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Old 08-23-2018, 08:29 AM
shekie shekie is offline
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Default Nylon Crossover Under $1000

I've just returned from a two week vacation in Spain, caught a flamenco show in Grenada, heard numerous excellent street musicians in and around Barcelona. I guess I've caught Spanish guitar fever. I know very little about nylon guitars having only played steel string, but I really loved the sound of nylon and would like to purchase one.

From the research I've done since coming home, I'm interested in a couple of Cordoba models, the C9 Crossover, the GK Studio Negra and the Fusion Orchestra CE. For those who have experience playing any/all of these models, do you have a recommendation? I can't say with any certainty I will end up learning classical guitar, but I will use it for folk, fingerstyle, light strumming with vocals.

I know I should try to hunt these down in person, I can try out the Fusion Orchestra CE near me and can find a used GK Studio Negra in roughly an hour's drive to try, but trying out a C9 Crossover would require a 5+ hour roundtrip. I was hoping for some feedback and recommendations here first as to whether the C9 Crossover is head and shoulders better than the other two before making that 5+ hour drive to try out. Thanks!
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:35 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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My crossover page can be found here:

http://web.archive.org/web/201603282...Crossover.html

My Orchestra Fusion review is there as well as recommendation for strings. Do purchase the hardshell Humidicase for/with your Cordoba!
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:44 AM
shekie shekie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
My crossover page can be found here:

http://web.archive.org/web/201603282...Crossover.html

My Orchestra Fusion review is there as well as recommendation for strings. Do purchase the hardshell Humidicase for/with your Cordoba!
Wow, wealth of information, thank you!

I've always heard/read/assumed a guitar with all solid woods is preferable to one with a solid top and laminated back and sides. The C9 is all solid woods, the Fusion Orchestra and the GK Studio have solid tops but laminated back and sides. Does that suggest the C9 will be a significant step up in sound?

The Fusion Orchestra and GK Studio both have electronics, but I don't envision using them so I'm trying to compare sound unplugged.
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:15 AM
sirwhale sirwhale is offline
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I would also recommend that you try some flamenco guitars just to see how they feel to you. I transitioned from steel to flamenco guitars but spent a few months with a crossover.

I should have gone straight to try a flamenco guitar and would have saved some money. I actually prefer the neck.

Just in case you haven't seen this in your research, flamenco guitars are different to classicals. They have lower action and a quicker attack. They sound edgier. I love them.

I can pick up my mother-in-law's Taylor acoustic anytime and don't have any problems with the change.
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Guitar: Camps Primera Negra A (a flamenco guitar)
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:56 AM
shekie shekie is offline
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Originally Posted by sirwhale View Post
I would also recommend that you try some flamenco guitars just to see how they feel to you. I transitioned from steel to flamenco guitars but spent a few months with a crossover.

I should have gone straight to try a flamenco guitar and would have saved some money. I actually prefer the neck.

Just in case you haven't seen this in your research, flamenco guitars are different to classicals. They have lower action and a quicker attack. They sound edgier. I love them.

I can pick up my mother-in-law's Taylor acoustic anytime and don't have any problems with the change.
I looked on Cordoba's website, they list one of the three I'm considering, the GK Studio Negra as a flamenco guitar, the other two as crossovers, so I will be able to check one out that is considered a flamenco style.

Can you comment as to how important (or not) having solid wood for back and sides is on a nylon guitar?
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Old 08-23-2018, 10:20 AM
sirwhale sirwhale is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shekie View Post
I looked on Cordoba's website, they list one of the three I'm considering, the GK Studio Negra as a flamenco guitar, the other two as crossovers, so I will be able to check one out that is considered a flamenco style.

Can you comment as to how important (or not) having solid wood for back and sides is on a nylon guitar?
In my opinion, below 1000, you get some good guitars with laminate back and sides. All I can say is that you go and try them, and if possible, side by side. I've had instruments that were all solid wood that weren't as good as well-made laminate back and sides.
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Guitar: Camps Primera Negra A (a flamenco guitar)
Strings: Aquila Rubino, Knobloch CX, Aquila Alchemia
I play: Acoustic blues & folk
Videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/sirwhale28/videos

Last edited by sirwhale; 08-23-2018 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:22 PM
dosland dosland is offline
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I agree with sirwhale, and I'd add that at the lower price point quality control issues can make an all solid guitar a bit more susceptible to certain kinds of damage and misfortune than (heavier and possibly sturdier) laminated guitars. In some cases on the lower end of the price spectrum I'm unable to hear a difference between instruments with and without solid back and sides - but I may be rather deaf on some of the finer points of musical delectation.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:02 PM
shekie shekie is offline
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Well, I've spent the last two weeks doing lots of research, but unfortunately due to the dearth of shops carrying classical guitars near where I live, I haven't had much to try out other than at Guitar Center, where the strings on their guitars are old and the stores are too noisy to really be able to compare products.

Two guitars that I'm particularly interested in is the Cordoba C9 Crossover, which has a 650mm scale length and a 48mm nut width, and the Kenny Hill Estudio, with a 640mm scale length and 50mm nut width. Neither have a cutaway and neither have electronics, both of which are fine with me.

I'm not sure musically if I will commit to learning classical repertoire or whether I will use it to play folk fingerpicking and some worship music with my Temple band. I measured my thumb to pinky distance, comes up at 8 1/4" if that matters.

