th fret (I play a lot of slide) and I can to it just fine on a non cutaway guitar. I think that most acoustics intonate rather poorly and rarely to I see someone who just needs that upper fret access. However, if you do and you like the sound, more power to you.

    I build with exotic tone woods (mostly) because its traditional and I love beautiful wood. We are near the end of the beautiful wood era. I can tell a good sounding guitar but I can't recognize the wood. I believe quite strongly that a good sounding acoustic guitar can be made from many kinds of timber and I believe they can be made from laminated timbers. And while I think the top wood is important, I put as much trust in the person that is building it as the exact piece of wood.

    There is a bit of irony in that one offshoot of acoustic guitar building today is all the non-traditional stuff - strange bracing pattern, tops and backs and sides made from laminates, including some space age materials. I find it rather ironic that most of the experimentation is with classical guitars rather than steel strings. Its also interesting that not everyone likes what they hear.

    PhredE knows far far more about nylon string guitars than I ever will. What I know a bit about is construction. I think my division of nylon guitars into two groups is valid - traditional classicals and the hybrids. Like it or not, if a hybrid has a cutaway it will also have a pickup.

    Lots and lots and lots of good guitars out there, just need to get out and play them and pick the one that is right.
     
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  17. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I happen to like the K&K piezos that glue to the soundboard or bridgeplate. I've installed quite a few in steel strings and a few in classicals. Typically use an external preamp or DI box so they don't have a big barn door in the side. A slight tendency towards feedback at high gain, otherwise a pretty clean sound.

    I always argue to buy the best sounding acoustic you can and add the best pickup if you need it.
     
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  18. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd just get a non-cutaway classical and a uke for the high notes.

    And maybe there's a double-neck instrument that fills both bills . . . .
     
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  19. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    Yup, I've heard those and like them also. I guess I was trying to suggest something that could be removable if needed. But yeah, get the best sounding guitar in it's native 'acoustic' form and then worry about the amplification (I thought that was what I was trying to say, but I probably bungled it! :rolleyes: )
     
  20. kram29

    kram29 TDPRI Member

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    Yeah the Kremona is right up my alley. Classical in everyway but with a cutaway. I just really hate the on-board electronics.
     
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