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  #16  
Old 12-21-2019, 07:22 PM
Carey Carey is offline
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[QUOTE=MC5C;6245251]So you kind of have to either take a leap of faith and buy one not knowing these things, or take the time to learn how to play. That time will also develop your understanding of what you want and need in a guitar.

IME separate-hands work can be a big help, and I wish I'd done it when I was young. Shearer's 'Slur, Ornament, and Reach Development Exercises' is, unfortunately, dry as dust; but taken in small, *gentle* doses, is a really
helpful book for the left hand. Agree also on taking an intermediate step in
finding the Right Guitar.
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  #17  
Old 12-22-2019, 10:47 PM
Paraclete Paraclete is offline
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What is your goal? Are you a classical student? Are you looking to get serious about playing classical? Some of the differences between a budget guitar, maybe under $1000, and that $4000 Ramirez that seems to look almost the same are tone, playability, clarity, intonation. Those aren’t differences you may even notice so much unless you have been playing nylon string guitars.

My friend has an $800 Esteve which I have played a bit. It sounds very good, plays decently, has fairly true intonation, was very affordable. For someone who dabbles on nylon, it’s just fine. But to my ears and hands, it is clumsy, thick-necked, somewhat less yielding, muddy, and the intonation is slightly off when you get up around the 11th fret. A good classical (in my opinion) is both clear and warm with deep basses and crisp but round trebles. If you don’t hear or notice a difference, it’s probably not worth spending thousands.

Try a bunch of guitars. Don’t look at the price tag (well, not at first anyway)...it doesn’t necessarily reflect how you feel about the guitar.
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  #18  
Old 12-23-2019, 11:04 AM
rmp rmp is offline
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Classical Guitars are different animals from steel string acoustics.

I was on a 15 year search for the right one. I went through four or five that I bought and tried to make em work over that time, but eventually, I moved on from all of them. The one that came the closes was a Manuel Rodriguez A-Cut but that one needed a lot of setup work to get it as close as I could.

Necks too thick, and intonation problems we're the biggest challenges I faced in all of the ones I tried (Yamaha's Takeminie's and that MR A-cut)

I finally settled on a Taylor 514NY and that ended the hunt.

it plays fantastic, intonation is really clean all the way up the neck, and the neck is great for my hands. It is not like your typical taylor neck. but it is not a thick wide neck though, like the ones I've moved on from.

I'm not a huge fan of the taylor pickup that came with the guitar (It's not the standard ES, it's one specific to their nylons. Taylor ny system I believe)

I also have a tonedexter which solved that issue as well. It's not horrible as is, but it's not as good as the other pickup systems in the previous ones I've had.

You could probably get a used one for around 1,500. Be worth a look at least.
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  #19  
Old 12-23-2019, 12:31 PM
ScottKilpatrick ScottKilpatrick is offline
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Thanks for the feedback everyone, I am not a stranger to classical guitar its just been a while. Studied it for about 4 years through my teen years in the 80s then sometime around 1990 I turned my interests to jazz. I am looking to bring my old studies of classical guitar from yesteryear back into the fold.

I agree that trying as many as possible is probably the best bet.

The issue I always have is that most of what I tend to be interested in is not available at dealers to try out.
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  #20  
Old 12-23-2019, 03:37 PM
Paultergeist Paultergeist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC5C View Post
The paradox is that unless you know how to play a classical guitar very well indeed, you can't play it well enough to develop the nuance of tone that is what differentiates a great classical guitar from a merely good one. For you and your hands and ears.......
+1 This......perfectly stated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MC5C View Post
One thing anyone can do is play up the neck. It is remarkably hard to play a classical guitar around the 10th to 15th fret and have it sound clear, in tune and balanced. A great guitar makes that easier.
I agree that doing so is a straight-forward way to at least get a sense of the action at the higher frets.
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  #21  
Old 12-23-2019, 03:41 PM
Paultergeist Paultergeist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottKilpatrick View Post
The issue I always have is that most of what I tend to be interested in is not available at dealers to try out.
Then I might consider purchasing something from one of the reputable on-line retailers -- many of which have fairly generous return provisions (you would be responsible for the shipping costs). For example, I have purchased instruments from Sweetwater, and -- in at least two instances -- I decided that the instruments were not right for me......I returned them for a full refund (less return shipping costs). Some vendors charge the forward-shipping as well, but at least this gives you a path to trying out a couple of guitars without being required to commit prior to playing.
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  #22  
Old 12-27-2019, 12:27 AM
Paraclete Paraclete is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottKilpatrick View Post
Thanks for the feedback everyone, I am not a stranger to classical guitar its just been a while. Studied it for about 4 years through my teen years in the 80s then sometime around 1990 I turned my interests to jazz. I am looking to bring my old studies of classical guitar from yesteryear back into the fold.

