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  #1  
Old 09-02-2023, 09:15 AM
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TBman TBman is offline
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Default New classical shopping

Where do you start?

Budget around $2,000 to $3,000

Does it have to be all solid wood to achieve really good tone?

What does ladder bracing have to do with anything? What bracing is preferred?

Why an elevated fret board? Should it be a "must have" feature?

A steel string can be simply strummed and you'll hear much of what you need to hear. A classical seems to need to be fretted and played with good right hand technique to bring out the best in the guitar. Is this accurate?
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2023, 12:01 PM
Gitfiddlemann Gitfiddlemann is offline
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My .02c. (yada yada yada yada...only added to get more than 10words.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBman View Post
Where do you start?
I would think your location in NJ is a plus for sampling guitars in person, both new and used. The inventory for both in your part of the country has to be pretty high. You're better off getting hands-on feedback than on-line.
Budget around $2,000 to $3,000
OK. You would probably find better value used than new. Keep an eye on the Delcamp classifieds.
Does it have to be all solid wood to achieve really good tone?
Most guitars in that price range and up will be solid wood. There has to be a connection. But, good tone is much more in the fingers than in the woods, imo.
What does ladder bracing have to do with anything? What bracing is preferred?
Ladder bracing is pretty ancient. Not sure if they still use it. The Torres innovation was fan bracing. I think that's still the most popular and traditional. Honestly, the kind of bracing doesn't figure high on my list of priorities. It's like choosing a car based on what's under the hood. It's certainly important, but if the guitar sounds good and plays well, what's under the hood is almost irrelevant in my view.
Why an elevated fret board? Should it be a "must have" feature?
It's an innovation that purports to give you better access to the upper frets. It's not a must have feature.
A steel string can be simply strummed and you'll hear much of what you need to hear. A classical seems to need to be fretted and played with good right hand technique to bring out the best in the guitar. Is this accurate?
Yes, I would say good technique, in both hands, is the most important factor, by far, in bringing out the best sound in a classical guitar. A great guitar will not compensate for poor technique, but it might give an owner more incentive in getting better. Certainly, it will provide more rewarding feedback when improvements are made.
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  #3  
Old 09-08-2023, 06:27 PM
kirkham13 kirkham13 is offline
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definitely check out the decamp forum under luthiers..
Stephen eden of England actually does do builds for your price range and is very highly recommended.
if you want to start with a practice guitar I would consider a used classical on reverb. I have had luck with a seller Vintage Japanese guitars.
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Old 09-08-2023, 08:17 PM
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I discovered Kenny Hill New Worlds player classicals. I like the tone of their 640mm spruce, all solid wood model.

My finger span is 8.25"

There is a dealer out on Long Island that carries the brand. I'll make a road trip before I pull the trigger on one. I want to see how the higher frets feel on the shorter scale.
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Old 09-08-2023, 08:30 PM
The Old Anglo The Old Anglo is offline
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Default Cordoba C5ce.

My choice is this! Plays Great and records Perfect!. Handmade and the woods sing out. Why spend anything more?.
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Old 09-08-2023, 08:55 PM
YamaYairi YamaYairi is offline
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I have played some Cordobas in or just below this price range. Meh,
I think you should be looking at used guitars. You will find a used Yairi is going to sound so much better than any new guitar in that price range, and for less money. The K. Yairi's CY120, CY125, CY130, CY135 and CY140 are the ones to look for. I bought a S. Yairi Clase 9002 that sounds amazing! Very even sound and strong bass. Those are harder to find. In your price range can find a lower model Ramirez that will blow away any Cordoba.
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  #7  
Old 09-09-2023, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YamaYairi View Post
I have played some Cordobas in or just below this price range. Meh,
I think you should be looking at used guitars. You will find a used Yairi is going to sound so much better than any new guitar in that price range, and for less money. The K. Yairi's CY120, CY125, CY130, CY135 and CY140 are the ones to look for. I bought a S. Yairi Clase 9002 that sounds amazing! Very even sound and strong bass. Those are harder to find. In your price range can find a lower model Ramirez that will blow away any Cordoba.
Thanks I will keep those in mind.
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Old 09-09-2023, 12:49 PM
Aspiring Aspiring is online now
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I have a sample size of one, but I found an amazing deal on a Hanika New Century Doubletop lightly used for around 2500.

Hanika has a lot of options new in your price range. I am very pleased with mine.

Oh mine has an elevated fretboard. It has a few theoretical advantages. It is easier to play above the 12th without a cutaway, it keeps the strings higher above the soundboard which gives you a bit more room for sounding them without contact and a better break angle on the bridge. If it is also setup with a gap between the fretboard and the soundboard then in theory it allows more of the soundboard to vibrate adding to the tone.

