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  #1  
Old 12-13-2017, 02:20 PM
Don W Don W is offline
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Default new classical guitar

I just ordered a Yamaha CG142S classical guitar. I tried the one my instructor uses in his classes...seemed like a nice full sized beginner-intermediate classical guitar with great tone and a solid engleman spruce top. Its my first and maybe only classical. Needed to add a small bodied fingerstyle guitar to the family for "old man" issues and for classical pieces that I am just begining to learn. The price was incredibly fair....can't wait.
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:48 PM
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Congrats! For the price, Yamaha has never disappointed me!
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:06 PM
Don W Don W is offline
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Congrats! For the price, Yamaha has never disappointed me!
Thanks...Do you recommend normal tension or hard tension strings?
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:34 PM
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Thanks...Do you recommend normal tension or hard tension strings?
I would start with normal tension. With classical guitars, there is very little difference in the feel of the strings. Rather, it is how the individual instrument responds to the strings.

Actually, for years, I hyped extra hard tension strings. The truth was, that is what my main guitar responded best to. I remember a time that my guitar started sounding a bit muffled and it wasn't protecting or sustaining the way I knew it could. I tried some lower tension strings and it suddenly sounded amazing again.

I don't pretend to understand the science behind it. But I have the opinion that guitars just need to be shaken up a bit from time to time. The truth is, I'm always experimenting with my strings. For years, I had two different brands on my strings. There was even a time I was playing with three different brands on my guitar.

Now? I'm only playing one brand: Hannabach Super Low Tension. And I've been playing just those for a good while now. Perhaps I should shake things up again and see what happens...Lol
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Old 12-14-2017, 06:59 PM
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I agree with Todd. Start with normal tension strings to let your left hand get accustomed to the feel of nylon strings.

Higher tension can be tough on your left hand when barring chords.
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Old 12-15-2017, 04:56 AM
Don W Don W is offline
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Thanks guys for all of your support and great tips. The Yamaha CG142S will arrive tomorrow with Savarez light tension strings on it. I bought some Daddario normal tension strings if I need them. Excited...a new addition to my guitar life.
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Don W View Post
Thanks guys for all of your support and great tips. The Yamaha CG142S will arrive tomorrow with Savarez light tension strings on it. I bought some Daddario normal tension strings if I need them. Excited...a new addition to my guitar life.

The Savarez are great strings. Just enjoy them. When it is time to change strings, you can put your new Daddarios on and compare how the guitar responds.
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:58 AM
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I hope you enjoy your new guitar!!
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:01 AM
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Normal vs. hard tension is a bit of a dilemma for new to nylon players I think. I've tried both and will stick with hard tension. Coming from the steel world, here are my thoughts so far (with visual aids for fun).

Normal Tension:
Easier to barre
Nice on fingers
Easier to play out of tune due to too much pressure or side bending
strings feel and sound more floppy when playing harder, go sharp easier

Hard Tension:
Still easy to barre
Still nice on fingers
Makes playing in tune easier
Can play harder without things sounding floppy and going sharp

It all depends where you've come from. If you have been playing steel string for years I'd go hard tension, unless the guitar builder says you can't. Consider the following numbers:

Daddario EJ16 "12 gauge" steel set has a total tension of 160.51 in/lb
Daddario EJ17 "13 gauge" steel set has a total tension of 185.27 in/lb
Daddario Pro-Arte EJ45 "Normal Tension" has a total tension of 85.85 in/lb
Daddario Pro-Arte EJ46 "Hard Tension" has a total tension of 89.94 in/lb

If you are used to 12 gauge, you are dropping almost half the pressure. If you are used to 13 gauge, you are dropping MORE than half the pressure. I always played with 13 gauge or bluegrass gauge (12's on top, 13's on bottom). As such, normal tension felt quite rubbery at first. I was trying to adjust, then tried a guitar with Hard tension. I instantly sounded better and cleaner as a player. Hard tension will also allow you to get your action a hair lower. That means less strain on the wrist and improved play-ability.

One trade off would be the ability to bend notes into pitch by just pressing harder when they fret flat. That will get harder with hard tension. Although I have found it easier to control with harder tension. And thank you Todd for that bending tip!

Todd... Tip. Todd Tippton... too funny. As a side; Dr. Tippton, you are the doctor of tips! Seriously though, I am enjoying your comments on this forum and am learning from them! Thanks for all your posts.

