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Old 11-23-2016, 12:37 PM
VLJ VLJ is offline
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Default Thoughts, experiences, and opinions requested...

I've been looking at nylon cutaways for a decent while now, and have my choice narrowed down to two guitars: the Cordoba GK Pro Negra, and Takamine TH5C. I was originally looking at the lower-end Cordobas and Yamahas but discovered after playing them that I don't prefer the 48mm nut and radiused fingerboards. I surprised myself by preferring the 50-52mm nuts and flat fretboards of the GKs and conventional classicals. Also, at this price-point I want all solid woods.

Full disclosure: I would also include the Pavan TP-30 with a cutaway, and the Ramirez 4NCWE. The issue with the Pavan is I'm not sure the guy is still doing business. He neither answers calls/e-mails nor returns them, and I've read where this has been the case for many years now. The issue with the Ramirez is it's just too expensive, and I never see them show up on the used market.

I'm trying to keep this in the $1500 range, which is right in line with the Cordoba and Takamine.

As far as I can tell, here are the pros and cons of each guitar...

Cordoba GK Pro Negra

Pros: Every time I go to my local guitar stores and try the various low-end nylons, the Cordobas always sound the best. I've never seen a GK Pro in person, however, but they're supposed to be built better and sound fractionally better than their laminate-body GK Studio brothers. In particular, the Pro Negra is supposed to sound really good. Also, I like the Pro's neck heel design.

Cons: China-built on a $1500 guitar, no built-in tuner, no tap plates (strange, since the cheaper GK Studios have them), a so-so rosette design (just my opinion), and I think I prefer a cedar top to spruce.

Takamine TH5C

Pros: Hand-built in Takamine's Japanese "Pro" Hirade facility, so there's that extra bit of pride of ownership; cedar top; built-in tuner included with the "Cool Tube 3" preamp; more stylish rosette design.

Cons: Supposedly the preamp is very heavy, and the instrument may not have the lively unplugged tone of the Cordoba. Some people feel it may be overbuilt.

I really don't know, never having played either guitar. My primary concern is the unplugged sound, which is the main reason I dumped the Yamahas from my list. For all I know, I may never play amplified again.

Any input regarding these two guitars (including their resale values) would be greatly appreciated, especially comparative info!
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2016, 12:58 PM
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fazool fazool is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VLJ View Post
I've been looking at nylon cutaways for a decent while now, and have my choice narrowed down to two guitars: the Cordoba GK Pro Negra, and Takamine TH5C. I was originally looking at the lower-end Cordobas and Yamahas but discovered after playing them that I don't prefer the 48mm nut and radiused fingerboards....

Just to be clear......you are comparing two different style of guitar.

There is a traditional nylon string guitar with a flat fingerboard and wide nut for the classical player.

Then there is a "crossover" style of nylon guitar with a narrower nut and radius fingerboard for the electric or acoustic steel string guitar player.


It's not that the cheaper ones have those features - it's just that the ones with those features that you looked at were cheaper ones.

You compared expensive classicals with inexpensive crossovers. Now, you may prefer classical over crossover, I'm not contesting that - just don't confuse the TYPE of guitar with the COST of the guitar. There are some very expensive crossovers out there.
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Old 11-23-2016, 01:15 PM
VLJ VLJ is offline
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fazool, I'm aware of the differences between crossovers, flamencos, and classicals. Going in, I thought I would prefer crossovers, since I'm an electric blues guitar player. After playing the crossovers alongside the 50mm-52mm flat-radius flamencos (GK Studio) and classicals (C7), I discovered that when it comes to nylons I prefer the wider 50-52mm nut width and flat radius.

Oddly, the GK Studio (spruce/cypress) with its 3.5"-deep body still sounded fuller and more resonant than the 3.9" Fusion (spruce/maple). The more I played each type of guitar, the more it became evident that I prefer the wider, flatter fretboards of the flamencos and classicals.