It does take a little getting used to. Parallax had me missing the 12th when I first started playing it as it looks different relative to the neck join. But now no issues.

Last edited by Aspiring; 09-09-2023 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 09-09-2023, 02:04 PM
btbliatout btbliatout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBman View Post
Where do you start?
My 2 cents:
  • How does it feel and play? For many, sound is more important, but for me, if it's not well-shaped for my body and its limitations, I'm not going to spend hours upon hours with it. I'm not young and I have a bad shoulder, so comfort and playability are always #1. And unfortunately no one can tell you how a guitar will feel to YOUR body, so getting to a store with a good selection of instruments is the best thing.
  • How does it sound? I totally agree with Gitfiddlemann. What's under the hood doesn't matter, the sound matters. But as a general rule, the top addresses 90%+ of the tone, the body tends to add a very small and very subtle dash of flavor if you will. I'm personally not a tone sno...*cough* I'm personally not SO particular that the body's contribution to tone has ever swayed me.
  • Higher Fret Access (Elevated fretboard?) That's related to how it feels and plays. Being an on-going 7-year classical student (still got my weekly private lessons), I'd say a cutaway is the way to go. There's discussions elsewhere (both anecdotal and math-based) that talk about the pros and cons of a cutaway, but it really gives you access to those higher frets, much more effective than an elevated fretboard. But if a cutaway isn't something to be considered, an elevated fretboard does help a smidget with higher frets. With my shoulder, I'd say it doesn't help enough :-D
  • Price. I used to put some stock into price. Price will statistically improve the quality of the build, but not necessarily the comfort of the instrument nor the tone. To my ear, the best sounding instrument I have is a $400 flamenco guitar. It sure looks like a $400 guitar (a burglar would probably leave it alone if they were in my house), but I suspect the top was made from a lucky piece of wood because it sounds great. So...know that $$$ gives you higher QC for sure, but it's not necessarily going to give you the sound you're hoping for.
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  #10  
Old 09-10-2023, 04:20 AM
evanpyle evanpyle is offline
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From the Delcamp forum: "Full disclosure - I am an authorized dealer for Francisco Navarro guitars. Several members on this thread have recommended a Marlon Navarro guitar. I can happily second the motion. Marlon is a talented and long experienced luthier, trained by his father Francisco. His guitars, billed by Francisco as a “Student” model, are in fact signed label, luthier constructed guitars, that look great and sound great, and are equivalent to any $3500 guitar I have ever played. I myself perform on a Marlon Navarro flamenco guitar. Marlon’s guitars are $1399, including a hard shell case and free shipping.

Ramon"

https://www.classicalguitardelcamp.c...54065&start=15

He doesn't link himself in the thread (forbidden on Delcamp), but if you belong to the forum you can PM him, or perhaps Google will yield results.

I'm tempted.
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Old 09-11-2023, 08:01 AM
JBF_AR JBF_AR is offline
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Do not write the Cordoba off until you try one. In the $1300 range the C10 spruce is very nice and responsive. Best to try some in a shop with several choices.
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  #12  
Old 09-11-2023, 08:43 AM
Baldrick Baldrick is offline
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Default classical guitar search

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBman View Post
Where do you start?

Budget around $2,000 to $3,000
Since you live in New Jersey, you should be able to get to Philadelphia without difficulty. Give Bill Newman a call at the Classical Guitar Store at 2038 Sansom Street in center city Philadelphia, explain what you're looking for and make an appointment to visit. They deal only in classical guitars, and have a pretty large inventory. A friend of mine recently purchased an Esteve from Bill after playing several guitars by different makers or manufacturers, including Hanika, Esteve, Picado and a used student grade Ramirez. It's the only place I know of where you can actually play cedar top vs. spruce top, or similar models by different makers and decide which you like better.

Here's the website: http://www.classicalguitarstore.com/

Last edited by Baldrick; 09-15-2023 at 11:20 AM.
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  #13  
Old 09-13-2023, 01:02 PM
Beanctr Beanctr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBF_AR View Post
Do not write the Cordoba off until you try one. In the $1300 range the C10 spruce is very nice and responsive. Best to try some in a shop with several choices.
I agree here, I have a Cordoba Esteso that I think is great.

If you are just starting buy a $500 Cordoba C7 or a Yamaha CG-192. That should let you know what you want to spend some real money on.

Rick
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Old 09-14-2023, 01:07 PM
CoastStrings CoastStrings is offline
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My advice is to find at least one buddy (preferably one that plays classical) to go shopping with. Make it a fun outing.

Guitars sound different to the player and to the listener. Working with an "evaluation team" is a good practice.

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  #15  
Old 09-14-2023, 07:22 PM
Carey Carey is offline
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A CG that's being offered for $3000 will not necessarily sound better than one at $1000. Play lots of guitars, and trust your own judgment.
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