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soma89
03-17-2011, 10:16 PM
Hello,
I'm new to the "classical guitar" world but always had love for the sound of classical guitar. I mostly play Jazz and Folk with steel strings and electrics but i wanna throw in a classical guitar. I'd love to have something that is affordable but that won't leave me with wanting to upgrade for a long time.


What do you recommend that will do the trick? I'm open to any suggestions new/used/vintage.

bluesbassdad
03-18-2011, 12:46 AM
IMO if you get serious about classical guitar, no < $500 instrument will be your forever guitar.

My Estevé is a decent guitar, and I enjoyed it very much before my fingernails began to deteriorate due to old age. However, I spent about double your limit for it over 10 years ago.

Garthman
03-18-2011, 03:58 AM
If you play mostly folk and jazz, why not just put some nylon strings on a steel string guitar. It works well, is easy to do (you just might have to widen the nut slots of the trebles a little and maybe tighten up the truss rod a tad) and is a very cheap option. It sounds pretty good too - here is my nylon string dreadnought:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ng6tKMtPTg

soma89
03-18-2011, 11:48 AM
If you play mostly folk and jazz, why not just put some nylon strings on a steel string guitar. It works well, is easy to do (you just might have to widen the nut slots of the trebles a little and maybe tighten up the truss rod a tad) and is a very cheap option. It sounds pretty good too - here is my nylon string dreadnought:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ng6tKMtPTg

I didn't even know this was possible but I might just give it a shot!

This got me thinking..
I have a Yamaha fg 110 that has high action with normal steele strings. If I slap on some nylons would the action problem get better or worsE?

mr. beaumont
03-18-2011, 12:01 PM
It'll sound like a dead cardboard box. (just like some cheap classicals:D) Not to be disagreeable, Garthman, but that solution almost always sounds like garbage...plus with nylon strings, you really want a wider nut--those strings are wide! You'll feel like all thumbs on anything less than 1 7/8, IMHO--I find most nylon crossovers "unplayable" for serious chordal work (they're fine for lead guitar...)

If you're just starting out, look for the best used yamaha you can afford. Cordobas aren't bad, but I like their more pricey stuff (it never gets too expensive) a LOT more than their cheap stuff. A friend of mine has a Giannini, which has a very nice warm, soft tone, but not much in the way of dynamics like a good classical...sounds nice for bossas, which makes sense, considering Giannini's heritage...

If you won't be playing classical music but you dig a nylon sound for a different texture, la patrie's are a good bargain. They don't project much, particualrly with bad technique (which you'll have when first starting out on a nylon, you gotta play them a little differently to really make them sing) but they have a good "bossa" sound too.

Nylons are a whole new world, don't be surprised if you find yourself going to it over and over again...they're very pure, very intimate, and much more responsive to a soft touch than steel strings, IMHO...

bluesbassdad
03-18-2011, 12:50 PM
It'll sound like a dead cardboard box. (just like some cheap classicals:D) Not to be disagreeable, Garthman, but that solution almost always sounds like garbage...plus with nylon strings, you really want a wider nut--those strings are wide! You'll feel like all thumbs on anything less than 1 7/8, IMHO--I find most nylon crossovers "unplayable" for serious chordal work (they're fine for lead guitar...)

If you're just starting out, look for the best used yamaha you can afford. Cordobas aren't bad, but I like their more pricey stuff (it never gets too expensive) a LOT more than their cheap stuff. A friend of mine has a Giannini, which has a very nice warm, soft tone, but not much in the way of dynamics like a good classical...sounds nice for bossas, which makes sense, considering Giannini's heritage...

If you won't be playing classical music but you dig a nylon sound for a different texture, la patrie's are a good bargain. They don't project much, particualrly with bad technique (which you'll have when first starting out on a nylon, you gotta play them a little differently to really make them sing) but they have a good "bossa" sound too.

Nylons are a whole new world, don't be surprised if you find yourself going to it over and over again...they're very pure, very intimate, and much more responsive to a soft touch than steel strings, IMHO...

