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  #1  
Old 09-03-2014, 03:22 PM
Klunkerbill Klunkerbill is offline
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Default 1974 Sherry Brener/Hernandis Grand Concert

Hey All,
I'm new to CG and wanted to pick up something that would last me a few semesters during my studies. I educated myself as best I could on CG construction, came up with a (low) budget and started searching. After playing a few I settled on this Hernandis Grand Concert. This is supposed to be the best of the best of the S/B Japanese 'Spanish' guitars. It was slightly beat-up and not well maintained, broken strings, rusty frets, etc. It was also missing the interior label, but from others I've seen it's from 1974 and has Brazilian Rosewood back, sides, bridge and headstock plate, Cedar (Spanish Pine!) top with Ramirez-style fan bracing, a very dark Grenadillo fingerboard, Cedar neck with Ebony support down the back, bone nut and saddle. It's a 664mm scale with a 52mm nut. The tuners were crap, so I replaced them with Gotoh Deluxes, cleaned it up, polished the frets, oiled the fingerboard and put some D'Addario Pro Arte strings on it. I'm not one to judge (yet!), but my instructor is the Guitar Studies Chair at Azusa Pacific University and completed Master Classes with El Maestro Segovia, Christopher Parkening, etc. and he tried it out and was quite impressed with the guitar. The best part? I got it for only $6500.00!... Just kidding. I saw that MSRP on Sherry Brener's website for the Hernandis GC guitar (now 'sold-out'). I actually paid $300.00, plus the Gotoh Deluxe tuners ($60.00) and the strings. I'm really happy with my purchase so far. It's as close to a Ramirez 1a as I'll ever get, probably. It keeps me coming back to practice my exercises, so I guess that's what really counts. Does anyone have any experience with this exact guitar? If so, what are your thoughts? No need to go ripping into Sherry Brener's business practices, or the grade 3,2,1 or 1a Garcia's, Marcellino's etc. as that's been covered ad naseum. Just a player's perspective on the Grand Concert, please. Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2014, 06:21 PM
smwink smwink is offline
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These can be great beginner/intermediate student guitars, provided they are set up properly. A lot of people these days shy away from the longer scales, and there is even a growing trend in the classical guitar community toward shorter (640mm or even 630mm). Without starting a CG flame war, let me just say that I think it's an oversimplification to attribute playability to any one number, especially the scale length. I've owned 640mm guitars that are a pain to play, and 664mm that are wonderful.

I can't recall if that model had solid or laminate back/sides, but it's really the top that matters. If you're happy with the sound, and it brings you back to practice, then that really says it all! Enjoy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klunkerbill View Post
Hey All,
I'm new to CG and wanted to pick up something that would last me a few semesters during my studies. I educated myself as best I could on CG construction, came up with a (low) budget and started searching. After playing a few I settled on this Hernandis Grand Concert. This is supposed to be the best of the best of the S/B Japanese 'Spanish' guitars. It was slightly beat-up and not well maintained, broken strings, rusty frets, etc. It was also missing the interior label, but from others I've seen it's from 1974 and has Brazilian Rosewood back, sides, bridge and headstock plate, Cedar (Spanish Pine!) top with Ramirez-style fan bracing, a very dark Grenadillo fingerboard, Cedar neck with Ebony support down the back, bone nut and saddle. It's a 664mm scale with a 52mm nut. The tuners were crap, so I replaced them with Gotoh Deluxes, cleaned it up, polished the frets, oiled the fingerboard and put some D'Addario Pro Arte strings on it. I'm not one to judge (yet!), but my instructor is the Guitar Studies Chair at Azusa Pacific University and completed Master Classes with El Maestro Segovia, Christopher Parkening, etc. and he tried it out and was quite impressed with the guitar. The best part? I got it for only $6500.00!... Just kidding. I saw that MSRP on Sherry Brener's website for the Hernandis GC guitar (now 'sold-out'). I actually paid $300.00, plus the Gotoh Deluxe tuners ($60.00) and the strings. I'm really happy with my purchase so far. It's as close to a Ramirez 1a as I'll ever get, probably. It keeps me coming back to practice my exercises, so I guess that's what really counts. Does anyone have any experience with this exact guitar? If so, what are your thoughts? No need to go ripping into Sherry Brener's business practices, or the grade 3,2,1 or 1a Garcia's, Marcellino's etc. as that's been covered ad naseum. Just a player's perspective on the Grand Concert, please. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:19 PM
Vognell Vognell is offline
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grand concert was all solid, I believe, and had a reputation as a pretty solid instrument. I had heavily considered one of those for a while.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:33 PM
brucefulton brucefulton is offline
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For me, it would depend 100% on whether it can be set-up so that it's comfortable for you to play, and sounds even and balanced throughout the range. The price is good, but if there is a problem, it probably is not worth investing a lot in restoration.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:52 PM
bohemian bohemian is offline
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FWIW There was no "Hernandis" This was one of the many fictitious names Brener invented to market modest quality Japanese guitars.