This leads to another question regarding the GK Pro Negra vs TH5C; namely, will the deeper body of the Takamine translate to a bigger, deeper sound than the GK Pro Negra? I assumed this would be the case with the Fusion vs the GK, but it turned out not to be so. For whatever reason, the GK seems to have the ability to punch above its weight class.
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Old 11-24-2016, 11:46 AM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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Quote:
Going in, I thought I would prefer crossovers, since I'm an electric blues guitar player. After playing the crossovers alongside the 50mm-52mm flat-radius flamencos (GK Studio) and classicals (C7), I discovered that when it comes to nylons I prefer the wider 50-52mm nut width and flat radius.
You and I both, although my playing background is different than yours. I think it's just further verification in my mind that when it comes to either nylon or steel, it's not uncommon to have divergent tastes when it comes to specs. So, trust your instincts there.
I have a custom Cervantes hybrid "Crossover II" guitar, which does feature a flat fretboard radius and appr. 51mm nut width, along with a cutaway. So it fits a similar viewpoint that you're sharing in this regard and which is one of the reasons I went for it. I'm not sure where these fall price wise in standard versions, but his Crossover 1 models are close to your budget range, albeit on the high side.
Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the models you're looking at so I can't provide any insights. I just wanted to post to let you know to stick to your guns as far as what you feel are good specs for you.
As far as the Pavan line goes, I wasn't aware of a TP-30 with a cutaway, only the TP-20-AC. With a price point of slightly under $1500. it would also seem to meet your budget, and it is also offered with cedar top.
I wouldn't give up on those just yet. These are factory built models in Spain but the builder in charge is US based Thomas Prisloe.
A check of his website revealed the following co-ordinates where he can be reached:
"To discuss ordering a guitar contact me at:
607-387-3875"
or e-mail** tom@classicalguitarbuilder.com
(Might be worth a call)
Other than that, I wish you luck in your search for a good sounding nylon with your ideal specs.
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Old 11-24-2016, 01:55 PM
VLJ VLJ is offline
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AndreF, I've left phone messages and sent e-mails to Tom Prisloe, and never received a response. I was warned that this would likely be the case, the speculation being that he's no longer selling Pavan guitars. One of the things I wanted to ask about is the difference between the TP-30 and TP-20. Looking at the posted specs, the only difference I see is the TP-30 has a nicer rosette, and the TC-20 is also offered with a cutaway as a standard model. Otherwise, the 20 and 30 use the same all-solid woods and dimensions (although the TP-20 cutaway has a 50mm nut instead of the standard 52mm of the non-cutaways), so I don't know why the TP-30 is considered to be the superior instrument.

As for a TP-30 cutaway, you're correct, it's not a standard model, but he has done them before. Supposedly it's available upon request.

Also, yep, I was already looking at the Cervantes guitars, but crossed them off my list when I saw that the only cutaways on his website all have 48mm nuts and radiused fingerboards. There is a mention of a Crossover II with a 52mm nut and a spruce top, but no picture. Looking into it now, I see that it is, in fact, a cutaway.

Can't find any for sale, though.
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Old 11-25-2016, 08:22 AM
Red_Label Red_Label is offline
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I've owned and played many nylon stringed classicals and flamencos. My absolutely favorites out of all of them have been my GK Pro blancas. I foolishly sold my first one, but acquired another several months ago and will never sell it. The GK Pros have worked better for me than my Spanish-made Cordobas (FCWE, 55FCE, 55FCE Ltd), Breedlove crossovers (Master Class Bossa Nova and Passport N200), Takamine TC132SC, Rodriguez MOD550, or various Yamaha and other nylons that I've owned. There's a shop in my area that has their Cordobas hanging next to some handmade flamencos and other brands. Every time I go there and play them back to back, the GK Pros are always my favorite there as well. My second GK Pro was my 10th Cordoba. I've been high on them for years and will continue to be so. Just awesome instruments for the money. I picked-up my second one as a B-stock item from an ebay seller for under $700. Best $700 I've ever spent on an acoustic guitar by far.
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Old 11-25-2016, 09:16 PM
VLJ VLJ is offline
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Red Label, the Takamine TC132SC isn't all that far removed from the TH5C, so you might be able to give me some idea as to how it compares to the GK Pro Negra. With its deeper rosewood body and cedar top did your unplugged Takamine sound noticeably bigger and fuller than your GK Pro spruce/cypress?
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Old 11-26-2016, 07:22 AM
riffmeister riffmeister is offline
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Not quite what the OP is asking, but I just got a Cordoba 55FCE (shallow body flamenco negra with dual source Fishman pickup system) and I like it a lot. The amplified sound is really really nice!
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Old 11-26-2016, 08:18 AM
VLJ VLJ is offline
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riffmeister, I played one of those and loved it, except for the U-shaped neck profile. The Spanish-built flamencos have chunkier necks than the Luthier or Iberia lines, and that difference was a bit too much for me.

Still, I was shocked by the resonance of those things. For being so slim, man, they sure are loud and punchy. Awesome.
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Old 11-26-2016, 03:47 PM
riffmeister riffmeister is offline
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I like the neck profile and thickness, very similar to my luthier-built classical guitars.
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Old 11-27-2016, 07:07 AM
dkstott dkstott is offline
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VLJ WROTE: Cordoba GK Pro Negra

Pros: Every time I go to my local guitar stores and try the various low-end nylons, the Cordobas always sound the best. I've never seen a GK Pro in person, however, but they're supposed to be built better and sound fractionally better than their laminate-body GK Studio brothers. In particular, the Pro Negra is supposed to sound really good. Also, I like the Pro's neck heel design.

