The Acoustic Guitar Forum  

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Classical

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 07-15-2010, 08:51 AM
existence existence is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 46
Default Yamaha CG151S vs Alhambra 4P

Silly comparison, I know. One's spruce, one's cedar; one retails for twice the price of the other. But I was inspired to compare their sounds closely after reading guitarmanrlk's recent post about his new CG151S.

This is mainly (another) comment about the awesomeness/value of Yamaha classicals, because even though it *shouldn't* price-wise, I now think the Yamaha sounds better than the Alhambra. More focused. The Alhambra sounds kind of muddy and muffled next to it (I know cedar's darker, but one shouldn't have to sacrifice all clarity for that!) It just makes a more musical sound. This disturbs me to admit, because I paid quite a bit more for the 4P!

Once again...Yamahas rule
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-15-2010, 11:01 AM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,944
Default

I have a cheaper cedar Alhambra, the 3c, as my leave-in-the-office guitar. It doesn't sound all that great but it does have a fairly "big" sound. I think the Alhambras even at the low end have a sort of complicated and resonant sound that will tend to err on the side of muddy. But it's still a form of an old classical-guitar tonal character that's interesting as an alternative to a cleaner, modern sound.

So I appreciate mine for what it is (and it was purchased used, like your 4p IIRC) which makes the rather outsized new price not an issue.
__________________
Here today and gone tomorrow
Life's too short to borrow sorrow
Life's too short for me to worry
Over you
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-15-2010, 01:54 PM
existence existence is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 46
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post
I have a cheaper cedar Alhambra, the 3c, as my leave-in-the-office guitar. It doesn't sound all that great but it does have a fairly "big" sound. I think the Alhambras even at the low end have a sort of complicated and resonant sound that will tend to err on the side of muddy. But it's still a form of an old classical-guitar tonal character that's interesting as an alternative to a cleaner, modern sound.

So I appreciate mine for what it is (and it was purchased used, like your 4p IIRC) which makes the rather outsized new price not an issue.
I've heard folks say that Alhambras are overpriced, and based on my admittedly limited experience with the 4P I have to agree. I bought it used on ebay for a decent price, but it still cost more than a brand new CG151S. That's the way it goes sometimes. My recent realization on this makes me want to sell the 4P in favor of a tasty used Contreras I saw at Guitar Center. Now that thing has TONE!

If you don't mind my asking, what's your main classical?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-15-2010, 03:08 PM
Eric.Hope Eric.Hope is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 147
Default

I looked up that used Contreras immediately after you mentioned it on my thread. Looks sweet, from the picture (I wish there were more. There's not much you can tell from just one. Particularly one as small as they put up). So, you've seen it in person, have you? What sort of condition is it in? I must confess, I'd never heard of Contreras before you mentioned it today. Are you thinking about picking up this piece yourself?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-15-2010, 03:11 PM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,944
Default

Mind? I love telling people about my instruments.

It's a 1976 M. Sakurai, built in the Kohno shop while his nephew (who now owns the company after the master's death some years ago) was an apprentice. Lovely piece of straight grained East Indian Rosewood for the body and Western Redcedar for the soundboard. Built similar to a Fleta and with 660mm long scale but a very comfy and playable neck shape.

It's a little overly warm sounding as you might expect for a long-scale cedar and EIR guitar but I love it! I've owned it for two years and if I'm not mistaken it had only a single owner before myself. I purchased it from Dream Guitars.

P.S. I believe Contreras pere et fils are one of the better regarded workshops in Spain, making a large number of guitars in a traditional Spanish manner. I've not played one but they have a great reputation if you want a "Spanish" tone with perhaps a certain degree of old-fashioned manly dimensions to the neck!
__________________
Here today and gone tomorrow
Life's too short to borrow sorrow
Life's too short for me to worry
Over you
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-15-2010, 04:15 PM
existence existence is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 46
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric.Hope View Post
I looked up that used Contreras immediately after you mentioned it on my thread. Looks sweet, from the picture (I wish there were more. There's not much you can tell from just one. Particularly one as small as they put up). So, you've seen it in person, have you? What sort of condition is it in? I must confess, I'd never heard of Contreras before you mentioned it today. Are you thinking about picking up this piece yourself?
Wow, I had no idea Guitar Center put their used stock online. Interesting.