The mere mention of the word "bossa" takes me back to a wonderful time in music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPyY80pUujE

Veering back on topic I bet a player such as Charlie Byrd could make any classical guitar sound good. :)

soma89
03-18-2011, 10:38 PM
Anyone know of any professional recordings done with nylon strings on a steel string guitar?

tallbloke44
03-19-2011, 04:51 AM
I've just upgraded from a Santos Martinez classical (I'm in the U.K I don't know about their availability elsewhere) which are fantastic first classicals. Mine was dirt cheap and kept me happy for 4 years until I felt the urge to go better. Santos Martinez's sound decent and are very easy to play which is a major bonus for a first classical, easier to play than my current somewhat expensive buy. They're award winning guitars aswell if that swings you in anyway, I highly recommend them.

rbbambino
03-19-2011, 05:23 AM
If you want at really decent nylon string guitar for just slightly more than you are willing to pay, they have a new Godin Multiac that is now available. It is the Encore series that was just introduced at the winter NAMM in CA. Since you mentioned jazz.. Many good jazz players use mutiacs for their primary guitars. There are many different models of multiacs, but this new Encore is very good for the money. It is basically an electric nylon, but it does have decent unplugged volume for practicing, yet does an exceptional job for stage and recording. The neck will also be more comfortable for you, since the nut width is 1 7/8ths.
Just MHO.

bfloyd6969
03-19-2011, 06:04 AM
If it's an easy playing nylon string guitar you are looking for, it will be hard to beat the Breedlove N200. It has a feel very much like a regular acoustic as it has a 1 3/4" nut width. MF has a very good price on them right now:

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Breedlove-Passport-N200CMP-Nylon-String-Acoustic-Guitar?sku=583490

CCFingerstyle
04-11-2011, 03:02 PM
You might want to consider test driving any used Takamine classical you can get your hands on. For example, the 132 models (an older model C-132, EC-132C or EC-132SC, etc. might fall into that price range and keep you satisfied for a reasonable amount of time). If you are truly new to the nylon world and like folk and jazz, you also might look at what they refer to as the crossovers (typically a 1 7/8 nut versus the 2" classical nut). For what it is worth, I would hesitate to do the "nylon on a steel string" thing. Might not be a good idea for many reasons.

Mountain Fever
04-12-2011, 12:59 PM
I have an Ovation that I bought new in the early 1980s. It is a very nice sounding guitar and is pretty much in mint condition. I bought a newer Takamine not because it sounded all that much better, but because it had a better pickup system.

Many thumb their noses at Ovation, but the older ones were true quality instruments. In one of my DVD's, David Gilmour is playing one.

If interested, here is the link or PM me.
http://reno.craigslist.org/msg/2316928826.html

bobdcat
04-12-2011, 01:10 PM
Be on the look out for used Guild classicals from the 1960s. The Mark IIs can often be found in your price range and they are excellent guitars - mahogany/spruce. Sometimes higher Marks (IIIs and IVs) can be found that cheap if you're less picky about cosmetics. I have a 69 Mark I that satisfies my nylon urges very well.

cotten
04-12-2011, 03:07 PM
Definitely consider buying a used instrument. Your money will get you a guitar that originally sold for quite a bit more, and it this price bracket that can make a big difference. (I do like my Takamine 132; not a great guitar, but it suffices nicely when I need that nylon sound.)

cotten

fitness1
04-12-2011, 06:36 PM
keep your eyes out for a used Lucida 777 or 755....all solid wood, pretty well made. If you find a used one that's had setup work done, it will be a nice buy likely.

johninmass
04-13-2011, 05:12 AM
Are you interested in a LaPatrie Presentation? I sent you a PM.

GuitarVlog
04-13-2011, 11:04 AM
You'll get more bang for your buck buying used. The problem is that, if you're new to the nylon world, it can be hard to pick out a used instrument with good tone and playability.

But then, another question to ask is whether you will be playing it mostly acoustically or amped. If you are playing acoustically and you are dead serious about going down the classical path, then I would have to agree that most under-$500 guitars (even used ones) might not be satisfying for the long run. If you plan on amping it most of the time, you could probably get a Yamaha from the NCX line or a Cordoba GK Studio and just shape your tone with your amp and effects gear.

Acceptable "interim" guitars under $500 can be found from Yamaha, LaPatrie, and Cordoba. Good used guitars in that price range can be found from the same manufacturers and Takamine (the Japanese made C132S), Kenny Hill (his Estudio line which is made in China), Esteve, Miguel Rodriguez y Hijos (I prefer models in the C3 line and above), and other builders.


keep your eyes out for a used Lucida 777 or 755....all solid wood, pretty well made. If you find a used one that's had setup work done, it will be a nice buy likely.
Or look for a Prudencio Saez Modelo 28. This is the same guitar. The Lucida 777 is the OEM version that was made for a US distributor. They took out the Prudencio Saez logo, logo tuners, and changed the headstock crown.

bohemian
04-15-2011, 06:01 PM
Used Lucida Artista 777 and 797 are very good and made by Prudencio Saez for Music Link of So San Francisco. I owned the prototype LG797 Flamenco, I believe the Saez model 25 with the same headstock design.