Brener was busted by the feds for misrepresenting the origin of his guitars hence the huge ingredient label. He was always based in Chicago, not Madrid.

Brener was the reincarnation of the original carny huckster.

Don't believe anything you read on Sherrry Brener website.

Do a search on the net .. stories abound.

In spite of your request to not go into Sherry Brener's business practices and the fakery and the modest quality of over hyped, misrepresented guitars, given the posts following the opening post... there are those that apparently have absolutely no clue about him/them or the guitars. Perhaps they have a right to know.

I was around when these were introduced back in the 70's.. The Carmel Guitar Shop carried them along with other low end guitars such as Tatay.
They also had real Ramirez.. also the re-labeled ones from Sherry Brener over which Segovia brought legal action. The gold label units.

Bottom line, modest guitar..You paid what these are worth if in excellent condition.... but considering it has the grenadillo fingerboard which was assigned to the 2s and 3s.. more than I would pay.

If you enjoy it .. that's all that counts.

Last edited by bohemian; 09-03-2014 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:46 PM
dosland dosland is offline
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Hum. None of what the OP said indicates total ignorance of guitars or a lack of research into issues that have been covered "ad naseum" elsewhere. Just asking for personal experience with these instruments. So far, we're still waiting for that definite firsthand experience with this particular model, as far as I can tell. I suspect the guitar instructor's opinion is more useful than any of ours, since he can get his hands on the actual instrument and compare its sound and feel to dozens or even hundreds of better and worse instruments, so if he thinks it's a decent instrument and you enjoy playing it, I'm not sure any of us will have much useful feedback to offer. Hopefully someone else out there has played one and can give you some ideas, but given the variability to be expected after several decades and the usual factory inconsistencies, I suspect that two such instruments side by side will still be very different animals. Good luck with the new guitar!
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:34 PM
redir redir is offline
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How dare you not show pics!
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  #8  
Old 09-04-2014, 07:51 PM
bohemian bohemian is offline
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Hum. None of what the OP said indicates total ignorance of guitars or a lack of research into issues that have been covered "ad naseum" elsewhere."

Apparently you did not read my post..

For clarification...."given the posts following the opening post... "

I was NOT referring to the OP but later posters who evidently know nothing of Sherry Brener given the content of their posts.

He was a shuckster and the guitars are mediocre.

Granted some were playable and sounded ok, and that is what matters to the owners.. but as to price.. at $300 that is the limit for one of the ebony boarded #1s .
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Old 09-05-2014, 02:03 AM
dosland dosland is offline
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I guess I failed to make my point, which was that the original post was asking for firsthand experience as it related to these particular instruments, and the tangential discussion of the character of the person who peddled the instruments 40 years ago is irrelevant to how the instruments actually feel and sound to players handling them today. "some were playable and sounded ok" fits closer, I think.
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:42 AM
Vognell Vognell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dosland View Post
I guess I failed to make my point, which was that the original post was asking for firsthand experience as it related to these particular instruments, and the tangential discussion of the character of the person who peddled the instruments 40 years ago is irrelevant to how the instruments actually feel and sound to players handling them today. "some were playable and sounded ok" fits closer, I think.
For what it was worth, I owned a Hernandis grade 2 for a while. It was a decent guitar, despite being a laminated top. I had a Garcia grade 1 (also a Sherry Brenner guitar) for a while, and it was also pretty nice. I have not owned a 1A or Grand Concert (I had tried to track one down, but best price I found was $600, most were closer to $1K), but they are reported to be good instruments. $300 was a reasonable price for the guitar, and if it can be set up to play well, the OP should get good use and enjoyment out of it.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:43 AM
bohemian bohemian is offline
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These are modest guitars with ficticious names to cause folks to think they are more than they are. A ploy of Brener.. There is No Hernandis, or Garcia or my favorite Marcelino Barbero. A flagrant rip-off of Barbero.

