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  #1  
Old 10-05-2019, 08:54 AM
Gitaman Gitaman is offline
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Default 1/2 size Yamaha CGS102a as a practice/travel guitar OR SUGGESTIONS?

Hey folks,

I just bought 1/2 sized Yamaha CGS102a and thought to check the opinions of those who have already walked the similar path I am exploring.

I play fingerstyle, no pick, and found nylon much easier on my fingers and love the tone. So I bought and played Cordoba Fusion12 Orchestra and played for a few months. Absolutely in love with volume and tone!

However, I developed knots on my right shoulder extending all the way up the right side of my neck. This never happens with my Emerald X7 or Journey OF660. Well I did some research and checked out Yammy Guitarele at the local GC. It was basically a Uke with sawed-off guitar neck with Uke-like sound.

They also had Yamaha CGS102a and Cordoba mini 2 which had truss rod, a pickup and horribly sharp fret ends. They both sounded much better and so cute looking. Yammy was much cheaper at $97 with 20% off Coupon. I also got their 3 year accident coverage warranty since I plan on taking it everywhere. I told the guy I always buy from that this was an impulse buy with no research and may reverse the transaction. He was totally ok with it.

So, while I want Emerald X7nylon, I can buy 30 CGS102a instead and never run out of it in my life... well until Emerald comes out with next generation soundboard for nylon that blows everyone out of water! I am open to better alternatives you might have and looking forward to getting enlightened as always.
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  #2  
Old 10-05-2019, 09:57 AM
TRose TRose is offline
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Family vacations/ travel for me usually involves severe weather conditions and drastic weather changes. Finding a carbon fiber option seemed reasonable to me. I started with. Journey OF660 and it has worked wonderfully for what I needed. Now that I have been playing 90% nylon Iíve been thinking in terms of finding a wider nut, nylon guitar that works well as a traveler. Journey makes some nice classical travel guitar but, for me, (since they are wooden instruments)they are too expensive to risk traveling with to the extreme climate destinations. It sounds like youíve found a good option. If your 97$ guitar implodes, so what. No gnashing of teeth required. I was considering a Cůrdoba mini for this reason as well. Iíll be curious to hear how this works out for you.
The carbon options for wider nut nylon traveler seem to be a Blackbird( no longer made but sometimes appear on used market) and the Emerald x7. Maybe Journey will eventually make a carbon model.

During my research I was lucky enough to pick up a used X7 nylon at a great price. Itís nut ,at 1&7/8 ,is not as wide as I would like, but at <40% the cost of ordering one new Iím not complaining.
Best,
Tom
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:58 AM
Beanctr Beanctr is offline
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I bought the 1/2 size Yamaha to bring on a sailboat trip last fall. Not much room on a 40' boat with three other people. Worked out great for the trip Virginia to Antigua via Bermuda! I certainly didn't have to worry about hurting it and it played and sounded well enough. I left it on the boat for the skipper and future crew. R
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:23 PM
Gitaman Gitaman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRose View Post
Family vacations/ travel for me usually involves severe weather conditions and drastic weather changes. Finding a carbon fiber option seemed reasonable to me. I started with. Journey OF660 and it has worked wonderfully for what I needed. Now that I have been playing 90% nylon Iíve been thinking in terms of finding a wider nut, nylon guitar that works well as a traveler. Journey makes some nice classical travel guitar but, for me, (since they are wooden instruments)they are too expensive to risk traveling with to the extreme climate destinations. It sounds like youíve found a good option. If your 97$ guitar implodes, so what. No gnashing of teeth required. I was considering a Cůrdoba mini for this reason as well. Iíll be curious to hear how this works out for you.
The carbon options for wider nut nylon traveler seem to be a Blackbird( no longer made but sometimes appear on used market) and the Emerald x7. Maybe Journey will eventually make a carbon model.

During my research I was lucky enough to pick up a used X7 nylon at a great price. Itís nut ,at 1&7/8 ,is not as wide as I would like, but at <40% the cost of ordering one new Iím not complaining.
Best,
Tom
Hey Tom,
Sorry for the late reply. I went on a last minute golf trip and I like taking my time writing. Anyhow, congrats on acquiring used X7N! I am not in a hurry and waiting for a chance to play one beforehand.

