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  #16  
Old 03-14-2016, 12:22 PM
Wascal Wascal is offline
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B fuller sound with more sustain.
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  #17  
Old 03-14-2016, 01:46 PM
Mr. Scott Mr. Scott is offline
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I wouldn't like to guess which is the most expensive of the two, but if they were the only guitars I had a choice of, I would take instrument B.
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  #18  
Old 03-14-2016, 01:52 PM
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In my opinion guitar B crushed guitar A.
This was very well done, and fun to participate in. Thanks.
Oh, and nice playing.
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  #19  
Old 03-14-2016, 04:13 PM
Minexploration Minexploration is offline
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I believe on a nylon guitar it is harder to get the highs to come through. If that is the case then I believe that guitar B is the higher priced guitar.

Currently, I only have an entry lvl nylon string guitar so for me to pick a price point would be moot.
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  #20  
Old 03-14-2016, 05:09 PM
RodB RodB is offline
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Liked the warmth of the bass of A, clarity of treble on B. Neither impressed, so not sure how high high-end is....

Maybe A cedar topped, Rosewood B & S. Maybe B spruce top, laminate B & S.

So A > B.

Thanks for taking the trouble to post this...
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  #21  
Old 03-14-2016, 05:20 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S_Spruce View Post
Fair enough. In this kind of situation, it would be interesting to get your rough estimate about what price range these might possibly belong to, in your opinion.
I've played guitars at most price ranges that were good and I've played guitars at most prices that weren't. Price isn't much of an indicator since there are duds at most price ranges. Every instrument must be evaluated on its own merits, regardless of brand name, maker, materials, design features or price.
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  #22  
Old 03-14-2016, 07:13 PM
dosland dosland is offline
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This is fun, especially the part about having the same strings on both instruments. I found myself wondering if you got a dud string set on A, but that's probably more a reflection of what I like to hear from a "classical" guitar. Is it safe to assume that both instruments claim to be legitimate "classical," i.e., traditional(ish) classical guitars in the more-or-less old-school sense? I found myself appreciating the clarity and separation of the mids and trebles from B, but I thought it was struggling to pump up the bass like I'd hoped. I'm hopeless at trying to guess what woods are there, but the stereotype in my brain says A might be cedar-topped and perhaps lower-priced than B, which may or may not be sprucier. When I'm shown to be totally wrong in all my guesses, I'll blame the low quality of my computer speakers. But, either way, I think I'll keep my day job. Thanks for putting this together!
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  #23  
Old 03-14-2016, 07:26 PM
dosland dosland is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
I've played guitars at most price ranges that were good and I've played guitars at most prices that weren't. Price isn't much of an indicator since there are duds at most price ranges. Every instrument must be evaluated on its own merits, regardless of brand name, maker, materials, design features or price.
I agree with Charles, you can find a dud at any price level, and if you're lucky you can also come across the occasional amazing buy at an absurdly low price point. But I'm an outlier on these boards, most I've ever spent on a guitar was less than US $500, and I'm hardly likely to get my hands on anything more expensive than that in the next decade or so...
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  #24  
Old 03-14-2016, 07:34 PM
RayCJ RayCJ is offline
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No Vote for me. I appreciated the playing but, the guitars were "apples and oranges". A fair question would be on the lines of, "which one do you like the sound of better?". If that were indeed the question, the sound clip did not provide enough play-time (for me anyhow) to make a comparison. Given the right song/tune, all guitars have a purpose.

Finally, regarding cost of the guitars... Every guitar likes to be recorded differently with different mic placement or even all together different mics. If the recording was done with an internal pickup, you're not just measuring the guitar but, pickup too...


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  #25  
Old 03-14-2016, 07:42 PM
tkoehler1 tkoehler1 is offline
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I liked B better.
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  #26  
Old 03-15-2016, 05:31 AM
S_Spruce S_Spruce is offline
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Thanks everybody for the participation! And I'm really pleased that some of you appreciate my effort in putting this together. I love blind tests like this and I do it for lots of products I consider getting. Sometimes it turns out a cheaper product will be just as good as something costing 20+ times more.

I've done it with microphones... That's why I have those Line Audio CM3 mics. At $130, they were indistinguishable from the 15 times more expensive Schoeps MK21. So, right there, I saved a couple of thousand dollars. I did it with preamps... Zoom H6 was almost as good as super expensive portables which people recommended me online. I did that with headphones... Found out I only needed to spend $100-200 to get great sound, and anything more than that I was just turning into an audiophile hobbyist.