Look at Godin and the Bulgarian made brands, used to be called KREMONA but now changed to some American marketing buzzword. Good value.

ddewees
04-16-2011, 05:05 AM
Just a notch above your budget is where the Guild GAD line starts. I have been very happy with my C-1 model since I purchased in August of 2010. I paid around $600-$700. I bought it to play at my step-daughter's wedding. It's all solid wood, top, side and back. Side by side sounded much more fuller that a Taylor (i think n24 model) in the store

It is comparable to the Takamine models mentioned. That was another one I was looking at because I didn't know if would need to be amplified. The new Takamine was closer $1k as was the Taylor. I did see a used Tak' after I bought the guild for right around $400-500.

I ended up using a low end Dean Markely transducer stuck to the bridge of the Guild because the room was huge and it sounded wonderful thru my Crate acoustic amp.

sausgirl
04-16-2011, 09:04 AM
1 + for the Lucida guitars and/or a used Guild.
I have a 1960's Teller(which is German) They come up once in a while.
Jan

soma89
04-16-2011, 07:32 PM
How about vintage Hofner classical guitars? Another brand that comes to mind is "hohner"

guitpl4evr
04-17-2011, 09:39 AM
La Patrie, any model, but I would recommend playing them first.

Dru Edwards
04-17-2011, 02:11 PM
La Patrie, any model, but I would recommend playing them first.

+1. I have a La Patrie Etude that I bought 14 years ago. I rarely play it - but that's because I'm mostly playing my acoustics or electrics. It's a nice guitar with a solid cedar top.

edman
04-18-2011, 08:54 AM
I ordered a Cordoba C7 with a European spruce top on Saturday. I played a few different classical guitars in the sub $1200 range before going with the Cordoba.

guitpl4evr
04-18-2011, 09:24 AM
I ordered a Cordoba C7 with a European spruce top on Saturday. I played a few different classical guitars in the sub $1200 range before going with the Cordoba.

I as well ordered one, but it has taken almost two months for it, but the G.A.S. has got me.

john bange
04-18-2011, 09:51 AM
I think Mr Beaumont is right about the 1 3/4 nut width and nylon strings. I also think Garthamn is right about using them on a guitar designed for steel strings. This thread is about a 500$ nylon string guitar that will last...a guitar designed for steel will last with nylon without much worry about the neck and playability down the road. You just have to find the right one...
I do not think you can beat the Recording King 000/12 fret ROS series for this...nut is wider and they are fairly lightly braced.
There are some on ebay right now for less than 500$ with free freight. If $500 is your budget, you will have enough left for a very nice Guardian vintage case to go with it. This is a great topic and I enjoy all of the very informed comments.

billder99
04-20-2011, 09:52 PM
Yairi CY140... best pure classical you can buy for the money... you can find them for $500 (players), or under $800 in really great condition. You can use and keep these for many years.

Play2PraiseHim
04-21-2011, 08:02 AM
Yairi CY140... best pure classical you can buy for the money... you can find them for $500 (players), or under $800 in really great condition. You can use and keep these for many years.

I agree that Yairi would be my first choice. I have never seen a CY140 for under $600. If you find one for $600 -$800 grab it. They are very consistent and excellent guitars. My love affair with NYLON string guitars started with a Yairi CY140. I only sold it because I can't handle the standard classical neck. You should have no problem locating a CY116 for under $500. These are made with figured mahogany back and sides instead of rosewood. They will give you a little over 3/4 the sound of the CY140 which still surpasses alot of more expensive models.

TBman
04-23-2011, 08:19 PM
I bought a $100 nylon, put in a bone saddle and lowered the action a touch. Its fine for my occassional playing. It really doesn't sound bad at all (see my webpage below)

atcgod777
04-23-2011, 09:34 PM
Just be patient and keep looking. I recently bought an '89 Yairi CY-117 on the Bay for $400 + 50 for shipping. It has a few dings but plays and sounds fantastic. It even has the original case. I love the Yairi, and since it has a few dings from being around since 1989, it's the first guitar I pick up when I watch youtube tutorials. I've also found that playing the wider necked classical really helps when I switch over to my higher end steel stringed guitars .. the necks just feel easier after playing on the nylon classical. I trade and sell my steel string guitars whenever I get GAS, but I don't think I'll ever let this little nylon Yairi be included in my GAS attacks. Best of luck.