In the meantime, I took picture of CGS102a for you compare the sizes.
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2019, 04:38 PM
Gitaman Gitaman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanctr View Post
I bought the 1/2 size Yamaha to bring on a sailboat trip last fall. Not much room on a 40' boat with three other people. Worked out great for the trip Virginia to Antigua via Bermuda! I certainly didn't have to worry about hurting it and it played and sounded well enough. I left it on the boat for the skipper and future crew. R
Beanctr,
I ordered another one from a scam site for $59 and turned out to be a scam. I still have the from Guitar center with 3 yr warranty for any damage. It is a lovely looking guitar and allows me to grab chords that I have a hard time, much easier. It comes with 1 7/8 but width and 20 or 21 inch scale length: very comfortable and easy on fingers with surprisingly nice tone and volume for the size. I am glad to know you are enjoying this hidden gem as much as I do. Just so darn comfortable!

Last edited by Gitaman; 10-11-2019 at 04:20 PM.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2019, 11:52 AM
dcuttler dcuttler is offline
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When looking for a backup guitar for my Romero Creations DHO 6 string, I tried the Yamaha at a local Guitar Center, and thought it was like playing a piece of construction lumber. I handed it back.

I finally ended up with a LaMancha Rubi CM-53. It has a 530mm scale and 48mm width at the nut. It cost me $165.00 + $16.00 shipping. It sounds very nice. I did lower the string height a bit.

Mine has a cedar top, but it is available with a spruce top for $20.00 more.
So there is another choice.
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:21 PM
Gitaman Gitaman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcuttler View Post
When looking for a backup guitar for my Romero Creations DHO 6 string, I tried the Yamaha at a local Guitar Center, and thought it was like playing a piece of construction lumber. I handed it back.

I finally ended up with a LaMancha Rubi CM-53. It has a 530mm scale and 48mm width at the nut. It cost me $165.00 + $16.00 shipping. It sounds very nice. I did lower the string height a bit.

Mine has a cedar top, but it is available with a spruce top for $20.00 more.
So there is another choice.
Thanks, dcuttler!

I read your review on DHO6 and no wonder CGS102a sounded horrible, I hope I get a chance to check it out soon myself. La Mancha Rubi CM53 sounded very nice on youtube and is in the price range I prefer as I tend to gravitate towards no-worry guitars. It also has a truss rod which CGS lacks.

dcuttler, you are set! Thank you for opening my eyes to very nice instruments and wish you lots of pain-free playtime! If you ever want to go seperate ways with either, let me know, I live in the Bay area myself.
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  #8  
Old 10-10-2019, 01:27 PM
dcuttler dcuttler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gitaman View Post
Thanks, dcuttler!

I read your review on DHO6 and no wonder CGS102a sounded horrible, I hope I get a chance to check it out soon myself. La Mancha Rubi CM53 sounded very nice on youtube and is in the price range I prefer as I tend to gravitate towards no-worry guitars. It also has a truss rod which CGS lacks.

dcuttler, you are set! Thank you for opening my eyes to very nice instruments and wish you lots of pain-free playtime! If you ever want to go seperate ways with either, let me know, I live in the Bay area myself.
The truss rod is not adjustable, but it is a carbon fiber fixed rod. I purchased mine from Rhythm Band Instruments in TX. They have a web site with a "strings" section. The fractional size LaMancha guitars come in two fingerboard widths, and I called them to make sure the guitar I ordered had the wide 48mm.

Shipping was 10% of the purchase price. No gig bag, but those are available everywhere. Overall it's a lot of guitar for the money. For travel I have the Cordoba Mini M, the one that lives in my car.
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  #9  
Old 10-10-2019, 02:11 PM
dcuttler dcuttler is offline
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I think lots of people poo poo smaller sized guitars, because they aren't really "guitars," or not loud enough, or lack that full real guitar sound. But considering most folks like myself just play at home for their own enjoyment, who cares? I don't need to fill an auditorium. Also most of the Renaissance and Baroque music was written for the smaller instruments of that time, and sound great on the reduced scale guitars of today.

The same holds true for guitar straps. I have drilled and installed a pair of strap buttons on every instrument I own including ukuleles. Oh the horror of it!

No foot stools for me.

Even my tiny Cordoba Mini M sounds wonderful in the confined space of my car. The inside of my Subaru becomes a giant guitar body.
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  #10  
Old 10-11-2019, 01:04 AM
Gitaman Gitaman is offline
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Default spanish heel(spruce or cedar?) option on La Mancha

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcuttler View Post
The truss rod is not adjustable, but it is a carbon fiber fixed rod. I purchased mine from Rhythm Band Instruments in TX. They have a web site with a "strings" section. The fractional size LaMancha guitars come in two fingerboard widths, and I called them to make sure the guitar I ordered had the wide 48mm.

