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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am browsing the market for a classical guitar. Man, they're boring!
They all look the same with their cedar or spuce tops. There is never any inlays and only once in a blue moon a cut-away or piezo pup.

There is obvously different levels of craftmanship and attention to detail, but I am tempted to buy the cheapo $80 thingy in my local store just because every guitar looks the same.

Are you aware of any nylon string guitars that stands out from the crowd?
 

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I like Yamaha nylon strings. They're pretty value-for-money and sound decent too. I'd check out the CG101.

I'm very picky about the shape of the neck, so that's the first thing I look out for. I've had an Epiphone classical for a long time that was a pleasure to play, and I've just bought a cheap used $40 Samick that's decent too.
 

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The reason so few have cutaways or pickups is because classicals are much more sensitive to the removal of wood. The wood is cut much thinner, because nylon strings cannot drive the top as hard as steel strings. Because of this, removing any wood dramatically affects tone. The trebles and upper mids come from the upper bout. A cutaway removes this area, and effectively kills the tone. A pickp installed in the side will also deaden some response, but not to the degree of a cutaway.
 

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The reason so few have cutaways or pickups is because classicals are much more sensitive to the removal of wood. The pieces of wood used are much thinner than those used for steel strings, because nylon strings cannot drive the top as hard as steel strings. Because of this, removing any wood dramatically affects tone. The trebles and upper mids come from the upper bout. A cutaway removes this area, and effectively kills the tone. A pickp installed in the side will also deaden some response, but not to the degree of a cutaway.

I would recommend La Patrie or a Yamaha CG-111S (soild top). Classical quality does not increase substantially until you spend at least $2k. Also, avoid the Taylors. They play wonderfully, but sound awful, by classical standards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I believe what you say about removing wood and this affecting the tone.
I still don't see why I can't find one with a neck inlay or some colour.

$2k is way over my budget. I'd like to limit myself to $300. I've been looking at some Admira guitars from Spain so far. I should have a look at some other Brands like Yamaha as well.
 

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I quite like the Yamaha APX line in terms of body shape. They're somewhat lacking in the sound department, though, especially when you compare them back to back against guitars with bigger bodies.

The APX-5NA has a relatively small, comfortable cutaway body, a narrower neck and is quite nice-looking. Kinda thin sound, though, but they're designed to be more stage guitars than recording guitars.

Another option is the Godin ACS series. Not a hollowbody classical guitar, but they sound decent enough unplugged, and sound phenomenal when plugged in. Great stage guitars (no feedback). Some even have synth access built into them.
 

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First of all why do you want a classical guitar? Do you want it for the purpose of impressing girls around a camp fire or do you want to learn how to play it for what it is? A classical guitar has nothing (NOTHING) in common with an electric guitar, besides being tuned the same way. Naturaly if you spend $300 on an electric guitar with inlays and souch, you'd not get as good a sound out of it as out of a $300 guitar with no inlays. Same with classical guitars. And as with electrical guitars you get what you pay for. Classical guitars are more expensive than their electric cusins; anything you find under $2000 is going to suck, if you're not really lucky and find a used guitar.

Mikael
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I want the guitar because I have gotten hooked playing some classical pieces lately. My frustration comes with the fact that every guitar looks the same. All of the suggestions you've posted are probably great guitars, but I still want a flame top, a vine inlay or anything else that is cool.

I don't think everything under $2k will suck. Lots of manufactureres have priced their top model around half that price.

Maybe I'll just have to buy one without an inlay and call LGM? :)
 

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Repeat after me, please: there is no such thing as a good production made classical guitar!

Of course there are more or less bad guitars under $2000 but not one would be considered good by classical guitar standards. All good classical guitars ARE hand made. Prices in the US also seem to be quite out of hand. Just check out www.guitarsalon.com and see for your self. That place would be good for trying out guitars, but if you seriously would want to buy one of those, you'd be better off taking the trip to Spain, staying at the Waldorf Astoria for a week, buying the same guitar from the luthier and still save money. Two words: over priced...