Elevating guitars by association with the famous... Taking Ramirez 2A guitars, putting in a "Segovia" label and jacking the price.. all without permission from Segovia.

I'll leave you to rail on me as negative and irrelevant. But if I can inform someone so that they know that these are modest guitars hyped by Brener and by owners who want to justify their own purchase.. so be it.. I can live with that.

$1000 Absurd. !
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:11 AM
Vognell Vognell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bohemian View Post
These are modest guitars with ficticious names to cause folks to think they are more than they are. A ploy of Brener.. There is No Hernandis, or Garcia or my favorite Marcelino Barbero. A flagrant rip-off of Barbero.

Elevating guitars by association with the famous... Taking Ramirez 2A guitars, putting in a "Segovia" label and jacking the price.. all without permission from Segovia.

I'll leave you to rail on me as negative and irrelevant. But if I can inform someone so that they know that these are modest guitars hyped by Brener and by owners who want to justify their own purchase.. so be it.. I can live with that.

$1000 Absurd. !

Soooo.... have you ever played one? Specifically, the Grand Concert or 1A?
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:47 PM
Klunkerbill Klunkerbill is offline
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Well alright... I guess no one (so far) actually has/or has played a Hernandis Grand Concert. Sorry to start all the S/B mishigas up again. There's obviously plenty of the negative info and feelings 'out there'. There seem to be some positive endorsements on the higher end instruments, too, but you really have to look. I recently read that Christopher Parkening recorded Catalonian Song with a Hernandis GC. Hopefully I will get the opportunity to ask him about it at Pepperdine University on the 28th of this month. Hey Bohemian:Are the Ebony boards really better than the Granadillo? Weren't the All the Model 1a and 1 guitars with Ebony fingerboards further down the food chain than the Grand Concert? I thought the entire Garcia line was lower than the Hernandis and the 1 and 1a guitars further down than the Grand Concert. It certainly was according to the dreaded S/B website's MSRPs. From what could surmise, the Hernandis Grand Concert was suppose be as close to the the Ramirez 1a in design and materials as possible, except for the fingerboard material (Granadillo vs. Ebony) and tuners (Crap vs. Fustero). Now that mine's got some good tuners, I won't be putting much more $$$ in it. As it sits I'm sure it's much more guitar than I'll need for quite some time. Even so, If anyone else knows where I can get another one for $300.00 in good shape, I'll take it! I've got GAS.

Last edited by Klunkerbill; 09-07-2014 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:09 AM
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I have played Hernandis Grand Concert and other levels of the Hernandis line. I have owned a couple of Garcia lower level and have played their Concert level guitars on more than one occasion, and I have owned a Sherry Brenner Barbero. All were, in my opinion, perfectly good guitars. Not great, mind you, but good guitars. The Barbero, at the time, was the best guitar I had, and it had a great warmth and a huge bass. Looking back, not what I really like in a guitar, preferring more evenness. It was, however, a very good guitar. None were at the level of todays concert guitars or certainly not comparable to any luthier gutiars I have ever seen or played. Just know that the Hernandis, Garcia, and Barbero guitars were not what they were advertised to be, that's all. Still they were pretty good guitars, and great to learn on. Nearly everyone in my ensemble for 20 years owned and or played one of the above mentioned guitars. Some folks had more than one. I had a good friend(now passed away) who was close to Jim Sherry and carried those guitars in his shop. He also bought out the Barberos when Sherry quit selling them, as he felt they were good guitars for the money at the time. This was back in the '80's.
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:51 PM
Rondoraymundo Rondoraymundo is offline
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I have never played the Herandis Grand Concert, but I own her sister guitar, a Garcia #2, Sherry Brenner. These are fine guitars! Not great, just consistently good. I was in my local guitar store the other day shopping for its upgrade. I went from least expensive to most expensive and was at the Rodriguez D series before I found a guitar with the same projection as my Garcia.

So I'm thinking I'll have to go with a Kenny Hill Estudio or a Cordoba C10 for an upgrade that would be noticeably superior.

As my guitar teacher told me after he played my Garcia, "It's a good student guitar."

There you go!
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