Shipping was 10% of the purchase price. No gig bag, but those are available everywhere. Overall it's a lot of guitar for the money. For travel I have the Cordoba Mini M, the one that lives in my car.
Well, I am sold on carbon fiber fixed rod and more so on spanish heel! In fact, I ordered one and got the best deal( $100 cheaper than going rate ) in town which happens to be the exact recommendation you posted. Thanks!

One question, what is up with the option on spanish heel? There is no way to exercise that option on their website.

I can't wait to play them side by side. Btw, my Yammy CGS102a still sings to me for hours despite 12th fret intonations being two clicks sharp plucked hard, one click sharp soft-plucked. I am thinking about shimming the neck side of the saddle and angling the saddle away. Not sure if it will make any difference but have plenty of time to think before string change. Maybe it is one of the nuances of super-short scale instruments that I am willing to put up with... for hours with comfort and trust me, it has the perfect dynamic range for my wife and that means more play time!!
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:10 AM
dcuttler dcuttler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gitaman View Post
Well, I am sold on carbon fiber fixed rod and more so on spanish heel! In fact, I ordered one and got the best deal( $100 cheaper than going rate ) in town which happens to be the exact recommendation you posted. Thanks!

One question, what is up with the option on spanish heel? There is no way to exercise that option on their website.

I can't wait to play them side by side. Btw, my Yammy CGS102a still sings to me for hours despite 12th fret intonations being two clicks sharp plucked hard, one click sharp soft-plucked. I am thinking about shimming the neck side of the saddle and angling the saddle away. Not sure if it will make any difference but have plenty of time to think before string change. Maybe it is one of the nuances of super-short scale instruments that I am willing to put up with... for hours with comfort and trust me, it has the perfect dynamic range for my wife and that means more play time!!
I believe that the Spanish heel is their standard construction, not an option. Did you order the cedar or spruce top?
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  #12  
Old 10-11-2019, 01:31 AM
Gitaman Gitaman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcuttler View Post
I believe that the Spanish heel is their standard construction, not an option. Did you order the cedar or spruce top?
I ordered spruce top for $20 more. I must have misunderstood though thought it did not make sense as well, and was trying to specify what material for spanish heel as an option. How does Cordoba mini hold up against the heat?
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  #13  
Old 10-11-2019, 11:39 AM
dcuttler dcuttler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gitaman View Post
I ordered spruce top for $20 more. I must have misunderstood though thought it did not make sense as well, and was trying to specify what material for spanish heel as an option. How does Cordoba mini hold up against the heat?
No problem with the heat, even in Concord CA where I work 3 days a week. The temperature has gone over 100 degrees many times this summer, and the Mini is doing fine.
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:07 PM
Gitaman Gitaman is offline
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Originally Posted by dcuttler View Post
No problem with the heat, even in Concord CA where I work 3 days a week. The temperature has gone over 100 degrees many times this summer, and the Mini is doing fine.
You are about 10 years younger than my dad and just as tough! 3 days a week sounds perfect and hope you outlive many many Minis! I may turn CGS into a beater after the honeymoon but for now, , OF660 fits the bill perfectly.

Btw, Letionel acknowedged my payment on Monday morning and still has not shipped. No reply to my email for days. On the other hand, Rhythm Band vendor responded to my email questions within a day and service rep, Janie, wrote me that the guitar guy picked out the one with the lowest action (I don't mind snapping sound when plucked hard.) My LaMancha started with you and keeps on bringing in good mojo! I truly appreciate your help and thank you, dcuttler!
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  #15  
Old 10-11-2019, 02:04 PM
dcuttler dcuttler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gitaman View Post
You are about 10 years younger than my dad and just as tough! 3 days a week sounds perfect and hope you outlive many many Minis! I may turn CGS into a beater after the honeymoon but for now, , OF660 fits the bill perfectly.

Btw, Letionel acknowedged my payment on Monday morning and still has not shipped. No reply to my email for days. On the other hand, Rhythm Band vendor responded to my email questions within a day and service rep, Janie, wrote me that the guitar guy picked out the one with the lowest action (I don't mind snapping sound when plucked hard.) My LaMancha started with you and keeps on bringing in good mojo! I truly appreciate your help and thank you, dcuttler!
The LaMancha comes with Savarez 510 AJ strings, and can be purchased from Guitar Salon International for $11.95. I just bought 5 sets from them. It's a screaming deal.

There is a sticker on the bridge commerating the award from the German teachers association from 2113-2014, which indicates that my guitar may have been in storage for about 5 years. So even though I have only been playing it for a short time, the strings have probably been on it for many years and need to be replaced.

After you get your guitar and if you are considering lowering the action some more let me know, and I will measure the string height I ended up with. It's quite playable and does not buzz.
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