Anyway, it's worth doing the same with guitars as well. This is actually using the scientific method to find out the price point at which human perception of quality can be achieved, when it comes to classical guitars. Of course, for a comprehensive understanding of this, similar tests involving many other guitars should be conducted, and I hope I'll see some of them here on this forum too.

Anyway, let's give it a week or so before I identify the guitars. In the meantime, it would be great to hear as many votes and comments as possible. I'd really appreciate guesses about the possible price points which you think these guitars fall into. I understand price has little to do with quality... That is the point. Take a guess and find out how wrong you were and you'll make that point stronger. Or maybe you'll realize that there's a stronger correlation between price, materials, brands and value... It's a learning experience either way.
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  #27  
Old 03-15-2016, 06:23 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S_Spruce View Post
This is actually using the scientific method to find out the price point at which human perception of quality can be achieved, when it comes to classical guitars.
While I appreciate your efforts, a sample space greater than two, and a more rigorously controlled sample creation, would be required before one could ascribe a scientific method to it.

For example, part of "tonal quality" is related to "volume". "Normalizing" the two samples to obtain equal volume distorts the evaluation. Also, there is a difference between a traditional classical guitar and a guitar with nylon strings: not all guitars with nylon strings are "classical" guitars, though all "classical" guitars have nylon strings (or equivalent).

One of the largest variables is in defining tonal "quality": different people hear (perceive) the same "event" differently. Listening to the same "event", one might rate it as "quality" and another might rate is as "poor quality", by whatever characteristics each has used to define what quality means to them. An example of that are the adjectives being used by the reviewers on this thread.

Possibly, the best you can get from your current approach is that "x% of reviewers like the sound of the cheaper guitar, while y% like the sound of the more expensive guitar". Beyond that, I'm not sure one can rightly conclude much. Certainly not that all cheaper guitars sound better than more expensive ones, or the converse, that all more expensive ones sound better than cheaper ones. Your results won't tell you anything beyond individual preferences regarding the two specific instruments that were compared.
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  #28  
Old 03-15-2016, 01:01 PM
S_Spruce S_Spruce is offline
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charles Tauber,

I agree with everything you say. It's just my options were limited to what was available to me at the moment, so I had to do what I could. The conclusions won't be far-reaching, I agree. But it's a step in the right direction. People praise certain brands, guitar materials and knock others on forums like this all the time. Tests like this will help narrow down on sound alone and discard "common wisdom" which I distrust. Hope others will conduct similar tests, too, involving more than two instruments.
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  #29  
Old 03-15-2016, 01:38 PM
Timothy Lawler Timothy Lawler is offline
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Always good to compare and kudos for making such an effort, and for recording in a treated room.

Some things to consider doing differently next time:
1) This was recorded at 8 inches distance... unless the mikes are about 3 ft away from a classical guitar they're not hearing the realistic guitar sound - the way a listener would hear it sitting in the room with you. In the nearfield (like at 8 inches) because of sound radiation patterns a guitar will sound drastically different to the mic in different spots, even a couple inches apart. No guitar pics at hand but cello is similar...


Another option would be to put the mikes near your ears, to pick up the sound as you hear it when playing. This is tougher to do for the player, though. Tougher still if you're doing your own engineering. It'll still be in the nearfield, though, so mic positioning can be problematic.

2) The mic you used has a cardioid pattern. So at 8 inches it has a huge amount of proximity effect, boosting the bass. Another reason it needs to be further away for realistic capture. And since you're comparing guitars, you want a realistic capture.

3)
Quote:
...Should have asked someone who knows how to play, I know...
Any classical guitar will only sound its best when played by a guitarist that has very good tone control. A fantastic guitar played with a less skilled technique won't sound much different than a budget guitar. It might even sound worse.

On the positive side of things, it's pretty easy to make a cheap guitar that has a reasonably well balanced tone sound great when recording by using nos. 1 and 2 above to the guitar's advantage.

Keep experimenting.
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  #30  
Old 03-15-2016, 02:02 PM
S_Spruce S_Spruce is offline
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Thank you for that post, Timothy. Your points are well taken. I will consider that for next time. And still, this test is hardly invalid due to mic placement. Whether rightly or wrongly, this is how most people mic guitars and the comparison will still be fair.

I feel encouraged to experiment with mic placement, though. The room I record in was sound treated by an expert and it's got all the right panels, diffusers and all. Placing the mics a bit farther would be safe in these conditions.

Last edited by S_Spruce; 03-17-2016 at 01:06 PM.
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