I know it's best is to try them both out, but the Cordoba is a 5 1/2 hour round trip from the Boston suburbs where I live to Guilford, CT to play one, and the Kenny Hill would be a 3 1/2 hour round trip to Amherst, MA. I plan on driving to try out one of them this Saturday, but was hoping for any recommendation between the two before I figure out which localation and guitar to drive to. Suggestions?
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2018, 05:29 AM
DownUpDave DownUpDave is offline
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The Cordoba C9 crossover is a favorite on this site and with good reason. I had a C9 cedar/mahogany and C10 spruce /rosewood (both crossovers) at the same time. Long story I won't go into but I had to return the C9, it had a very sweet lyrical sound, really lovely. I own the C10 but would have been just as happy with the C9. In your price point for a solid wood crossover I dont think you can do much better.
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:12 PM
mr sid mr sid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shekie View Post
I've just returned from a two week vacation in Spain, caught a flamenco show in Grenada, heard numerous excellent street musicians in and around Barcelona. I guess I've caught Spanish guitar fever. I know very little about nylon guitars having only played steel string, but I really loved the sound of nylon and would like to purchase one.

From the research I've done since coming home, I'm interested in a couple of Cordoba models, the C9 Crossover, the GK Studio Negra and the Fusion Orchestra CE. For those who have experience playing any/all of these models, do you have a recommendation? I can't say with any certainty I will end up learning classical guitar, but I will use it for folk, fingerstyle, light strumming with vocals.

I know I should try to hunt these down in person, I can try out the Fusion Orchestra CE near me and can find a used GK Studio Negra in roughly an hour's drive to try, but trying out a C9 Crossover would require a 5+ hour roundtrip. I was hoping for some feedback and recommendations here first as to whether the C9 Crossover is head and shoulders better than the other two before making that 5+ hour drive to try out. Thanks!
I was kind of where you are about 5 years ago(I only owned steels then, even though I've been playing a long while).For me, if I had to do it again I'd only consider Yamaha or Cordoba-almost any model. I've found out that the individual guitar rather than the model is the yardstick;I've grown into guitars I wouldn't have suspected simply because they were not instant.Sometimes you have to break through and let your hands and ears adapt if they can.But things like great design, terrible workmanship/materials/too many wolf notes have made me wonder-which element is it that screws up what looks like a great idea(?) Many of the other big names I haven't mentioned have been very disappointing-I'd prefer not to name names.
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Old 09-08-2018, 05:53 AM
shekie shekie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr sid View Post
I was kind of where you are about 5 years ago(I only owned steels then, even though I've been playing a long while).For me, if I had to do it again I'd only consider Yamaha or Cordoba-almost any model. I've found out that the individual guitar rather than the model is the yardstick;I've grown into guitars I wouldn't have suspected simply because they were not instant.Sometimes you have to break through and let your hands and ears adapt if they can.But things like great design, terrible workmanship/materials/too many wolf notes have made me wonder-which element is it that screws up what looks like a great idea(?) Many of the other big names I haven't mentioned have been very disappointing-I'd prefer not to name names.
Again, thanks for the input. I haven't come across a Yamaha in my travels but have tried out a couple of Cordoba's. The brand that I'm gravitating toward now is the Kenny Hill New Age line of guitars. I'm working with FMI-New England and have tried out some recently. I really liked the Estudio 640mm (cedar top) although I still find the nut width a bit daunting, I think it's 51mm. He also had a model that is regrettably out of my price range but the best I've tried, a Kenny Hill Player Fingerstyle, solid spruce top, solid rosewood back and sides, 640mm scale, 48mm nut width. There is an Estudio version of that guitar that is in my price range, an Estudio Fingerstyle that he has ordered from Kenny Hill for me to try, solid spruce top, laminated rosewood back and sides, 650mm scale (they don't offer anything shorter in this more budget model), 48mm nut width.

So I will meet with the fellow from FMI-NE once he gets that model in from California, compare the Estudio Fingerstyle with the Estudio 640mm, and hopefully go home with one of those two. I'm fine with laminated back an sides, my ear is not at all trained for nylon string, but in trying out some guitars, I had a hard time hearing differences between all solid wood vs solid top/laminated back and sides. For me as a nylon string novice, it's mostly about playability. If I get something more traditional, flat fretboard, wide nut width, chunky neck, and I struggle to play it, it'll just collect dust.
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Last edited by shekie; 09-08-2018 at 06:03 AM.
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  #12  
Old 09-09-2018, 09:15 PM
mr sid mr sid is offline
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It's great that you can actually choose something in person-could make it a lot easier if you remember the folk wisdom I learnt early on; 'guitars choose you'.
I've been impressed by Yamaha-very accurate builder- to the point I actually ordered a Yamaha silent from Sweetwater(great return policy if you both really don't get along)fantastic headphone sound, great for late night playing-even if your neighbors can't hear you)comfortable neck, travels really well (fits in overhead in airplanes.) I suppose budget must be a constraint somewhere along the line.I saw a series of nylon string archtops on you tube recently.If there was ever a case for a guitar having to be the 'desert island only one' it would be one of those.....but then I'd be frightened to handle it and get a ding at that kinda price.....!

Considering how long it can take for nylon strings to settle in, additional guitars can be a sanity saver.
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:38 AM
Red_Label Red_Label is online now
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I mostly buy used instruments these days. My current Cordoba F10, GK Pro negra, and GK Pro blanca were all bought used from ebay, or Musician's Friend for $500-700. They were all 2-3x those prices new. I've owned new GK Pros, a C12, etc... and I'd rather let someone else take the new price hit these days. So, in short... you get a LOT more guitar for your dollar when you buy used. I've owned 200+ instruments over the past 34 years. The acoustic ones ranged from a new $100 Yamaha Guilele uke to $4K Breedlove Masterclass Bossa Nova nylon cutaway. And used, well cared-for instruments are where it's at in terms of value.

Last edited by Red_Label; 09-10-2018 at 11:12 AM.
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