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  #1  
Old 01-12-2020, 03:01 PM
pdalton pdalton is offline
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Default Recommendations about two inherited acoustic (?) guitars

My youngest sister was an Elementary School teacher and played both guitar and harp. After college (about 1978 or so), she moved to Asuncion, Paraguay, where she taught at a missionary school until she returned to the U.S. (about 1985) after receiving a cancer diagnosis. After she passed away in 1988, her two guitars passed to my younger brother (who didn’t play them). Recently, my brother also passed away, so now I now have inherited my sister’s two guitars and am not 100% sure about what to do with them.

I do love guitar music, but I’ve always “put off” learning to play because I’m left-handed and it just seemed . . . “complicated”. But now that I own two guitars, I think I want to give it a try. So, I opened the cases to look more closely at both guitars.

One was made in Mexico (by “JOM Guitarras de Calidad”, Paracho, Mich., Mexico) and the other in Paraguay (by “Fabrica de Arpas y Guitarras De Salomon Sanabria”, Asuncion, Paraguay). I found a little information about each company on the internet, but I’m still unsure about what I have here. I’m OK assuming their value is only sentimental, but I just really don’t know how well either is made.

Nevertheless, I do know both of these guitars need some repair work. The Mexican guitar needs the most – the top of its body has a couple of cracks and separating from the body edge along one curve. And there are what appear to be the beginnings of some cracks on the back of the body. [Perhaps it was dropped at some point?] Anyway, it seems like this one will require more attention than the other.

Although the Paraguayan guitar does appear to be in better shape overall, it does have about a 6” crack on the back of the body, but tt looks like I should be able to close that up pretty easily with glue and overnight clamping.
Both guitars are 30-39½” long and shaped as what I’ve seen called a “parlor” model; neither has a “pick guard” (so I don’t believe either will look “strange” if strung left-handed); the neck width of each is about 2.25” at the body and narrows to about 2” at the nut; and each has 12 frets between the head and the body (the Mexican has 4 inlay dots between some of the frets, but the Paraguayan has none at all).

Because both of these guitars appeared to need new strings, I ordered two sets of Elixer 80/20 Bronze 12|53 strings, solely because they seemed to be well-reviewed and reportedly appropriate for beginners.

However, before those strings arrived, I read an article saying the additional tension of “steel strings” can irreparably damage a “classical guitar”, which instead requires nylon strings. That made me realize that I don’t actually know whether either of these is really an “acoustic” or a “classical” guitar, plus I don’t even know whether the strings I bought are considered “steel strings”. Each of these guitars did have at least 3 “nylon” strings on it, with the other strings appearing to be “metal-wound”. But does that make them “steel”?

So, I felt I should ask for some "better informed" thoughts and recommendations before I start doing anything with these two guitars. I have a photo of both guitars, but I didn't see how to insert or attach it to this post.

Thanks
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Old 01-12-2020, 06:37 PM
stormin1155 stormin1155 is offline
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Based on your description I would guess that you have classical guitars. The three lower strings are metal windings around a silk or nylon core. I would not put steel strings on them. I would recommend taking them to a luthier for an assessment of the damage and what it would take to bring them back to good playable condition. In addition to damage you can see on the outside, there may be loose or damaged braces on the inside or other issues that an untrained eye just wouldn't catch.

Sometimes in cases like yours it turns out that it would cost more to repair them than what the guitars are worth. Then you would need to decide if the sentimental value you attach to them makes it worth it to you to spend the money to have them repaired.

Converting a right-handed guitar to left-handed isn't as simple as putting the strings on upside-down. On a classical it is easier because usually the saddle is not angled, so all you need is a new nut, and sometimes the existing nut can even be re-worked to work.
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:19 PM
printer2 printer2 is offline
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Any pictures?
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:07 AM
redir redir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by printer2 View Post
Any pictures?
Would be helpful wouldn't it
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:07 AM
jayhawk jayhawk is offline
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Well, I can't tell you much about your guitars. I will say that Paracho, Mex is noted as a guitar building center in Mexico. It is said that 'every shop in Paracho builds guitars'. I think the quality of guitars can vary, wildly.

Doesn't tell you much about your guitar, but it does give you something more to do an internet search on.

Jack
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:32 AM
pdalton pdalton is offline
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When I originally posted here (from my Desktop computer using Chrome), I couldn't figure out how to post photos.

I tried to do as the FAQ states, but I could not find any 'Pictures & Albums' link in my Use Control Panel.

Today, I logged in from my phone using the Tapatalk Android app. This time, when I clicked on "Reply", I saw a place to attach photos.

So I'm attaching three that I hope may be helpful: One shows both guitars (the Paraguayan is on the right & has the strap) and the other two photos are of the label inside each guitar.

Thanks
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:15 PM
Edgar Poe Edgar Poe is offline
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Do not put metal based strings on those guitars. They are classical guitars and you will ruin the integrity of the action by using metal based string. I say metal based because guitars strings are made from other type metals besides steel. Bronze for example like like the ones you bought.
Take the guitar to music store or Guitar center, and ask for recommendations.

Ed
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:00 PM
phavriluk phavriluk is offline
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Default A thought

I think OP would be better served finding a luthier to inspect the guitars and assess their condition.
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  #9  
Old 01-17-2020, 07:51 AM
ElMartillo ElMartillo is offline
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Value is subjective. The Paraguayan guitar has some really interesting detail to it, and what appears to be the OP's sister's custom strap. One can assume she adored that guitar, and the sentimental value, to me, would be priceless. I think it would be worth having a luthier assess repair and conversion to left-hand. Again, if it were me I would find a local independent craftsman, and avoid Guitar Center and the like for this work.

Cheers!
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:17 PM
redir redir is offline
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Those look like a cool couple of guitars. Just get some classical guitar strings and enjoy them for what they are.
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