NOTE: I am new to nylon string. I've played guitar for almost 30 years, but only a month or so on nylon. I certainly stand to be corrected.
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Old 12-16-2017, 01:22 PM
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I certainly stand to be corrected.
Thanks for the kind words. I'm not here to correct anyone. And there is far more that I don't know than I know. Like many others, I am here to learn from others and also share time and experiences with people who enjoy the same thing I enjoy: guitar!
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Old 12-17-2017, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Todd Tipton View Post
Congrats! For the price, Yamaha has never disappointed me!
Received my Yamaha CG142S yesterday...really nice guitar. This guitar is similar to guitars that I have tried in the $700-$900 range...wow... for less than $300. It will satisfy many requirements for my guitar playing. First it is an affordable small bodied guitar to save my right shoulder when the big bodied guitar becomes too painful. It will teach me classical sitting position. It will satisfy my desire to play classical pieces on a classical guitar, something I am just now learning as I learn standard notation (finally after 55 years of playing). It will force me to work on songs in standard tuning as almost everything I do is in alternate tunings...this will help a lot when I play with others (no matter what guitar I use) who mainly play in standard tuning. My instructor is a recording artist and has played since he was 8. He is a trained classical player as well as original fingerstylist and over the years has had a lot of tendonitis and shoulder/back problems. He plays one of these guitars during practice sessions and during lessons to save his arms and hands as guitar is his life and profession. He is also a Yamaha fan and recently played this model in concert...I hope to play that well some day.
Thanks Todd for your input.
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Old 12-21-2017, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don W View Post
Received my Yamaha CG142S yesterday...really nice guitar. This guitar is similar to guitars that I have tried in the $700-$900 range...wow... for less than $300. It will satisfy many requirements for my guitar playing. First it is an affordable small bodied guitar to save my right shoulder when the big bodied guitar becomes too painful. It will teach me classical sitting position. It will satisfy my desire to play classical pieces on a classical guitar, something I am just now learning as I learn standard notation (finally after 55 years of playing). It will force me to work on songs in standard tuning as almost everything I do is in alternate tunings...this will help a lot when I play with others (no matter what guitar I use) who mainly play in standard tuning. My instructor is a recording artist and has played since he was 8. He is a trained classical player as well as original fingerstylist and over the years has had a lot of tendonitis and shoulder/back problems. He plays one of these guitars during practice sessions and during lessons to save his arms and hands as guitar is his life and profession. He is also a Yamaha fan and recently played this model in concert...I hope to play that well some day.

Thanks Todd for your input.


Thanks for sharing your story. I am a long time Yamaha fan and I bought a FS800 several months back and as well as a Yamaha keyboard (which I play more now than any of my guitars).

I have been considering another nylon guitar and Yamaha has so many models. I will check out the 142.

Let us know how you like it.
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Old 12-23-2017, 06:13 AM
Don W Don W is offline
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Originally Posted by Blueser100 View Post
Thanks for sharing your story. I am a long time Yamaha fan and I bought a FS800 several months back and as well as a Yamaha keyboard (which I play more now than any of my guitars).

I have been considering another nylon guitar and Yamaha has so many models. I will check out the 142.

Let us know how you like it.
Bought the Yamaha from Sweetwater..super nice people and great customer service with knowledgable people. $279 without case. Engleman spruce solid top. Nato back and sides. Great tone and good projection. Set up was perfect for a classical.
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Old 12-23-2017, 07:12 PM
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Sweetwater is a very good online retailer. I have bought a number of guitars from them including the Yamaha NTX700. While it was a wonderful guitar for plugged in playing it just did not suit my desires for acoustic classical guitar. I was very tempted to purchase the 142s before I found the Córdoba C5 Limited. The Ltd version won me over with the aesthetics. But I bet the 142s is tonally at least as good and perhaps better than the C5. I think you made an excellent choice, Sir.
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Old 12-23-2017, 09:17 PM
m-thirty-great m-thirty-great is offline
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One maker's high/hard tension can have less tension than another maker's medium/normal tension. So the terms hard tension and normal tension do not mean much when comparing one brand to another. I do not disagree with any of what has been said in this thread, but I would add that in my experience lower tension strings of one type of string often sound more musical, have greater sustain, more dynamics (can be played soft or loud), and better vibrato than the high tension strings of the same type. There are many variables, such as the guitar, how you play, what sound you like, what type of music you play, and so much more, that will affect what strings you might like or dislike. Experimentation is the only way to find what suits you best.
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