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Old 03-17-2011, 10:16 PM
soma89 soma89 is offline
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Default Looking for a Classical guitar under $500 that would last me

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.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:46 AM
bluesbassdad bluesbassdad is offline
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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.
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Old 03-18-2011, 03:58 AM
Garthman Garthman is offline
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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
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:48 AM
soma89 soma89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garthman View Post
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?
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:01 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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It'll sound like a dead cardboard box. (just like some cheap classicals) 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...
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:50 PM
bluesbassdad bluesbassdad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
It'll sound like a dead cardboard box. (just like some cheap classicals) 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.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:38 PM
soma89 soma89 is offline
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Anyone know of any professional recordings done with nylon strings on a steel string guitar?
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Old 03-19-2011, 04:51 AM
tallbloke44 tallbloke44 is offline
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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.
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:23 AM
rbbambino rbbambino is offline
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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.
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:04 AM
bfloyd6969 bfloyd6969 is offline
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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/p...tar?sku=583490
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:02 PM
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CCFingerstyle CCFingerstyle is offline
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Default Classical < $500

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.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:59 PM
Mountain Fever Mountain Fever is offline
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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
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:10 PM
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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.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:07 PM
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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.)

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Old 04-12-2011, 06:36 PM
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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.
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