I agree that trying as many as possible is probably the best bet.

The issue I always have is that most of what I tend to be interested in is not available at dealers to try out.
Any chance there is a classical guitar society in your area? If so, that might be a way to talk to other classical players and maybe try some guitars.
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2010 Larrivee LSV-11e
2002 Jose Ramirez 4e
1998 Seagull S6+folk, Mi-Si LR Baggs acoustic trio
1986 Charvel Model 3A electric

2001 Fender Jazz standard bass
1935 A-00 Gibson mandolin
1815 JG Hamm violin
Kelii soprano ukulele
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  #23  
Old 12-27-2019, 08:16 AM
Alytw Alytw is offline
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You mentioned that you are in Southern California. How close are you to Guitar Salon International (Santa Monica)?
If it isn’t too far, it might be a good place to try a bunch of guitars. They have all price points, so it could give you a good overview.
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  #24  
Old 12-28-2019, 09:37 AM
Tony Burns Tony Burns is offline
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Not sure if this will help -but my two cents with alot of years behind it.
Id look at guitas you can play , not order because someone says its great -
my intentions a few years ago was like yours but with a lower budget -
But i think this advice will sit well with any guitar . The guitar i was looking at was a 6-700 dollar range .
In particular a Lucida 777 with a case ( new ) i did alot of looking online and made alot of phone calls
-till i found a gentleman who had one ( not for sale ) who was about an hour from me -
who would let me play his guitar etc- thru my search i found out this guitar was made in Spain
by the Prudencio Saez company -and for some reason was sold threw another name ( Lucida ) that P.S. guitar was about 1200 -
so after playing that guitar I ordered a new Lucida and its surprisingly a very good instrument -id say a decent student model .
Not saying this should be your route but taking the time to play what your looking at when your serious about what you play
-is fun and enlightening .
I don't regret my purchase and sometimes wonder how its so good for so little money .
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  #25  
Old 12-28-2019, 12:00 PM
rjathon rjathon is offline
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Default Paco Castillo 205

I take internet lessons from an expert who plays the Paco Castillo 205 and loves it. That said, I just learn the “pop” stuff, not classical, and have a Yamaha Classical TransAcoustic on the way. The “magic” in that guitar is amazing and the sound has to be experienced to be believed. Another plus is that is well below your budget.

Russ
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  #26  
Old 01-03-2020, 01:41 PM
rob2966 rob2966 is offline
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There are certain things "I" look for that I associate with a good classical/nylon guitar.

1. As mentioned, intonation as you move up the fretboard. This is an area that lesser instruments do seem to fail.

2. Balance of 3rd (G) string with adjacent D and B strings. On many lesser instruments, the thickest unwound string sounds "tubby", lacking the snap and clarity of the higher strings and the wound strings. On good instruments this is significantly less noticeable. I have used the same string set on instruments in both categories so it isn't a string selection issue.

Also worth trying some flamenco guitars. I am not strictly a classical player (although I enjoy dabbling in it) and I found a while ago I prefer the brighter, faster attack of a good flamenco. Just might be worth trying a couple in your search to see if you prefer that voicing.

Enjoy

Rob
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