I have seen and played it several times. It's been in their showroom for a while now. It's a little dinged up, but it sounds fairly amazing (I don't have much experience playing high end classicals, so a hardcore afficionado might not agree, but it's the best sounding classical I've laid hands on.) The action is high, but there's saddle room to bring it down. The main thing is the sound though; it's full of character. The finish is light and the guitar is lightly built, which I'm sure contributed to that.

I am considering buying it. I think it's worth what they're asking....
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-15-2010, 04:22 PM
existence existence is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 46
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post
Mind? I love telling people about my instruments.

It's a 1976 M. Sakurai, built in the Kohno shop while his nephew (who now owns the company after the master's death some years ago) was an apprentice. Lovely piece of straight grained East Indian Rosewood for the body and Western Redcedar for the soundboard. Built similar to a Fleta and with 660mm long scale but a very comfy and playable neck shape.

It's a little overly warm sounding as you might expect for a long-scale cedar and EIR guitar but I love it! I've owned it for two years and if I'm not mistaken it had only a single owner before myself. I purchased it from Dream Guitars.

P.S. I believe Contreras pere et fils are one of the better regarded workshops in Spain, making a large number of guitars in a traditional Spanish manner. I've not played one but they have a great reputation if you want a "Spanish" tone with perhaps a certain degree of old-fashioned manly dimensions to the neck!
Your description of that guitar has me drooling! Cedar and rosewood is a nice combo. I've never heard of Sakurai, I'll be looking that up.

Nice to hear Contreras is well-regarded. I honestly hadn't heard of them until I ran into that guitar in the GC classical room. That one specimen certainly is impressive. I'll probably be heading back up there soon to further ogle/admire it.

Happy fingerpicking...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-15-2010, 04:47 PM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,944
Default

The company is still called "Kohno". It's founder was one of the first (if not the first) really Japanese guitar maker to achieve some repute outside of Japan. He studied briefly in the shop of Arcangelo Fernadez in Spain but then returned to Japan and built some award-winning insruments of his own design. Master Kohno died of cancer at a fairly young age back in the 80's if I'm not mistaken.

His nephew Sakurai now runs the firm and they offer both "Kohno" and "Sakurai" models in a variety of levels, all quite expensive. You'll see both modern and older (70's) Kohno guitars show up for sale fairly often. Never very cheaply unless you get one of the long-scale older ones. I picked it up relatively affordably because nobody nowadays wants a 660mm scale.

There are "M.G. Contreras", "M.G. Contreras II" and "Contreras Workshop" guitars that I know of. The ones actually attributed to either father or son tend to bring a pretty good price but the "Workshop" ones can be affordable. Supposed to be good Spanish instruments.
__________________
Here today and gone tomorrow
Life's too short to borrow sorrow
Life's too short for me to worry
Over you
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-19-2010, 12:33 PM
existence existence is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 46
Default

Thank you for the information. I went back to GC to take a closer look at that Contreras on saturday--it is an MG Contreras, not a "II" or a "workshop" model. I ended up sitting in that little room playing it for an hour or more. Then I realized I would be kicking myself for all eternity if I let it pass me by, so I slapped down some dough and had them stash it in the back for me. Did I mention the thing sounds heavenly?

I went to that Dream Guitars site, by the way. Man that place is like guitar porn.

Thanks again for the info, happy fingerpickin...(and Eric, good luck finding your beater.)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-19-2010, 12:44 PM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,944
Default

That's wonderful news! If you like a big Spanish sound and the particular guitar is fun to play, you ought to get years of enjoyment out of a Contreras, Sr. instrument. Quite a find and not something one sees every day at ones local Guitar Center.

I'm sure you can't wait to get it home. Once you really learn to play that guitar you'll find the sky's the limit. It's unlikely to ever hold you back.
__________________
Here today and gone tomorrow
Life's too short to borrow sorrow
Life's too short for me to worry
Over you
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Classical

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Loading

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=