Cons: China-built on a $1500 guitar, no built-in tuner, no tap plates (strange, since the cheaper GK Studios have them), a so-so rosette design (just my opinion), and I think I prefer a cedar top to spruce.


FWIW - I owned a GK Studio Cypress prior owning my GK Pro Negra. I was not impressed with the Studio's built in tuner. It was unstable when trying to tune several strings even after installing a new battery. I was also not impressed with the glued on tap plate. The edges seems to be in the early stages of lifting. It had the appearance of a cheaply installed pickguard.

I'm very happy with my GK Pro. I've owned it for more than a year now & have not felt the need to install a tap plate. There are no signs of any damage from my playing. If I ever decide that I need a tap plate, I'd consider the removable type from "strings by mail" or consult my luthier for recommendations.

If Cordoba ever decides to offer a Cedar topped GK Pro, I'm buying one!!! ... I will not be selling my GK Pro Negra. LOL

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Old 11-27-2016, 08:55 AM
VLJ VLJ is offline
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dkstott, I mostly agree, regarding the tap plate thing. I'm not a flamenco player, so I doubt I will scratch the top very much. I don't even scratch the pickguards on my electric guitars. I just find it curious that Cordoba includes tap plates on the GK Studio series but not the Pro series. They used to include them on some GK Pro models, but not anymore.

I would simply prefer that Cordoba include them on all their GK instruments. It doesn't make sense to include them on the Studios but not on the pricier Pro models.

Anyway, since you've had both, do you feel the Pro is worth the extra $900 or so vs the Studio? Solid wood body and sides vs laminates, ebony vs rosewood fretboard, a more ornate headstock design, different rosette, different preamp sans tuner, no tap plates vs tap plates, hardshell humi-case vs a gig bag: does it all add up to a guitar that merits a pricetag more than twice as high as that of its cheaper GK brother?
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Old 11-27-2016, 10:27 AM
Mr. Scott Mr. Scott is offline
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From what you've said it would seem that the Cordoba is likely to be a reasonable choice. Just a few of points though:

If you are going to play purely acoustic from now on, don't bother with pickups; it's just money wasted that could go towards a better build.

Same for a built-in tuner. Why would you need that?

You don't need golpeadors on a classical guitar so you can save a few pennies by not having those either.

Flamenco guitars such as the one you are considering are often shallower in the body than classical guitars, usually done (along with wood choice) to give a brighter sound. Talking of which, I wholeheartedly agree with you preference for a cedar top, they really do sound nice and mellow, to me anyway.

There is nothing wrong with Chinese made guitars. You are most likely to get a better instrument, made from better materials and at a better price if you consider the Chinese ranges. I have a few Chinese made guitars which are really good. My classical guitar is, however, made in Spain.

You may like to consider not having a cutaway, but this largely depends on the type of music you intend playing on the instrument. The cutaway reduces the internal volume which must then either be compensated for by a different body design or just lost, which is not good. And I think the unadulterated proportions of the modern "Spanish" guitar is just, literally, "Classic".
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Old 11-27-2016, 12:53 PM
VLJ VLJ is offline
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Mr. Scott, I would be perfectly happy to do without any onboard electronics, but the only semi-affordable, all solid woods model I've found so far that offers a cutaway with no electronics is the Pavan, and I'm not even sure Tom Prisloe is still in the Pavan business anymore.

I do want a cutaway. I've tried various guitars with and without the cutaway, and I greatly prefer the easier upper fret access afforded by the cutaway. I also want all solid woods, and I don't want a 48mm crossover neck. I tend to prefer the Cordoba GKs due to their just-right necks, their slightly slimmer bodies (compared to a classical), and the fact that they're not true thinlines, which tend to hurt the unplugged tone. I've tried all three GK Studio models, and they all beat their non-GK Cordoba counterparts, as well as competing guitars from other makers.

Bottom line, I want:

-Solid woods
-50mm-52mm nut, but not the super-chunky U-shaped neck profile of the Cordoba Espana Series models
-Cutaway
-Body meets the neck at the 12th fret
-No true slimline body
-Rosewood back and sides
-I'd prefer a cedar top, with German spruce as my second choice
-I'd prefer a USA or Spanish build, but Asian-built is not a dealbreaker

Finding all those things without any onboard electronics is proving to be rather difficult, and downright impossible in terms of finding one in a local store. In fact, I can't find any of the guitars I'm considering at our local stores. All they carry are the laminate or nato versions, never the solid wood models. I can't even find a Cordoba GK Pro anywhere, never mind a nylon-strings Takamine.

Cervantes? Alhambra? Ramirez?

Not a chance. Online ordering only, at least where I live.
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Old 11-27-2016, 01:03 PM
Pitar Pitar is offline
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Interested in a blem, or would you prefer to ding it yourself?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-list...&condition=all
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