That said, it isn't necessary for a beginner to have a guitar in that price range. It doesn't make sense. You won't be able to realise the potential of such an instrument until you've practiced classical guitar for quite a few years, with meticulous attention to tone. I don't mean to put you down, but that's the reality of classical guitar playing.

As for aestetics, I'm all for the simplicity of classical guitars. The sharkfin inlays on my Charvel made my head spin at first but I got used to them. The reason for the spruce/cedar tops on classical guitars is....TONE. Those two woods have proven to be really good tone woods over the centuries. A few makers are experimenting with red wood and other kinds of woods but I guess maple doesn't cut it in a classical guitar. Some flamenco guitars have maple backs and sides though.

Mikael
 

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SalemB said:
I am browsing the market for a classical guitar...

I am tempted to buy the cheapo $80 thingy in my local store
Obviously Salem is not dropping $2k so what it boils down to is playtesting various inexpensive classicals. Forget the ornamentation and stick with intonation, action, quality machine heads and TONE.

The sound of inexpensive nylon string guitars are a nice change from steel string, so while you won't be getting a concert grade instrument you should find a servicable guitar. Good luck... glen
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think the only difference in our views here is the definition of "good". I will never be able to play professionally and "good" to me obviously means a lot less than Paco De Lucia or Andres Segovia would mean by using the same expression.

If I can find a guitar that doesn't discourage me from playing, sounds pleasing to my ear and feels good on my lap, I will call that guitar "good". I am confident that I will find such a guitar within the $300 range.

As an active member on jemsite I'm surprised to be asked why I'm hooked on inlay and finish. We spend hours discussing nice swirls and inlays on electric guitars. Why shouldn't I ask for these features on an acoustic guitar as well? None seems to exist that fulfills my fantasies so I will go ahead and settle for a nice cedar top. ;)
 

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SalemB said:
I think the only difference in our views here is the definition of "good". I will never be able to play professionally and "good" to me obviously means a lot less than Paco De Lucia or Andres Segovia would mean by using the same expression.

If I can find a guitar that doesn't discourage me from playing, sounds pleasing to my ear and feels good on my lap, I will call that guitar "good". I am confident that I will find such a guitar within the $300 range.

As an active member on jemsite I'm surprised to be asked why I'm hooked on inlay and finish. We spend hours discussing nice swirls and inlays on electric guitars. Why shouldn't I ask for these features on an acoustic guitar as well? None seems to exist that fulfills my fantasies so I will go ahead and settle for a nice cedar top. ;)
I'm still looking, 'cause you got my curiosity up. You wanna plug the thing in?
 

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Hey.....while in New York recently my parents bought me an Epiphone Chet Atkins Classical. It is a solid body, has a built in mic with volume and tone controls and was purchased brand new for around $350.00. I have a Fender Gemini that I bought for $120.00 new in the day and love it as well. You don't have to blow a wad on a classical to get a decent player. Check the Epiphone out........ :D
 

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I like the post about the definition of "good". Consider this: if a classico decided he just wanted to occasionally chug away in drop D, a $150 "Kramer" would probably be all he ever needed.

Likewise, a student Yamaha or Tak would be fine for the occasional foray into classical. Hell, my $100 Conn does OK for me on that score (but I've been thinking about a Tak for a long time now).

I suck at classical. I always will, because I don't care enough to practice it. But it's a different flavor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A solid body acoustic is an interesting consept, but I know that I will be playing this thing in my livingroom where I don't have an amp so it won't be what I'm looking for.

I suck at classical too, but it doesn't stop me :) It also gives me an excellent excuse to have GAS. Buying a 6th electric needs is hard as my brain must be convinced. It keeps telling me it's a bad idea.

I had a look at the UZ guitar topic here:
http://www.jemsite.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=18785
Doesn't that green thing on the left look like a nylon to you?
Or is that just my wishful thinking? :)
 
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